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crustyclam

Rav4 Winter Driving - Would I Be Wasting My Money

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Hi,

After weeks of reading articles on winter tyres i am in no dought that they offer benefits during the very cold periods. (-7). Ideally i would like some.

I make my work journeys Mon - Fri early morning 7.30 - returning at 16.00. I drive according to the conditions, always keep a good distance. (12.5 mile journey). So journeys at the colder tmes of day.

Before getting the RAV last December i have alway done ok on summer tyres in the Cheshire region, (12 years in the area) driving with various vehicles.

Last year was fine so never got chance to test the Rav on the now removed Bridgestone tyres(with support rings.) The previous 2 year were bad and i managed to get in by leaving the car at home using the bus and train at the harshest times (First time in about 6 years i got a cold, one reason for hating public transport)

Currently i have 8mm tread all round on Geo GO51 all season. They are great in Wet / Dry conditions now in summer, but looking at reviews very poor in snow.

Also my storage conditions would a garden shed...looking at the ideal storange recommendations thats far from ideal.

Given these facts what would you do. I don't want to use the bus or train. I like the radio, my space and germ free environment travelling to work.

Currently looking at Ronal R47 alloys and dunlop 3D winter tyres.

Cheers

Lee

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Hi,

After weeks of reading articles on winter tyres i am in no dought that they offer benefits during the very cold periods. (-7). Ideally i would like some.

I make my work journeys Mon - Fri early morning 7.30 - returning at 16.00. I drive according to the conditions, always keep a good distance. (12.5 mile journey). So journeys at the colder tmes of day.

Before getting the RAV last December i have alway done ok on summer tyres in the Cheshire region, (12 years in the area) driving with various vehicles.

Last year was fine so never got chance to test the Rav on the now removed Bridgestone tyres(with support rings.) The previous 2 year were bad and i managed to get in by leaving the car at home using the bus and train at the harshest times (First time in about 6 years i got a cold, one reason for hating public transport)

Currently i have 8mm tread all round on Geo GO51 all season. They are great in Wet / Dry conditions now in summer, but looking at reviews very poor in snow.

Also my storage conditions would a garden shed...looking at the ideal storange recommendations thats far from ideal.

Given these facts what would you do. I don't want to use the bus or train. I like the radio, my space and germ free environment travelling to work.

Currently looking at Ronal R47 alloys and dunlop 3D winter tyres.

Cheers

Lee

I went through both of the recent bad winters in our 4.2 auto on Duelers with no problems at all. Personally I wouldn't bother with winter tyres although I can imagine that on a rwd BMW they might well be worthwhile - not on the RAV though.

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I've had no problem with the standard Geolanders, live in the Staffordshire Moorlands and snow has never been a problem for them. Even towed a 1500kg caravan through the estate when I was coming home the Xmas before last in 5"-6" of hard snow and it never gave cause for concern even on the inclines. Impressed enough to have replaced them like for like last year.

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I,ve had Winter tyres for the last 2 years.Change over in October, and no probs at all. Not much snow last Winter, but year before, they where a Godsend.

Regards Clare

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According to Honest John in Telegraph, a 2wd car with winter tyres outperforms a 4wd with normal tyres in snow and ice. I really find that hard to believe but he wouldn't say it unless he thought it true. I've had no problems with Michelin Latitude Tour. Presumably wintert yres would be the bees knees if you can afford two sets. I think that 2wd cars normally have them on steel wheels so the alloys don't get salt etc all over -maybe that is the way to go -two sets of tyres and wheels.

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According to Honest John in Telegraph, a 2wd car with winter tyres outperforms a 4wd with normal tyres in snow and ice. I really find that hard to believe but he wouldn't say it unless he thought it true. I've had no problems with Michelin Latitude Tour. Presumably wintert yres would be the bees knees if you can afford two sets. I think that 2wd cars normally have them on steel wheels so the alloys don't get salt etc all over -maybe that is the way to go -two sets of tyres and wheels.

I've got a lot of time for HJ. Some of his work is very good, e.g. real world mpg, the good garage guide. However, he also believes that modern cars are knackered at 7 years old. Tell that to both my RAV's and numerous other cars that I've run way beyond that. Just because he writes in the DT doesn't make him infallible.

Some will disagree, I know, but I reckon this winter tyres thing is just another convenient way for big business to screw a bit more of our hard-earned cash out of us. If a reasonably skilled driver with 4WD can't cope with the relatively mild winters in this country they should take the bus.

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I agree with HJ no doubts that you are better off when it gets below 7degs to have winter tyres (note they are winter tyres not just snow tyres) regardless of snow or not, can I justify the cost plus the storage of them is a totally different question.

I personally have decided no and stick to my Geo 91's I radically adjust my driving when it is cold and remember that even I cannot admend the laws of physics...even if in a part time 4 x 4

Gus

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Some will disagree, I know, but I reckon this winter tyres thing is just another convenient way for big business to screw a bit more of our hard-earned cash out of us. If a reasonably skilled driver with 4WD can't cope with the relatively mild winters in this country they should take the bus.

When they first arrived a couple of years ago, I thought the same, however, having driven with them and done a bit of training/testing with them, I can say they are absolutley superb. There is a misconception that winter tyres are just snow tyres, but that is not the case. They come into their own in the damp/wet/sleet in the winter when temperatures drop below 7C. One of the main objections we hear is "well we didnt get any snow last year" which maybe true, but there were a whole load of autumn/winter wet days where the temperatures were low enough for winter tyres to work well and reduce those stopping distances significantly. Like everything, unless you get to try a car with/without winter tyres you are not going to know just how good they are

Kingo :thumbsup:

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If you can afford it, added safety is never a waste of money, having said that I agree with Gus most conditions met in the UK can be covered by adjusting one's driving allowing a decision to be made whether the money can be better used.

The comment on 2-wheel drive cars out performing 4x4's on standard road tyres has been shown correct in several independent tests. A point to note is that the RAV is not on standard road tyres, the current Geolandars and previous Bridgestones are M+S rated. From the information I received from a major motoring organisation tyres marked on the sidewall with M+S or the mountain symbol meet the requirements for winter driving in Alpine regions and parts of Europe where the use of winter tyres is a legal requirement. If conditions are worse than the Alps in winter I do my utmost to avoid driving at all, luckily it's only a 5 mile walk round trip to town to buy vital supplies if things are that bad.

John

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This is what make it so hard for me to choose, i kinda know i would manage ok on my current tyres driving according to the conditions. However I also know that performance/safety will greatly improved with a set of winters, and i like the thought of that. I think the RAV would be fantastic with some winters on. Gives me extra time for dealing with the odd driver who don't drive according to the conditions.

The other thing is i do on-call and sometimes the occasional night work, so i can be driving back early hours...just not that often.

.As with most other people its just a case of deciding to make the initial investment..not cheap if you go down a second set of alloys route.

Thanks for replies

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I can't resist doing the maths ... :)

I believe that it is generally accepted that tyres with cold weather compounds have up to 20% more grip than normal 'summer' compounds at temperatures below 7o C. That being the case then ...

A two wheel drive car with winter tyres will have 20% more traction than a two wheel drive car with summer tyres, while a four wheel drive RAV4 still on summer tyres will have 100% more traction than a two wheel drive car with summer tyres because it has twice as many driven wheels. In terms of traction, a four wheel drive vehicle is pretty much always going to beat two wheel drive!

However, things that get going also have to stop! And both two wheel drive and four wheel drive vehicles have brakes on all four corners. So, a vehicle on winter tyres will stop 20% better than a vehicle with summer tyres, and a four wheel drive toboggan is still a toboggan. ;)

So the answer is to put winter tyres on your RAV4 if you can ...

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I personally think they are a waste of money your better off at the end of Sept buying two new front tyres and migrating your fronts to rears. If you have done this from new it means you always will have decent tread depth allround and the best at the front where the most load is under braking. I do this every year and have never had an issue. Two years back when we had lashings of snow I had immense fun driving round the country lanes up here and playing :)

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Excellent post Phillip, Winter tyres really do make a difference,

Lee, judging by your commemts regarding your work enviroment, I really think you would benefit from getting a set ( 4 required) of Winter tyres.

Regards Clare

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Hmmmm - in the bad winters of 2 years ago up here, I never had any problems with either my Falken 472s or the Nexen equivalent. The wheels I use are 18x8 and tyre size 245/45x18.

The only difficulty I had was getting past everyone else who were stuck - and predominantly Mercedes and BMW !!

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Aye up Bothmeister!

Yes as Clare says, winter tyres come as sets of four, never be tempted to put them on in pairs, they are also pretty much duff at 3mm so dont be tempted into second hand ones, which will almost certainly be furkled

Kingo :thumbsup:

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I have a set of winter wheels ( 225/70/16 ) , all i would like to say: if you can spare the money they are worth it , especially in the snow.

a little story :

it had snowed and i had my winter wheels mounted , after a short drive i stopped at home just in time to see the front right tire deflate completely ( i picked up a big nail ). So i mounted my spare , a normal Yokohama G91.

When i left again to have my tyre repaired , the only wheel that spinned was , you guessed it , front right.

oh and 225/70/16 is almost exactly the same size as 225/65/17.

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As what i have read on many other forums its always a mixed bag of comments regarding winter tyres, although many are based on just 2WD. Seems the same for the RAV also.

The the one thing that sticks in my mind from researching though is that 4x4 will get going and in most circumstances do ok, but when braking (and as Phillip says) once slipping they are just as much at risk as anyone else and can end up like a toboggan. Extra weight being called into play van even make matters worse.

Also mine has 235 profile on, not sure what those who managed ok were running on. Apparently smaller would be better, although i do believe Continental are saying wider is better.

Well still got a few more weeks before i decide so more comments welcome.

Thanks

Lee

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An insurance based reply to consider .....

If you change wheels, either from factory standard to same sized but different wheels, or to different sized wheels, some insurance companies will charge a premium for the change; others will say there is no premium change BUT will charge an admin feee to record the change, even though the change will actually be a benefit to them as it should make you safer and less of a risk.

There is however, no need to inform your insurers that you have fitted a different make of tyre to the original wheel.

So I would say there are alternatives to be considered to getting the winter tyres + steel wheel option, and that is to get the tyres swapped over twice a year (cost of that could be greater then insurance changes), or to get another set of the same OEM wheels as the car currently has. That is an extra initial outlay, but when toting up the costs of the other options over say 5 years, it makes this option a lot more palatable and you can always sell the extra wheels which will more the cover the cost of buying them. This is the approach I took and I have a set of winter tyres on T180 alloys and my normal tyres on SR150 wheels, which are actually identical other then colour.

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Good point that regarding insurance. I was told that i will be charged for making policy ammendments at the time of buying the poilcy.

I plan on keeping the vehicle for at least 4 years so an extra set would work out best for me.

Although when i informed them about removing Run Flat system i wasn't charged for that.

I have been keeping my eye on ebay for some OEM's but most that come up are in need of a refurb, and the price some sellers are asking is just nuts. The cost of the alloys and refurb is around the same cost as buying new.

Found a good website that lists historical weather data and breaks it down to daily min/max temp. (wunderground.com). I had to use data from Liverpool, but only a few miles from Warrington. Beginning of Dec - mar (end of) looks to be the period when they would be needed. Although some years November would also be a beneficial month to have them on.

Although even during this period there are days that you can be worse off using winter tyres.

So for those who have winter tyres how do you decide when to change? Is at the first really cold snap, or based on the what you deem to be the colder months.

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I have these for sale.. Tyres are 7.15mm that were on the fronts and 8.0mill on the rears.. Vredestien Wintrac extreme and very high quality T180 replicas. Price £800 they cost 1500.. PM Me.. It may take a few days to reply though as busy just now.

Wheels are totally mint and unmarked . Tyres are virtually unused. No puncture repairs and have NEVER been kerbed..........

Anyone who doubts the extra grip and safety of winter tyres has never driven on any ..

Link to wheels

http://www.performancealloys.com/wheel-details.aspx?id=1757

Tyres.

http://www.tyrereviews.co.uk/Tyre/Vredestein/Wintrac-Xtreme.htm

RavWinterwheels002.jpg

RavWinterwheels015.jpg

RavWinterwheels012.jpg

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Re refurb, I can do you 'mates rates' in time for the winter season as will be setup by then to do full wheel refurbishing ;)

Re Charlie's wheels .... That's your best option anyway IMO :thumbsup:

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The cut off between winter and standard tyres is supposed to be when the road is below 8 Celcius, which seems higher then you would expect, but as has been already said, it is definitely not "wait for snow"

I would tend to wait until the forecast is for continuing cooler weather (so up in Scotland, between September and June :( )

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Down sarf, we are just about to enter the summer - allegedly

Gus

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The cut off between winter and standard tyres is supposed to be when the road is below 8 Celcius, which seems higher then you would expect, but as has been already said, it is definitely not "wait for snow"

I would tend to wait until the forecast is for continuing cooler weather (so up in Scotland, between September and June :( )

Harsh but fair.....

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