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Discussion Starter #21

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Sounds like you've made up your mind to go RWD, so maybe I'm wasting my time.

If you live in an area with snowy / icy roads for 3-4 months of the year or longer, Ice radials and AWD are hard to give up once you've had them.

BMW's Xdrive is wonderfully hidden( it takes a side by side driving test on the track for most anyone to notice the difference) until you need it and it is pretty durable, not too many on here reporting needing to replace/rebuild transfer cases, front diffs or front half shafts before the cars are ready for the scrap yard.

If I buy a track car it won't have xdrive, but where I live, for the small extra cost I wouldn't buy a daily driver without it. Lots of people here daily drive 2WD cars and trucks in the winter and quite a few on all season tires only, but they don't know the difference. Like I said once you do it's hard to go back.
 

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One thing no one talks about here

There's an issue with winter tires. They do not stop as effectively on cold, dry days.

So, if you live in an area with intermittent snow which is plowed regularly, you would be actively decreasing your safety by using winter tires. Except for during snowstorms, all-seasons or even summer tires would outperform winter tires on dry, cold days on clean roads during the winter.

The break-point between all-seasons and winter tires, temperature wise, seems to be about 40 degrees. So, at/around 40 degrees ambient air temperature, all-seasons harden up and become less effective. However, as they have more more flat, and fewer biting surfaces than winter tires, they retain better cold, dry weather stopping/turning ability than winter tires for a good bit longer, especially if your commute is longer than a couple of minutes and they warm up as you drive.

It's not clear from my reading online where the preferential break point is in these cold, dry conditions, as various sources all disagree with one another ... 20 degrees? 30 degrees? 40 degrees?

It is clear from what I've seen that during the extended fall and spring periods many of us face, when temperatures can be 20 one day, and 50 another, with wet weather and dry weather intermittently changing places, winter tires can be very helpful some days (softer compound is likely better for braking on a very cold day), and actively harmful on others (less flat surfaces means less grip on a dry warm day).

Where I live in Boston, we have 10-15 heavy storm days a year, compared to about 80 days of cold, dry weather. That means that switching to winter tires increases your stopping distance and decreases your safety approximately 80 days a year, while decreasing your stopping distance and increasing your safety for 10-15 days a year.

The question is: which tradeoff makes more sense to you?

For more on this topic, with data from road tests on cold, dry days:

1) https://jalopnik.com/winter-tires-are-great-for-ice-and-snow-but-not-on-dry-1821468055

2) https://www.automobilemag.com/news/rubber-matter-tires-test/
 

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There's an issue with winter tires. They do not stop as effectively on cold, dry days.



So, if you live in an area with intermittent snow which is plowed regularly, you would be actively decreasing your safety by using winter tires. Except for during snowstorms, all-seasons or even summer tires would outperform winter tires on dry, cold days on clean roads during the winter.



The break-point between all-seasons and winter tires, temperature wise, seems to be about 40 degrees. So, at/around 40 degrees ambient air temperature, all-seasons harden up and become less effective. However, as they have more more flat, and fewer biting surfaces than winter tires, they retain better cold, dry weather stopping/turning ability than winter tires for a good bit longer, especially if your commute is longer than a couple of minutes and they warm up as you drive.



It's not clear from my reading online where the preferential break point is in these cold, dry conditions, as various sources all disagree with one another ... 20 degrees? 30 degrees? 40 degrees?



It is clear from what I've seen that during the extended fall and spring periods many of us face, when temperatures can be 20 one day, and 50 another, with wet weather and dry weather intermittently changing places, winter tires can be very helpful some days (softer compound is likely better for braking on a very cold day), and actively harmful on others (less flat surfaces means less grip on a dry warm day).



Where I live in Boston, we have 10-15 heavy storm days a year, compared to about 80 days of cold, dry weather. That means that switching to winter tires increases your stopping distance and decreases your safety approximately 80 days a year, while decreasing your stopping distance and increasing your safety for 10-15 days a year.



The question is: which tradeoff makes more sense to you?



For more on this topic, with data from road tests on cold, dry days:



1) https://jalopnik.com/winter-tires-are-great-for-ice-and-snow-but-not-on-dry-1821468055



2) https://www.automobilemag.com/news/rubber-matter-tires-test/


It is much more complicated than that.
45 degrees or around 7 degrees celsius is when winter tire becomes better choice than summer tire. All seasons are complicated. There are UHP all seasons tires (presuming that would be used on F30 in case AS tire is used) and they will harden before 40 degrees. The compound necessary for performance part (to put it this way) is abundant in UHP AS tires. AS tires like Michelin Premier A/S might retain flexibility longer, but they are not best solution for car like this in the first place.
There is no better solution for winter than winter tire. Do not forget, there are winter tires which retain superb performance all the way up to 60-70 degrees, like Michelin X-ice (i have them) or winter performance tires specifically designed for European market and cars.


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I suggest going with what is conceptually most comfortable for you. I am in Minnesota and prefer RWD with snows. I dislike the feel of AWD and, unlike some others here, can easily tell the difference at all times.

Keep in mind that while AWD may help you accelerate under certain conditions, it does not provide greater handling, cornering, or braking - despite what the marketing implies. Tires are what matters.
 

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Discussion Starter #26
I suggest going with what is conceptually most comfortable for you. I am in Minnesota and prefer RWD with snows. I dislike the feel of AWD and, unlike some others here, can easily tell the difference at all times.

Keep in mind that while AWD may help you accelerate under certain conditions, it does not provide greater handling, cornering, or braking - despite what the marketing implies. Tires are what matters.
Great discussion, everyone. Thanks!
 

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It is much more complicated than that.
45 degrees or around 7 degrees celsius is when winter tire becomes better choice than summer tire. All seasons are complicated. There are UHP all seasons tires (presuming that would be used on F30 in case AS tire is used) and they will harden before 40 degrees. The compound necessary for performance part (to put it this way) is abundant in UHP AS tires. AS tires like Michelin Premier A/S might retain flexibility longer, but they are not best solution for car like this in the first place.
There is no better solution for winter than winter tire. Do not forget, there are winter tires which retain superb performance all the way up to 60-70 degrees, like Michelin X-ice (i have them) or winter performance tires specifically designed for European market and cars.


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It's more complicated than that! :)

Not every winter is the same. If you look at OP's first post - he's in Northern Ohio. That area has relatively warm winters compared to places where winter tires are an absolute must. The average weather temperature in winter is in the high 20s, low 30s F.

They have significantly more dry+cold days than snow+ice days. A bunch of testing has shown that in dry+cold conditions, winter tires are not as effective at stopping as all season tires. Obviously, you shouldn't run soft compound summer tires in the winter.

However, the question of "are you better off safer on 90% of the days when it's cold and dry, or 10% of the days when it's wet and snowy" is more complicated than just "put on winter tires".

I think for OP, and for all of us making this choice, it really depends on how much you need the additional handling provided by winter tires in poor conditions vs the superior performance of all-seasons in better conditions.

It's a trade-off, and it's not as obvious as one might think.

*If you live in Alaska, get winter tires.
 

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It's more complicated than that! :)



Not every winter is the same. If you look at OP's first post - he's in Northern Ohio. That area has relatively warm winters compared to places where winter tires are an absolute must. The average weather temperature in winter is in the high 20s, low 30s F.



They have significantly more dry+cold days than snow+ice days. A bunch of testing has shown that in dry+cold conditions, winter tires are not as effective at stopping as all season tires. Obviously, you shouldn't run soft compound summer tires in the winter.



However, the question of "are you better off safer on 90% of the days when it's cold and dry, or 10% of the days when it's wet and snowy" is more complicated than just "put on winter tires".



I think for OP, and for all of us making this choice, it really depends on how much you need the additional handling provided by winter tires in poor conditions vs the superior performance of all-seasons in better conditions.



It's a trade-off, and it's not as obvious as one might think.



*If you live in Alaska, get winter tires.


In northern Ohio one needs winter tire more often than here in Colorado.
Only thing that matters is that one time when you need them, not 90% or 10%.
Current Bridgestone Driveguard I have on minivan are actually worse in dry on warm days than Michelin Latitude Xi2 I have for winter.
Generally, All Season tire is IMO absolute POS. They are compromise.
As I tell people, no one died from not going forward fast enough, but from not being able to stop fast enough.
How good all seasons are in dry/cold. Indication are winter tire tests done by ADAC. They can be accessed on www.adac.de. They have braking tests and they always mix all season or all weather tires in testing.


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Handling is improved by pulling action of front tires when turning and braking bettered by additional resistance of front tires on decel/ compression braking, and increased control when resuming accel from brake/coast.
 

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Discussion Starter #30
Generally, All Season tire is IMO absolute POS. They are compromise.
The only tire I have ever used on all of my cars is Michelin all season tires. They have been a fantastic performer and never had a problem or lack of traction, no matter what the weather. I swear by them. I suppose everyone has their opinion.
 

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The only tire I have ever used on all of my cars is Michelin all season tires. They have been a fantastic performer and never had a problem or lack of traction, no matter what the weather. I swear by them. I suppose everyone has their opinion.


There is saying: you are entitled to your opinion, not facts.


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There is saying: you are entitled to your opinion, not facts.
Of course, but how is that statement applicable here?
 

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Of course, but how is that statement applicable here?


Bcs. winter tire will outperform ANY all season tire during snow, ice, slush, freezing rain, black ice, cold dry asphalt. While you might think they perform good, that is only relative to what? Another all season tire? On AWD car? For me during winter months performance of the tire is measured by handling and especially braking. I ski more than 60 days a year, driving each time to ski slopes, and never saw anyone dying from not being able to move forward. But saw plenty from not being able to stop.
Summer tire will outperform all season tire in warm/hot environment.
I had numerous Michelin all season tires, I mostly use Michelin. And while they are good tires, there is a reason why I take them down before winter, or why I had on my cars tires like Michelin Pilot Super Sport in summer, and not Michelin Pilot A/S.
https://youtu.be/GlYEMH10Z4s
There are numerous videos like this. You can make whatever you want out of them. But, next winter if you drive through the Rockies on I70, you might be required to have snow tires, and reason for new legislation are drivers who have “good” traction on all seasons.
In the end, you are getting BMW, not Camry. Use summer performance tires like Michelin Pilot 4S so you can use all potential of your car. There is a reason why BMW pits on high end models or M models summer rubber. In Europe you would never get all season tire on a vehicle. You drive on summer rubber in summer, and winter rubber in winter.
It is simple.


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Handling is improved by pulling action of front tires when turning and braking bettered by additional resistance of front tires on decel/ compression braking, and increased control when resuming accel from brake/coast.
No.

If this were true, front wheel drive cars would have the best handling. But they unarguably do not and we all know this to be true.

For example, instead of "pulling action" which increases turning, front wheel drive cars understeer and plow through corners. AWD cars exhibit this same characteristic understeer to the extent the front tires are being used to power the car forward. It is a simply a matter of physics.
 

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No.

If this were true, front wheel drive cars would have the best handling. But they unarguably do not and we all know this to be true.

For example, instead of "pulling action" which increases turning, front wheel drive cars understeer and plow through corners. AWD cars exhibit this same characteristic understeer to the extent the front tires are being used to power the car forward. It is a simply a matter of physics.
yes, in extreme weather FWD is superior to RWD from a safety and handling standpoint. Dedicated snow tires will help, AWD will also help. File under: Hills and Freezing Rain

I see from earlier in the thread that you prefer RWD to AWD and live in the land of flat salted roads
 

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...For example, instead of "pulling action" which increases turning, front wheel drive cars understeer and plow through corners. AWD cars exhibit this same characteristic understeer to the extent the front tires are being used to power the car forward. It is a simply a matter of physics.
You need to get your physics right. More weight on the front wheels (usually added by braking) increases grip for the front tires, and decreases understeer. It is just not correct to say that awd (and fwd) cars always understeer.
 

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No.



If this were true, front wheel drive cars would have the best handling. But they unarguably do not and we all know this to be true.



For example, instead of "pulling action" which increases turning, front wheel drive cars understeer and plow through corners. AWD cars exhibit this same characteristic understeer to the extent the front tires are being used to power the car forward. It is a simply a matter of physics.


It is not only FWD. It is position of an engine and the way suspension is executed. There are some FWD cars that are utterly horrible in snow.
Then there is Audi whose engine hangs out somewhere around front headlights. That NSU derived concept from 1960’s is great in snow, especially with Torsen AWD. Not so much carving backroads when understeer is obvious at higher speeds.
Understeer will be dependent on execution of a vehicle. Slight understeer in xDrive is not comparable to “Audisteer.”
In the end of the day, position of the engine in cars that have well executed suspension (BMW, Audi) determines understeer level.
Than you have Toyota Sienna AWD that I drive now where torque steer is present regardless of an AWD.

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It is not only FWD. It is position of an engine and the way suspension is executed. There are some FWD cars that are utterly horrible in snow.
Then there is Audi whose engine hangs out somewhere around front headlights. That NSU derived concept from 1960’s is great in snow, especially with Torsen AWD. Not so much carving backroads when understeer is obvious at higher speeds.
Understeer will be dependent on execution of a vehicle. Slight understeer in xDrive is not comparable to “Audisteer.”
In the end of the day, position of the engine in cars that have well executed suspension (BMW, Audi) determines understeer level.
Than you have Toyota Sienna AWD that I drive now where torque steer is present regardless of an AWD.

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FWD cars horrible in the snow either have the wrong tires or terrible electronic traction control systems.
 

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You need to get your physics right. More weight on the front wheels (usually added by braking) increases grip for the front tires, and decreases understeer.
Yes, when braking there is more weight on the front wheels. This is the same whether FWD, RWD, or AWD. And I never stated otherwise. :)

FWD and AWD understeer is a result of both driving the wheels and turning them at the same time. That is, there is less traction available for turning when some of the traction is already used for propelling the car.

And keep in mind, the majority of the time one is not driving in snowy/icy winter conditions. You are stuck with AWD the rest of the year when the roads are dry. I acknowledge for many this is no problem, but for me I hate the feel of an AWD car when the roads are perfect.

I see from earlier in the thread that you prefer RWD to AWD and live in the land of flat salted roads
No, I live in a hilly area, including a 1/4 mile uphill driveway.
 
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