RaVolVoR wrote:Here's a question for you guys in the snowy stuff... say you get the puncture and have to switch to the temp spare, would your chains still fit? I'm just curious as I've never driven in severe snow, are they adjustable for the narrow section?
The most snow my car will ever see is the London traffic stopping 2 inches we get once every 4 years, so I'm not likely to ever think about snow chains/winter tyres etc, I'll just stay home and watch the nutters in BMW's burnt out their clutches (I live on a hill and this is generally what happens after sprinkling of snow!
It's about percentage probability..... the likelihood of picking up a puncture while negotiating roads covered in snow are very, very low. TBH, the likelihood of picking up any puncture these days is low - unless you frequent the hard shoulder or live near a building site etc. So I think the question is, for the most part, theoretical but here goes: I would pop the temporary spare on the car as a means of limping to a safe haven / home. And then I would sit tight until the weather improved, the puncture is repaired (usually half-day) or I obtain a new tyre. The valley we visit for skiing has a Shell petrol station that sells winter tyres and chains - I would hope they could order me in a replacement tyre but it's a long shot because of the 22" size. I am cautious about risk but even I avoided the full-size spare and the chances of this happening to me are remote.
I have tried one snow chain on my Alfa Romeo 33 when the nearside snapped (cheap Halfords set when money was a bit tighter than it is now - mortgage, children etc.). One snow chain don't work on a gentle incline. Might try it again if I had run out of other options but wouldn't hold out much hope.
Of course, experiencing a puncture while on black roads is no different with a winter tyre than a summer one - the temporary spare will go on for miles and miles, just more slowly!
There are many things I sometimes worry about in life but a puncture to a winter tyre actually while in the snow isn't one of them.
Probably another for Arianne to give feedback - if he has not yet gone and willing?
Told the dealer salesman that one of the purposes was to take it to the Alps for Skiing - but didn't follow up to ask the correct questions - if only I had the knowledge from these pages... Have checked the tyres (now with 2.5k miles) on the FPace and of course they are the P Zero's and feedback elsewhere doesnt make me feel any better...
However we have been taking cars to the Alps since 1980, some years with clear roads and some with snow. These include an early 80's Audi 90 Quattro (when there was a huge dump the previous night) and had to get to Val d'Isere on inches of snow, a later RS6 up to La Thuile with snow falling, and over the St Christoph pass (to avoid the tunnel toll!!, but also to 'drive' the snow). One of the first XC90's to Val again - with snow coming down, two different X5s - coming down from Les Menuires with snow on the road and falling. All the AWD cars never once gave me a problem with traction or steering. I was never busting a gut to be fair, so local delivery vans were asked to pass me
as I didn't rush to do in a c£30-£50k car! (Even took a Quattroporte over the Col d'Iseran in the summer, but thats a different story)
The point being, that in these 35 years, I had no idea what tyres were on the vehicles, and never had to use chains. All cars were sourced in the UK, so "normal" tires would have been on any of the vehicles. So am I worrying unnecessarily for a holiday like the OP? Or will the P Zeros be seriously worse technology than the tyres of the 80s and 90s - maybe because then tyres were all rounders, rather than for specifics??
So here's my take on the foregoing: First up, AWD cars are no different to your bog-standard Vauxhall Astra FWD when it comes to steering or stopping - oh yes, actually they are...... they're a whole lot more heavier to stop or steer once they have picked up momentum. All of them, including the humble Astra, stop by braking on four wheels and steer on the front two. So, if they are all wearing summer rubber boots then it's ice-skating time for the driver. No thank you.
Turning to acceleration traction - I guess that AWD on Summer tyres will be slightly more effective than the Astra (although I am unsure whether the Jaguar's rear wheel drive bias is such a good thing in snow & ice). Most AWD cars / SUVs have a front wheel bias (your Volvo XC90 certainly did, as I had one on a 2006/06 plate too). But the difference will be minor and, on an incline, of little impact. Back in 2010 & 2011 we had truly arctic conditions up here in The Scottish Borders for weeks. I received a call from the lad to go and rescue him from his Xmas job at Currys, Galashiels where he made some money each year between university semesters. It had snowed heavily and he didn't fancy the return trip in his old Peugeot 206. So off I went in my XC90 and remember passing a SsangYong AWD / 4WD which was stranded on a hill with all four wheels whizzing but no traction - wrong tyres you see.
I love AWD because of the fact you can get the traction down so well, it is great in adverse weather and it's safer. But what connects the driver, passengers, car, the electronic wizardry and your pet dogs with Planet Earth is the same for everyone - the four rubber boots in each corner, Dacia Sandero or Jaguar F-pace. So, because I live in Scotland and we ski-drive every year it's a no-brainer for me - I buy my winter tyres online in the late-Summer / early-Autumn and that's that. If I lived in Southern England and didn't ski drive then I wouldn't bother with anything other than standard Summer tyres.
Best wishes, tyres sound boring but there's more the them than first meets the eye! I never share this story with friends as they wouldn't be friends for long!!!! But this is a car enthusiasts forum so I hope it's not too boring, at least you can choose to skip this thread if it's not your thing