What should I do with my winter tyres?

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Londonscottish

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Hi All,

I've just noticed that my 212 is running a set of winter tyres - Michelin Alpins to be precise.

Having read a bit about them they would appear to be be optimised for lower temperatures/wet conditions.

And maybe not ideal for, for example, a schlep to the South of France in August.

I've never had winter tyres and am wondering what to do. So do I

(a) ignore the fact that they are winters and run them 12 months a year for the next 2 years

(b) take them off and store them ready for next winter?

Any advice welcome
 
If the tread is good remove them when temp is above 8c consistently at this point they aren't as good as summer tyres. (17years of living in Europe with winter/summer seasonal rotation)

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I'd replace them with some summer tyres. If you keep the car long enough then you will get more miles from both the summer and winter tyres since they will be generally working at their optimum temp. My winters have seen 3 winters and I had to replace one set of summer tyres. Car now on 54K.
 
Take them off - I found winter tyres stopping distances to be very poor (to the point of dangerous) in warm summer weather.

Also adversely affected the fuel economy.
 
If the tread is good remove them when temp is above 8c consistently at this point they aren't as good as summer tyres.

Thanks - year tread is good - 6mm/7mm all round
 
Take them off - I found winter tyres stopping distances to be very poor (to the point of dangerous) in warm summer weather.

Also adversely affected the fuel economy.

OK ta.

Will get some summer tyres organised.
 
Winter tyres are of marginal benefit in the South of England - we very rarely get enough snow (which is where they really pay off) to make switching to/fro worthwhile. My wife is used to having winter tyres at home (Germany), but has never seen the need for them here.

If you do want to hang on to them then using two sets of wheels is the easiest option. The winter tyres specified for M-Bs are often different in size anyway.
 
^^^ Common misconception. Winter tyres are good in snow because of tread sipe design, but that's not their sole benefit. Their silica compound is designed to work at cold temps (I.e. Below 7-8c) and therefore they offer much better handling, braking stability and feel during most of our autumn, winter and spring months. How many days of the year is the UK below7c? Something like 150 odd days? Last year, during the winter months (Dec to Feb), arguably one of the warmest of recent years, the provisional mean temp across the U.K. was 5.5 °C, which is 1.8 °C above the 1981-2010 average. The provisional total rainfall was 529 mm, which is 160mm above average showed it to be one of the wettest.

I wonder how many collisions would be avoided if we were all on the correct tyres for the correct season with a healthy understanding of the technology, tread depth, pressures and their condition and driving within our abilities and appropriately for the conditions?
 
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People think winter tyres are only any good for snow...not true. Winter tyres improve grip on cold wet roads too. They made the world of difference on my M3! Also, if left on during the summer, they won`t last very long at all as winters are a softer compound.
 
^^^ Common misconception. Winter tyres are good in snow because of tread sipe design, but that's not their sole benefit. Their silica compound is designed to work at cold temps (I.e. Below 7-8c) and therefore they offer much better handling, braking stability and feel during most of our autumn, winter and spring months. How many days of the year is the UK below7c? Something like 150 odd days? Last year, during the winter months (Dec to Feb), arguably one of the warmest of recent years, the provisional mean temp across the U.K. was 5.5 °C, which is 1.8 °C above the 1981-2010 average. The provisional total rainfall was 529 mm, which is 160mm above average showed it to be one of the wettest.

I wonder how many collisions would be avoided if we were all on the correct tyres for the correct season with a healthy understanding of the technology, tread depth, pressures and their condition and driving within our abilities and appropriately for the conditions?

I said that snow was where they really paid off, not that it was the sole benefit.

Yes they can offer better grip in cold conditions, but Continental were quoted as saying that 4C is actually the point where their winter tyres start to have an advantage over summer tyres. So the widely quoted 7-8C isn't universally the case.

The 2016 average temp across the whole of the UK was 9.3C:

Annual 2016 - Met Office

So if you had to pick one set of tyres then summer ones would probably be the better choice.

Of course if you live in the North of Scotland the case for winter tyres would be stronger. But I did specifically say they were of marginal benefit in the South of England. The OP is in London.
 
I said mean temp for 'winter months' and the point is that in 'winter,,' summer tyres are a bad choice. So if the OP has winter tyres on now...best advice is to keep them, but take them off for now when ambient temps suit a summer tyre and run with those until late autumn and then switch back to his perfectly good winter tyres.

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Do you actually need Winter tyres anyway?

If you don't need cold weather tyres, get rid of them and run on (good) all season tyres year round, the way that most of us Southern English do.

If you do actually need two sets, then, I'm sorry, you should NOT be putting tyres off and on every year. (Assuming a normal set lasts more than a couple of years for you). You'll need to buy yourself a complete set of wheels and tyres. Pulling a tyre off and then putting t back on stresses a tyre in ways it wasn't intended to handle.

A good European or American always has his "other season" set of wheels and tyres neatly stacked in the back of the Garage, with padding to protect them from casual damage.

The good news is that used or refurbished wheels are cheap in size 17 or 18, thanks to The Young 'Uns to like to "upgrade" to 19's or 20's (shudder). Even MB dealers can source you unwanted 17's and 18's from their used car fleet and trade ins.
 
If you don't need cold weather tyres, get rid of them and run on (good) all season tyres year round, the way that most of us Southern English do.

If you do actually need two sets, then, I'm sorry, you should NOT be putting tyres off and on every year. (Assuming a normal set lasts more than a couple of years for you). You'll need to buy yourself a complete set of wheels and tyres. Pulling a tyre off and then putting t back on stresses a tyre in ways it wasn't intended to handle.

A good European or American always has his "other season" set of wheels and tyres neatly stacked in the back of the Garage, with padding to protect them from casual damage.

The good news is that used or refurbished wheels are cheap in size 17 or 18, thanks to The Young 'Uns to like to "upgrade" to 19's or 20's (shudder). Even MB dealers can source you unwanted 17's and 18's from their used car fleet and trade ins.

Thanks Mike.

I've never had winter tyres, hence my questions.

As a bare minimum I'll need to shell out £500+ for a set of P Zero's, Sport Contacts or Eagle F1's.

And it looks like a set of AMG twin spoke 18's with decent tyres can be had for the same amount.

Plus I could always sell on the others at some point if I get bored with storing them.

EDIT; just seen a promising set online that are in Hounslow. Not too far away and fitted with decent Sport Contact III's. Getting paid next week.........

I think I might just get a set of 18's now and sell my winters in a few months' time.
 
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Invoice is in the post.

Glad to assist....

Obviously "caveat emptor" and all that. Only buy pukka brands and make sure they're all good. Your local tyre fitter will happily fit them and double check that all is well for a few well placed fivers. (Keen DIY'ers would just pop them on themselves, but personally I think the expert check is worth having)

To state the obvious, if you do decide to sell the cold weather (not "Winter") wheels and tyres, then offer them as a Buy It Now in October / November when people are looking for them, not in Summer. Sounds obvious, but not everyone does this....
 
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Glad to assist....

Obviously "caveat emptor" and all that. Only buy pukka brands and make sure they're all good. Your local tyre fitter will happily fit them and double check that all is well for a few well placed fivers. (Keen DIY'ers would just pop them on themselves, but personally I think the expert check is worth having)

God yeah. I've been through the cracked rims on the C43 Monoblocs. And have had eggs and blowouts on various tyres over the years.

I'd take them over to Wembley tyres and get them to do a full balance and general check. And transfer the Tyre Pressure Monitor sensors over (presume these are in the valves?).
 
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A few points...

Avoid P Zeros as they are completely hopeless once worn to below 5mm in colder damp conditions.

Don't underestimate how undriveable a V8 W212 is on wide summer tyres in even light snow. It's not much better in very cold (i.e. < 4c) damp conditions either. Trust me when I say that my E63 was still a joy to drive on its Michelin PA4's last winter, but was a nasty handful on summer tyres in the same conditions.

Personally I'd keep the Michelin winters if you have room to store them. That way if we do get a harder winter you have the means to keep mobile.


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A few points...

Avoid P Zeros as they are completely hopeless once worn to below 5mm in colder damp conditions.

Ta

Don't underestimate how undriveable a V8 W212 is on wide summer tyres in even light snow.

I used to take my 200SX out for a play when it snowed. Then I tried driving from Southbank to NW10 in my C43 in the snow on summer tyres. Chocolate teapot.

Personally I'd keep the Michelin winters if you have room to store them. That way if we do get a harder winter you have the means to keep mobile.

Well I might keep them. It's just that they take up a lot of space.
 
Then I tried driving from Southbank to NW10 in my C43 in the snow on summer tyres. Chocolate teapot.

When was that? I've worked in London since 1983 and snow is pretty rare! Last time I remember was a couple of days in December 2010 :D
 
When was that? I've worked in London since 1983 and snow is pretty rare! Last time I remember was a couple of days in December 2010 :D

It was somewhere between 2003 and 2006. It had rained earlier in the day (washing all the salt away) then big fluffy flakes started falling which caused gridlock and stopped the gritters getting back out.

I could see from my office window that it was lying so at 3.00-ish I legged it.

Unlike a LSD-equipped manual 200SX which was drift-tastic in the snow I found the C43 was almost completely useless. The last couple of miles home are mildly uphill and I found that the combination of a mild slope and a speedbump could bring me to a complete halt if my speed dropped below walking place. It was massively touch and go for the last 20 minutes or.

On a different occasion I found myself unable to drive off the road and up the ramp onto a filling station forecourt.

Mind you, wet grass could also defeat it come to think about it.
 

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