Official winter thread: Please post any winter questions here! - AudiForums.com

Go Back  AudiForums.com > Audi Tech > Wheels and Tires
Official winter thread: Please post any winter questions here! >

Official winter thread: Please post any winter questions here!

Wheels and Tires Post up threads with questions about wheels and tires for your Audi here
Sponsored by:
Sponsored by:

Official winter thread: Please post any winter questions here!

  #1  
Old 09-21-2011, 10:11 AM
Miles@TireRack.com's Avatar
1st Gear
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: South Bend, IN
Posts: 114
Default Official winter thread: Please post any winter questions here!

So, first off let's learn or relearn the facts about winter tires.

How do winter tires work?

Here are a few pictures to illustrate the mechanics involved in winter traction.

If you look closely at a road surface you can tell that it is really not that smooth as represented by the model in this picture:

Name:  work013.jpg
Views: 195
Size:  122.6 KB

With the high grip rubber compound used in your summer performance tires the contact area conforms to the irregular surface of the road:

Name:  work014.jpg
Views: 195
Size:  121.8 KB

That amount of contact can generate a tremendous amount of traction in the summer time but what if the road in snow covered?

That brings us to the question, what makes a tire a good winter tire? The answer is a three part puzzle and without all three parts traction will be compromised.

Let's look at the first part of the puzzle; tread design.

This picture shows a winter tire tread design which, as you can clearly see, utilizes a large number of sipes:

Name:  work10a.jpg
Views: 200
Size:  96.5 KB

When the road gets snow covered the tire is no longer able to conform to the surface.

Name:  work018.jpg
Views: 195
Size:  145.6 KB

The siping allows the tread elements to flex under stress create aggressive "biting edges" when braking, cornering or accelerating.

Name:  work017.jpg
Views: 194
Size:  150.6 KB

Part two of our three piece traction puzzle is tread depth.

While deep snow and ice-covered roads are two of the most challenging conditions North American drivers will face, tire developments during the last decade have noticeably advanced wintertime mobility. The technological revolution of dedicated winter tires for drivers in the snowbelt, and the continuing evolution of all-season tires for drivers living on its periphery characteristically offer more grip in snow and on ice than ever before.

However the basics of delivering traction and handling in snow and on ice remain unchanged. Tires must combine three fundamental features to deliver good wintertime performance, including an appropriate tread design, pliable tread compound and sufficient tread depth. If any one of these fundamental features is absent then the other two, regardless of their ability, cannot deliver the desired results. Since engineers can develop cutting-edge tread designs and chemists can develop advanced rubber compounds, it is often the remaining tread depth that is the variable in determining wintertime performance.

In most parts of the world, tires are considered to be legally worn out when they reach "2/32" (approximately 1.6mm) of remaining tread depth. U.S. law requires tires to have easy-to-see Tread Wear Indicator bars running from one side of their tread design to the other when the tire's tread has worn down to the minimum legal limit of 2/32 inch.

However in spite of the legal minimums, Tire Rack recommends that drivers expecting to experience wet conditions consider replacing their tires when they reach 4/32" of remaining tread depth. Tire Rack's tests have shown how shallow treads reduce wet braking traction and increase stopping distances. (See this video).

Tire Rack also recommends that drivers expecting to encounter snow-covered roads consider replacing their tires when they reach approximately 6/32" of remaining tread depth to maintain good mobility. Tires need more tread depth in wintry conditions to compress snow in their grooves and release it as they roll. If there isn't sufficient tread depth, the "bites" of snow that can be processed on each tire revolution will be reduced to "nibbles," and the vehicle's traction and mobility in snow will be reduced.



The third and final part of the puzzle is the rubber compound used. Rubber compounds vary widely from manufacturer to manufacturer but, the task is the same so, you will see similarities between the products. They all typically use compounds which utilize materials designed to remain flexible at cold temps in addition to traction enhancements from silica and other materials which add more bite on ice.

--------------------------------------------------------------

Now, for the next step ... types of winter tires

There are basically three different types of winter tires

#1.) Performance Winter

You want enhanced dry road handling from your winter tires and are willing to trade some snow and ice traction to get it.

Meeting severe snow service requirements and branded with the "Snowflake-on-the-Mountain" symbol, these are higher speed rated tires that are designed to suit winter driving on European highways. They are available in many of the low profile sizes used as Original Equipment on sporty imported and domestic cars. Due to their unique designs these tires must be installed in sets of four.

#2.) Studless Ice and Snow

You want to maximize snow and ice traction from your winter tires without the inconvenience of using winter tire studs.

Meeting severe snow service requirements and branded with the "Snowflake-on-the-Mountain" symbol, these tires feature the latest in tread compound technology to provide winter traction without the inconvenience of tire studs. They trade a little handling for excellent ice and snow traction. Due to their unique tread compounds these tires must be installed in sets of four.

#3.) Studdable Winter

You want the traditional security of studded winter tires for enhanced traction on ice.

Meeting severe snow service requirements and branded with the "Snowflake-on-the-Mountain" symbol, these tires feature traditional snow tire tread compounds and studdable tread designs for good snow and ice traction. Due to their unique designs these tires must be used in sets of four. Use of studded tires is often prohibited or restricted. Check with local authorities to confirm legality. Keep in mind that these can be used without studs if desired.

But Do I Really Need Winter Tires?

The primary concern that our customers express is that they don't want to get "stuck" in the snow (or in the ditch) during the winter.

While in cities like Atlantic City, Memphis and Seattle located at the edge of the snow belt, relatively new All-Season tires will probably work just fine. But the odds change as you move further into the snow belt or the All-Season tires have a few years of wear on them. And who wants to gamble...especially when their collision deductible and future insurance premiums are on the table.

We all know that tires are a compromise. One tire can't be the fastest on the track, most controllable in the snow, and longest wearing. The Ultra High Performance tire that grips the track with tread temperatures of 200 is incompetent as its tread compound becomes like "hard plastic" at below 32. Today's 80,000-mile tires require tread designs and compounds that maximize long, even wear... not winter traction. And while many of today's all-season tires (Original Equipment, touring and performance) address some of these issues, they still emphasize longer wear, a quieter ride or greater performance...not winter traction.

Only winter tires are designed to excel in the colder temperatures, slush, snow and ice that many parts of the country experience for three or more months a year.

It's also important to note that the recent advancements in electronic driver aids, such as ABS and traction control don't provide more traction. They only help prevent drivers from over braking or overpowering the available traction of their tires. The only thing the driver can do to increase traction...to actually get more grip and control... is install better tires.

As in the past, there are 'general use' recommended packages for each model car to be found at our Winter category but, if you would like to discuss other options for your specific need please don't hesitate to give me a call at 800-428-8355 ext. 788 or drop me an e-mail.

You can also post in this thread but please supply the following information ....

Year:
Make:
Model:
Location:
Tires only or winter package:

and I will respond directly to your post.

I will also be adding to this thread periodically so check back often.

Links to use to get the forum credit for your order:
- Tires
- Wheels
- Winter
- Brakes
- Suspension
 
  #2  
Old 09-22-2011, 04:19 PM
Miles@TireRack.com's Avatar
1st Gear
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: South Bend, IN
Posts: 114
Default

Some very good info in this test for any one considering using two winter tires vs. a set of four. Check it out:

Four of a Kind Versus Two Pair
 
  #3  
Old 10-26-2011, 08:03 PM
1st Gear
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 2
Default

Year:2011
Make: A 4
Model:Premium Quattro
Location: CT
Tires Only ---Considering the Conti Extreme Contact DWS or the Goodyear Assurance Comfort Tread Touring .I would like your opinion please .
Car performed great in last years snow with Goodyear OEMs. Lots of VT trips

Thank you
 
  #4  
Old 10-27-2011, 12:28 PM
Miles@TireRack.com's Avatar
1st Gear
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: South Bend, IN
Posts: 114
Default

We haven't gotten a chance yet to see how the Goodyear is for winter use since it just came out earlier this year. Regardless, the Continental DWS is still the one to beat. It's easily one of the best all-season tires for year round grip. I would recommend going with the proven performer in this case.
 
  #5  
Old 11-18-2011, 02:19 AM
1st Gear
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 11
Default

I'm wondering if you have ever had this problem, i live in the UP of michigan, we get a lot of snow, my problem is my wheel building up snow inside the rim and throwing the wheel off balance then it vibrates like a washing machine at about 50 mph, i know its the snow because when i clean it out it stops, if you got any ideas to fix this that would be great, even slow down the build up, im thinking wd40 my rim
 
  #6  
Old 11-20-2011, 12:02 PM
1st Gear
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 2
Default

I have a 2011 A4 Premium Plus Quattro and looking to get some winter tires/rims for this year. I'm looking to get the Blizzak WS70 225/50R17's but have a question about the rims...does it matter which offset (either +35mm or +45mm) or backspacing (5.66" or 6.10") you choose? Will either one fit on my car?
 
  #7  
Old 11-21-2011, 12:10 PM
Miles@TireRack.com's Avatar
1st Gear
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: South Bend, IN
Posts: 114
Default

Originally Posted by irunktm View Post
I'm wondering if you have ever had this problem, i live in the UP of michigan, we get a lot of snow, my problem is my wheel building up snow inside the rim and throwing the wheel off balance then it vibrates like a washing machine at about 50 mph, i know its the snow because when i clean it out it stops, if you got any ideas to fix this that would be great, even slow down the build up, im thinking wd40 my rim
I don't really have a recommendation for a product that would prevent the snow packing in. At least I haven't seen one work with any consistency. Maybe someone else will have a suggestion here?
 
  #8  
Old 11-21-2011, 12:24 PM
Miles@TireRack.com's Avatar
1st Gear
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: South Bend, IN
Posts: 114
Default

Originally Posted by Kuift View Post
I have a 2011 A4 Premium Plus Quattro and looking to get some winter tires/rims for this year. I'm looking to get the Blizzak WS70 225/50R17's but have a question about the rims...does it matter which offset (either +35mm or +45mm) or backspacing (5.66" or 6.10") you choose? Will either one fit on my car?
The wheel options for that A4 are interesting because usually brands don't make differing offsets for the same wheel. However, they do in the size needed for the A4 and it can accommodate either one. The 45mm offset is closer to your OE wheel while the 35mm offset will widen the stance a little bit. Usually for winter the 45mm is a better option.
 
  #9  
Old 11-21-2011, 12:42 PM
1st Gear
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 2
Default

Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
The wheel options for that A4 are interesting because usually brands don't make differing offsets for the same wheel. However, they do in the size needed for the A4 and it can accommodate either one. The 45mm offset is closer to your OE wheel while the 35mm offset will widen the stance a little bit. Usually for winter the 45mm is a better option.
Much appreciated. Just placed my order at tirerack!

Thanks.
 
  #10  
Old 11-22-2011, 11:52 AM
Miles@TireRack.com's Avatar
1st Gear
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: South Bend, IN
Posts: 114
Default

Thanks Kuift!

Originally Posted by Kuift View Post
Much appreciated. Just placed my order at tirerack!

Thanks.
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Quick Reply: Official winter thread: Please post any winter questions here!


Advertising
Featured Sponsors

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

© 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.