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Winter tyre report

Discussion in 'A3/S3/Sportback (8P Chassis)' started by remslie20, Dec 19, 2010.

  1. remslie20
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    remslie20 Member

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    [Dec 19, 2010]
    Just a quickie for anyone out there thinking of putting some winters on their fwd audi a3's, do it! I have a3 s/b 140tdi s-line and as some of you will know they are absolutely sh*t in the snow. Put two winters on the front and i cant begin to tell you the difference it has made. It's still not amazing but a Huge improvement!:thumbsup:
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  3. paddy
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    paddy Audi=No fault code, no idea

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    [Dec 19, 2010]
    I know its daft but check with your insurance company especially direct line and Churchill as they up the premium. If you do make a claim make sure you swop back to std tyres before an assessor See's them.
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  4. marlc0
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    marlc0 New Member

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    [Dec 19, 2010]
    If you're putting winters on, it should be either 4 or nothing. The car still needs to brake with all 4 wheels.

    On the topic of winters, I was looking at getting a set. Will 16" fit? I've got a 2.0FSI, 05.
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  5. sub39h
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    sub39h Active Member

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    [Dec 19, 2010]
    should do. you could order a 2.0FSI SE which came with 16s from the factory. think you could order a standard car as well, with 15s.
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  6. icenutter
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    icenutter Member

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    [Dec 19, 2010]
    The insurance thing is a load of so and so. You wouldn't tell your insurance company if you changed brand of tyres from, say, Dunlops to Continentals. So why for winter tyres? Secondly the association of British insurers has released a statement saying that insurers should not load premiums, and people should ask for a refund if they have been charged.
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  7. paddy
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    paddy Audi=No fault code, no idea

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    [Dec 19, 2010]
    Buy a quattro :)
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  8. remslie20
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    remslie20 Member

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    [Dec 19, 2010]
    I know a lot of people say this but to be honest after trying out the braking and handling etc on empty car parks/roads etc with heavy snow/ice i have to say i am happy to stick to just the front two. The braking is much improved and at no point has the back end tried to kick out. It does oversteer if you are agressive with the steering into a corner but thats when provoked and the ESP does a good job of straightening it out and to be honest i prefer the oversteer to having it understeer as it feels as if you have more control. I can understand putting four on if it's four wheel drive and definately if its rear wheel drive but i dont think a lot of the tyre companys would be happy to sell/fit you just the two if they didnt think it was safe as their arse would be on the line! Think its more just the usual rip off Britain thing imo.
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2010
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  9. remslie20
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    remslie20 Member

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    [Dec 19, 2010]
    Did test drive a couple of S3's the other week and must say i didnt think it would be as good as it is, very impressed with it's abilities. Unfortunately funds at this time of year stopped me buying it! :0(
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  10. Vertigo1
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    Vertigo1 Well-Known Member

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    [Dec 19, 2010]
    4 x no grip = 2 x no grip

    If your tyres aren't touching the tarmac then 4WD isn't going to help much. Obviously it's better than 2WD but even winter tyres on a 2WD would be an order of magnitude better than summer tyres on a 4WD.
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  11. RobinA3
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    RobinA3 Well-Known Member

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    [Dec 19, 2010]
    Driven a car with full winter tyres and the difference was amazing, this was in Germany where its the law to have winter tyres fitted during the winter months.

    Quattro will help in snow but not as much as winter tyres. Quattros is great for pulling out of junction when its greasy.
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  12. sub39h
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    sub39h Active Member

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    [Dec 19, 2010]
    i think that opinion only applies to braking. for traction and general mobility the extra grip afforded by the two extra driven wheels will definitely be noticed, but arguably braking is far more important than going and as you say if you're not able to stop having two extra driven wheels isn't gonna make a blind bit of difference.
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  13. paddy
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    paddy Audi=No fault code, no idea

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    [Dec 19, 2010]
    I will remember that tomorrow as i sail past all the other cars stuck on the hill leading to my works :) The only time the quattro has got stuck was when the snow was deeper than the ground clearance...but even then i got unstuck. Brilliant in the Summer, Brilliant in the Wet and brilliant in the snow...now...you were saying ??
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  14. cabby86
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    cabby86 Member

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    [Dec 19, 2010]
    I sold my 8L S3 and replaced in with a MK5 Golf 2.0 TDI, I have run winter tyres on 15 inch steels this winter and so far they have been nothing short of fantastic!! The snow in Oxfordshire has meant the roads have been really quiet bad over the last 2 days, but it hasn't stopped me at all, been getting around with no problems (overtook and X5 struggling to get up a hill, the driver looked very confused as I drove past!!).

    I just wish I had something with quattro as well, I will hopefully be back in an 8P S3 in the new year.

    Chris
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  15. remslie20
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    remslie20 Member

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    [Dec 19, 2010]
    Was very impressed with the S3 i test drove on summer tyres, took it accross a back road that i wouldnt have even dreamed of going over in the 2wd and it copped very well. Even when the rear stepped out (again only when provoked) it was very contralable and gave a great deal of confidence, braking was much improved too. An S3 on winters i would imagine would be sufficient for most situations and would only be limited by it's ground clearance, better option for me than buying a landy or Rav4 etc when finances allow!!
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  16. Brett Butler
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    Brett Butler Member

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    [Dec 19, 2010]
    I think a quattro on summer tyres would get around pretty well most places, maybe sheet ice on a hills would catch it out, but for me the most impressive part of the winter tyres is the braking even on sheet ice you actually can stop.

    But as I have said before, I got some hankooks winter tyres, so far I have not even been close to getting stuck, even on sheet ice on hills, driven in 9" no problems at all, it is dam impressive when you pull away and you just go, then brake and you stop, as long as you do not lock the wheels, and ease off the brakes if they are close to ABS coming in..
    #15
  17. sub39h
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    sub39h Active Member

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    [Dec 19, 2010]
    just trying to put your post into context:

    do you drive a quattro or FWD?
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  18. Brett Butler
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    Brett Butler Member

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    [Dec 19, 2010]
    S3
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  19. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [Dec 24, 2010]
    I have just seen this item about Winter Tyres on the AA Driving in Europe website. If you're thinking of taking you car to Germany in the winter BEWARE...

    On the 4th December 2010, new regulations regarding winter tyre requirements were introduced in Germany.
    This new regulation applies to all motorised vehicles using roads in Germany, including those registered abroad so vehicles registered in the United Kingdom are affected. It is now [FONT=Verdana,Verdana][FONT=Verdana,Verdana]prohibited to use summer tyres in Germany during winter weather conditions [/FONT][/FONT]- summer tyres are predominantly fitted to vehicles in the United Kingdom.
    Winter weather conditions include [FONT=Verdana,Verdana][FONT=Verdana,Verdana]black ice, snow, ice, slush and hoarfrost[/FONT][/FONT]. Please bear in mind that these conditions may also be present even if the temperature is above 0 degrees.
    German law specifies that the tyres must be [FONT=Verdana,Verdana][FONT=Verdana,Verdana]winter tyres [/FONT][/FONT]or all [FONT=Verdana,Verdana][FONT=Verdana,Verdana]season tyres [/FONT][/FONT]designed for use in wintry conditions. Suitable tyres will normally be marked '[FONT=Verdana,Verdana][FONT=Verdana,Verdana]M+S[/FONT][/FONT]', however these can also be marked with a [FONT=Verdana,Verdana][FONT=Verdana,Verdana]snow flake [/FONT][/FONT]or [FONT=Verdana,Verdana][FONT=Verdana,Verdana]snowy mountains [/FONT][/FONT]symbol.
    Motorists, whose car is equipped with summer tyres may not take the car on the road in winter weather conditions. Motorists in violation face fines of €20. If they actually obstruct traffic, the fine is €40. You may also be [FONT=Verdana,Verdana][FONT=Verdana,Verdana]prevented from continuing your journey [/FONT][/FONT]unless the tyres are changed or the weather conditions change.
    #18
  20. spencer361
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    spencer361 Member

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    [Dec 24, 2010]
    Ive got a sportback 2.0Tdi s line and took it to switzerland for the weekend a month ago, got to the bottom of the resort mountain and the 18 inch continental were poo, had to leave it at the bottom and jump in my mates A4 quattro. Bought a set of 16 inch steelies with continental winter tyres, arrive next week so the alloys are defo going in my garage in france
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  21. PilotAudi
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    PilotAudi New Member

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    [Dec 24, 2010]
    Quattro is so much better but Winter Tyres are absolutely needed with snow. I don't think the Contis are at fault!
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  22. spencer361
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    spencer361 Member

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    [Dec 24, 2010]
    no don't worry, not faulting the contis, just helped me realise that snow tyres are a good decision when its snowing
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  23. Vertigo1
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    Vertigo1 Well-Known Member

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    [Dec 24, 2010]
    Just can't justify a set of winter tyres and wheels for a odd bit of snow we get here in the UK.
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  24. Lee_R
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    Lee_R Active Member

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    [Dec 24, 2010]
    same here, a couple of years ago nobody even stocked them, no need for them in this country! As soon as they were mentioned on the news the country went mad for this new craze!
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  25. Vertigo1
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    Vertigo1 Well-Known Member

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    [Dec 24, 2010]
    With all the media hysteria, you'd think we were in the midst of a Roland Emmerich movie, yet despite all the snow we've had here, the roads are now totally clear again after a few days of misery. The last time we had snow of truly epic proportions which lasted for any length of time was 20 years ago during the winter of 90/91.

    If you live in the Scottish highlands then maybe winter tyres are a good investment but, for most of us, they're a waste of money IMO.
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  26. Lee_R
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    Lee_R Active Member

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    [Dec 24, 2010]
    Wouldnt worry too much about this Dave, virtually all tyres sold in the uk are classed as "all season" so chances of being done if you go to the Germany are very slim
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  27. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [Dec 24, 2010]
    I generally go to Germany in the summer for holidays so it's not really a problem to me, but the AA's item does say "summer tyres are predominately fitted to vehicles in the United Kingdom". As I understand it most of the normal tyres fitted in the UK are OK down to about 7 degrees C but Winter tyres are better below that temperature even if there is no snow or ice on the road. Do our All Season tyres have the snow flake symbol as required by German Law.

    I know a high percentage of German drivers have a set of Summer and a set of Winter tyres. I've often seen the Winter set hangning on the wall of open garages when I've been on holiday. Also on the Configurator on the Audi Germany website you can price up a new car with two sets of wheels and tyres, one for Summer and one for Winter.

    It does seem that in the UK everyone expects the authorites to spend lots of money to ensure that the roads are OK in the winter but baulks at the idea of having to actually spend any money themselves to help the situation.
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2010
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  28. Khufu
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    Khufu Active Member

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    [Dec 25, 2010]
    So true LOL. My A3 is shocking at the moment LOL but like eveybody else the thought of having to outlay XXX on a 2nd pair of wheels/tyres is verging on scary LOL. Mind you - i live above my work & have no commuting i kinda lucky LOL
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  29. remslie20
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    remslie20 Member

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    [Dec 25, 2010]
    I wasn't keen on the outlay either but now i have them and can see the difference they make plus the fact that they will last at least two probably three + winters then the price doesn't seem that bad! At the end of the day if it means the missus is safer whilst driving it then i wouldnt mind paying trebble the price i paid!!
    #28
  30. ~RS~
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    ~RS~ Active Member

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    [Dec 25, 2010]
    Interesting post guys!

    Man I want a quattro :(
    #29
  31. Vertigo1
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    Vertigo1 Well-Known Member

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    [Dec 25, 2010]
    Whilst proper winter tyres may well function better below 7C, the fact remains that our "all season" or "summer" tyres still work perfectly adequately at temperatures far lower than this, so the only real *need* for winter tyres is when there's a lot of snow and ice on the roads, which just doesn't happen often enough to warrant the cost, IMO.
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  32. Brett Butler
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    Brett Butler Member

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    [Dec 25, 2010]
    Until you have driven with winter tyres, you don't appreciate the difference, it is huge
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  33. Vertigo1
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    Vertigo1 Well-Known Member

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    [Dec 26, 2010]
    The fact remains that, 99.99% of the time, our "all season" tyres do a perfectly adequate job, so why bother changing them? Winter tyres may be better but, if your driving isn't being hindered by summer tyres then paying for winter ones is a waste of time and money.

    If and when I get to the point where, for a considerable amount of time during the winter, I feel my progress is being hindered by my tyres, then I may consider winter ones a worthwhile investment. I'm not going to hold my breath tbh :)
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  34. PilotAudi
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    PilotAudi New Member

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    [Dec 26, 2010]
    Winter tires or M+S make a world of difference IMHO. If we continue to get the terrible snow here I will be considering getting some. Had some about 25 years ago on an old XR2 and they were priceless. Lots of power and FWD is **** in snow and ice.
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  35. Vertigo1
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    Vertigo1 Well-Known Member

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    [Dec 26, 2010]
    "Continue to get the horrible snow"? That's my whole point - this is the worst snowfall we've had here in years yet the roads were totally clear again within a couple of days.

    If others want to splurge on winter tyres and wheels then knock yourselves out - all I'm saying is that I really don't see the point for the few days each year when it would offer a significant advantage. I've got better things to spend that kind of money on tbh :p

    It's much the same as Quattro tbh - I didn't bother speccing this as, for me personally, it wasn't worth the additional cost. YMMV and everyone has differing opinions on the "worth" of various features. We're all entitled to our opinions and no-one is "wrong" per se :)
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2010
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  36. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [Dec 26, 2010]
    Perhaps one day we will catch up with Germany when it comes to the use of cars. The UK is so far behind in just about every aspect of car and road use.
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  37. Brett Butler
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    Brett Butler Member

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    [Dec 26, 2010]
    Vertigo1 ever heard that saying no use shutting the gate after the horse has bolted? rather like winter tires, and quattro, but then that is down to how you drive if you appreciate/need it or not.

    Ofc if you dont need to drive in snow conditions, then I see your point, but just remember snow tires are not all about snow, they are really about cold temps, though stated below 7c, no ice at 7c, but when there is black ice, they might just save your life, may just stop that kerbing, lots of ifs, but imho well worth it, as you can leave them on all through the summer to.
    #36
  38. Vertigo1
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    Vertigo1 Well-Known Member

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    [Dec 26, 2010]
    It's all a question of degrees and priorities. Yes I'm sure winter tyres are safer than summer ones but then a Defender with winter tyres is far safer still so why don't you have one of those for when the weather gets nasty? Can you not just accept that different people have different needs and priorities? I've never disputed that winter tyres are better in low temperatures, not just in snow, it's just that I personally don't feel the cost and hassle is justified given that I'm capable of driving perfectly well on standard tyres for 363 days of the average year.

    The same could be said of Quattro - it's safer so why don't we all spec it. Again, given that it increases the cost of the car, reduces the economy, costs me more in tax and reduces the boot space, I don't feel the benefit justifies these disadvantages. I'm not disputing that Quattro is "better", just that it's not "better enough" to justify the cost - the same applies to winter tyres *for me* :)
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2010
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  39. remslie20
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    remslie20 Member

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    [Dec 26, 2010]
    On summer tyres my a3 easily breaks traction if the roads are greasy/damp if on a slight incline not to mention if they are caked in snow so i think i'll be keepeing these winters on till at least march regardless!
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2010
    #38
  40. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [Dec 26, 2010]
    It does depend on your situation. I'm retired and can choose when and if I go out in my A3 in bad weather. If I had to get up and go to work every day I would definely consider winter tyres but as I don't they could be an expensive luxury. If the law required me to fit them, as in Germany, then there would be no question, I would obviously fit them.

    I must admit I do like the German idea that if you get stuck in the snow, cause an obstruction and you do not have winter tyres fitted the fine is doubled.
    #39
  41. Brett Butler
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    Brett Butler Member

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    [Dec 26, 2010]
    Well I hope it is made Law in this country, like Germany, cos I am sick and tired of people clogging the roads up driving on tires that are far from suitable, you would not dig a post hole with a trowel, why do people expect to be able to drive around on tires in snow and ice that are not suitable, then blame the highways agency for not clearing the roads quick enough. I bet many are pretty ell illegal for any weather.

    As for Cost, I just get tires swapped around and not bother with rims.

    Tbh I don't think a defender is any safer than my S3 on winter tires, it just drives through thicker snow, in fact if I put thinner snow tires on mine I would say it is safer than a Defender on sheet ice.
    #40

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