Tire Business Article on Winter Tires

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I think you are incorrect. Watch this video. The all seasons actually brake better in dry and cold conditions than the winters. I have seen several tire tests in dry/cold conditions like this and the all seasons win out in braking every time. In actual snow/ice, the winters do better, but the soft compound winters don't do you any favors on dry pavement. I have dedicated winter rims/tires for all 3 vehicles here in Calgary.


I think there is no doubt A/S. tires greatly improved. However, doing better in dry conditions in cold usually means sacrificing performance in other conditions, snow, ice, slush, freezing rain etc. I personally keep A/S on BMW until ski season seriously kicks in bcs. have two other vehicles on snows. Michelin Pilot A/S 3+ I have on Tiguan is serious tire in summer and keeps good performance in cold. I had DWS before on the same vehicle, and in cold they were really, really good (not as good in dry like A/S 3+). So, yeah, A/S/ tires are getting better, but....
 
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I think you are incorrect. Watch this video. The all seasons actually brake better in dry and cold conditions than the winters. I have seen several tire tests in dry/cold conditions like this and the all seasons win out in braking every time. In actual snow/ice, the winters do better, but the soft compound winters don't do you any favors on dry pavement. I have dedicated winter rims/tires for all 3 vehicles here in Calgary.


edyvw also said "Extremely cold", so, probably a Winnepeg winter instead of a toronto winter (where the video was filmed). The winnepeg winter will get colder than the all-season glass transition temperature.

Also, "performance" winter tires, would fare better in the test, since they would have less siping and more stable treadblocks that will help with braking, but with a trade-off of less performance in snow/packed snow/ice compared to "Nordic" winter tires.

Likewise, if you swap out the Conti DWS06 for a grand touring all-season tire, like the PureContact LS, then you'll probably see a smaller difference, since the PureContact LS emphasizes on NVH, and smooth ride vs attacking the curvy roads.
 
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I think you are incorrect. Watch this video. The all seasons actually brake better in dry and cold conditions than the winters. I have seen several tire tests in dry/cold conditions like this and the all seasons win out in braking every time.

The same has held true for every UHP Summer tire I've had on any car. I have UHP summers (currently Pilot Sport 4S) and dedicated winters (currently Hakka R2). For two decades now, over many different sets of tires, I put off switching to winters as long as I reasonably can because all the radio ads saying "winter tires are better in all situations below 7C" are just wrong. The moment I put my winter tires on my braking performance in the dry goes to crap by comparison (even with 'performance' winter tires), and wet is pretty close down to about 1-2C depending on the UHP summer tire. Wet, I found Michelins were good down to almost freezing, while Toyos fell off around 4-6C. Bridgestones were in between.

I would not doubt that all season or even UHP summer tires are going to win a dry braking contest down to freezing, and even well below freezing depending on the UHP tire in question. The sipes on a full winter tire bend, fold, squirm and make lots of noise causing a disconnect between wheel and road when it's dry. Some are better, some are worse.

Now - I do my own winter tire switchover in my garage (no appointments at shops necessary), I watch the 14 day forecast very closely this time of year, and especially post-COVID my "daily" vehicle use is generally light, close to home and predictable. If any of these things weren't true I wouldn't hold out so long. Or I'd consider having three sets of tires. My winters are already up in the garage along with the tools, aired up and ready to go on, but I'm probably holding out another full week. For someone whose car I take care of but doesn't live with me - I put their winter tires on last weekend. They drive farther, have less predictability, and can't change plans and mount tires with as little warning as I need.

To each their own. I believe I'm keeping my family and those near me safer based on my situation. The 7C message on the radio is just wrong, but if it gets more people to buy real winter tires we're all safer and I'm all for it.
 
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the 7c message is wrong because it's a rule of thumb... it's also right as a rule of thumb.

see the test below, comparing summer, all weather and winter tyres in temperatures above and below freezing:

 
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I know people who drive on summer tires in winter and never had accidents. I know people who drive on all seasons for 20 years and never had an accident until they lost control and according to them, could not figure out why bcs. they were driving very slow.
Accidents happen in perfect weather too.
As for how people were driving before, I agree. But, people before also lived without the internet too, yet I see you have it. Or they were buying bananas in not such great conditions bcs. took them longer to be delivered. So, do you buy now almost rotten bananas bcs. that is how people were eating half a century ago?
Your arguments do not have any sense as there are people who never had accidents in their life and people who are excellent drivers and had several.
For me personally, this is a ridiculous discussion, coming from a country where snow tires are mandatory for the last 40 years. I already stated this in a previous discussion about "common sense" when a few weeks ago I had to go and get family out of the fire station bcs. they ended up in a ditch. A "common sense" guy who was just surprised it got "that bad."
People who drive with summer tires in the winter snow can't get into a accident because there not moving at all 😂
 
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I remember a few decades ago a coworker bought these new all season Good year tires called tiempo he was bragging no need for snow tires ever again. That winter I drove him home in my beater nova with used junkyard bias ply snow tires he couldn't get out of the parking lot
 
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I remember a few decades ago a coworker bought these new all season Good year tires called tiempo he was bragging no need for snow tires ever again. That winter I drove him home in my beater nova with used junkyard bias ply snow tires he couldn't get out of the parking lot

I had a set of them, many years ago. Real POS tire and I did not like them.
 
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I remember a few decades ago a coworker bought these new all season Good year tires called tiempo he was bragging no need for snow tires ever again. That winter I drove him home in my beater nova with used junkyard bias ply snow tires he couldn't get out of the parking lot
I had a set of them, many years ago. Real POS tire and I did not like them.

They had a cool commercial though:

 
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I agree that the 7C message is confused and not very useful.

Some people say that that's when winters start performing better, which isn't true. And it couldn't possibly be true of every tire combination because the compounds are all a bit different across brands and models, and the technology of winter and all-season tires have both progressed over the years while that message has never changed. Also, is that message compared to summer tires or all-season tires?

Some people say the 7C represents an average temp when your region goes below it, you should swap to winter tires, because there's the potential for overnight freezing. That makes more sense, but it's still not a very useful message.

On pure dry pavement, All-Seasons are still better down to about, my ballpark estimate, -7C. Engineering Explained ran a few tests and proved this on his tires, but he was only testing at -4C, which isn't very cold. In my experience, when temps get really low, below say 0 F = -18 C, then all-season tires start to feel hard as a rock and they really lose a lot of traction even on pure dry pavement, at which point it feels dangerous to be on them.

But on any ice and snow, at whatever temperature, all-season tires become utterly useless. So the rule of thumb should be below freezing, 0 C = 32 F, you would want to be on winter tires because there's always the potential for precipitation of ice and snow when temps go below freezing. Try not to get caught out in a snow or ice storm with your all-seasons still on.

 
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But on any ice and snow, at whatever temperature, all-season tires become utterly useless. So the rule of thumb should be below freezing, 0 C = 32 F, you would want to be on winter tires because there's always the potential for precipitation of ice and snow when temps go below freezing. Try not to get caught out in a snow or ice storm with your all-seasons still on.



Not sure about that. Even around here, it would be legal to have summer tires in controlled winter conditions as long as "traction devices" (mostly chains/cables) are placed on the drive wheels. It's not a great idea to take summer tires where it's cold, but chains make up for a multitude of sins when there's ice or snow.
 
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I do remember way back when, there was this one poster on BITOG who kept on talking about this mythical "3-season" tire that would be be ideal for cold weather without snow but (according to him) would also be ideal in wet weather. Also insisted that for best wet weather traction, tire rubber had to be "hydrophilic" meaning repelling water, while all-season tires were supposedly "hydrophilic" (holding on to water) in order to get snow to stick since snow sticks to snow.

All of that ran counter to all the research I've seen that having water absorbed by the rubber would help reduce hydroplaning and would help wet traction on roads that are designed to hold on to water. That in addition to holding on to snow.
 

OVERKILL

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I do remember way back when, there was this one poster on BITOG who kept on talking about this mythical "3-season" tire that would be be ideal for cold weather without snow but (according to him) would also be ideal in wet weather. Also insisted that for best wet weather traction, tire rubber had to be "hydrophilic" meaning repelling water, while all-season tires were supposedly "hydrophilic" (holding on to water) in order to get snow to stick since snow sticks to snow.

All of that ran counter to all the research I've seen that having water absorbed by the rubber would help reduce hydroplaning and would help wet traction on roads that are designed to hold on to water. That in addition to holding on to snow.
I think that first one was supposed to be hydrophobic.

I generally just defer to @CapriRacer since this is his area of expertise.
 
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I think that first one was supposed to be hydrophobic.

I generally just defer to @CapriRacer since this is his area of expertise.

Sorry - hydrophobic. That one guy kept on talking about unrelated stuff like rain clothing. But in the end I only got the sense that he had his mind set on this one thing that was more important above anything else, which was repelling water.
 
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Do people really fear wet roads that much? I've never felt that much of a loss of traction on wet roads, and never to the point of feeling unsafe or losing control. I've only ever felt that on ice and snow.
 

CapriRacer

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I generally just defer to @CapriRacer since this is his area of expertise.
This is actually outside my area of expertise. But do you think that's going to stop me?? Think again!!

Required disclaimer: I am not a rubber chemist.

I am of the opinion that this hydrophobic/hydropillic business is most marketing hype. Rubber is mostly a long chain hydrocarbon - think related to oil. We all know how well oil and water mix.

So I tend to think rubber naturally repels water. HOWEVER, rubber is actually a mixture of things - carbon black being a large portion - and carbon black is also water repellent.

HOWEVER, carbon black comes in quite a variety of types and some of them have a structure that I think MIGHT not be as water repellent as the rest. So I am willing to concede that there MIGHT be rubber compounds that would be better than others for gripping to a wet surface. I am also willing to concede - based on my cooking experience - that there are things that can be done to mitigate the natural tendency for oil and water to not mix. Egg yolks come to mind!

- BUT -

I never heard such talk when we were designing tires. You would think that hydrophilic rubber compounds would be heavily talked about relative to wet traction. I sure don't remember even a hint of a discussion.

What about temperature? I know that some rubber compounds will crack at low temperatures. I heard people talk about glass transition temperature being the culprit, but a quick look says that rubber has a glass transition temperature of -94°F, so there must be something else going on. Again, I am not a rubber chemist and don't understand why I've seen cracked rubber from cold places.

What I do know about winter tires is that "Edges" play a HUGE role in snow traction (paddlewheel effect). That's why many winter tires don't have the old "Mud & Snow" luggy look, but look more like regular tires with lots of sipes.
 
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This is actually outside my area of expertise. But do you think that's going to stop me?? Think again!!

Required disclaimer: I am not a rubber chemist.

I am of the opinion that this hydrophobic/hydropillic business is most marketing hype. Rubber is mostly a long chain hydrocarbon - think related to oil. We all know how well oil and water mix.

So I tend to think rubber naturally repels water. HOWEVER, rubber is actually a mixture of things - carbon black being a large portion - and carbon black is also water repellent.

HOWEVER, carbon black comes in quite a variety of types and some of them have a structure that I think MIGHT not be as water repellent as the rest. So I am willing to concede that there MIGHT be rubber compounds that would be better than others for gripping to a wet surface. I am also willing to concede - based on my cooking experience - that there are things that can be done to mitigate the natural tendency for oil and water to not mix. Egg yolks come to mind!

- BUT -

I never heard such talk when we were designing tires. You would think that hydrophilic rubber compounds would be heavily talked about relative to wet traction. I sure don't remember even a hint of a discussion.

What about temperature? I know that some rubber compounds will crack at low temperatures. I heard people talk about glass transition temperature being the culprit, but a quick look says that rubber has a glass transition temperature of -94°F, so there must be something else going on. Again, I am not a rubber chemist and don't understand why I've seen cracked rubber from cold places.

What I do know about winter tires is that "Edges" play a HUGE role in snow traction (paddlewheel effect). That's why many winter tires don't have the old "Mud & Snow" luggy look, but look more like regular tires with lots of sipes.

Reading a lot of the materials that are reasonably easy enough for a layman to understand, the flexibility of the rubber seems critical. Also the construction of the road surface. I guess getting something that will last a reasonable time and be flexible enough with a wide temperature range isn't an easy thing to do. I know the hydrophilic nature of silica fillers came up, but from what I gather, allowing a combination of flexibility and durability is probably more important than that.
 
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Do people really fear wet roads that much? I've never felt that much of a loss of traction on wet roads, and never to the point of feeling unsafe or losing control. I've only ever felt that on ice and snow.

I've hydroplaned before (when there were puddles due to road condition) and have seen the result of pileups on wet roads. It's clear that stopping and steering are poorer when the road is wet. It's not quite as dramatic as ice or snow. I've never lost control in wet weather because I would slow down.

However, the worst thing for me when it's raining hard is visibility.
 
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This is actually outside my area of expertise. But do you think that's going to stop me?? Think again!!

Required disclaimer: I am not a rubber chemist.

I am of the opinion that this hydrophobic/hydropillic business is most marketing hype. Rubber is mostly a long chain hydrocarbon - think related to oil. We all know how well oil and water mix.

So I tend to think rubber naturally repels water. HOWEVER, rubber is actually a mixture of things - carbon black being a large portion - and carbon black is also water repellent.

HOWEVER, carbon black comes in quite a variety of types and some of them have a structure that I think MIGHT not be as water repellent as the rest. So I am willing to concede that there MIGHT be rubber compounds that would be better than others for gripping to a wet surface. I am also willing to concede - based on my cooking experience - that there are things that can be done to mitigate the natural tendency for oil and water to not mix. Egg yolks come to mind!

- BUT -

I never heard such talk when we were designing tires. You would think that hydrophilic rubber compounds would be heavily talked about relative to wet traction. I sure don't remember even a hint of a discussion.

What about temperature? I know that some rubber compounds will crack at low temperatures. I heard people talk about glass transition temperature being the culprit, but a quick look says that rubber has a glass transition temperature of -94°F, so there must be something else going on. Again, I am not a rubber chemist and don't understand why I've seen cracked rubber from cold places.

What I do know about winter tires is that "Edges" play a HUGE role in snow traction (paddlewheel effect). That's why many winter tires don't have the old "Mud & Snow" luggy look, but look more like regular tires with lots of sipes.
Reading I did suggests that sipes catches and keep snow. Snow on snow provides best traction according to things I read. So, yeah, they look less rugged but with thousands of sipes.
VikingContact7 I have on BMW is ridiculous in number of sipes, far more than Michelin Xi-2 on SIenna or WS90 on Tiguan, I have. But of those three, they are best performer and surprisingly, they are just good tire in every condition: wet, dry, ice, etc. It just does everything good.
 
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