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roger_37

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hi all, i would like to know if any body has an avensis t180,

how does it handle the snow, how well does traction controle ,help,or not

thanks in advance

roger

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hi all, i would like to know if any body has an avensis t180,

how does it handle the snow, how well does traction controle ,help,or not

thanks in advance

roger

As with any car the T180 can handle the snow as good as the next, but if the road surface is frozen below the snow i found it a bit of a handful with the traction on.

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hi all, i would like to know if any body has an avensis t180,

how does it handle the snow, how well does traction controle ,help,or not

thanks in advance

roger

hi roger

i ve been experiencing good performance of this system subject you have a winter tyres with good grip.

yes you will feel an ABS specific sound but the car is always afloat :) especially when driven down hill. Cheers/Igor

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ty for the replys. do you have to switch off traction in the snow.

switched off does it come on again when you travel faster than 30 mph?

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You should leave traction control ON when driving in snow, but if your car is stuck then you need to turn it off in order to get the car out.

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As you will see I do not have a T180 but I feel the Avensis is superb in the ice and snow.

I had a Land Cruiser before this car and frankly I find the Avensis not that far behind when it comes to being secure in such bad weather. If you are very gentle with the pedals and think well ahead then the Avensis copes very well :thumbsup:

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Hi,

Just thought i'd put my experiences about my T180, I find the car handles pretty well in the snow, I do find traction control helps as I notice when it kicks in as I drive company cars without it so for me I think it's a big plus. I live at the bottom of a slope, it does not get gritted and having a lot of poor drivers in my street they quickly turn it to ice, this year i've currently not had a problem! :-)

Hope this gives you an insight to the T180, technology only works in hand with the person controlling it! :-)

Myko

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Keep your foot off the pedals and then let all that tourque and front end weight pull you through the snow. Very reliable ice and snow vehicle.

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Two words.... WINTER TYRES!!!!

The sooner we in the U.K. wake up and get with the program (i.e. the rest of Europe) the sooner the gridlock ends. :ffs:

It's a well known fact that a 'normal' car shod with winter rubber will outperform any 4x4 when the white stuff arrives.

It's a legal requirement in many European countries to now fit winter tyres during the colder months, which includes us when we drive over there. People caught driving without the correct tyres are now being fined 80 Euros in Germany.

I'm in the process of buying a complete set of winter wheels (steel rims + tyres) from the same place in Germany where my father-in-law got his. P&P to the UK is about 30 Euros. Website

Having driven his car in the snow I can honestly say the difference is remarkable.

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Winter tyres do wear out really quickly though. Not many people will have the cash to buy a set, not sure how relevant they are for most people in the UK with our multi-faceted weather. As for the Avensis in the snow, got to admit my old 2001 Passat was much much better

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I'm not sure that I agree they wear out quicker. Modern winter tyres last just as long as summer tyres (or so the tyre dealer in Germany was telling me) as it's not how soft the rubber is, rather the compound it's made from. Indeed, summer tyres wear out quicker in winter.

In temperatures below 7 degrees, especially when wet, summer tyres lose massive amounts of grip and this is where winter tyres come into their own. I'd say cold (not arctic, but below 7 degrees) and wet during winter here is the norm rather than the exception.

Besides, when you have the winter tyres on, you're not wearing out the summer tyres, so after the initial outlay you won't be buing new ones as often. :yes:

Article about winter tyres

Oh, and just in case any of you are interested, these are the tyres I'm getting.

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I've also just found this article published in the Independent back in 2004. As a note, it should be pointed out that winter tyres are now freely available here, indicating a demand for them......

Unless you live in Newcastle, you usually dress for the weather. So when it is cold more often than not we don gloves, thermals and woolly socks and quite right too. It is odd then that we dont change the most important part of our cars when the weather gets nippy, namely the tyres. After all they are the four most important parts of your car and your only contact with the road. Continental tyres have done the research and found that 75% of people would not even consider fitting winter tyres. Thats odd because drivers are 5 times more likely to skid on snow/icy road conditions than they are on dry roads. The number of accidents caused by wet road conditions increases in winter by 267% There are 6393 more accidents involving cars on the UK's roads in winter than there are in summer. 31% of people have had a particularly bad experience whilst driving due to winter weather conditions. 60% of people feel scared or uneasy when driving in winter conditions.

In the UK though the number of drivers who swap summer tyres or more accurately warm weather tyres for winter (cold weather) ones every autumn is minimal. At Michelin Ian Hughes told me that, We dont actively market a winter tyre in the UK. In years gone by fleet buyers would buy them for vans to cope with mud rather than snow, but apart from areas of Scotland the UK market is almost non-existent. It is a challenge to get consumers to put air in them and even check them periodically. That means their range of Michelin Pilot Alpin will be in very limited supply over here. In Europe though it is very different, not least because in some countries it can be compulsory to be shod with winter tyres in certain conditions or during specific periods. That could result in insurers offering reduced premiums to people who choose winter tyres. Especially as 48 per cent of all accident claims are made during the autumn and winter months. In Germany a driver involved in an accident could be negligent in the eyes of insurers if their vehicle was not using the appropriate tyres. So whats so special about winter tyres?

In certain winter conditions they can considerably increase safety the key factor being significantly shorter braking distances. On ice, specialist winter tyres have an 11-metre braking distance advantage on standard tyres; in snow, they give an 8-metre advantage; and, on cold, wet roads, they give a 5-metre advantage. Made using silica compound technology, winter tyres retain the essential elasticity required in temperatures under 7°C. The more compliant winter compound has a large proportion of natural rubber, helping prevent molecules from freezing and giving the tyre the extra grip they need to hold the road in cold, wet and icy winter conditions.

Although the construction of the tyre is important, so is the design. Dutch tyre company Vredestein have a Wintrac range. The Wintracs main feature, is the V shape in the tread, which is positioned off the centre of the running surface. This makes driving quiet and comfortable, even at higher speeds. There are also straight strips for optimum grip on wet and slippery roads and broad shoulder blocks providing more stability on bends. Look even closer and you can see broad longitudinal grooves combined with tilted tread blocks, which ensure better dispersement of water, snow and mud. For its winter tyre, the SP Winter Sport M3, Dunlop avoided branches in the tread structure and instead built small guide steps into the base of the tread. This discharges water even quicker and with less turbulence from the contact patch on wet roads. As a result, this directional-tread tyre does not start to float on standing water anywhere near as quickly. According to Stuart Wyss, Dunlop Product Planning Manager, Our task was to design a tyre which optimised the construction, tread pattern and tread mix to such an extent that it would satisfy the highest standards on wet roads and in the snow. We succeeded in minimising a classic conflict of objectives in tyre design.

Not surprisingly, Roger Sanders, Safety Spokesperson at Continental, said: Tyres are a cars only link to the road and need to be well maintained to ensure road safety. Developments in tyre technology mean that we can offer specialist tyres to cater for different seasonal conditions. Sensible walkers wouldnt wear sandals to walk on ice and snow, so sensible drivers should make sure that their cars footwear is also suited to the prevailing conditions.

The problem is that getting hold of winter tyres can be something of a challenge. I telephoned STS and quoted my tyre size which is 185/65R 15T. I gave them three winter tyre options and they got back to me very quickly with only manufacturer who responded They offered to fit four Vrederstein SnowTracs for £298. On the web I found that etyres.co.uk could supply Toyo Snowprox for £52.50 whilst the Vredestein Snowtrac 2s were £74.90. Next day delivery for most tyres wasnt bad. What this proves is that the prices including fitting compare favourably with a good branded tyre. The question is though, will many British drivers despite the evidence ever be bothered to switch tyres each winter? Even a classic compromise of just fitting winter tyres to the driven wheels would lead to disastrous and dangerous handling. Personally the obsessive-compulsive side of my nature would quite like to swap wheels each winter. In Germany many owners have a cheap set of steel wheels fitted with winter tyres and on our salty roads that would mean our precious alloys would not corrode so quickly.

The reality is that few drivers will even consider winter tyres. Barring a change in the law though it just wont happen and the best we can hope for is that drivers change their driving style according to the conditions. Simply slowing down, braking and steering smoothly can all make a big difference in ice and snow. It would also help if we all put the right amount of air in and checked our tyres occasionally, Newcastle residents included.

Tips via Michelin

When it's cold, tyre pressure registered on a pressure guage can seem lower than it really is.

For example, if a tyre is inflated to 2 bars at an ambient temperature of 20°, the pressure can read 1.9 bars on a manometer in an ambient temperature of 8°C.

This phenomenon can be misleading, and does not necessarily indicate that the tyre is under-inflated. It is not therefore worth inflating your tyres more in winter.

In winter, it is often tempting to fit winter tyres only on the drive axle, to improve performance when pulling away. But this is not enough to ensure good performance and optimal safety:

- with winter tyres fitted only to the front axle, rear grip could be much lower and you risk spinning the vehicle, (for rear wheel drive), or when negotiating bends, (front or rear wheel drive).

- drive with winter tyres fitted on the rear axle only and you could find yourself carrying straight on when you try to take a bend.

Following these few storage precautions will enable you to keep your winter tyres in perfect condition for when you come to use them again next year:

- Before taking your wheels off, note their position on your car. This will allow you to swap your front tyres to the back next winter, to balance their wear.

- Clean your wheels and tyres with water and dry them well to limit any corrosion.

- Remove stones etc. trapped in the tyre grooves.

If your tyres are mounted on rims, store them hanging up or lying down: if they are de-mounted, store them standing up or flat.

- Store your tyres away from light, ideally in a cool, dry area and above all, do not store them near solvents (fuel, oils etc).

Driving on snow

Be aware of your limits and those of other drivers. Stay focussed on your surroundings.

Don't make any sudden movements, and avoid accelerating too hard (acceleration should be gradual and not heavy). Also avoid sudden braking and travelling at high speeds.

Leave more of a distance between your car and the one ahead.

To decrease the risk of sliding when going uphill, use a higher gear ratio than you would when travelling in dry weather.

Braking

It is essential that you anticipate braking by assessing the necessary braking distance and then use engine braking alternately with the brake pedal.

Braking must be very gradual to stop the wheels locking. If the wheels lock-up, the vehicle will slide and go out of control.

In the event of the wheels locking and the car sliding, release the brake pedal to recover traction, then brake again, gradually, all the while using engine braking.

To decrease the risk of the wheels locking when going downhill, use a lower gear ratio than you would when travelling in dry weather.

Before tackling a difficulty (major bend, slowing down etc) anticipate your braking so that it is as gradual as possible, by using engine braking.

Pulling away

To avoid the risk of sliding when pulling away on snow, it is essential to accelerate very gradually. If the wheels slide, engage the next gear up so as to decrease the force applied to the wheels and be able to pull away cleanly.

Bends

Before tackling a bend, slow down, but be sure to do so in a straight line. To take a bend, you need to steer with a constant, flowing movement, to avoid the tyre sliding and losing response.

In the bend, maintain a slow and regular speed, to avoid the car becoming imbalanced. If the front looses steering control, you will need to regain grip. To do that, reduce your speed by lifting your foot off the accelerator: if necessary, press lightly on the brake without locking the wheels. If the car loses grip at the rear (but still has grip at the front), in a front wheel drive vehicle, where possible gently accelerate to regain the balance. In a rear wheel drive vehicle, gently lift of the accelerator until the rear regains grip, then re-apply very gently to maintain your speed. On no account should you brake, as this will accentuate the imbalance at the rear.

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Whilst agree with the the effectiveness of winter tyres, and have seen first hand (in Norway) how well they work, i still don't see a real need for them in the UK in the big scheme of things.

The amount of snow this country see's on an annual basis is still quite small over the winter period, and its only the freak weather conditions of January this year, and the last 2 weeks that have made any impression on the country.

The top of Scotland does get a much harsher winter, but the majority of England doesn't see much of a covering, and the road conditions dictate how we should drive, but many think they are better drivers than they actually are and ignore the road sense.

IMO, a better idea is to educate drivers (young and old) on how to drive safely in these conditions. In Norway you don't get your full driving licence until you have completed many hours on a 'winter' driving course to prove that you can control a skid, stop and start safely, and carry the correct equipment with you.

In the UK you can pass your test on a glorious summer day, and 3 months later jump in a car in your favourite trainers and hoody top, and tackle a small amount of snow fall and get stuck/crash and have nothing in the car to aid your survival or recovery.

That said, if you have the spare money to fit Winter tyres then go for it, but it won't stop your neighbour skidding into you on the part worn summer tyres so you may not be any better off.

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I was interested to read the information regarding the use of Winter tyres but I doubt the viability of buying them. Think about it.... how often to we get weather as we experienced this past week? Its rare, regardless of what we may be thinking it is rare especially in the south. So on a financial basis I suggest it is not worthwhile. If you think otherwise then fine, go buy a set of tyres and wheels.

Reading the information above is good and valid but is supplied by the tyre companies.... I wonder why they would try to get us to buy a second set of tyres for our cars :rolleyes:

I have the regular supplied tyres with my Avensis, they are Bridgestone Touranza. These tyres coupled with this car are extremely capable in the dry, in the wet, in the snow and on sheet ice. They are because I have tried :thumbsup: I for one will not buy extra tyres or wheels. If I find that my car is not suitable for the conditions then I will revert back to my feet and walk :yes:

Another concern I have is that when driving on Winter tyres they may actually give the driver a false sense of safety.... in my past career I all too frequently saw somewhat over confident drivers, they were often stuck in ditches or worse.... buried into a tree or worse still.... buried into the front of an innocent car :huh:

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Fair enough, but then I have to have them to drive in Germany. As I said, get caught in Europe by the police without them and it's an expensive trip to the cashpoint. :wacko:

For those interested in a comparison, I found

video on youtube. :thumbsup:

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....but then I have to have them to drive in Germany....

Then to buy a full set can work out cheaper than being fined time and again :yes:

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I called a dealership about winter tyres for an Avnesis TR, basically no recommendations, they did say they could source them, but I am surprised that they have not addressed this issue, nor do they stock winter tyres. My wife has a KA, it's ok in the snow. We like at the bottom of a hill, My Avensis can't get up :-(.

Does anyoen actually use any winter tyres?

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My father-in-law has them on his rear wheel drive Mercedes, which I've driven in the snow and ice. It didn't lose grip once going up or down the Löcken Pass in the German Alps, which to me was amazing. My car would have taken one look at it and said "no chance pal!"

Interestingly enough, back here in Essex, he was one of the few people who could drive out of his village, let alone drive 40 miles to work during last week's snow with no problems at all.

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My father-in-law has them on his rear wheel drive Mercedes, which I've driven in the snow and ice. It didn't lose grip once going up or down the Löcken Pass in the German Alps, which to me was amazing. My car would have taken one look at it and said "no chance pal!"

Interestingly enough, back here in Essex, he was one of the few people who could drive out of his village, let alone drive 40 miles to work during last week's snow with no problems at all.

What make of tyres did he have on?

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