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Thread: Winter Tire Story

  1. #1
    R.I.P. 2015-05-13 minir's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Winter Tire Story

    Hi to all
    Just another example why All-Season Tires are really not the answer for Winter weather. This is not so much about the Michelin Brand but rather Winter Tires in general.

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    Winter Tire Review: Michelin X-Ice
    ===


    Many of today's vehicles possess an impressive amount of technology to improve handling and to protect occupants in the event of an accident. This technology is becoming a key selling point when consumers are shopping for a vehicle, and that's certainly to be applauded. But it can lead to a false sense of security, according to Normand Laremouille, Michelin's Winter Segment Marketing Manager for North America.


    Indeed, all the stability technology available can't make up for poor tire condition, or incorrect tire selection. My brother recently learned this as his family's Kia Sportage compact SUV -- equipped with electronic stability control, anti-lock brakes and traction control - sailed through an icy intersection completely out of control.

    Baby Simone was properly accommodated in a car seat, oblivious to the surrounding events; her seatbelted mother was in the rear seat beside her, wide eyed with fear.

    "Nothing worked," said my incredulous brother afterwards. "The stability control, the ABS, nothing came on and I had no steering or brakes."

    A minor collision with another vehicle did occur. It could have been a lot worse, and it was only a few days later that virtually the same thing happened again. My brother thought it was the brakes; somebody else thought tire pressure.

    All those electronic systems would have worked, it turned out, if the tires - original equipment tires, with 50,000 km on them - had enough grip on the slippery surface. Even though good tread was visible, and the tires were "within specification," according to the dealer, their all-season compound had likely become hard in the unusually cold weather. This and the accumulated tread wear was no match for the icy roads prevalent in Niagara this winter.

    So when my brother hit the brakes, it's a good bet that the wheels either stopped rotating because the surface was too slippery for the tires to find any purchase, or they repeatedly stopped and started, trying to find traction. Either way, none of the stability systems worked as expected until a set of new winter tires was mounted on the Sportage.

    "It's like night and day," says my brother. "The difference is incredible."

    The difference is that the traction control, anti-lock brakes and stability control now work as designed, and the vehicle responds to steering and braking inputs even on icy surfaces.

    Of course, tire manufacturers already know this. Last winter, Michelin conducted a test at York University in Toronto, where identical cars were driven on one of the hockey rinks there. The cars were equipped with stability control, traction control and anti-lock brakes but some used Michelin all-season tires and others used Michelin X-Ice winter tires.

    Mr. Laremouille describes how the cars behaved:

    "Time and again, the cars with the all-season tires would lose control. Even with stability control, the back end would slide out, or the brakes would lock. But with the winter tires this didn't happen."

    As Mr. Laremouille points out, "It's the tire that stops the car, not the wheel."

    One of the biggest differences between winter tires and all-season tires is that winter tires like the Michelin X-Ice use a softer rubber compound to increase grip. As you might expect, a softer tire will allow the tread blocks and siping (small cuts) in the tire to maintain their flexibility as they travel over the road surface, compared with a hard, frozen tire that simply slides over ice and snow like a frozen hockey puck. However, the X-Ice also uses a hard compound that's embedded inside the treadblocks to improve handling.

    Michelin calls this ability to provide grip and handling through the life of the tire "Advanced Progressive Stiffness" (ASP). Mr. Laremouille explains that ASP enables the tire to maintain its flexibility and tractive qualities even as the tire wears, and suggests that an X-Ice tire will continue to perform as designed down to 4/32-inch remaining tread depth (a new tire has 10/32 or 11/32-inch tread depth). In short, the X-Ice tire is designed to perform as intended throughout its service life.

    Michelin suggests that a winter tire will deliver up to 25% more traction on winter roads, and this is corroborated by the traction tests conducted by CanadianDriver.com in 2006. In fact, of all the benefits experienced with the use of winter tires during our Traction 2006 event, an improvement in braking was the most obvious.

    And that's what my brother thought he needed: brakes.

    But what he really needed, although he didn't know it at the time, was a set of winter tires.

    --

    minir

  2. #2
    SG Enthusiast blacklab's Avatar
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    I can testify to this. When I bought my Crown Vic I spent $500 for some decent Michelin tires. When the first snow arrived it handled pretty good. The anti lock breaks did their job, but it wasn't the best. The tire manager at Costco said I should install the Michelin ice tire, and said he would guaranteed that I would like them, or he would put my originals back on and give my money back. I put a set of Michelin ice tires on and could not believe the difference.

    On a trip to Edmonton I seen a couple of cars go out of control on black ice. I never even felt it. Now I put the ice tires on every winter.

    blacklab

  3. #3
    Second Most EVIL YARDofSTUF's Avatar
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    In general lots of drivers dont seem to know how important tires are.

  4. #4
    SG Enthusiast blacklab's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YARDofSTUF View Post
    In general lots of drivers dont seem to know how important tires are.
    I don't think most people realize how little rubber there is on the road, or what those tires really look like at 100 mph.

    blacklab

  5. #5
    R.I.P. 2015-05-13 minir's Avatar
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    Hi blacklab & YoS
    --

    They do make a big difference as you say Guys. We have been lulled into believing the All-Season hype by the manufacturers, which is a shame really.

    Other than the cost of having 2 Sets of tires for winter & summer the biggest problem is where to store the one set each time.

    --

    Thanks Fellas

    --

    regards

    minir

  6. #6
    Second Most EVIL YARDofSTUF's Avatar
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    Depends on the type of tires to. I have all season tires, good year triple treds, they're very good in the rain and snow. You just have to know the limits, and if they are wearing out, either loosing tread or their coating.

  7. #7
    R.I.P. 2015-05-13 minir's Avatar
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    Hi YARDofSTUF

    Yes indeed YARDofSTUF tires do age and lose their flexibility.

    There are mutterings here in Ontario Canada of making Snow Tires mandatory.

    I think it an overreaction, but of course that's never stopped a Law from being made before, now has it?

    --

    Save driving YARDofSTUF

    --

    minir

  8. #8
    Second Most EVIL YARDofSTUF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by minir View Post
    Save driving YARDofSTUF

    I will save it all!

  9. #9
    Elite Member TonyT's Avatar
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    IMHO, in the ice or snow, nothing beats a good old fashioned NON-radial snow tire with studs. Too bad studs are illegal in most states now.
    No one has any right to force data on you
    and command you to believe it or else.
    If it is not true for you, it isn't true.

    LRH

  10. #10
    R.I.P. 2015-05-13 minir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YARDofSTUF View Post
    I will save it all!
    --

    Hi YARDofSTUF & TonyT
    ---


    YARDofSTUF
    My bad YoS.

    --

    TonyT
    I agree. Studs are not allowed in most places here TonyT. They do work. I remember when chains where the order of the day. What a pain in the ass they were, but they got the job done.

    --

    Have lovely evening Fellas & Thanks

    --

    regards

    Larry

  11. #11
    SG Enthusiast blacklab's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TonyT View Post
    IMHO, in the ice or snow, nothing beats a good old fashioned NON-radial snow tire with studs. Too bad studs are illegal in most states now.
    I used to go for the studs as well. I found they were not too good on pavement though. I find the ice tire the next best thing. Holds surprisingly well on corners. If they weren't so soft I would have them on the truck.

    blacklab

  12. #12
    Broke
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    Quote Originally Posted by minir View Post

    There are mutterings here in Ontario Canada of making Snow Tires mandatory.


    --

    minir
    Best thing that could ever happen, I would applaud any gov that made that law.
    I normally don't like government stickin there nose into my affairs.
    But in this case I would.

  13. #13
    R.I.P. 2015-05-13 minir's Avatar
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    Hi Chris


    Not i Chris. Many cities such as Toronto really do not require them and it places an undue burden on people with limited funds imho.

    Many a city dweller has little to no storage space for the off set which poses a further problem.

    Common sense and some good advertising should take care of most of it. There are places like where you live that its almost mandatory to use them due to climate and snowfall amounts, yet others that really do not.

    All-Seasons though far from perfect answer most of the problems of the major city dweller in places where the snowfall amounts are not that high.

    We have too much Government and Laws already imho.
    --

    regards

    minir

  14. #14
    Second Most EVIL YARDofSTUF's Avatar
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    I think that would be hard to enforce as well.

  15. #15
    Resident Rodent Randy's Avatar
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    I use all season tires and chains when its a cold snap.
    If i had to do highway driving then I would get winter tires.
    A friend of mine has ice tires they work really good.

    I was going to post a link to that thread, but the SG search results for "bullsh|t" were too numerous

    sometimes you have to think outside the box to get inside the box .

  16. #16
    R.I.P. 2015-05-13 minir's Avatar
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    Hi YARDofSTUF & Randy
    ---


    YARDofSTUF
    About the only way they could enforce it is after the fact (Accident) or making All-Seasons non compliant and forcing the Manufacturers to no longer offer them, which i can't see happening either.

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    Randy
    For the most part Hwy. driving is the least likely place you need them as most major Hwys are kept pretty clear and the usage leaves them even clearer. I drove for years back in the 50/70's without snows as they wouldn't hold up to high speed and where very noisy and rarely ever had trouble. Just used common sense.

    ---

    Thanks Fellas. Enjoy your day

    --

    regards

    minir

  17. #17
    Broke
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    Dredged up from the past.
    Hmm, been workin down in Hamilton this winter.

    Yupp, everyone should have snow tires by law, Getting sick of my life being at risk from ill equipped cars with no snow tires.
    Add to that all the new to Canada driver from countries that never have snow, just sand and beaches, and the need for snow tires is multiplied ten fold.

    And as a vehicle owner, I spend money I can't afford to ensure my truck is safe on the road in the winter, why should my life be at extra risk from car owners who don't/won't buy proper tires for our climate.

  18. #18
    R.I.P. 2015-05-13 minir's Avatar
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    Hi Chris

    I fear your life is always at risk when you venture out in a car. There are all kinds of things happening that shouldn't be, the tire issue though is not as important to me at least as cell phones, coffee drinkers, makeup appliers, loud radios and many other unsafe practices imho.

    Making drivers licences more difficult to obtain by insisting on more professional driver training to me makes much more sense in the safety issues.

    Training should include time on skid pads to educate both wet weather and snow and ice handling before one can obtain a drivers licence. There should be specific locals where these things are addressed imho.

    Thanks Chris

    minir

  19. #19
    Second Most EVIL YARDofSTUF's Avatar
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    Snow tires also give some people a false sense of invincibility.

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