OK to use quality winter tyres in Summer?

psychopomp1

Member
Hi
I live in North Scotland and i'm just sick to death of being unable to get my car out of the snow each winter - i live on a small estate which is on a steep hill:eek: Anyway i've decided to go for winter tyres for my Audi A4 (05 plate) and don't mind spending a bit of cash for quality tyres. I've decided to go for 4 Vredestein Wintrac xtreme tyres as they get very good reviews:
Vredestein Wintrac Xtreme | the Vredestein Wintrac Xtreme reviewed and rated | the online tyre guide
Details: Vredestein Wintrac xtreme 205/55 R16 94V XL with rim protectionleiste - mytyres.co.uk

Now the question is can i use these all year round? Some reviewers say they're ok for summer use as well but i'm not so sure. Its just the hassle of getting my tyres changed which puts me off switching from winter to summer tyres. FYI i only do about 8k per annum.
 

FZR400RRSP

Banned
Check with Vredestein, but I would say they are only meant for use below a certain temperature.
If you were to use them in the summer, they would fall apart quickly.
 

wongataa

Well-known Member
All winter tyres are designed to work below a certain temperature and if used at temperatures higher than that they lose grip and wear out fast. That temperature will be below the temperatures seen in summer.
 

paulk

Novice Member
As TRL said winters are designed for use below 7 degrees. If it's above that then the benefits of reduced braking distance, stability etc will go the other way and the car will feel a real handful. You would not want to run them through the summer on that basis alone.
If you want an all year round tyre then M&S (Mud and Snow) would be an option to consider. They are designed for all year round use and have a wider tread pattern. If you do go for them make sure you get a brand with the snowflake emblem on the sidewall as these are tested to winter conditions.

Otherwise - a spare set of cheapish rims (alloy or steel) off ebay to go with winters.
 

psychopomp1

Member
Thanks fellas. After reading more reviews on the Vredestein Wintrac Xtremes, many people have reported that these tyres still perform very well when used in warmer weather (whilst not showing much wear) so i'll continue using them in the summer. However i'll keep my current summer tyres in the garage just in case i find the Xtreme's aren't that good in the summer. I'll keep you updated!
Cheers :)
 

ALI_D

Active Member
What about your insurance, would they pay out in the event of an accident in the summer, using winter tyres.
 

FZR400RRSP

Banned
Thanks fellas. After reading more reviews on the Vredestein Wintrac Xtremes, many people have reported that these tyres still perform very well when used in warmer weather (whilst not showing much wear) so i'll continue using them in the summer. However i'll keep my current summer tyres in the garage just in case i find the Xtreme's aren't that good in the summer. I'll keep you updated!
Cheers :)

I think you'd have serious insurance implications here.
A lot of companies don't mind winter tyres in winter, because they are classed as 'temporary use'.
Using them all year is a different issue.
And, it has to be said, it's potentially very dangerous.
Driving at speed in 20c heat on tyres designed for use below 7c.....:eek:
 

paulk

Novice Member
What about your insurance, would they pay out in the event of an accident in the summer, using winter tyres.

Good point.
Many insurers want informing when you change over to winter tyres. Some charge a small premium for a policy alteration, others dont. They stipulate that tyres (and wheels) must be to OE spec.
When calling to let them know you are changing (assuming you do) I'd ask what their policy is on how they expect the winters to be used - Ie. Over what period of time.
If there were an accident where braking distance or car control were questioned then I would imagine winter tyres in hot summer conditions would give any insurer/ underwriter a very large grey area to explore.
 

psychopomp1

Member
Of course i will inform my insurance company that i'll be using winter tyres for 12 months of the year, if they don't say anything then i've got nothing to worry about :) Also i read somewhere that's it far better to use winter tyres 12 months of the year rather than summer tyres for 12 months because in winter, the winter tyres perform considerably better than summer tyres whereas in the summer, the winter tyres are only marginally worse than the summer ones - but having said this, the Wintrac Extremes are very very highly rated even for summer use. Also don't forget, its very rare for temps to be greater than 20c in summer in North Scotland so i won't exactly be driving in scorching weather ;)
 

FZR400RRSP

Banned
Also don't forget, its very rare for temps to be greater than 20c in summer in North Scotland so i won't exactly be driving in scorching weather ;)

20c was just an example.
Average lows in John O'Groats are above 8c from June to September.
So that's a fair chunk of the year you're running around on overheating tyres.
This is assuming Vredestein say they're to be used below 7c.
If they say they can be used above that, all of this is moot.
Have you contacted them?
 

Kebabhead

Novice Member
Also i read somewhere that's it far better to use winter tyres 12 months of the year rather than summer tyres for 12 months because in winter, the winter tyres perform considerably better than summer tyres whereas in the summer, the winter tyres are only marginally worse than the summer ones -

Read this - pay particular attention to this bit

Changing to winter tyres permanently is an option, but is unadvisable as winter tyres have less grip once the weather warms up, will wear out more quickly and the car will use more fuel.
 

psychopomp1

Member
20c was just an example.
Average lows in John O'Groats are above 8c from June to September.
So that's a fair chunk of the year you're running around on overheating tyres.
This is assuming Vredestein say they're to be used below 7c.
If they say they can be used above that, all of this is moot.
Have you contacted them?

I've sent them an email, just waiting for a reply.

Read this - pay particular attention to this bit

I'm sure cheap winter tyres would indeed wear down very quickly in summer, not to mention giving a poor grip in warmer temperatures. However the Wintrac Extremes are rated by many people as also being good for summer. They cost 106 notes per tyre with some retailers selling them for as much as 140 notes:eek: Considering Vredestein are supposed to be a mid-range brand, i'd say for that kind of money i'd expect the tyre to be very high quality - which it appears to be, reading these reviews. But like i said, i'm also waiting to hear what Vredestein have to say about using these tyres in Summer.

Unbelievable. I am a tyre nerd. I've had all sorts of tyres on various cars. I have run 19,000 miles on these tyres and 14 months, and aside from a bit of tyre scrub on one of my rear tyres due to a slow puncture, they hardly show any wear. I drive a Disco 3 and I do drive it hard and in all conditions. They are incredible, better than Scorpions in summer or winter for wear and handling, better than Wranglers or Grabbers. I wouldn't use anything else now.
The only time they made me nervous has been on wet ice with diesel on the road aswell, but only studded tyres would have been any use in those conditions, and even then, they would have been questionable. Previously I would have recommended Nokians, which wear very well and grip extremely well, but Vredesteins have the edge.

Fantastic winter tyres fitted November 2009 to an RS6. Kept them on all summer too. Amazing in the winter. Never missed a beat. Gripped well even when the snow was deeper than the ground clearance. No significant use of traction control on steep hills. Feels extremely safe on steep downhill sections. Great sense of satisfaction passing stuck 4x4s on M&S tyres. We live 3 miles from a main road and our road is rarely plowed. Never had a problem getting to work or back home again no matter how bad the weather. Good grip in the summer although a bit more understear on overenthusiastic cornering. tread still legal after 30,000 miles although will need changing soon. Highly recommended

Fantastic!

Just bought my second set. 1st set lasted almost 40,000 miles (3 winters plus all of this summer as I thought they wouldn't do another winter). Great feel and excellent grip even in the coldest, snowiest conditions.

These tyres are so good I would be happy to use them all year round, however, I do notice that they are softer than my summmer Continental's when the temperature gets to about +10C and above. In snow they are almost magical - used both here in the UK and the Alps, both in hard pack or fluffy soft snow. Have overtaken 4x4's on hills were they where sliding sideways on their stock M&S tyres in my hilly area many times, much to my amusement - but it is when going downhill on treacherous roads where the safety of these tyres is evident. I can stop easily when others keep going in a slide.
These are just as quiet as my summer tyres, and actually quieter on rough motorway sections. Wear rate so far seems to be excellent - on my second winter on them with trips to the alps and still look like new. If I didn't have a second set of wheels, I would be happy to run them all year round as numerous people that I know already do.
 

county angler

Active Member
My local tyre fitters charge me £25 to change the tyres on my landy when i'm going to do some more challenging off roading. If you buy them from a local supplier i suspect they'd be happy to it for you twice a year.
 

FZR400RRSP

Banned
Fantastic winter tyres fitted November 2009 to an RS6. Kept them on all summer too. Amazing in the winter. Never missed a beat. Gripped well even when the snow was deeper than the ground clearance. No significant use of traction control on steep hills. Feels extremely safe on steep downhill sections. Great sense of satisfaction passing stuck 4x4s on M&S tyres. We live 3 miles from a main road and our road is rarely plowed. Never had a problem getting to work or back home again no matter how bad the weather. Good grip in the summer although a bit more understear on overenthusiastic cornering. tread still legal after 30,000 miles although will need changing soon. Highly recommended

The above review of the Vredestein winter tyres has blown my mind.
Firstly, he keeps winter tyres on all year, on an RS6..? :eek:
Secondly, he says they've lasted 30000 miles:eek:
Winter tyres.....on an RS6...:confused:
Then he mentions enthusiastic cornering?
On winter tyres that last 30000 miles on an RS6.:confused:
These are evidently the most amazing tyres in the world, they should make all others obsolete.
 
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Hitby

Well-known Member
The above review of the Vredestein winter tyres has blown my mind.
Firstly, he keeps winter tyres on all year, on an RS6..? :eek:
Secondly, he says they've lasted 30000 miles:eek:
Winter tyres.....on an RS6...:confused:
Then he mentions enthusiastic cornering?
On winter tyres that last 30000 miles on an RS6.:confused:
These are evidently the most amazing tyres in the world, they should make all others obsolete.

I'll buy a full set...

after you.

:D
 

psychopomp1

Member
These are evidently the most amazing tyres in the world, they should make all others obsolete.

Well every reviewer raves about these tyres so perhaps they are very good for both winter and summer use? Easy to mock something when you haven't even tried it.

Just got a reply from Vredestein:

Thank you very much for your Email as we appreciate all feedback from our customers.Drivers have become much more aware of the need for winter tyres in recent years. They appreciate the enhanced grip, handling performance and improved safety . Gone are the days when winter tyres were only fitted in regions with major snow falls such as Scandinavia and the Alps. Now drivers are embracing the benefits of winter tyres when driving in temperatures below 7º C.In deciding when to fit winter tyres, it is important not only to consider the chances of bad weather conditions, but also to observe when the average temperature falls below 7°C. In north-western Europe, this means that the right time to fit winter tyres is at the end of September, and it's best to keep them fitted until April. An easy rule to remember is that you should be using winter tyres when there is an ‘r' in the name of the month.We recommend customers driving on summer tyres in the summer and winter tyres in the winter. If a customer doesn't want to change from summer, winter, summer, we prefer customers driving on winter tyres all year round than summer tyres.Winter tyres in the colder months of the year will have much better traction and their braking distance can be significantly shorter compared to a summer tyre.Summer tyres in the summer perform better than Winter tyres but the difference in winter will be much bigger in favour of the Winter tyres.I hope this has answered your question. Kind regardsApollovredestein

I think the above reply is more of a general answer rather than my question of whether the Wintrac Extremes are good as summer tyres in summer. Nevertheless as Vredestein state its far better to have winter tyres all year round rather than summer ones, so i'll try the Wintrac Extremes in summer (assuming my insurance company gives me the ok) and post my feedback.
 
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psychopomp1

Member
I changed to winter tyres allround last yr and have had no problems at all,i drive a 4 yr old merc vito...

Can i ask which tyres you're using?
 

Thug

Moderator
I have 'all season' tyres on mine, but only put them on three or four months ago, so not sure how they perform in the snow.
What i did realise though was that they appeared to 'wallow' and not grip as well when driving in the rain and cornering on roundabouts for the first 1,000 miles or so, far more then the summer ones i took off. As its got colder, they have got better. That could have just been the tyre profile though, or the fact that they needed bedding in.
I drive a 4x4, so that could have been a factor too.
 

TRL

Banned
That Vredstein reply obviously didn't take into account the 28c that many of us saw in late September. For me, when the next person pulls out on me in spring or summer, I really don't want to be wishing I had summer tyres fitted so I could avoid a collision.

Tony
 

FZR400RRSP

Banned
Well every reviewer raves about these tyres so perhaps they are very good for both winter and summer use? Easy to mock something when you haven't even tried it.

I may not have tried the Vredesteins, but I do own winter tyres.
I took a gamble and fitted them early this year, when the temperatures were still hitting the likes of 16c.
They did not feel good, they felt just as I would expect an overheating tyre to.
Wobbly, vague etc.
Now that they're operating in their proper temperature range, they're great.
They are Pirelli Sottozeros.
I think I can be forgiven for shaking my head at anyone driving in the summer with winter tyres, just as I would someone moaning about winter grip on summer tyres.
 

psychopomp1

Member
I may not have tried the Vredesteins, but I do own winter tyres.
I took a gamble and fitted them early this year, when the temperatures were still hitting the likes of 16c.
They did not feel good, they felt just as I would expect an overheating tyre to.
Wobbly, vague etc.
Now that they're operating in their proper temperature range, they're great.
They are Pirelli Sottozeros.
I think I can be forgiven for shaking my head at anyone driving in the summer with winter tyres, just as I would someone moaning about winter grip on summer tyres.

But different winter tyres will behave differently in the summer irrespective of the brand....obviously some will be significantly worse while some may perform only marginally worse. Which is why i will keep my summer tyres in the garage when using the Vredesteins in the summer. If i hate using the Vredesteins in milder weather, then i'll put my summer tyres back on asap and will just have to get used to the chore of changing tyres. But if there's no significant difference, then bye bye summer tyres. Watch this space....;)
 

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