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tomnash

Use of standard summer tires in freezing temperatures?

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I live in the SF Bay region with a 2007 C4Cab and still with the factory Michelins. I understand that Porsche advises winter tires for driving below freezing even on snow cleared roads. Since I rarely get into these conditions, I am not thrilled about spending several K$ on a set of wheels and tires just to get across the Sierra or drive across Nevada in winter for a week or two. And less thrilled about putting tires on that won't perform well in normal driving here in paradise.

I understand that the soft summer tires will harden up at winter temperatures. What are the exact issues with using them? Safety at normal freeway speeds (say under 100 mph)? Extra wear? Damage to the tires? Extreme bad handling? Or are they usable with some care on dry roads? What about a little snow (1 inch say)? etc.?

Thanks for any input.

Tom

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I live in the SF Bay region with a 2007 C4Cab and still with the factory Michelins. I understand that Porsche advises winter tires for driving below freezing even on snow cleared roads. Since I rarely get into these conditions, I am not thrilled about spending several K$ on a set of wheels and tires just to get across the Sierra or drive across Nevada in winter for a week or two. And less thrilled about putting tires on that won't perform well in normal driving here in paradise.

I understand that the soft summer tires will harden up at winter temperatures. What are the exact issues with using them? Safety at normal freeway speeds (say under 100 mph)? Extra wear? Damage to the tires? Extreme bad handling? Or are they usable with some care on dry roads? What about a little snow (1 inch say)? etc.?

Thanks for any input.

Tom

Tom:

You should not use soft summer tires whenever the temperature drops below 35 to 40 degrees (Farenheit). It's not a matter of extra wear or damage to the tires, and "extreme bad handling" is putting it mildly. Driving with them in snow is somewhere between an accident waiting to happen and actual suicide.

Take a look at this thread on PPBB, where they discuss the "Pucker Factor" elicited by driving with summer tires when they should not: http://www.ppbb.com/scgi-bin/boards/986/main.pl?read=1261144

Regards, Maurice.

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All tires are designed to perform best in a certain temp range. Max performance summer tires have extraordinary grip down to around 40F. Below that temp. most traction goes out the window. Max summer tires on snow and ice = no traction at all. Look around for a good used set of wheels and put some narrow all season tires on for winter. This will give you better grip in all weather and get you to Tahoe in one piece when the roads are clear. A sharp eye could probably find a winter set for $600-$800.

Edited by Topless

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You can always get a set of high performance all-seasons when you change your tires next. Then there will be nothing to worry about wherever you go. You will be sacrificing high end snow tire like snow/cold temp. performance, and high end summer performance, but they will work a lot better in all temp. ranges than just summer or winter tires.

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i drove my box last winter on worn out summer tires.

it is doable, but not suggested.

drove it in negative temperature as well..

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If yoiu are running 19" wheels you will probably find it difficult to get 19" winter tyres , plus there is the added risk of damaging the alloy from sliding into a snow covered kerb and the salt damage. Probabaly better to buy either a set of used 18" wheels and put on winter tyres or maybe buy a set of aftermarket alloys and get the tyres as part of the deal. There are suppliers of 18" sport techno replica alloys on e bay and most alloy wheel suppliers at a good price. You probably will not be driving your car any where near as hard as you do in the summer so I wouldn't worry about the N Tyre rating or the fact the wheels are not OEM. Your main focus is staying on the road and preventing the suspension and bodywork taking on a different form. I drove my 987 on both pirelli winter tyres and michelin PS2 summer tyres in light snow. The michelins were completely useless on even the smallest of gradients , whereas the Pirellis gave the traction on snow you would expect in the wet with the summer tyre. Driving a Porsche on snow without a winter tyre just isnt worth the risk IMHO.

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I know a lot of people including myself, said that summer tires aren't safe in freezing temps. But I drove 12° to 32°, on a twisty road at 50mph making 25-35mph turns, with no problems. There was no snow on the roads but it was cold. I actually don't think you would have a problem unless you are driving through snow, because the friction will heat up the rubber.

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I know a lot of people including myself, said that summer tires aren't safe in freezing temps. But I drove 12° to 32°, on a twisty road at 50mph making 25-35mph turns, with no problems. There was no snow on the roads but it was cold. I actually don't think you would have a problem unless you are driving through snow, because the friction will heat up the rubber.

I think this is correct -- for dry roads, the tire will heat up enough to be safe for occasional use as you describe. I started this thread and perhaps wasn't clear enough. If I were going up to Tahoe every weekend I would certainly get all weathers (and maybe even the $700 chains!). I asked the question because I may need to drive up to eastern Washington state for a week or so, a desert area with little or no snow, and 30-ish temperatures. On the way, one may go through some passes which are usually not snowy or icy. Similarly, I may want to head out to Utah, across Nevada, avoiding any snowy roads (taking the southern route if necessary). So I really was asking about cold but dry roads -- and only very incidental and occasional travel on them. It hardly seemed spending $4000 or so for this was warranted.

Tire Rack will provide a full set of recommended all weathers on the low end wheels, mounted, for $3700, BUT they do not have the tire pressure sensors for 997s -- so even that option doesn't work.

The Porsche manual is rather vague on this. Just a Maintenance Note "We recommend fitting winter tires on the vehicle at temperatures below 45°F (7°C)". I think this is meant to apply to places where you will be continuously driving at real winter temperatures.

And the Michelin website says nothing about low temperature use on these tires. This is strange since they have all kinds of warnings about tire pressures and even tables of recommended minimum pressures at various maximum speeds. I sent Michelin a question about this last week, which has been acknowledged, but not answered yet - probably delayed because of Thanksgiving. I will post any answer I get.

And, oh yes, I used to live in Illinois with a Honda S-2000. Driving on snow wasn't a problem, because I couldn't even get the car out of my flat driveway if there was anything white visible on it. So, I suspected that the summer 997 tires would be like this -- and I appreciate the confirmation from messages on this thread. I will certainly avoid snow!

Tom

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Michelin PS2s are simply amazing tires. I've used them as my extreme cold / rain tire on the track. Many days in the mid 20s at the start of the morning and they stuck just fine. Just be cautious and be sensible to the conditions at hand. Now I can say from experience, that the PS1s were terrible in the cold...

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Michelin PS2s are simply amazing tires. I've used them as my extreme cold / rain tire on the track. Many days in the mid 20s at the start of the morning and they stuck just fine. Just be cautious and be sensible to the conditions at hand. Now I can say from experience, that the PS1s were terrible in the cold...

I should be getting a new '08 C4S Cab in mid dec. Im here in No VA and the temps are dropping below 40 and will remain so till at least Mar. Sounds like the first new purchase would need to be snow tires as this going to be my daily commuter car.

It seems everyone leans towards tire and rim packages. What is the downside of just mounting the snow tires on the current rims and switching them back out again in the spring? Am I missing something? Just hate to store one more thing in the garage.

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For those of you using all season tires for winter use ... any advice on specific brands/ models? I am running on standard 19 inch C2S wheels.

Thnks

LCB

I use the Porsche-supplied Winter Continentals on my 18-inch winter-only wheels. They're great.

HTH

Damon

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For those of you using all season tires for winter use ... any advice on specific brands/ models? I am running on standard 19 inch C2S wheels.

Thnks

LCB

Dunno about all season (that's too much of a compromise for me) - but the Pirelli 240 Winter SnowSports are full winter compound, "N-zero" rated, and are available in 235 and 295 width in 19' fitment for the 997. I have a set on takeoff Lobster Forks on my C4S (yes, the rears are 10mm narrower than stock 305s). They are quiet and stable on dry roads.

While these wide tires violate all normal winter tire fitment schemes (generally go with -1 or -2 sizing to reduce tread width, that helps you go straight in the snow) - they look great and go like Hell in any snow less than a couple of inches. That being said, if there's more than a couple of inches of snow, your front clip becomes a snow plow... not good.

I bought them for cold days with clear roads, but sometimes I just can't help myself and have to go out and play snowmobile... I love the look of amazement on peoples' faces when I launch, throwing snow from all 4 tires... :-)

Good luck!

-don

Edited by dstrimbu

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Michelin PS2s are simply amazing tires. I've used them as my extreme cold / rain tire on the track. Many days in the mid 20s at the start of the morning and they stuck just fine. Just be cautious and be sensible to the conditions at hand. Now I can say from experience, that the PS1s were terrible in the cold...

I should be getting a new '08 C4S Cab in mid dec. Im here in No VA and the temps are dropping below 40 and will remain so till at least Mar. Sounds like the first new purchase would need to be snow tires as this going to be my daily commuter car.

It seems everyone leans towards tire and rim packages. What is the downside of just mounting the snow tires on the current rims and switching them back out again in the spring? Am I missing something? Just hate to store one more thing in the garage.

The main problem, aside from the extra time, effort, and $$ it takes to dismount and remount the tires, is the wear and tear (read nicks, scratches and bumps) that the typical tire installer will put on your nice rims.

As far as storage, it doesn't take much more space to store 4 tires mounted on rims than to store 4 tires.

Regards, Maurice.

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All it took for me was one ice skating trip down a lonely country road in my c4 with P Zero Neros on it to buy another set of rims and a set of Blizzaks. Even at 15 mi per hour, the front end got pretty badly mangled. I barely missed wrapping the driver's side around a power pole. Talk about pucker factor.

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following on from this, does anyone know how well the winter tyres fare in standing water ?

I can tell you that brand new Mich PS2's dont fare well....

poortom01Large.jpg

David

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There will be a lot of Scottish drivers with standard 18"(996)/19"(997) N4 Pirellis scratching their heads at this topic.

We all know thay take time to warm up in the cold so we drive conservatively until then. For my sins, I live in Spain in the mountains but having lived the majority of my driving life in Scotland.

The Pirellis are fine once warmed up. Driving in snow is of course another matter!!

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I dont own a porsche yet but looking in to buying one. I own a BMW and I am sure it works the same in a porsche. Dont even attempt it.

My car had summer tires when I bought it and salesman warned me about them in freezing temps. Needless to say I ignored him. Let me tell you, I could not get out of flat parking lot of a supermarket after 10 mins of freezing rain. Rubber freezes and turns real hard, it is almost driving with tires made out of porcelain. (0 traction) Again I am sure severity depends on the specific make & model of the tire(mine were conti-sport). Now I am running all season tires which is more than enough for my car since I am not tracking it anymore.

As long as you are not racing your car on a track, I think quality high performance all season tires have enough grip in dry for most drivers.

From my experince, never use summer tires in freezing temps which turns hard like glass and provide 0 traction.

Edited by gokcer

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My experience has been that the summer tires seem to work well in the dry but their limit of adhesion is lower and when they let go they completely let go. In the wet or in the snow the problems are much more pronounced.

So you might get away with using summer tires in the winter but the more you do it the more you are risking your safety.

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