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Discussion Starter #1
Had my car in May so only had experience of summer driving.

One question for experienced winter UP! drivers :

Do I need winter tyres ?
This topic has almost certainly been covered but as the car only came out in 2012 I would like to know what owners latest experiences are.

I don't want to drive through 2 foot deep drifts or up and down hills but just potter along snow covered roads.
Does the UP! cope ok without winter tyres, I don't want to invest in them yet and I may not need them.

I know it's early but winter is coming !

Edited by: Derkie54
 

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In fifty years of motoring I have never used winter tyres and don't suppose I ever will. Just adapt your driving to the prevailing conditions.
 

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I live in Germany... and we have to have Winter Tyres...even if i came back to the UK, i would still get winter tyres for my car.
The rubber compound of winter tyres is designed to work and grip more efficiently when the temperature starts dropping below 7-10 degrees C (Depending on make of tyre), The tread pattern allow tyre to cut into the snow to provide better grip and snow not to be trapped within the tread. But on very icy and deep snow then snow chains would be required... but it does not get that bad in the UK.. lol
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=elP_34ltdWI
try this link done by Auto express... You will find it interesting...
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks GarethB interesting video
 

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I just ordered my winter tires. Nokian Haakkapeliitta 7 with some ordinary black alloys. But the winter in Sweden is a bit different than yours. We have polar bears running around on the roads.
 

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Put a set of winters on mine last year, and will get them back on in a month or so. If you have the spare cash get a set :)
 

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Eightbits... its bad enough with just freezing snow in Germany.In Sweden you generally run the winter on Studded Tyres... My wife is from Moscow, and they run studded tyres all winter in Russia... But in UK we cannot use Studded tyres.I think the same is true for Germany... due to causing damage to road surfaces etc..

But in Sweden you need studs.... I get my UP in November and ordered it with a set of winters.. So will be what ever VW clad it in... So i will find out Soon... yippee
 

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Simple answer yes, even in uk a set of winters make sense, I have a set of steels with vredestein snowtrack 3 tyres and used them from October til April last winter, much better grip, nothing stopped the wee up and my nice alloys were tucked up in the garage through the bad weather.

The grip and wear advantage is there once the average temp drops to 7 degrees or lower and as I live in rural Ayrshire, we would be stuck without them. I even managed to travel on roads that some 'Chelsea tractor' 4x4 found difficult due to their big wheels and low profile tyres ( ie all BMW x3/5/6 and merc ML type vehicles) .....oh how I laughed!
 

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Ps we both have a set, £75 for the rims on eBay and £50/tyre from my tyres.com. Best investment I've made in years
 

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The problem with winter tyres is that they wear down super fast as soon as the ambient temperature goes above about 10°... and in the UK this is quite common, even in the depths of winter. We have a few days of freezing temperatures and then a week later it's 12°. I agree with BeeVee above: the best solution, IMHO, is to adapt your driving to the conditions.

Having said that, I took a taxi in Helsinki once when it was about -15° and the roads were covered in compacted snow. I couldn't believe how fast the driver was able to take bends on his winter tyres.
 

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Never, ever had snow tyres on a car. A FWD light vehicle is probably the most adept at driving over the snow, apart form something 4x4.

If the area you live is particularly hilly or rural, I'd say you needed snow tyres, but for relatively flat area that see a reasonable amount of traffic, I'd say an unnecessary expense.
 

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Derkie54 said:
Do I need winter tyres ?
Depends on your surroundings.

If it's relatively flat, you won't really need them and can get by and up slight inclines on summer tyres using common sense and decent driving technique : smooth on the throttle, very light on the brakes - use them as little as possible - and use engine braking as much as possible even down into 1st gear.
Only works properly if you're used to driving this way all year though.

If there are serious inclines or descents, get winter tyres.
You can get by within the laws of physics on level ground, but there's no way to escape gravity.

Neither tyre will be good on ice.
Winter tyres only aren't as bad on ice, but still not good.


Never had issues with either tyres, but winter tyres are far easier to drive on in snow and have a higher safety margin - unless that's used up to drive faster.
Cars on winter tyres are over-represented in winter crash statistics.
Cars on summer tyres are usually the ones to clog the roads ...

I've never had any issues with summer tyres below the dreaded 7°C.
(if you were to believe the advertorials or straight advertisements)


PS :
Where everybody advises to use a higher gear on snow, I use a lower gear.
It gives you a far better indication of what grip there really is, you have decent engine braking, and you have to be light on the throttle so you don't spin the wheels.
It also keeps your speed lower, wheres in a higher gear, there's the tendency to drive ever faster where a lower gear would have given you the feedback that you're coming up on the fringe of physics.
 

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_1S_ said:
Derkie54 said:
Do I need winter tyres ?

PS :
Where everybody advises to use a higher gear on snow, I use a lower gear.
It gives you a far better indication of what grip there really is, you have decent engine braking, and you have to be light on the throttle so you don't spin the wheels.
It also keeps your speed lower, wheres in a higher gear, there's the tendency to drive ever faster where a lower gear would have given you the feedback that you're coming up on the fringe of physics.
Never heard advice to use a higher gear on snow before! only useful for pulling away when snowed in, not for actual driving. As you say engine braking is the best way to slow to a stop on snow.

Hoping the up will be much better on snow than my previous car, with its relatively narrow tyres, softer suspension, higher ride height etc. The Corrado with 215 section tyres and stiff chassis was quite tail happy on snow!
 

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Really in the end it is up to you wether you go for Winter tyres or not.Its how you feel... would you feel more confident or safe knowing you have winter tyres.Can you justify the additional outlay...If winter tyres did not work, why do a lot of european counties have them as a mandatory requirement during the winter months. They do improve handling in wet and snow with lower temperatures. If you are doing lots of driving, then maybe it is a more sensible option to consider. if you just do a few miles a week, then would say the cost would be a factor.So it boils down to how do you feel..
 

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As I eluded to earlier, when I lived in the city, no need at all, I live in a rural area now with often untreated roads so winters made real sense for me! ESP with my bonkers high mileage........city dwellers just need all season rubber and caution IMHO
 

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Trying to hold off until December before we put our winter boots on ! Was 17c here today so would be a bit early for us down south!
 

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Must take issue with CNG.The safest way to slow down is by using all four wheels by braking.
His theory that increasing the engine braking (by making it spin faster, by being in a lower gear) will only retard the front two wheels.
Yes he may feel the lack of grip sooner than if he was in a lower gear which only proves the point.
The car has fancy braking to make it turn truer and to stop the wheels locking.

Winter tyres reduce the distance needed to stop in the winter. It isn't about driving faster. It's about staying on the road and not damaging people and things. If you have to do the difficult unsalted country roads it is much better and in very wet conditions it's better too. If it's sunny and warm all winter with you then stick with the summer tyres.
 

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UpMan said:
Having said that, I took a taxi in Helsinki once when it was about -15° and the roads were covered in compacted snow. I couldn't believe how fast the driver was able to take bends on his winter tyres.
Winter tyres in Finland have metal studs on
 

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Scrubnut said:
Winter tyres in Finland have metal studs on

No, about 65% have winter tires with studs in the scandinavian countries. We have the option
to buy with or without of course. Just that studs are so much better in our weather conditions.

I think this number will go down to maybe 40% just in a couple of years due to economy issues
and the winter tires without studs are being more and more efficient.
 
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