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Winter tyres and changing

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Dear all,

Winter tyres - have relied on chains when needed before but am feeling the vibe to move towards having winter tyres for the drive to and from resort next season.

Numpty question I'm sure, but for those that have winter tyres are you able to swap them over yourself or do you need to have this done by a local garage?

Thanks for the advice.
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If you buy winter tyres on wheels then it's possible to do it yourself, if you just buy winter tyres then you need to take them to a tyre place.
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If you are planning to use winters on your existing rims you will need a the local tyre fitter to swap them. If you have winters on a spare set of rims then you can change the wheels yourself. You can buy wheel/tyre packages on-line or kwik-fit/ats ** offer a buy/swap/store service. ** other tyre vendors are available.
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I have mine put on as part of a "free" dealer pre-winter checkup (where they take the wheels off to check the brakes anyway, they hope that they can find stuff which needs to be done to boost their sales), and taken off again as part of the annual service in April. My summer wheels are alloys, and the winter wheels were bought as steel rims with winter tyres mounted, so all that has to be done is to reset the tyre pressure sensor system for the second set of wheels, for which they add £10 to the charges. On a previous car without sensors, I swapped them myself once, but really couldn't be bothered with the hassle.

I advised my insurer that the car had steel rims and winter tyres for ~half of the year. They shrugged (via email) and said it made no difference to the premium, especially as I pointed out to them that the steel rims were a standard fit on the base model of my car.

I've also had it done by a local tyre fitter, at £15 a time, until the sensors put paid to that - he didn't have the kit to reprogram the car.
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We have them on a separate set of wheels and change them ourselves.
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Some cars need to have narrower tyres fitted (i.e. separate set of winter tyres & steel rims) in order to have enough clearance for snow chains. Narrower winter tyres also perform better in winter conditions.
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Thanks all. To those who have them: I don't suppose you have a Skoda Octavia Estate per chance? Just looking for some recommendations. I would buy them on rims and look to change myself since the tyre pressure calibration can be performed via the car management system.
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@Page23, are you looking for recommendations on what tyres/rims to buy or where to buy them? Or something else?
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@Page23, no, not a Skoda - but if you buy rims with winter tyres pre-fitted, you'll have to either specify them with pressure sensors pre-installed, or the first thing you'll have to do is to get a tyre fitter to remove the tyres and put a sensor in place. The car may be able to re-calibrate the sensors if you do a front/rear wheel swap for example since it already knows all the sensor IDs, but can it cope with running two completely different sets of sensors which are swapped over? On mine (Zafira), it can't, and a bluetooth programmer is needed to map the sensor ID to the car's wheel position. It remembers only 4-5 IDs (spare wheel), not 8-10.
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@Page23, yes I have 2016 Octavia estate with winters on steel rims. It’s a Scout so slightly different from standard. Happy to answer any questions though. You should find specs for the winter rims and tyres in owner manual though, with notes about which are compatible with snow chains.

@ousekjarr, no need to worry about pressure sensors. On Skoda they are on wheel bearing/ hub so no sensor on wheel or tyre.
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@Inboard, if there’s no sensor on the tyre then how does it know you’ve lost pressure?
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@SnoodlesMcFlude, An indirect pressure system works on the rolling speed of the wheel - if your tyre has lost pressure, it will
roll at a different speed from the other wheels and trigger the sensor on the ABS
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Page23 wrote:
feeling the vibe to move towards having winter tyres for the drive to and from resort next season.


Not only to/from resort, I reckon they are a positive boon just driving around the UK, especially oop norf and beyond or when we get the chaos of 1cm of fresh or even just a frosty morning.

I use an all season that has the snowflake symbol and legal in Germany/Austria. They suit a 4x4 so I just run them all year round but then I don't do starship mileage these days. They do wear a bit (but not much) quicker than normal tyres but then they start with 8mm of tread**. And for some bizarre reason they are cheaper than equivalent summer tyres. I buy via My Tyres and have a local place fit for £15-20 a corner. I've had Vredestein, Nokian and Bridgestone and v happy with them all - the chains remain unused in the bag.

Lots of people say to tell your insurer by the way. I tried doing that and they didn't appear to be interested. I guess if a tyre is legal it's legal.


** Below 4 or 5 mm of tread they lose their effectiveness and you definitely notice it.
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@grollox, ah makes sense, cheers.
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First port of call may be your car dealer, even if it's just to get a baseline reference cost. I got my first set of winter wheels & tyres from the dealership garage that supplied my car new: this included free swapping twice a year so the cost difference (compared to an independent) wasn't great and that's what I opted for. Subsequently, I went to a reputable independent wheel+tyre place locally and for my current car, they did me a set of cheap alloys and tyres. They then do a swap every spring/autumn for about £28 all-in.

Take a look at your Owner's Handbook or ask the garage - for more powerful models, the winter wheel spec's are often different to the summer ones e.g. 1" narrower wheels and 20mm narrower tyres for my BMW 2 Series 3.0L model. Conversely, for our Peugeot 206 the wheel size doesn't change for winters. For the latter we just went to QuickFit as no new wheels were involved and the price was competitive. The first set of winters on the Peugeot we ran through summer as well - it's really only a local runabout, so while the tyres wore faster it wasn't a big deal. The latest on the Peugeot are Michelin Cross Climate all-seasons, which seemed a logical evolution of this approach for a runabout on the South Coast. Fr our main car that goes to the Alps, I decided that full winters were better than all-seasons (the latter being not great by comparison in snow / summer heat).

You may still need to carry chains, unfortunately, as they can be compulsory up mountain roads if the conditions are bad. Even if you're pretty sure the winter tyres are fine. In reality, in the ten years since I started using winter tyres for Alpine trips, I've never needed to resort to chains, even in pretty bad conditions. But I can hardly complain that the winter tyres work so well.
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 Poster: A snowHead
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Thanks all.

As ever, this site provides a wealth of information and advice - much appreciated!
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Are there any decent online sites that sell the tyres and rims as a package?
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Page23 wrote:
Are there any decent online sites that sell the tyres and rims as a package?

mytyres.co.uk
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https://mytyres.co.uk/ - German company, UK web site. They deliver by courier in 3-4 days straight from Germany. Good prices, excellent service, and if needed they are happy to deliver them to a fitter for you. They have links to reviews of tyres, though beware that a tyre which performs well as a 195/55/R16 may not perform as well in a 225/60/R18, etc.
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ousekjarr wrote:
https://mytyres.co.uk/ - German company, UK web site. They deliver by courier in 3-4 days straight from Germany. Good prices, excellent service, and if needed they are happy to deliver them to a fitter for you. They have links to reviews of tyres, though beware that a tyre which performs well as a 195/55/R16 may not perform as well in a 225/60/R18, etc.


thanks - that's really helpful
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Page23 wrote:
Thanks all. To those who have them: I don't suppose you have a Skoda Octavia Estate per chance? Just looking for some recommendations. I would buy them on rims and look to change myself since the tyre pressure calibration can be performed via the car management system.


We do, my partner has a 2014 4x4 Octavia, it sees a fair bit of off road and snowy use going to see her horses in the winter. We've used Nokian WRD4's for the last two years. They are more a winter biased all season but the summers here are so wet we left them on all year.

I just put a new set on last week, the old set had covered 20k and the rears still had 5mm of tread, I decided to put a new set on keep these as spares as I got a good deal on four fitted. We use the smallest stock size of 205-55-16, Tyre leader do some good deals with steel wheels.

I use a more all season biased tire as the winters on my car (Cooper S) as its on some very non standard suspension and would eat most softer winters alive.

Be careful as the 5E (our variant) uses 5x112 as the bolt pattern, some of the earlier WV group stuff uses a different pattern. The cross over point from 5x100 to 5x112 was around 2006 from memory.

The Skoda sizes and wheel offsets are below.

Tire Rim Size PCD (bolt pattern)
205/55R16 91V 6.5Jx16 ET46 5x112
205/50R17 91V 6.5Jx17 ET46 5x112
225/45R17 91V 7Jx17 ET49 5x112
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I no longer have my Subaru Forester but this year I too have bought an Octavia Scout. I've been using Nokian A3s for a few years now, absolutely love them and have never needed chains once, even though I live at the top of a steep Austrian hill.
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Oh, my local garage charges £20 to change 4 tyres so not bad value.
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@Scarpa, £20 per tyre in SW London!!
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@Ozboy, The drive to North Wales is a bit far for you Madeye-Smiley
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@Scarpa, Is that a Wrexham garage if so which one?
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@Matrski, Keith Jones and Son, near Penyffordd, about 8 miles from Wrexham, same distance from Chester. Absolutely fantastic service, known for sometimes doing small jobs and not charging for them Laughing

https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Automotive-Repair-Shop/Keith-Jones-Son-Ltd-390829370988750/
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@Scarpa, Thanks, I pass it going to work so will pop in.
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@Ozboy, if you can get to east London, Eurofit Tyres will change them for £15/wheel. (Address if you want to look them up: 50 Prince Regent Lane, London E13 8QQ.)
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In winter keep two curling stones or the equivalent in the boot of that RWD Mercedes.

You will definitely need winter tires.

Get used to small FWD cars zipping past as you slip slide along.
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 Poster: A snowHead
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TQA wrote:
In winter keep two curling stones or the equivalent in the boot of that RWD Mercedes.



Is that so if you get stuck on a slippery icy road you can have a game instead? Toofy Grin
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@Page23,
Once you have had winter tyres and used them in testing conditions then you will never want to do without them.

I first put them on a RWD BMW 320 and they were so much fun on snowy roads. On one trip I was disappointed that we hadn't had any snow on the roads so managed to find a snow covered empty car park to practice my snow skills ( Play Smile ).

One point to be aware of is that they enable you to stop so much quicker than anything with summer tyres on so you need to be aware of the gap behind you as well as in front, you need to leave a big enough gap in front of you so that when you start to brake and the guy behind you on summers plainly isn't going to stop you have a space to drive into. Nothing much more scary than seeing an X5 on ultra low profile summers heading towards the back of your car and if it's downhill probably accelerating.

The summer wheels that came with the 320 were low profile large radius centres. I bought new smaller radius centres (still within the spec as official equipment) so I could fit the fatter tyres which helps with the winter handling.

Useful link and some facts about insurance and winter tyres from the Association of British insurers here
https://www.abi.org.uk/products-and-issues/choosing-the-right-insurance/motor-insurance/winter-tyres/
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Thanks again for the replies.

It just so happens that someone has offered me a set of winter wheels. I have a Skoda OCTAVIA estate 2014 with wheel measurements of 225/45 R17. The winter wheels are 205/55 R16. Does anyone know if I could swap to these for driving to the alps? - I couldn’t find any helpful information in my owners handbook.

Thanks for any help!
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Page23 wrote:
Thanks again for the replies.

It just so happens that someone has offered me a set of winter wheels. I have a Skoda OCTAVIA estate 2014 with wheel measurements of 225/45 R17. The winter wheels are 205/55 R16. Does anyone know if I could swap to these for driving to the alps? - I couldn’t find any helpful information in my owners handbook.

Thanks for any help!


I don't see why not, as long as the studs line up. I'm no expert, but the first dimension is width(a lot of cars have wider rear than front now), the second is depth of tyre from rim to etremity/ground - both in mm. The next is the rim size, which is in inches(odd huh?).


Way I see it, you'll have winter tyres 20mm less width than your existing. They will have 10mm more tyre from rim to ground, but rims are one inch less(so I guess 12mm radius less). Basically, pretty close to what you alreedy have; a little narrower(probably better for snow), and a couple of mm difference in radius, making no discernable difference. Way I see it, and like I said, no expert.


I'm assuming you mean Winter Wheels, with Winter tyres on.

Smile


Last edited by You need to Login to know who's really who. on Tue 9-10-18 19:06; edited 7 times in total
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This will help you make a comparasion of tyres ... https://www.tyremen.co.uk/tyre-size-calculator
Just make sure the wheel centre, bolt pattern and offset are suitable.
Cheers
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SteveBrown wrote:
Page23 wrote:
Thanks again for the replies.

It just so happens that someone has offered me a set of winter wheels. I have a Skoda OCTAVIA estate 2014 with wheel measurements of 225/45 R17. The winter wheels are 205/55 R16. Does anyone know if I could swap to these for driving to the alps? - I couldn’t find any helpful information in my owners handbook.

Thanks for any help!


I don't see why not, as long as the studs line up. I'm no expert, but the first dimension is width (some cars have wider rear than front now), the second is depth of tyre from rim to extremity/ground - both in mm. The next is the rim size, which is in inches(odd huh?).


Way I see it, you'll have winter tyres 20mm less width than your existing. They will have 10mm more tyre from rim to ground, but rims are one inch less(so I guess 12mm radius less). Basically, pretty close to what you alreedy have; a little narrower(probably better for snow), and a couple of mm difference in radius, making no discernable difference. Way I see it, and like I said, no expert.


I'm assuming you mean Winter Wheels, with Winter tyres on.

Smile


Not quite, the second figure is aspect ratio, which is the height of the sidewall divided by width, expressed as a percentage.

The circumference of a 225/45/17 and the 205/55/16 are both 1937 mm according to this site https://www.errolstyres.co.za/content/tyre-overall-rolling-diameter, so a perfect match. That said, providing they fit over the brakes, don't get too hung up on size matching.
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@Page23,

As @SteveBrown mentioned, if it is a complete set of rims and winter tyres you have been offered you need to check the rims and bolt pattern is compatible with your car (info on compatible wheels here).
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Val Desire wrote:
SteveBrown wrote:
Page23 wrote:
Thanks again for the replies.

It just so happens that someone has offered me a set of winter wheels. I have a Skoda OCTAVIA estate 2014 with wheel measurements of 225/45 R17. The winter wheels are 205/55 R16. Does anyone know if I could swap to these for driving to the alps? - I couldn’t find any helpful information in my owners handbook.

Thanks for any help!


I don't see why not, as long as the studs line up. I'm no expert, but the first dimension is width (some cars have wider rear than front now), the second is depth of tyre from rim to extremity/ground - both in mm. The next is the rim size, which is in inches(odd huh?).


Way I see it, you'll have winter tyres 20mm less width than your existing. They will have 10mm more tyre from rim to ground, but rims are one inch less(so I guess 12mm radius less). Basically, pretty close to what you alreedy have; a little narrower(probably better for snow), and a couple of mm difference in radius, making no discernable difference. Way I see it, and like I said, no expert.


I'm assuming you mean Winter Wheels, with Winter tyres on.

Smile


Not quite, the second figure is aspect ratio, which is the height of the sidewall divided by width, expressed as a percentage.

The circumference of a 225/45/17 and the 205/55/16 are both 1937 mm according to this site https://www.errolstyres.co.za/content/tyre-overall-rolling-diameter, so a perfect match. That said, providing they fit over the brakes, don't get too hung up on size matching.



Thanks for that. It's a bit complex(going to have to look up aspect ratio). Is there really any chance they won't fit over brakes? I can't imagine it.
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No reason why that tire size will be unsuitable but you'll have to check some other dimensions to be sure the rims are compatible.

The number of wheel studs, obviously. The PCD is the size of the circle the studs are located on (pitch circle diameter). The hole on the centre, which has to fit your hub as it locates the wheels centrally.
The rim size 16inch has to clear the brake equipment internally (brake calipers) as you currently have 17inch.
Also a reading of ET is normally marked on the wheel itself somewhere near the wheel bolts. This is how far the centre line of the wheel rim is offset from the face which is fixed to the car.

It's easiest just to try one on the car if you are unsure and availability is possible. Many of them look identical and are completely interchangeable, but some dimensions are showstoppers.

Full information would be (just for the wheel rim) diameter, number of bolts, pcd, bore size, et, to give a complete picture.

The tires also have a load rating expressed something like 94V, which is important for your vehicle as it denotes how much load the tire carcass can support in normal use. The vehicle should have a spec for this listed somewhere. The V in that spec is the maximum speed rating. Strictly speaking you can use a higher ratedutire but not a lower rated one to comply with vehicle safety.
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I would look harder in the vehicle handbook. The one for my Mondeo listed multiple wheel and tyre combinations as valid for it.
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