AutoExpress tests winter tyres

Gordon Hesketh-Jones provides useful feedback on his tyre choices as a heavy MGBGTV8 user and highlights an AutoExpress winter tyre test.

Which? magazine winter tyre test report. More

See our briefing note on winter tyres. More

Are winter tyres worth the expense? - see our article from December 2010. More

Are snow socks a low cost alternative to winter tyres or snow chains? More

See a winter tyres update from Chris Hunt Cooke. More

Further update. More

Posted: 191211

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Visit the AutoExpress website and see a video clip of their useful tyre tests. More
Gordon Hesketh-Jones, an all the year round high mileage MGBGTV8 driver, notes "AutoExpress ran a reasonably scientific Winter Tyre test in one of their October editions, the actual tests being carried out in Sweden for the snow tests and then in Hanover for the dry and wet comparative tests."

Gordon adds that "predictably the Continental tyres came out best - but we all know that they are sold out. Mentally I had decided (old-fart prejudice) against the Asian makes, but I was quite impressed by the scores for Hankook etc.
I do have some spare V8 wheels but feel that my main requirement is in improved braking; I have frequently driven home through snow from Exeter or Plymouth and have found that the RWD MGBGTV8 with its old-fashioned low-end torque can maintain traction even when modern FWD cars are spinning their front wheels to a frustrated standstill. I plan therefore to fit initially Winter tyres to the front only; as to the make, the chart above is useful, but it depends on availability.

AutoExpress mention and I see that their local fitting agents charge £17.45 for fitting, balancing and disposing of the old tyre. I also spoke to my local ATS depot who have been supplying my tyres for approaching 30 years and they quoted £15 per corner.

On a related point, all my V8 mileage has been on Michelin X tyres and their various successor versions. These tyres carry a pronounced bead around the side, this being originally at the behest of Mercedes who required it to protect their newly-introduced alloy wheels. I routinely asked ATS last August to order some new Michelins for me; every so often I called in to check progress, and last week ATS became frustrated and did some serious delving - only to find out that our size of tyre in that X-successor range (the Energy/MXV) has been totally discontinued. As a result of this I plan to switch to Hankook tyres (if I can get them) as they came out well as an all-season tyre.

Remember you don't need snow for winter tyres to show a benefit for winter driving - they work considerably better in all conditions as temperatures drop below 7C. In some parts of the UK that can be as early as September or October. With average winter temperatures of 3.7C, winter tyres can offer 60% more grip than summer tyres and noticeably more traction and steering response.
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