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Winter tires in the summer

Discussion in 'Roadster' started by bart513, Apr 22, 2015.

  1. bart513

    bart513 Member

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    I had my winter wheels and tires put on in December but the car sat in the garage most of the winter as the snow was too high and digging out would have been very lengthy! Is there any damage to the winter tires if they are driven in warmer weather or should I just pay to put the summer wheels/tires back on?
    Thanks!
     
  2. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    My advice... put your summers on. The softer rubber compound which is optimized for cold weather will likely wear much faster, and your handling will be compromised. Winter tires aren't just about tread pattern any longer.
     
  3. hcsharp

    hcsharp Active Member

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    ^^^ Well said. Soft compound wears fast in warm weather. Poor performance.
     
  4. mwulff

    mwulff Member

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    Actually since they sat all winter I would take them for a short drive just to "round them off" again. They have probably developed a slight bulge. Just a short 10-20 mile drive and then store them.
     
  5. Yggdrasill

    Yggdrasill Active Member

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    Winter tires are also a lot more likely to aquaplane if there's water on the road. So be careful.
     
  6. green1

    green1 Active Member

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    A study of ambulances in Quebec determined that their best option was to run winter tires year round. The study noted that performance wise there was no downside to the winters in the summer, and the only downside to running the winter tires year round was slightly faster tire wear, however the slightly faster wear was cheaper than the labour to swap twice a year and the storage for the extra sets of tires.

    Now for a normal person the economics are slightly different as storing wheels is usually free in your garage at home, and if you do your own changes, those are dirt cheap as well. The extra tire wear then becomes relevant. You also get slightly better fuel economy on summer tires, and a slightly quieter/smoother ride.

    But if you are ok with a bit more wear (and it's really not that huge an amount) then there is no need to switch to summer tires, the winters perform just fine.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Do you have a citation for that? because a frequent condition that winter tires have to deal with is a thin layer of water on top of ice, so generally I would expect them to do well in this situation (and the study I referred to earlier did not note that as a downside)
     
  7. tga

    tga Active Member

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    I once left a well worn set of winter tires on well into the summer as an experiment (the tires would not have lasted another winter, so I wasn't concerned about trashing them).

    I was really surprised at how fast they wore out once it got warm. Don't do this on winter tires that you want to use another season.
     
  8. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    I once ran winters for the summer because my summer tires were spent, and I was planning to get rid of the car. They were in really bad shape after a few months.

    As for aquaplaning, he's quite right. It's not the rubber compound that is the issue, it's the grooves. The only reason to have tread grooves on a summer tire is to get the water out from under the tire so it stays on the ground.

    Slicks have much better grip than regular tires on dry pavement. They work just fine on damp pavement. Where you get into big trouble is when you drive through standing water. Then the tire aquaplanes and grip goes to nothing. Winter tire tread is not optimized for evacuating water.
     
  9. green1

    green1 Active Member

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    #9 green1, Apr 22, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2015
    Conversely, I had a set of winter tires on my personal vehicle that I wanted to wear out (because they really weren't that great and I wanted rid of them), I used them through 2 summers and 2 winters, and then gave up with them still working fine.
    My work truck came equipped with Nokian hakkapeliittas last spring, I drove them all summer, and all winter, and we're now in to summer again, they're fine, no issues at all.

    Not sure what winter tires you were using.

    I really don't buy this at all. Winter tires have lots of grooves, AND they are designed to deal with water on top of ice which is an extremely common winter condition which makes them dealing with water even more important than on a summer tire. I'd love to see a study that says otherwise.

    As I said, I read the Quebec ambulance study on winter tires and they found winter tires suitable for year round use in that application, with no real downsides, they recommended the practice be adopted nation wide.

    I really wish I could find that study again (read it a couple years ago when Quebec introduced their winter tire law) but the site I originally read it on (our internal EMS web server) no longer has the link, and I can't seem to find it in google....
     
  10. RiverBrick

    RiverBrick Active Member

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    #10 RiverBrick, Apr 22, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2015
    Increased stopping distance, is that not a downside? I'd like to have all the criteria of that study.
     
  11. green1

    green1 Active Member

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    Why would stopping distance increase on stickier tires? I don't buy that.
     
  12. RiverBrick

    RiverBrick Active Member

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    #12 RiverBrick, Apr 22, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2016
    Any test has quality all-season or Summer tires delivering shorter braking distance than Winter tires in warm weather.

    For example,
     
  13. bart513

    bart513 Member

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    This is very interesting information that everyone is posting. I have to check to see what brand of winter tires are on the car. It seems like that video showing the winter tires not stopping as well in warm weather. I'm not sure if that is based on scientific data or the tire manufacturer wanting to sell both winter and summer tires!
     
  14. green1

    green1 Active Member

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    #14 green1, Apr 22, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2016
    First, that video is not a test of any form, just an ad. Hopefully it's based on some form of test, but there's no information in it to know for sure.
    If however you believe what they say, it's interesting that it completely contradicts the idea that someone posted on here about snow tires doing worse on wet roads, in fact it shows at the same temperature the snow tires perform better in relation to the summers on wet roads than they do on dry roads.

    Once again, I REALLY wish I could find that scientific study I read earlier about this, it went in to some decent detail, unfortunately I just can't find it anymore.
     
  15. RiverBrick

    RiverBrick Active Member

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    1) Yes, at 5C, as designed a Winter tire will be better in cooler temperatures. However, you fail to mention that the stopping distance is longer with the Winter tire at 16C, wet or dry. It will probably only get worse at 26C.

    2) The video comes to the same conclusion as just about every study. If you prefer them as a source, read Consumer Report's article on the subject.
     
  16. green1

    green1 Active Member

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    #16 green1, Apr 22, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2015
    The video doesn't come to any conclusion, it's not a study it's an ad.
    And at 16c it claims less difference between summer and winter in rain than on dry road. You're trying to have it both ways, claiming that the ad is a valid study, AND claiming that the conclusion it comes to that winter tires handle wet roads fine is incorrect. Make up your mind.

    Winters year round are not an issue. If you have a proper study and not an ad I'm interested in seeing it. I bet that any difference summer vs winter as far as stopping distance is concerned is likely less than the difference between different make and model of summer tires.
     
  17. hcsharp

    hcsharp Active Member

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    Hmmm. That certainly contradicts my personal experience which is that winter tires are better than summer tires in wet conditions in warm weather. I know that doesn't make it a rule. I think newer snow tires are better at evacuating water.

    I've also found stopping distances to be longer with winter tires when warm. Snow tires generally have less rubber contact area on the pavement due to all the grooves to grab snow.
     
  18. Theshadows

    Theshadows Active Member

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    In my experience I would disagree with this. Mostly because an ambulance is a completely different type of vehicle driven in a different manor than a Model S.

    We run winters year round on our company Golf, but only because it is taken to muddy construction sites and needs the extra help on the mud at times. Even the Golf doesn't perform as well with winters as it did with the cheap all seasons it came with.


    My x-ice3 on the S do not hook up nearly as good on any roads other than mud/snow/ice than the original ps2's or the Hankook V12 Evo's I just put on.

    There is a huge difference in braking, acceleration, high speed cruising, and handling between the winters and the all seasons, summers. The snows feel squishy on turns and the steering is much lighter because of the "knobs" on the tires. So much difference in the acceleration that I actually deferred 3 people that wanted test rides until I put the summers back on it because they have been in high performance cars before and would not be as impressed with the acceleration.

    Ambulances are big top heavy vehicles that could never take a turn at .8+ g, they would roll over long before almost any tire would loose grip. They are also not capable of cruising at high speeds(80mph+) nor 0-60 times in less than 6 seconds.
     
  19. beeeerock

    beeeerock Active Member

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    There have been a few times that I've swapped on the winters in the fall and the weather has turned warm temporarily again. On those occasions I've scared myself having to panic stop unexpectedly (with my brain still in 'summer mode') and found that the tires simply didn't stick the way my summer (all-seasons) would have. The ABS was banging away and the stops were a little sketchy. No screeching, just a sound more like skidding on gravel. It was as if the soft compound couldn't maintain its shape and simply wobbled/deformed/dragged over the aggregate in the asphalt, instead of standing up to it and resisting. Nokian's on all occasions, which I really like in winter conditions! I would have expected the softer compound to have been stickier, but it really wasn't. I can't easily explain it, but know that my subconscious driving brain has adjusted stopping distances based on my tires as a result.

    There is quite a lot of proprietary tire technology that goes into the compounds, so performance brand to brand is likely to be different. However I don't think I'd be too anxious to run my Nokians all summer as they seem to get much too soft and become unable to maintain a stable shape on the pavement. Perhaps a harder winter truck tire on an ambulance or a well worn set with not much tread would be a different story - all my experience was with passenger cars running those Nokians with good tread depth.

    I note that my winters are generally *quieter* than my summers - likely due to the harder summer compound.
     
  20. RiverBrick

    RiverBrick Active Member

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    The OP asked for advice for warmer weather. My argument always has been that Winter tires will lead to longer stopping distances in warmer conditions. This perceived emphasis on wet conditions is not mine. As for the ad, it clearly shows Winter tires under performing at 16C. I don't understand why it matters so much to you that the Winter tire result is only mediocre when 16C and wet as compared to bad when 16C and dry. In both instances, you're better off with All-seasons or Summer tires.

    I don't see where I'm claiming anything in the video is incorrect. It shows Winter tires performing poorly at 16C, but then getting better at 5C. Totally normal, but results at 5C are not relevant for this discussion.

    What were the criteria of the Quebec ambulance study? The best stopping and handling would be important for me, but the Quebec government may be more concerned that if they put Winter tires in a garage they will mysteriously not be there when it comes time to put them on again. :) This is not likely a concern of the OP.

    Consumer Report's study has already been cited, but since it's subscriber only you're going to have to look it up, or continue to imagine that I'm inventing its results.

    Otherwise, here's what CAA-QC thinks:

    It's been proven!
    "Tests conducted by CAA-Quebec last summer show beyond any doubt that all-season tires are safer than winter tires in warm weather," said Sophie Gagnon, CAA-Quebec's Senior Director, Public and Government Relations. "In these tests, we observed that braking distances in emergencies could increase by up to 30% with winter tires. Moreover, for evasive action to be successful, speeds had to be much lower than for the same manoeuvres with all-season tires. The test car was less stable with winter tires."


    http://www.guideautoweb.com/en/articles/4424/tests_by_caa-quebec_beware_winter_tires_in_summer/
     

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