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magician717

Winter Tyres - Amazing!

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To share my experience in the hope of helping another driver.

I live in a rural area. My house is way off a main road, down at the bottom of a hill. When it snows, I am stranded, simple as that. At the beginning of this year, I was well and truly stuck for a week. I dug the snow outside my house for over eight hours. I gingerly backed the car out of the garage, and endured lots of dangerous skidding and sliding as I attempted to get my car out.

I lost count of the number of times someone chastised me for owning a Prius and not owning a four wheel drive vehicle.

I am quite happy to stay off the road when it snows. I have seem far too many 'invincible' drivers out in falling snow - and they must have nerves of steel and way better vehicles than everyone else!

This year, I made the effort and shelled out for winter tyres. At first, I must admit I knew little about them. I confused them with studded tyres or snow chains. I called my local dealer for advice.

Sadly, they did not understand what I was asking about.

I found the mytyres website, but felt in the dark about what to buy. I was gobsmacked at how my Toyota dealer was able to offer ZERO advice, let alone sell me a set of tyres. I called Toyota customer service and asked to speak to someone 'technical' - surely there must be someone who could advise me - in the interests of safety. I ran into the standard line of 'we don't say anything about tyres, we just make the car.' A few hours later they rang me back. Apparently Toyota are conducting trials of winter tyres on certain models, but not the Prius. Then they told me to check a website, you guessed it - mytyres.

I checked the site and opted for some Goodyear Ultra Grip 500. Ordering was quick and easy. The first lot of snow arrived before the tyres. However, after the thaw, I drove to the nearest tyre fitters and swapped them all over. Cost sixty pounds. I will keep them on until the Spring.

The car feels VERY secure in cold conditions, no more odd flashes of the TC when encountering soft mud or black ice.

This morning I was well and truly snowed in. I scraped part of the driveway with a shovel and blew some of it around with my leaf blower.

Just for fun I decided to back the car out.

What amazed me was that the car backed out and drove up the hill perfectly. No spinning or sliding. I was gobsmacked. The car even drove onto my lane - which was not ploughed with no stopping or anything. Amazing! This was snow that was almost half a wheel deep. Beautiful!

So - a revelation! Not cheap - and buying online was the only way I could source them. The cheapest ones were £200 a set and the dearest £500.

If you need to get around this Winter, it's definitely worth looking into. I was sceptical to say the least but the Prius can rock in the snow as long as you put good shoes on it!

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You are so right the Prius is a very stable car in ice & snow when fitted with winter tyres. You still have to watch out for the jack knife lorries and other slip sliding cars. The snow has stopped falling here but no snow ploughs have been out on the local main roads yet. UK just cannot cope with the snow.My son has just phoned from France he says there is heavy snow but the French are clearing it al the time and that is in the Alps.

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One assumes you checked with your insurance company that your modification was approved, a bit dodgy if your Prius can stop better than the car behind and he/her runs into you - then it's his/her fault I suppose. :huh:

I shall make a mental note that if I run into the back of a Prius I will take note of his/her tyre data for my insurance company report. B)

If they are so wonderful why don't the emergency services/ police/ coast guard/ ambulance cars/ bomb disposal/ fit them? :blink:

Come off it you guys it's a con for UK, if you really want to go snow surfing get a 4x4. Hey! I think that's what the emergency services do don't they. :roll eyes:

Save your money and stay at home, no one is indispensable. :ph34r:

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One assumes you checked with your insurance company that your modification was approved, a bit dodgy if your Prius can stop better than the car behind and he/her runs into you - then it's his/her fault I suppose. :huh:

I shall make a mental note that if I run into the back of a Prius I will take note of his/her tyre data for my insurance company report. B)

If they are so wonderful why don't the emergency services/ police/ coast guard/ ambulance cars/ bomb disposal/ fit them? :blink:

Come off it you guys it's a con for UK, if you really want to go snow surfing get a 4x4. Hey! I think that's what the emergency services do don't they. :roll eyes:

Save your money and stay at home, no one is indispensable. :ph34r:

The scary thing is, I think you're being serious.

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I had the pleasure of keeping mobile in my landrover defender Td5 back in the last bout in February. I now have a prius and stay in. Although the landy would climb a greasy pole it can't deal with other non 4x4 motorists who slide about all over the place, or plain mental 4x4 cretins who think it is just as easy to stop as it is to go. Not worth the risk to my insurance!Happy to just sit in the warm and watch it all go by. Oh- except the sky dish can't cope with snow. Now, where can I get a winter sattelite dish... :D

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I am informed that fitting snow tyres to your car does not affect your insurance. I suppose it is best to check with your insurer though. In fact it increases the cars safety.

Cannot agree with Terry953 at all. A lot of the emergency vehicles are four wheel drive. Our bomb disposal guys in the RAF mostly used land rovers with 4 wheel drive.

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One assumes you checked with your insurance company that your modification was approved,

Putting on winter tyres is not actually a modification - it's doing what the manufacturer advises, but yes I did inform my insurers and no they did not try to impose a premium.

a bit dodgy if your Prius can stop better than the car behind and he/her runs into you - then it's his/her fault I suppose. :huh:

I shall make a mental note that if I run into the back of a Prius I will take note of his/her tyre data for my insurance company report. B)

It won't do you much good; try reading paragraphs 230 and 231 of the Highway Code. If you manage to run into the back of somebody on ice or snow, then you are clearly not following the advice of those paragraphs and it is likely to be judged to be your fault. Incidentally, how do I put your need for an insurance company report together with the logic of your final sentence.

If they are so wonderful why don't the emergency services/ police/ coast guard/ ambulance cars/ bomb disposal/ fit them? :blink:

I don't know whether they do or they don't, but I'll bet they are looking hard at their policies given three consecutive snowy winters.

Come off it you guys it's a con for UK, if you really want to go snow surfing get a 4x4. Hey! I think that's what the emergency services do don't they. :roll eyes:

I don't want to go snow surfing, I just want to be able to get in and out of the Close where I live and on to the roads that get the attention of the ploughs and gritters. Without winter tyres that was impossible; with winter tyres it's a doddle. I am not trying to persuade anyone else to do it, I am just saying that it works for me.

Save your money and stay at home, no one is indispensable. :ph34r:

In all that went before this sentence I could accept that things may be a matter of opinion, but in relation to my life and my needs I can say with absolute certainty that you do not know what you are talking about and have no basis for telling me what to do.

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One assumes you checked with your insurance company that your modification was approved, a bit dodgy if your Prius can stop better than the car behind and he/her runs into you - then it's his/her fault I suppose. :huh:

Changing tyres is not a modification. It might be if you fit different size rims with tyres on.

I shall make a mental note that if I run into the back of a Prius I will take note of his/her tyre data for my insurance company report. B)

Thought you were staying indoors?

If they are so wonderful why don't the emergency services/ police/ coast guard/ ambulance cars/ bomb disposal/ fit them? :blink:

Why doesn't everybody?

Come off it you guys it's a con for UK, if you really want to go snow surfing get a 4x4. Hey! I think that's what the emergency services do don't they. :roll eyes:

Depends if you need to get out and about in the snow. Winter tyres are not a con - they do work. Just depends if you can afford to hibernate or if you need to get out and earn a crust.

Save your money and stay at home, no one is indispensable. :ph34r:

Put another log on the fire. :blowup:

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Hey Magician

I thought it was really decent of you to share your experiences with us all out here in Hybrid land - more or less the whole country being covered in snow and all.

I also think that anyone who posts miserable/grumpy (but not the Grumpy) messages needs to bear in mind that Santa's elves monitor these and indeed all internet forums from their facility in Lapland. Don't ask me how I know, I just do.

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I'm already on the naughty list :( so I've given up trying.

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Personnally no need. The amount of snow round here was minimal - none now. Rarely get much here even when the rest of the country is snowbound. Ice ok as long as you drive sensibly and leave gaps to the car in front.

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I don't want to be rude, but I'm still amazed that there seems to be a misconception in the UK that winter tyres are only useful when there is snow.

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Personnally no need. The amount of snow round here was minimal - none now. Rarely get much here even when the rest of the country is snowbound. Ice ok as long as you drive sensibly and leave gaps to the car in front.

Mate, there are snow tyres and winter tyres. Two different things. Snow tyres for driving in snow and handy at the moment in many places or if you live in Norway. Winter tyres are made of a special compound which allows better grip in winter conditions and importantly, in winter temperatures. Because of this compound they make for better grip and stopping distances in temperatures of below about 7c. So they will help out on a cold wet morning where there isn't any snow or ice, but will also help when it is icy too.

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Grumpy....that is an interesting point :thumbsup: I thought there were 2 types of winter tyre as well, but my definition would be:

1. Studded winter tyres for Scandinavia, Russia and suchlike, where they have snow on the ground and some roads not ploughed. These wil get you through anything, but rip up tarmac

2. Non studded winter tyres, often marked M&S (Mud and Snow, not Marks and Spencers!) which have the softer compound better in low temps, but are also usefully rough, deep treaded, and these type get people around in our winters just fine.

I use M&S tyres (Nokian)all winter, and my brother, in Austrian Alps, uses M&S tyres from Nov to April, where they plough the roads but there are VERY steep hills. He has no problem getting up a 1 in 5 in M&S tyres in his VW.

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