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Old 28-10-11, 02:34 PM   #1
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Default Winter tyres and steel wheels?

I bought my 407sw 2.0hdi auto in summer 2010. In early December I walked out of the shopping centre into a serious snow storm and quickly learned how utterly crap this car is in snow. I followed a slow procession of traffic up a long but not very steep hill and barely made it, almost being run off the road (if I'd have had any traction to get out of the way!) by an ambulance on a mission. I'd tried the snow setting on the gearbox, disengaging the traction control and also selecting manual to try to keep the torque low, all to no avail.

Not surprisingly my wife is hassling me to get winter tyres fitted. One of the fronts is on the insurace bar so I'll have to buy at least one tyre soon. Questions include, if I do go for winter tyres, will this make much difference as the car is such a pig anyway? Will two fronts do it or do I need four? Apart from the convenience of not changing tyres in the spring, is there any advantage from buying steel wheels for the tyres and if I do, is there an ideal wheel size/ tyre profile combination to gain maximum traction? If I do buy steels, am I likely to find any at the scrappers and do they need to have only come off a 407. More importantly, is it going to snow this winter so I'm not going to be wasting my money?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 28-10-11, 07:14 PM   #2
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Thats the big question..... is it going to snow??

If you do decide you want winter tyres, I would do all 4 cos the rear will need to keep traction... no use having just the front and end up having the back come out broadside cos it hasn't got traction.

You would be quite a brave man, or easily afford it, to buy tyres and wheels for snow living in the UK.... just how often does it really cause problems?
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Old 28-10-11, 10:27 PM   #3
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You would be quite a brave man, or easily afford it, to buy tyres and wheels for snow living in the UK.... just how often does it really cause problems?
Did you read the bit about my wife?
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Old 28-10-11, 10:33 PM   #4
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Will she know the difference
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Old 28-10-11, 10:36 PM   #5
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Well winter tyres should be called cold weather tyres as they give better performance from 7c and below than summer tyres and has better traction in the wet. So even if it doesn't snow you would still be better off with them nov trough march . http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/product...tyre_test.html

Last edited by cabinpac; 28-10-11 at 10:42 PM.
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Old 28-10-11, 11:04 PM   #6
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get some chains/socks, cheaper and pretty easy to fit.



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Old 29-10-11, 08:16 AM   #7
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Insurers generally won't charge a premium for fitting winter tyres, because the ABI have told their members not to be so silly.

However, you must fit 4 - fitting only 2 can cause instablility so the'll finger you off if you crash with only 2 on, and they must be stock rim sizes. Start making changes and they start reaming you for income.

TBH, my 407 was pretty good in the snow, provided you were progressive with all the steering and throttle inputs. I live in a village and had no problems on the unclassified country roads. That said, mine was a sparker, so would have a less aggressive low down power delivery than a diesel.

the other consideration is tyre sizes - there are few enough manufacturers that make conventional tyres for the 407 in the standard size, so I think you'd be looking at fitting 16" steelies to accommodate them, which then puts you at the mercy of the insurers.

I'd be inclined not to bother (and indeed did not!)

TBH though, you've got just about the worst combination of car going - a turbocharged car with ABS and a slush box. Apart from maybe adding RWD, it's pretty much the most inappropriate combination for snow driving you canold conceive, so perhaps if the weather gets that bad it might just be better to follow police advice and avoid non-essential journeys.

Last edited by chopper1192; 29-10-11 at 08:19 AM.
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Old 29-10-11, 09:17 AM   #8
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get some chains/socks, cheaper and pretty easy to fit.
Got chains bought for a trip to Switzerland in Feb. I'd be happy with these but you know women: Friends all start getting married, so do you. Friends start having kids, so do you. Tyre companies start a PR campaign to raise revenue, bombarded by the media about the essential need for winter tyres, friends start buying them...........

Last edited by Ali.G; 29-10-11 at 09:18 AM. Reason: Spelling correction
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Old 29-10-11, 09:31 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chopper1192 View Post
I'd be inclined not to bother (and indeed did not!)

TBH though, you've got just about the worst combination of car going - a turbocharged car with ABS and a slush box. Apart from maybe adding RWD, it's pretty much the most inappropriate combination for snow driving you canold conceive, so perhaps if the weather gets that bad it might just be better to follow police advice and avoid non-essential journeys.
Thanks for the advice. In truth, I'm with you. I'm also being a little unkind to my wife who has become less confident when driving in slippery conditions. I can see me forking out the three hundred quid or so for a set of tyres but probably for the other car, a Volvo C30 which is smaller and a manual (but still has the same Pug engine) even though I've got a set of chains to fit from a previous car. Perhaps I should spend the money on a day on a skid pan for my wife!
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Old 29-10-11, 10:04 AM   #10
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Give her a dry slap and buy her some studded wellies!!!
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