Tag Archives: Safety

Jaguar XF, a True British Classic

Jaguar XF

 

In recent years Jaguar cars have gone from laughing stock, to stock in trade. Sold worldwide and now with the reliability it so richly deserves.

With multiple performance models and even an all wheel drive version, there isn’t much wrong with this car. As such, it has a variety of wheel and tyre sizes, making the right choice of winter tyre a big task.

Well, the team at Winter Tyre Reviews have been looking at what you can get to keep those powerful rear wheels stuck firmly to the road.

From 17″ to 20″ and most likely bigger to come, there are so many combinations, with large rear tyres and smaller fronts, some models the same all round and everything in between.

So how has your XF performed during the winter months? Some owners have reported that it’s actually fine, whilst others have found it to be somewhat lively at the rear and winter driving near on impossible.

So what can you do and why should you do it?

There are two options open to you, and those are change your summer tyres for winters on the Jaguar wheels or opt for a winter wheels and tyres package.

If you decide to go for just tyres then in the 17″ and 18″ size, there are plenty of options and with fitting, it’s around £800 a set. A great option and you just rotate the tyres.

However, if you are running 19″ and 20″, then things start to become a little more difficult. There are limited supplies of tyres in these sizes and the manufactures now realise that changing wheels and tyres for a smaller size is the best way forward.

The reason for this is that having a narrower tyre in contact with the road makes for more grip, better steering and handling is improved. With the larger summer tyres, particularly those on the rear wheels, they struggle to maintain stability in ice, snow, slush and the wet conditions of winter.

If you can source tyres, then prices start at £1100 for 19″ and £1200 for 20″

Low profile summer tyres are great for dry warm days and they make the car feel as though its on rails, but in the winter, not so good.

The tread patterns on winter tyre are slightly wider making the evacuation of snow and water quick. In seven seconds, a winter tyre will disperse a bucket full which means the chances of aquaplaning a reduced.

The sipes cut into the tread can be up to a thousand or more against an average of 120 on summer tyres, further increasing grip and ensuring that progress is made under acceleration.

So what are the options? Well, if you run 19″ and 20″ then for winter you should ideally drop down to 17″ and 18″ respectively. This will put 235/55R17 and 245/45R18 tyres all round and for 17″ it is around £950 and 18″ £1200 a set.

But you also want a wheel that looks good, after all, you’re not going to put a steel wheel on just for winter, sets come with three options, and we think this one below from Alutec suit the XF perfectly.

Grip Graphite

 

If you would like any further information, then contact the guys at Tyremen on 08456 807808.

Have you already had winter tyres on your XF? Please leave a comment telling us which tyres you’ve used and how they performed or just leave a question.

Thanks for reading

The Winter Tyre Reviews Team

Range Rover, Big, 4WD, Luxury, Winter Tyres?

Range Rover Snow

 

The Range Rover, the vehicle that started the luxury 4WD market. With our partner, Tyremen, we discuss just why it needs winter tyres.

New to the market in 1970, it was the first luxury off-roader and has led the way ever since, the car all the others want to be like.

Comes with the superb Land Rover 4X4 system, so why are we even talking about winter tyres? Surely, it can go anywhere, anytime and just laughs at other 4X4’s?

Well, in the old days, yes, it came with big chunky off road tyres, perfect for that shooting trip, or taking a couple of hay bales into fields. But now, well, it’s more refined, more day to day usable, more, dare we say, Chelsea tractor? But we love it, it’s what a luxury 4X4 should be!

So this is why we are talking about winter tyres, low profile summer tyres just don’t do a Range Rover any justice in winter conditions.

With original wheels sizes between 19″ and 22″ these huge tyres are great in the warmer months, but, they struggle to be flexible and give enough grip when it gets cold. So what are the options?

You can change the existing summer tyres for winters, have them fitted to the very nice Range Rover wheels and store the summer tyres. There are a couple if issues with this, as the wheels come in several sizes, there are tyres for the smaller wheels, but when you hit the 20″ and upwards, they become very difficult to get hold of, and in some cases, non-existent. If you have 22″ wheels, then you may as well forget tyres in that size, few available and prices start around £400 each.

The reason for this is that the tyre companies have realised that narrower tyres makes for a better winter performance, so they look to winter packages and drop down to 19″ wheels and tyres.

So what real difference will winter tyres make, we don’t exactly get covered in snow for weeks at a time?

Winter tyres are not just for snow, they perform so much better in colder weather, under 7C, because the rubber compound is flexible in the cold, the tread patterns, like the Vredestein below, and the sipes within the tread grip the road and improve steering, handling and shorten stopping distances compared to summer tyres.

After all, at two and a half tonnes, it takes some grip to keep it going where you point it.

Vredestein Wintrac Xtreme S

Winter tyres are designed to remove water, slush and snow from the tread quickly, and the Vredestein Wintrac Xtreme  S do just that, and when fitted to the classic looking Zito Blazer 5 spoke wheel, sets the Range Rover off perfectly.

19" Blazer

So, for safety, when you have that most precious of cargo’s on board, your family, it seems to be the only way forward.

If you want more information, talk to the guys at Tyremen on 08456 807808 and see what they can do for you.

Packages start at a shade over £1100 and other wheels can be sourced, it certainly makes it worth while thinking about for winter driving safety.

Have you fitted winter tyres to your Range Rover before? Leave a comment for others and give us your thoughts, did they work? Was it worth it?

Thanks

The Winter Tyre Reviews Team

The Evoque from Range Rover, Winter Driving, Winter Tyres

Range Rover Evoque

Another of our vehicle specific posts, this time, with our partner Tyremen, the Range Rover Evoque and a look at winter tyre packages.

launched in September 2011, this car has proved to be a massive hit and rivals the BMW X5 and the Audi Q5, and frankly, could well be the best of the three given it’s Land Rover heritage.

With a wide range of wheel sizes from 17″ to 20″ so we’ll start with 17″ and 18″.

Coming on standard summer tyres, with a reasonable profile,  they perform great in warm, dry sunny days (when we get them). Normally, we would always recommend dropping down an inch or two, but with these, they are already a good size just to fit winter tyres straight to your current wheels.

The 225/65R17 Wintrac 4 Xtreme winter tyre by Vredestein starts at a reasonable £140 per corner delivered. The 235/60R18 a shade over £120 per corner delivered.

The tyre has great properities, a directional tread pattern which is ideal for clearing snow, slush, and more importantly, water for when that thaw comes.

The design specific sipes in the tread, grip the road with the assuredness of a summer tyre giving a positive feel for steering and handling, essential in winter conditions, even on icy roads.

The rubber compound is a lot more flexible in colder weather, further increasing the grip on a heavy car.

vredestein-wintrac-4-xtreme

 

Now we’ll take a look at the options for 19″ and 20″ wheels.

There are two options in this size, you can buy winter tyres to fit to your current wheels, as with the 17″ and 18″ or you can drop down to an 18″ winter wheels and tyres package.

Winter tyres in the 19″ size are readily available during the winter months, and prices start at £140 per tyre delivered. It has the same superb properties as above and will make your winter driving a lot safer.

The biggest issue now falls to the 20″ wheel size. Winter tyres are not available in great numbers. Everyone, including the tyre manufactures, seem to have realised that dropping down sizes is the best way forward.

Why is that the case? Well, the basic rule for winter is, put the least amount of tread on the road as possible.  This enables the car to maintain grip by cutting through winter conditions, rather like we used to see Morris Minors do many years ago.

So what’s the recommendations?

If your Evoque has 17″ or 18″ wheels, opt for tyres only, it will probably cost you around £50 to £60 twice a year to have them swapped over, but worth it to keep your family safe and know that you won’t get stuck!

In the 19″ and 20″ size, drop down to an 18″ package. These start around the £1000 area and are complete with the Alutec Grip or Poison wheels and Vredestein tyres.

The wheel is TUV approved, meaning that the insurance companies don’t have an issue, and a five year paint guarantee and suit the car. It also has the benefit that if you are unlucky enough to clip a kerb, then you haven’t damaged a £500 Evoque wheel!

In all sizes, winter tyres will make the Evoque perform so much better and when coupled with Land Rover’s superb 4X4 system, you’d never know the difference!

Thanks for reading, if you have a view point or have winter tyres on your Evoque, leave a review below, we’ll answer any questions and comments.

The Winter Tyre Reviews Team

 

Audi A4 Winter Tyres, Are They A Great Investment?

Audi A4 Snow

Here at Winter Tyre Reviews, we asked the question, are winter tyres worth buying for the Audi A4? Simple answer, yes, yes, yes! But why do we think so? Well, we’re going to look at the options with our partner Tyremen.

The Audi A4 has been a fantastic car for over 20 years, starting life as the Audi 80 to its present models. All versions of this car, whether its cabriolet, saloon or estate version, the avant look great, drive with assuredness and have fantastic build quality.

But when the temperature drops then owners are increasingly looking for a winter wheel and tyre solution in order to keep their A4 moving safely. Luckily with an Audi, making such an investment will really pay off as an A4 fitted with winter tyres will be an incredibly safe vehicle come the cold weather. Unlike its German counterparts such as BMW & Mercedes the Audi is either front or all-wheel drive, so while your neighbours rear wheels are spinning away on his 3 series you will be confidently pulling away from the drive whatever the weather. Maybe you can be neighbourly and smugly offer him a ride to work?

Front wheel drive vehicles work really well in the winter when fitted with a cold weather tyre, and if you’re lucky enough to have an A4 Quattro system then when combined with winter tyres then you will literally be able to get anywhere even when there is thick snow on the ground. One of our team has an A4 and fitted it with Vredestein Wintrac tyres, and whilst his wife’s Mercedes stayed in the garage, the A4 performed as though it was summer.

So what’s the difference between summer and winter tyres? The difference is the make up of the rubber compounds, Summer tyres are flexible and have lots of grip in the warmer weather, however, when the temperature  drops below 7 degrees, they become harder and don’t grip the road as well, the handling becomes less responsive and stopping distances increase!

Winter tyres are designed to flex in colder conditions and as such, give increased grip, traction, handling and give much shorter braking distances over summer tyres.

So if you’re considering a winter driving solution for your A4 then what should you go for?

There are two options open to you, you can get a set of winter tyres and have them rotated twice a year with your summer tyres.  With the 16″ standard wheel, for a set of mid-range tyres prices are around £350 and for the 17″ £530. You then have to factor in the cost of around £120 per year to have them swapped.

The second option is a set of wheels to fit your winter tyres onto has a few benefits. First is price again, even though you have the additional cost of the wheels initially you have dramatically reduced fitting costs. Your Audi winter wheels should come with the tyres fitted (they certainly are when we supply them) therefore they will just need bolting onto the vehicle. This can be done yourself, at any garage at a minimal cost, or as part of the package price when bought though our partner Tyremen. The wheels don’t have to be that expensive either, a cheap set of steel winter wheels starts at around £230, so the alternate £120 a year tyre swapping cost makes the wheel option look like pretty good value for money.

Also fitting a wheel & tyre package allows you to (generally) fit a smaller wheel and a narrower tyre. This really helps when it comes to winter traction as it’s a case of the narrower the better for winter tyres. Those super large and wide alloys put on by Audi may look great for the summer but act like big snow boards in the snow, whereas a narrow tyre will dig into the snow much more effectively and improve winter traction. Smaller winter tyres are cheaper too so you would probably find that for the price of say 18” winter tyres you could get a set of 16” wheels & tyres. Essentially smaller wheels & tyres are cheaper and more effective, this is certainly the most practical and convenient option for winter.

When reducing wheel size you are trying to re-create what Audi offer on the base model A4’s and quite often this is using a 16” wheel & tyre. There are certain models that such a reduction is not possible though, examples of this would be S4, 2.7 & 3.0 engines and versions with over 170bhp. On these a larger brake is fitted which a 16” wheel would catch on so you would need to go for a 17” package.

Audi OE Wheel

In 16” you have the most options wheel wise, you can go for steel, aftermarket alloys and even ‘take off’ genuine Audi alloys. The genuine Audi A4 winter alloys are perfect for winter; they have just done factory mileage and are a fraction of the price of those from Audi. However there is nothing wrong with any of these options it purely comes down to cosmetics. If your A4 is listed above and will not take a 16” wheel then in 17” you are going to have to look at alloys as steel are not made in anything over 16”.

Which winter tyres to choose?

The answer to this could be a number of blog posts in its own right, however here are a few of my thoughts and opinions:
Budget winter tyres – AVOID, I don’t see the point in them! If you’re trying to make your vehicle safer for the winter then these just don’t cut the mustard.
Mid-range – Uniroyal are totally decent, they come out of the same factory as Continental and perform really well in their own right. Hankook also make a good winter product that will serve you well.
The best winter tyres – there are a few really good tyres on the market but current test winning tyres Continental winter TS850 or TS830P are great products. Our retail company, Tyremen are still really big fans of Vredestein winter tyres, the Snowtrac 3 offers about the best pure snow performance and the Wintrac Xtreme is a great all-round winter tyre that offers incredible longevity.

Any questions? Feel free to leave a comment below and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can or call the friendly team at Tyremen, 08456 807808

Thanks

The Winter Tyre Reviews Team

BMW 5 Series, Winter Tyre Review

BMW 5 Series Snow

We are looking ahead to winter and this vehicle specific blog post takes an in-depth look at winter driving in a BMW 5-series.

As with most BMW’s the rear wheel drive nature of this vehicle makes it a challenge to control during the winter months. However fitting the right winter tyre, or wheel and tyre combination can transform this vehicle which is why our partner, Tyremen, has the 5 series packages as one of their best-selling winter solutions. Click here to see what’s on offer.

Our recommendations for safe winter driving varies depending on the age of the vehicle. We’ll start with the E60/E61 models (2003-2009).  Base models generally come on tyre size 225/55R16 and by simply changing from summer to winter tyres in this size you will vastly improve the vehicles winter performance. The best 2 winter tyres in this size are either the Vredestein Wintrac Xtreme S or the Continental TS830 P.

Some of the 520 & 525’s may come on 17″ wheels as standard, usually with 225/50R17 tyres. With these vehicles you have a choice of going for winter tyres only, or you could also drop down to 16″ wheels & tyres if you prefer. Generally one of the main advantages of reducing wheel size is that you benefit from a narrower tyre which improves winter performance. Since both 16″ & 17″ wheels would be fitted with a tyre with section width of 225 then there is no real advantage here. 16″ wheels and tyres would be cheaper than 17″ packages so there is a saving to be had of around £270 on a set of equivalent products.

Larger engine versions such as 530 & 535 can be fitted with 17″, 18″ and in some case 19″. If fitted with 17″ then you can’t reduce wheel size any further because of the size of the brakes on these vehicles. Something to note is that BMW may also use the tyre size 245/45R17, this is the same overall size as 225/50R17. If fitting winter tyres to 17″ rims then we’d recommend using the 225 size, even if 245’s are fitted at the moment. The narrowness of the 225 really does help when it comes to driving in harsher conditions, even improves fuel economy!

Vehicles fitted with 18” could have 245/40R18 on both the front and rear, this would give the options of going for just tyres or a 17” package. In 245/40R18 again either the Wintrac Xtreme or the TS830 P would be the ones to go for. Some vehicles have a larger wheel on the rear with 275/35R18’s, if this is the case then the rear is too wide to really be effective. Sourcing a winter tyre in this size would be especially difficult and it would be better to consider a 17” package really. This is also the case with 19” wheels, the rears are far too wide to work in the winter. A 17” would have no problem fitting and would be much more effective. The vehicle would take on a different look, but we’re talking about winter driving so you need to consider practicality.

Just a note about run-flats, Tyremen offer 17” winter runflats which are suitable for 5-series by Dunlop. Many customers that own vehicles fitted with run-flats move away from them for winter which helps to keep the cost down. If you want to do this then consider buying a repair kit in case of a puncture and make sure your road side assistance is up to date.

Moving onto the new 5-series F10/F11 2010 onwards, things are slightly different here. The new models no longer come on 16” as standard, base models are fitted with 17” and rim sizes go all the way up to 20”. The wheel spec is a different too, so unfortunately if you move from an old model to a new one then you may well need a new winter set up, as always our advice would be to try and sell any winter tyres or wheels along with the vehicle sale.

If you vehicle came on 17” wheels then you can opt for just tyres or wheels and tyres, tyre size is slightly bigger now; 225/55R17 which can be run-flat or standard. Or partner keeps Vredestein, Goodyear, Dunlop & Continental in standard winter and Dunlop runflats , all of which are great cold weather tyres. Tyremen also offer a 17” wheel and tyre package for new 5-series which are very popular indeed. Steel wheels are not made for the F10/F11 so you need to look at alloys and Tyremen import the Alutec Design-E which is a perfect fit and takes the original bolts.

This package is suitable for all new 5 series, even if fitted with larger wheels than this as standard, this package is one of Tyremen’s best sellers. The same wheel is also available in 18” so drivers that want the keep the look of the larger wheel can get this from this option. The only issue with the 18” package is that you need a 245/45R18 tyre which is a rather expensive size and does make the package about £250 more than the 17″ option. Also the 17” package will be more effective because of the narrower tyre that is used!

We’ll just finish off by discussing the 5 series GT (Gran Turismo), if you are lucky enough to own one of these vehicles then a specific 18” wheel & tyre package is available. This uses the same 18” wheel used on the regular 5 series but with a different tyre size (245/50R18). Tyremen offer Continental winter for use on these packages which can be purchased in standard or runflat version.

We hope this is of use, if you have any questions don’t hesitate to get in touch with our partner, Tyremen who have many years of winter wheel and tyre experience. Ring 0845 807 808 for more info.

Have you ran a 5 Series on winter tyres? Would you like to leave a comment for other 5 Series owners? Please do so below, your thoughts are just as helpful as ours.

Thanks

The Winter Tyre Reviews Team

BMW X5 Winter Tyres and Wheels 2007 Models Onwards

BMW-X5-Snow-Pic

Here at Winter Tyre Reviews, we are going to discuss wheels and tyres for the BMW X5 from 2007 onwards to get the most out of your X5 during the winter months. Click here for the range.

You may be asking why you would need winter equipment on a 4 wheel drive, and its a great question to ask. The X5 is a fantastic car but comes with summer tyres and wider rear wheels as standard. They make the car look great from a rear view and are great during the warm weather but don’t perform to the best in colder conditions. We think there is a number of reasons for this:

  1. This type of vehicle is often used to drive to ski resorts, and in most of these countries, the use of winter tyres is an essential safety requirement or required by law in certain regions.
  2. The X5 is a vehicle that is very popular for school runs and day to day ferrying of your most valuable cargo, your family, so you want to ensure that your journey is as safe as it can possibly be.
  3. BMW very often use much wider wheels  and tyres on the rear. They look great, but provide too much road coverage and then perform poorly in ice, slush and snow.

So, with our Winter Tyre Experts, Tyremen, we are going to look at the best wheel and tyre options available on the market to give your X5 the best winter performance and safety that you expect from BMW cars.

Winter tyres on the X5 gives them improved handling in some of the most challenging winter conditions. The following advice is general and can be easily used for most makes of 4 wheel drive, but is geared towards the BMW X5 and there are some subtle changes dependant on year and model.

From 2007 onwards, the BMW X5 start at 18″ wheels as standard, our partner, Tyremen, will shortly be stocking Vredestein, Bridgestone and Yokohama in standard tyres and Continental in runflat. By far the best seller for Tyremen is the Vredestein Wintrac 4 Xtreme and is a fantastic winter tyre that can handle some quite tough conditions.

The Vredestein can be used all year round, it is sensibly priced and returns impressive mileage . We have seen many owners move away from the runflat option for this tyre, however, if you are going to do this, make sure you invest in a puncture repair kit, Continental offer three different options, and ensure that you road side assistance is up to date.

For the X5 that is fitted with wheels 19″ these vehicles can easily drop down to the 18″ wheel. Tyremen import some alloy wheels from Alutec based in Germany which are ideal for the X5 and, as you would expect from a German company, engineered well. They come with a 5 year guarantee, are styled like a BMW wheel so it won’t look out of place. Tyremen offer the Alutec Design E, fitted with either a standard or runflat winter tyre.

The only issue you will have with reducing wheel size is the appearance of the X5. For the 19″ wheel, you will most likely have 255/50R19 to the front and 285/45R19 to the rear. By replacing with the 18″ package, you will have a narrower tyre placement which is much more effective in winter. However, it won’t fill the rear wheel arches and you don’t want the look of your X5 to change, so we recommend the 18″ ‘staggered offset’ wheels to the rear. They fill the arches out well and you’d never know they were slightly smaller wheels.

So, now we’ve looked at 18″ wheels, your car has the 19″ or 20″ option on them. Worried that the 18″ option, even with the staggered offset, will be too small? Not a problem, there is a 19″ wheel, again with offset for the rear. This again, is another BMW styled wheel which will give you the same width front and rear. You can then use the 255/50R19 tyre which is a sensible size for winter. These can come with ‘split offsets’ which means the rear wheels are made in such a way that they sit further out than the fronts.

Has your X5 the 20″ wheel option? Then most likely you will have 275/40R20 (available in a winter tyre) to the front and 315/35R20 to the rear, the rears are next to impossible to find as a winter tyre, so you will need to come down to the 19″ option.

This will fill out the rear arches so you would never know you had a narrower wheel fitted. Below is an image from a Tyremen customer, showing how well the narrower smaller wheels fit and maintain the integrity of the X5 look.

rsz_photo_1-BMW-with-off-set

Hopefully, we’ve given you enough information to make an informed choice for the winter wheels/wheels and tyres option. If you want to know anything else, why not get in touch with the friendly team at Tyremen.

Call: 08456 807808

Thanks, the Winter Tyre Reviews Team

Audi Q5 Winter Wheels and Tyres

10q532fsi_14_hrgb Q5 winter

Here at Winter Tyre Reviews we are going to explore the winter wheels and tyre options for the Audi Q5. We have previously covered the Q7 in the Audi ‘Q’ range with vehicle specific information.

The Q5 is the middle of the ‘Q’ range and is proving to be a very popular all purpose family vehicle and has a 5 star NCAP rating for safety, so why compromise this when it comes to winter tyres?

As you will be thinking, the Q5 is 4 wheel drive? Surely it’s designed to work in winter conditions? Well, yes it is, but like anything in life, sometimes a modification may be required and this is when winter tyres become a safety feature.

All Q5’s come with summer tyres as standard, these perform superbly in the warmer weather, giving amazing grip and handling for a car of this size. But in the colder weather, below 7 degrees, the rubber compound in summer tyres becomes less flexible and gives less grip and traction in snow, ice and slush.

There are of course reasons for this, and we have given a few answers below and why we feel you should opt for winter tyres;

  1. The Q5 is often fitted with wide wheels and tyres. These look great and makes the vehicle stand out, but these give a large tyre print on the road which does not work well in the winter, the best guidance is the narrower the better for the best grip.
  2.  The Q5 is a popular vehicle for that winter trip into Europe. Resorts in the Alps and other regions often have a requirement by law to have winter tyres fitted.
  3. The main use of your Q5 is for transporting your most precious cargo, your family. You want to be certain that when you go out on the school run, everyone is going to be as safe as they can be.

So lets look at the options and what is available for the Q5.

The Q5 comes in a range of wheel sizes from 17″ to 20″, so there is a great range available to you, however, not every wheel size has a variation in choice of tyres.

We recommend that for winter equipment, you put no larger than a 17″ wheel fitted with a Vredestein 235/55R17 even if you have 20″ wheels as standard. There are two different versions of the Vredestein in an ‘H’ rating and a ‘V’ rating.

There are two wheels that are supplied by our partner Tyremen, The first is the Grip, by German company Alutec. As you would expect, a German engineered wheel has exceptional quality, a 5 year guarantee and TUV approval. It is designed to compliment the look of the Q5.

The next wheel is the W10 by a Uniwheel who are the parent company of Alutec. Again, this is a fantastic wheel and was new to the market for the 2013/14 winter season. Feedback from customers has been positive for this wheel. It is an Audi specific wheel that is engineered to fit perfectly and take the original bolts, comes with a 5 year guarantee and has TUV approval. The perfect fit for your Q5 and with prices starting at a little over £1000, we feel that this is the perfect investment as we know this is a car that you are going to keep for a few years.

Now you’re asking why? Well, for the best traction, steering and handling in winter weather, as we said earlier in this post, the narrower the better is the rule to follow.

Our partner, Tyremen, are able to offer a huge range of winter wheels and tyre packages or tyres only to have fitted to your current wheels.

We hope that you have found this blog informative for your Q5 winter driving and it will enable you to make the right choice for you. If you require any further help or advice, then please feel free to contact the friendly guys at Tyremen.

Tel: 08456 807808

Thanks, The Winter Tyre Reviews Team

 

Audi Q3, Winter Wheels and Tyres Review

audi-rs-q3-with-sled-dogs-in-snow

In our last blog covering the Audi ‘Q’ range, we are going to look at the  Audi Q3, the smallest of the range, but by no means any less impressive.

The Audi Q3 comes with four tyre sizes as standard with wheel sizes 17″, 18″ and 19″ and has 4 wheel drive capability and is an outstanding small family SUV. The Audi Q3 has achieved a 5* NCAP rating for safety, so why not compliment this in the winter season with the correct equipment?

As we approach the winter season, you will be wondering why we are discussing winter wheels and tyres for a 4WD vehicle? Surely its purpose is to perform in just these conditions?

Well, you are correct to a point. As with most things in life, we sometimes have to make small adjustments to gain the best performance from any product, and winter tyres are just this example.

As with previous blog’s in the Audi ‘Q’ range; your Audi Q3 comes with summer tyres as standard, these perform as they should in the warmer conditions but struggle below 7 degrees. The rubber compound make up of a summer tyre does not have the flexibility in colder weather, snow, slush and ice, giving less grip and reduced handling and stopping distances.

Do you take your Audi Q3 away for that winter trip into Europe? This often requires you to have at least winter tyres fitted and is a requirement by law in certain regions.

As the Audi Q3 is the baby of the range, it already comes with wide wheels and tyres that fit the vehicle perfectly. However, as we have discussed in previous blogs, the narrower the tyre the better. Why? Well, the larger the tyre print on the road surface during winter conditions, the more difficult it is to gain and maintain traction, handling and stopping distances. Having a narrower tyre print increases all of these qualities that you expect from an Audi vehicle.

Ok, so what are we recommending? As we discussed, the narrower the tyre the better, however, when we get down to tyres on the Audi Q3, they are already a respectable size. Audi fit wide wheels as standard so that they do the job they are supposed to for 7 – 8 months of the year.

With our official partner, Tyremen, we have found the best solutions for your Audi Q3. There are three options open to you for the winter season.

If your Audi Q3 came with 17″ wheels, we advise dropping down a size to the 16″ option fitted with 215/65R16 tyres, there are several makes available from economy to premium. We would always advise fitting the best tyre possible.

Did your Audi Q3 come with either the 18″ or 19″ wheels? Then you too can drop down to the 17″ option fitted with 235/55R17 tyres, our partner Tyremen, stock winter tyres in this size in the mid to premium range. The best tyre for this size, giving outstanding winter performance, grip, handling and mileage is the Vredestein Wintrac 4 Xtreme. All tyres come in various speed ratings which cover all UK and European limits.

The wheels supplied by Tyremen are from the German company, Alutec, and perfectly compliment the look of the Audi Q3. The Grip wheel is as you would expect from a German manufacturer, high quality, a 5 year guarantee, TUV approved and looks great on any of the Audi ‘Q’ range.

But why should you do this and not just buy a set of winter tyres and have them fitted every year? Well that is an option. Winter tyres should last around 2 to 3 winters dependant on mileage. A set of wheels and winter tyres start around £700 for the 16″ package and from £1016 for the 17″ package.

To have the tyres swapped, balanced, and time to have the wheels refitted, this is usually around £120 per time, twice a year. Over the life of both sets of tyres, this could be a minimum of £700 plus the cost of tyres. With a car this good, we know you’re going to keep it for several years and this makes having the second set of wheels and tyres the perfect option.

Our partner, Tyremen, are able to offer a huge range of winter wheels and tyre packages or tyres only to have fitted to your current wheels.

We hope that you have found this blog informative for your Audi Q3 winter driving and it will enable you to make the right choice for you. If you require any further help or advice, then please feel free to contact the friendly team at Tyremen.

Tel: 08456 807808

Don’t get left out in the cold, Winter Tyre advice

safe-winter-driving

DON’T GET LEFT OUT IN THE COLD

Selecting the right tyre for your car is always something of a compromise. The vast majority of tyres fitted to cars in the UK are standard summer tyres. By comparison, in many other European countries it is a common practice for drivers to fit winter tyres in late autumn and revert back to standard tyres in the late spring.

For more information on winter tyres click here.

The UK perception that winter tyres only give  benefits on snow or ice is years out of date. Modern rubber compound technology and advances in tread pattern design mean that today’s winter tyres also provide higher levels of road safety on cold and damp road surfaces too.

Independent research commissioned by TyreSafe found that more than half of UK drivers feel less safe when driving in the winter. Their biggest worry is that they will be involved in an accident as the roads feel more slippery. With their additional levels of grip, winter tyres could allay this fear for many drivers.

STAY SAFE THIS WINTER

Through a typical 12 month period, the UK experiences temperatures ranging from +32C to as low as -15C.

Given such diverse weather conditions, it’s unreasonable to expect one type of tyre to provide consistently high safety levels.

Winter tyres provide:

• Higher levels of road safety during the colder winter months.

• Considerably shorter stopping distances on both wet and dry roads at low temperatures.

• Better mileage than normal tyres in winter weather.

The wear on normal tyres increases when used during winter months, reducing mileage by up to 20%.

KEEP ON TRACK WITH WINTER TYRES

Temperatures below 7C are experienced throughout the UK between October and March. The air temperature is crucial to your tyres’ ability to perform. When the temperature drops below 7C the tread compound in normal tyres begins to harden and gives you less grip.

The tread compound in winter tyres contains more natural rubber to minimise the hardening effect, which gives them extra grip in cold, wet and icy conditions. This means that with winter tyres you will experience significantly shorter stopping distances.

Today’s winter tyres are just as quiet and comfortable as normal tyres.

LOOK AFTER YOUR TYRES AND THEY’LL LOOK AFTER YOU

For peace of mind on your journey, make routine checks on your tyres.

Every 4 weeks check the pressure of your tyres when they are cold.

Check the tread depth of your tyres – the minimum legal UK tread depth is 1.6mm across the central 3/4 of the tyre, however we recommend that tyres are replaced before reaching this minimum level.

As your tread depth decreases your stopping distance in wet weather increases as the tyre isn’t able to disperse snow, slush and cold winter water quickly enough.

Check your tyres for damage. Look out for any cuts, cracks or bulges as these can lead to slow punctures and blow-outs.

Don’t forget to check the tread depth and air pressure of your spare tyre.

HAVE A SAFE JOURNEY

When driving in winter it is important to take some extra precautions to make sure that you are safe on the road.

Kevin Clinton, Head of Road Safety at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents said: “In poor conditions good visibility is vital. Always keep the windscreen and windows clear and check your lights are clean and working. Reduce your speed on slippery roads, and avoid harsh braking or acceleration. Increase the gap between you and the vehicle in front. You should also allow up to 10 times the normal stopping distance for braking, especially on motorways.”

So why not give the guys at Tyremen a call for free help and advice.

Tel: 08456 807 808

www.tyremen.co.uk

 

 

Are you prepared for winter driving?

safe-winter-driving

Here at Winter Tyre Reviews, we are always looking to offer you the best tips when it comes to cold weather driving. 

1.  Where do you keep your de-icer? In the boot like everyone else!    Don’t, keep a tin in the house and one in the boot. It’s better than having to boil the kettle to unfreeze the lock and you won’t crack your windscreen.
2. Have you checked your tyres? Make sure you have enough tread, don’t put off changing them because you think 2mm will do for now, you need more grip in winter conditions. Better still, if you drive a lot of miles to get to work, invest in winter tyres.
3. Get your tyre pressures checked, over or under inflated tyres will reduce grip and the vehicle will slide.
4. Is your vehicle front wheel or rear wheel drive? It makes a big difference. Its great driving the two seat sports vehicle or the rear wheel drive, but it will move a bit on snow or ice. Get a 25kg bag of sand (or even road salt, handy if you get stuck) and put it in the boot, it helps with rear wheel grip.
5. Keep the fuel tank topped up, it increases weight at the back, helps keep you warm if you get stuck.
6. Keep mobile phones charged and any other electronic gadgets you may need.
7. Warm clothes? Even short runs can end up with you getting stuck. Most people have an old sleeping bag in the loft or garage, put it in the boot. Have an extra coat or a fleece jacket, blanket, flask and energy bars
8. During cold winter weather, top up the washer bottle with un-diluted washer fluid. Don’t dilute it as it becomes less effective and will freeze in the bottle.
9. Check your wiper blades, don’t use them with ice on the screen; make sure its clear first. Replace worn wiper blades as you will need them to maintain visibility.
10. Make sure your anti-freeze is topped up and to the correct mixture, use your service book or talk to the dealer. When water freezes it expands and could damage the engine block, the water pipes and the radiator.
11. Check your lights and make sure you have spare bulbs with you, keep visible on dark nights and bad weather.
12. If your vehicle is parked up over the weekend, give it a regular overnight trickle charge in the garage.
13. Keep a dry pair of footwear in the vehicle, take off those big boots that are covered in snow as they will make your feet slip off the pedals.
14. Pop to your local motorists shop or DIY store, the smaller independents are usually best, and buy a 25kg bag of salt for your driveway. No point having a snow and ice free vehicle if you can’t get out of the driveway.
15. Clear all the glass with a scraper, don’t use hot water as this will crack the glass.
16. If the vehicle is covered in snow, start at the roof and move it all off. If you don’t, it will just fall over the glass as the vehicle gets warm inside.
17. Use your air conditioning, if appropriate, to keep the screens from condensation, frozen water inside is hard to remove. But remember, keep the temperature to 21-22C, it doesn’t need to be too hot inside when you have thick clothes on as this can make you drowsy.
18. When starting the engine, if it doesn’t fire up in the first 5 seconds or so, leave it for a minute before trying again to allow the battery to recover.
19. After you’ve started the engine, leave it for a minute to let the oil flow round, excessive revs can damage the engine. This will put power back into the battery.
20. Pull away in second gear, easing your foot off the clutch gently to avoid wheel-spin.
21. Driving up hill? Avoid having to stop part way up by waiting until it is clear of other vehicles or by leaving plenty of room from the vehicle in front. Keep a constant speed, choosing the most suitable gear well in advance to avoid having to change down on the hill.
22. Driving downhill? Reduce your speed before the hill, use a low gear and try to avoid using the brakes. Leave as much room as possible between you and the vehicle in front.
23. If you have to use brakes then apply them gently. Release the brakes and de-clutch if the vehicle skids.
24. Automatic transmission – under normal driving conditions (motorways, etc.) it’s best to select ‘Drive’ and let the gearbox do the work throughout the full gear range. In slippery, snowy conditions it’s best to select ‘2’, which limits the gear changes and also makes you less reliant on the brakes. Some autos have a ‘winter’ mode which locks out first gear to reduce the risk of wheel spin. Check the handbook.
25. If you get stuck, straighten the steering and clear the snow from the wheels. Put a sack or old rug in front of the driving wheels to give the tyres some grip. Once on the move again, try not to stop until you reach firmer ground.
26. Make sure that all electrical items, lights, air-con, heated screens, mobile chargers etc. are switched off before you turn off the engine, leave the engine running for a minute or two to replenish the battery. Use the same thought before starting, do not switch on the lights etc. before starting the engine, it will drain the battery.
27. And most importantly, give yourself an extra ten minutes in the morning to prepare your vehicle before you set off. It’s better than trying to see through a letter box sized slit in the ice on the screen.

For advice on winter tyres and wheels, call the friendly team at Tyremen on 08456 807808