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Use Winter Tyres All Year Round?

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Need some advice.

The car has standard Bridgestone EP25 175/65/15s on all four wheels and I have been thinking of fitting winter tyres for some time.

Initially I was thinking of buying steel rims and winter tyres so that I can change the sets on my own in autumn / spring rather than shelling out £40 twice a year at a garage. But recently I have wondering if I can use the winter tyres all year round?

The current Bridgestone EP25 has the following rating:

Wet: C

Roll: C

Noise: 67dB

The winter tyre I have in mind and wish to use is the Nokian WR D3 175/65/15, which has the following rating:

Wet: C

Roll: C

Noise: 71dB

Since the Wet & Roll rating are the same on both the tyres, can I expect similar performance on both counts from either tyre? Any harm / disadvantage in using winter tyres all year round?

TIA.

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Comments from Which? are:

"At temperatures above 7C winter tyres offer significantly poorer grip in dry conditions than the best summer tyres. This can mean a marked increase in braking distances and poorer handling and grip in bends."

Comments from the Continental Tyres UK website:

"It is recommended that you switch to winter tyres in the UK between October and April.
If you are reluctant to change tyres and have nowhere to store summer tyres when they are not in use, you are better off using winter tyres all year round.
Winter tyres are as quiet and comfortable as summer tyres and, thanks to sophisticated compound technology, do not wear any more quickly.
There is a slight trade off with stopping distances as a winter tyre does not stop as quickly in the dry as a summer tyre, however, on balance if it is not possible to switch tyres in the winter, experts say you are better off with winter tyres all year round. This is because the difference in stopping distances of summer tyres in winter is far greater than for winter tyres in the summer."

National tyres:

"You can also use winter tyres in summer time. If you could only choose one set of tyres for use throughout the year in the UK, winter ones would be the preferred choice."

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I used to run nokian wr g3's all year round on my Accord, never had a problem with them at all except for in the very rare days where it was blisteringly hot (20 odd degrees +), then and only then did I notice the car would take a bit longer to stop.

Not markedly so, just a "whoa, is it, isn't it" moment.

Plus I got over 30k out of them.

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Thanks all!

Let's see how the WR D3 fare in the coming summer. if wife complains, will buy the rims only then.

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Wonder what insurance companies would think in the event of an accident. Would they have reason to claim you had unsuitable tyres on your car?

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No more than what they could say about running on "summer" tyres in cold weather.

Though I'm sure they would try and weasel out in the event of a claim, but as long as the tyres are legit eu marked or whatever and not Chinese rip offs then you can rightly hold your ground.

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In the event of a claim I think the only reason insurance companies would question the tyres is if they were heavily worn, obviously in poor condition, illegal or not EU marked.

Any of these factors may have had a bearing on the accident (ie stopping distances, etc). I'm sure when damage is assessed, the assessor or body shop make a note of any aspect of the vehicle which may have had a contributory effect.

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The UK has no rules on Winter Tyres in Winter having to be fitted, as in some Mainland Europe Countries,

really because from the North to the south of the UK it can be so different,

& actually there are parts of the UK where winter might be a matter of Days of actual cold roads, not weeks or months.

Things are changing,

but here we have already had a few dozen days and nights of temps around 0*oC,

there are no doubt parts of the UK that have seldom yet been below 7*oC for more than a few hours sine November

But basically the UK or drivers does not know when Winter is actually going to occur.

The Winter Spec Fuel leaves the Depots from the 15th October in Scotland and the North of England,

untill the end of March.

The past 2 years we have had Heavy Snow, very cold temperatures in April and May up here.

2012 there was a heat wave and record temperatures in March followed by snow for several weeks.

This year we have had very Cold Nights, air temperature, and more importantly Grass/Ground frost, between British Spring time and Autumn.

So if you are telling your Insurance company you are Changing Tyres or Wheels, like from Alloy to Steels,

ask when the Winter is.

There interest is that you drive a safe vehicle to the conditions.

& with the correct equipment correctly maintained.

(some people need to learn to check tyre pressures in different ambient temperatures, or just check tyre pressures.)

Ask when the UK Rainy Season is, because personally i would often rather have Winter/Cold weather tyres on in very wet roads rather than 'Summer Tyres',

or the worst tyres of all, ECO Type tyres, not even a Jack of all Trades, just a liability IMO.

george

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Some Winter Tyres are more like All-Season tyres; the tyrereview site claims the ContiWinter Contacts outperform the Vector 4Seasons even in summer so you could probably get away with it on some of them.

That said, if you are regularly hitting fast motorways and twisty A/B/Country-roads, I reckon a winter tyre would be shredded very quickly in summer!

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Here in Holland I heard that the cars from the ANWB ( the road car repair service guys ) drive on winter-tires the whole year round...

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Shame Toyota don't offer similar options to these for the IQ -

http://www.lixtoll.com/versatracks/

- which would improve traction slightly in the snow.

NB - we pass Lix Toll when we go up to the Isle of Skye each May, and see these and other conversions.

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I'm running nokian winters on my iq for the first time. I will change back at the end of March to the summer tyre. Reason- I want to keep my winter tyres with a good tread. Seems to me no point in wearing them needlessly in the summer if you can avoid it.

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I'll be changing my winter tyres in March time too.

I fitted winter tyres, Dunlop SP winter sport to my standard iQ 16" wheels as they made winter tyres in the correct size for the iQ3 which is rare, there are only a few makes of summer tyres in the correct size.

I have a set of 17" wheels ready to go and be refurbished in the garage and new Toyo tyres will be fitted to them.

Plan is to change wheels each winter and share the wear over them both.

Craig.

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Agreed, esp. as the minimum tread depth of a winter tyre is 3mm vs 1.6 for a summer, and given that summers are best replaced at 3mm due to the loss of wet weather performance past that, I'd assume you'd need to change the winters earlier than 3mm too in order to avoid a similar drop in winter performance!

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In the UK the legal minimum for all tyres is currently 1.6mm - regardless of whether they're winter, summer or all season. There is discussion within the tyre industry re an increase to the legal minimum - to either 2mm or 3mm - but no change to legislation as yet.

Some tyres manufacturers already recommend changing tyres when they reach 3mm tread depth - and Dunlop recommend changing winter tyres at 4mm - but these are only recommendations.

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Well, when you say

Since the Wet & Roll rating are the same on both the tyres, can I expect similar performance on both counts from either tyre? Any harm / disadvantage in using winter tyres all year round?

This might be true of these two issues, however, 4dBA difference in noise is something to consider.

Unfortunately I do not have any experience of the tyres you quote, however, friends who live in countries where winter tyres are compulsory always say that the amount of wear, especially on longer runs at higher speeds, is quite considerable at higher temperatures. The ones that claim to be 'all seasons' are probably a better prospect for such usage.

I do recall talking to LJK Setright (who wrote a couple of books on tyre technology in the 1980s/90s) many years ago and he claimed that the compounds for summer and winter tyres were optimised for the different temperatures and there was a price to pay when one used them in the other conditions.

George

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I run all weather tyres on my Avensis 2.0Ltr D4D they are "vredestien quadtrac 3" 205/55 they have a M&S sign on the side wall and I have not noticed any major difference with handling during the summer months but a big difference in winter comapred to the Bridgestones that I used to have on the car and have got roughly twice the amount of miles before having to replace them

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I run all weather tyres on my Avensis "vredestien quadtrac 3" 205/55

Yes, I have had good experiences with this brand on other makes of car. It is interesting that when I was a hard-up student (many years ago) this was a budget brand stocked by the Albany Tyres chain, but these days they seem to be a top quality product.

Curiously, they were good tyres even when they were an economical choice with noise being their only shortcoming.

George

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I swap winter tyres to summer ones because I think my mileage is high enough to make it worth it, plus I think having two sets makes the tyres last longer overall. If I was doing local journeys I wouldn't bother swapping. My toyota dealer changes them for free as I just keep them on the same rims so I don't bother buying extra rims, and they store them for me for free too.

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Is changing for free and storing winter tyres something all toyota dealers offer?

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Is changing for free and storing winter tyres something all toyota dealers offer?

Not sure, its a pretty good thing they do though.

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I can tell you for certain that they all don't. Arnold Clark (Europe's largest independent car retailer) don't at least in Scotland (8 Toyota dealerships afaik).

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One summer I used goodyear ultragrip 7 on an Avensys 2005 D4D. And at the end of the summer they were toast. It gets pretty hot in Bulgaria, sometimes over 100 degrees. The rubber was degrading with a lof of visible slashed on the tread, all in all it was bad. But this happened in hot conditions and a lot ot kilometers on the highway (with a speed limit of 130km/h ~ 81mph). Summer tyres are made to last in the summer, but hot summer, and at a speed. Winter tyres a made to last in the winter, cold winter, and not so speedy. The compounds used for that are different, the friction is different, the temperature limits are different.

But for the last 5 years in Bulgaria there are temperatures around 60 degrees in february and march, but we are still driving with winter tyres and they are fine. You could still get 30 000 miles out of them, and at least 4 seasons of use. So if in the UK the summers are not so hot than YES you could use winter tyres for the full year. But if it gets above 90 for a month or two and your winter tyres will be no more, they will fall apart.

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