Winter Tyres

Discussion in 'Driving/Incidents/Roadrage' started by jeremytaylor, Jan 5, 2009.

  1. jeremytaylor

    jeremytaylor Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I had a graphic demonstration of the benefit of my winter tyres this morning. 1cm of strange white stuff on the ground this morning, and my route to work includes a minor untreated road with a hill leading up to a junction. The road was covered with compacted snow glistening with ice in the faint light.

    The car in front was a W211 E-class saloon (sport - with nice wide 18" tyres). The driver appproached the hill too slowly and soon became stuck half-way up. Rear wheels spinning sending the car crab-wise on the road. He was going nowhere. I had kept a safe distance, predicting this might happen ;) . Once I had checked the car in front was firmly stuck, from a standing start on the hill I just pulled out and around him (ESP off, comfort gears on).

    I can only imagine the thought going through the drivers mind. 'How come I can't and he can??' :mad:
     
  2. crockers

    crockers MB Club Veteran

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    Yes our friends in Germany use them - but over there, there are places that will store your summer tyres and swap them over --

    Us.. we just use the wife's CR-V...:D - with New Tyres.......don't think they are winter - just ordinary 15" 70 profile general ones...:D
     
  3. A210AMG

    A210AMG MB Club Veteran

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    My dad (currently in Annecy at -6 and snow) uses clip on show shoes for the rear of his. A bracket fits onto the rear wheel and then the snow shoes clip on.

    Me I use the truck.
     
  4. W210 Fan

    W210 Fan Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    many places with mountains, Austria for example its the law to have winter tyres/snow chains on in certain periods of the year in certain places (altitude) something to factor in if like me you hate airports and fancy driving to a ski resort
     
  5. Sp!ke

    Sp!ke Administrator Staff Member

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    Having just come back from my Croatia trip where there was an abundance of snow I also had some direct experience with winter tyres.

    To give you an idea of the conditions I was driving in, here are a couple of video's.

    The first is on the motorway in Croatia heading East from Zagreb. As you can see, nightmarish motorway conditions, especially as I still had considerable ground to cover.

    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=DdCWerdtmRQ

    The second is a local road near to my in-laws. This video was taken from a different car but it serves well to show the type of conditions that I had to contend with. Stunningly pretty but serious drop-offs on the right of the road and no barrier to halt you if you get it wrong.

    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=raZg3gQnCGw

    Despite some advice to the contrary on the forum, I ended up fitting only two winter tyres to the front wheels of my wife's fwd Volvo S60. A combination that on a fwd car worked rather well. In fact I'd recommend anyone going on a ski trip or similar (in a fwd car) consider this option over carrying snow socks or chains as the costs are not too dissimilar.

    Driving in heavy snow covered mountain roads was relatively easy as long as one drove with some care. Without doubt, with summer tyres fitted all round I would have had to abandon the car at some points as the conditions were probably about as bad as one could expect.

    Was the rear end shod with summer tyres a bit of a handful? Well no, not at all really. The summer tyres fitted on the rear are new Yokohamas and have quite a blocky tread pattern which probably helped matters greatly. Had I had something like Toyo Proxys or Eagle F1's fitted with a less aggressive tread pattern then I strongly suspect things would have been a little different. The only time I had to use a little bit of extra caution was when negotiating down hill hairpins where the back end did feel a little skittish but nothing to write home about really.

    I had far more to fear this morning negotiating the first half mile from my house in my W124 with summer tyres all round than I had the entire journey in the Volvo.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2009
  6. Satch

    Satch Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Why turn the ESP off on snow?
     
  7. crockers

    crockers MB Club Veteran

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    Can one turn off ESP on a Merc? I thought it just became less aggressive when turned off but still worked.
     
  8. OP
    OP
    jeremytaylor

    jeremytaylor Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    It seemed to grip better if I moderated the power myself - and that is what the handbook advises.
     
  9. raymont

    raymont Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I would recommend not doing this.

    All manufacturer sites I’ve looked at stress the need to fit four winter / snow / low temp tyres.

    A previous thread referenced a video showing the interesting effects of having winter tyres on only one axle.

    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=EdtAm7RsTmE

    Just returned from the south of Germany and because of the previous thread I looked at the tyres fitted to local tyres. Pretty much every car I looked at had winter tyres fitted and they were always fitted to all four wheels.

    It isn’t just about keeping going in slippery conditions, it’s about not having an accident which the potential to injure not just yourself but other road users.
     
  10. raymont

    raymont Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I wonder what the insurance implications would be if you had an accident with only two winter tyres fitted when the manufacturer recommended fitting four?
     
  11. BTB 500

    BTB 500 MB Club Veteran

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    The Vito has an "ASR off" button that disables traction control, while leaving the rest of ESP in operation:
     
  12. Rory

    Rory MB Club Veteran

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    The snow / ice just exaggerates the reasons that if replacing only a pair of tyres then the new new tyres should generally be fitted to the rear.

    I guess Sp!ke got away with it due to a combination of the tyres being new, supreme driving skills :D and, I would imagine on such a journey, the car being very well loaded.
     
  13. Uberwagon

    Uberwagon Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I don't have an ESP off button (Damn thing) but do have a snow chain button which allows slip between the wheels up to speeds of 40kmh.

    Dave!
     
  14. BTB 500

    BTB 500 MB Club Veteran

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    My SL doesn't have ESP ... just ASR (with an 'off' button), and 'W' mode on the gearbox. Not planning to drive it in the snow though!
     
  15. Sp!ke

    Sp!ke Administrator Staff Member

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    I was obiding local laws by fitting only two winter tyres. (have you always had matched tyres front and rear - same make\same brand?) The law says its not necessary but most manufacturers say otherwise too.

    I posted to provide first hand information on how well two winter tyres worked having just tested it for an extended period - then you send a staged youtube video as a counter evidence??? How about some personal experience rather than some rubbish you found from a company interested in selling tyres?

    For sure, 4 tyres will be better than 2 but that was not what I was comparing things to.

    I am simply saying if you were considering snow socks or chains on a fwd car for a trip to the slopes then add this to your list of options. (for similar money) I now know having tried first hand which one of these three is the safest and best option.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2009
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