There is talk of making winter-tyres obligatory… but it is only talk… as yet…
I have used winter tyres on my cars, when the conditions dictated, since 1986. When the law came in in Germany I didn’t have to buy any tyres or change my habits. There you had to use winter or M+S tyres when the temperature dropped below six degrees between October and March. There were never any checks but if you were involved in an accident and you had the incorrect tyres…
I still have a set of winter wheels for my Golf but would only fit them if I was planning a journey with poor weather forecast.
we used to when we were in the cantal, as do most people, and to an extent in the aveyron but now we’re in the tarn we don’t bother anymore!
We’ve always put summer tyres on our car because of where we live, however we’re driving up to Calais in the morning so we’ll just have to see how they get on if we hit snow , the tyres are brand new and we have a 4 x 4 so I don’t know whether that will make a difference.
We always do, and we have to otherwise we would often struggle to get home between November and March!
When we put them on this year we noticed that although still completely legal, they were looking a bit worn… Bad mistake! The kennels we use for our dog is high up, around 1200m, entrance is down a steep slope. So in a rush to drop him off and catch a train we slid gracefully down the slope into a snow bank. Luckily help on hand so we caught the train after a lot of swearing and frantic digging. Needless to say we ordered new snow tyres immediately. But the lesson learnt that we need to change them before we legally have to!
It’s interesting that they’re referred to as snow tyres as winter tyres are designed to perform better in low temperatures, normally below five or six degrees not only on snow and slush. None of my winter tyres have had aggressive tread patterns that make them look any different to the normal tyres. The compound they are made of is equally important. To get maximum grip on snow and especially icy roads you need studded tyres.
Your 4x4 should be fine Tim. On your trip back to the U.K. any roads that are too much for your car will be blocked by other vehicles anyway.
I once changed to winter tyres.
Then I never got round to changing them back, so the summer tyres sat in the shed for a few years until the winter tyres wore out, at which point they went back on.
The intentions were good, but the will was lacking.
It’s my age…in olden times we only used to change the tyres when heading off to snowy places, hence always called them snow tyres. But yes, we use winter tyres now but I still refer to them the old way! And that’s despite the fact that our biggest problem is not snow, but 150m of road coming into our hamlet that’s exposed and gets no sun in winter so often a sheet of ice.
We’ve had folk leave their cars at the foot of the steep entry road…and walk up into the village… with one good blast of ice… we are “cut-off”… even without the snow.
I was commenting on the original post. I suppose I call them winter tyres because I used them all winter, not just when it snowed. The first set I bought was for a car that had wide, low profile tyres that meant that fitting and driving with snow chains was impossible as there was no room within the wheelarches.
all cars should automatically have chains (or at least chaussettes) in the boot. We have to have lots of other things so why not make it obligatory
We did one year but found grip worse than the “all weather” tyres they (temporarily) replaced. Probably down to the choice of tyre but we haven’t botherd again.
Studded tyres good but need permanent snow, they have a restricted maximum speed and are noisy if no lying snow so not a great idea in the UK most of the time.
I’m not really convinced for UK use - at least in our location in the Midlands. On higher ground they probably come into their own.
Winter tyres every year de la Toussaint à Pâques as does just about everybody round here. The grip on ice, particularly black ice, is reassuring.
Why? Not all cars are in the areas where this is necessary. Chains can and do damage cars and roads. Big sweeping statement, not really “all”
Winter tyres are a different compound so they work as stated by David at lower temperatures. The old mud & snow block treads were noisy and uncomfortable on std vehicles but sometimes warranted. I fit winter snow tyres and they are snow and ice clearing because the tread blocks have a steeper release angle so they self clean instead of clogging like a summer tyre. I am self employed so letting a customer down and missing a job through bad weather loses me more than the tyres cost so no brainer. A part of me also likes driving around the stranded cars
Valid comments John, I was just suggesting that they can be used when roads or motorways are blocked to enable cars to move and free up the way for emergency vehicles. After all the reflective jackets we have are hardly ever used except in emergencies. I am sure that “chaussettes” can be produced inexpensively “en masse” for emergency use.
Indeed Phillip, there are some inexpensive socks and other plastic gizmos on Youtube that seem to work quite well and easier to fit. A friend years ago with a Triumph herald I think it was, had a chain snap, it flailed the rear wing off! Not of course that any of laughed
Just wondering what folk are doing (if anything) tyre-wise… with the snow that is falling in various parts of France…
Changed the tyres last week…that’s when weather forecasts come in handy.
I don’t change tyres, have all terrain on my Landy, and OH won’t drive if there’s snow and ice
I’m not allowed out of the house if there’s snow and/or ice…