View Single Post
Old 12-08-2009, 05:26 AM   #1
Registered User
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Ohio
Posts: 1,633
Summer tires in Winter - a Public Service Announcement

Many---maybe most---of you may not have even opened this thread, knowing full well what itís about. This is submitted for those who had no clue.

Found out the hard way how poorly summer performance tires react to the cold a couple nights ago. Was leaving the house to go retrieve some take-out (Italian) for dinner. It was cold (mid 30s, I suppose) but no precip at the moment. As I backed out of the garage and up the driveway, we started getting some misty rain, which picked up as I drove the 3-4 miles to the restaurant. (I initially considered switching cars---I donít too often drive the Box in the rain. But, since I was already rolling, I was lazy, didnít feel like switching and blew off the idea.) Most of the way there, I was leaving a busy intersection and, being at the head of the pack, I decided to put a little space between me and the cars behind me. Going up this moderately steep hill, I punched it a bit. Millisecs later, I was sideways, and ended up doing a complete 360, colliding with the curbing on the passenger side. In the process, I managed to take out someoneís mailbox, which exacted its revenge by exploding my sideview mirror and then banging mercilessly onto the top of the rear quarter panel of my blameless car. Also managed to tear a fatal gash in a relatively new (~8K miles) right rear tire. She needs work, for sure, but it could have been worse: I stayed on my side of the road, no other vehicles were involved and there were no boys in blue to witness the excitement. But as hard as I work maintaining the finish on this car, hours and hours of back-breaking detailing, it was a painful lesson.

Some of you guys had warned me about this before. RandallNeighbor and bmussatti come to mind, but I know others have mentioned it. (When I asked, in one thread a bit over a year ago, whether driving summer tires in the winter was hard on the tires, bmussatti replied ďit is mainly detrimental to your sheet metal! ") Summer tires just ainít too grippy in the cold, and get downright slippery in the wet and cold. I grew up driving a RWD back in the Ď70s (1964 Buick Skylark), but for the past two decades itís been mostly FWD vehicles with all season tires, a relatively safe arrangement even in inclement weather. Got the Box about 3 years ago and, as indicated, donít really drive her much in the cold and, until the other day, virtually never in the wet and cold. Iíve got Goodyear F1 Eagle Asymmetrics on the car, pretty nice tires that were rated great for use in the rain. On those fairly rare occasions Iíve driven in the rain, that has proven true. Unfortunately, as I quickly learned---the hard way---that characteristic is true when itís warm rain.

Last edited by Frodo; 12-08-2009 at 05:31 AM.
Frodo is offline   Reply With Quote