Winter Tires vs All Seasons

Discussion in 'Cooper SE' started by Dezeinstein, Oct 4, 2023.

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  1. Dezeinstein

    Dezeinstein New Member

    Hi All,

    New to the forum - have really been enjoying reading your posts, especially during the grueling wait for our SE to arrive. We've now had our Island Blue since mid-June, and love how it drives.

    I've read through a bunch of the winter tire threads, and haven't found any opinions on the Vredestein Wintrac Pro, which are very highly rated on Tire Rack. So if any of you have used these on your SE, it would be great to hear your thoughts.

    We live in Portland and use the SE mostly for driving around the city. We also have an ICE AWD SUV for longer drives. Portland gets maybe 1 or 2 snowstorms each winter, and the city all but shuts down when this happens, as it doesnt have the equipment to clear anything but the largest arteries. there was a 10"+ storm late last winter that also wreaked havoc for a while.

    I'm on the fence as to get dedicated winter/snow tires (as we do on the SUV), or replace the summer tires with all seasons, and just not drive the mini when it snows. Either way here, it gets cold enough in the winter that the OEM summer tires will not work for us, if we're going to drive it at all this winter.

    Any thoughts from the seasoned Mini SE owners in the north?

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  3. SameGuy likes this.
  4. SameGuy

    SameGuy Well-Known Member Subscriber

    It's not just about snow accumulation, though: the rubber compound in most "all season" tires gets hard at temperatures below roughly 40°F, and these tires lose a significant amount of grip. If you know you'll be driving regularly in conditions where it's below 40°F, it might be wise to invest in winter-compound tires. For what it's worth, the thread mentioned above gives plenty of insight into the new generation of "all weather" tires like the Michelin CrossClimate, which feature larger sipes to shed water and slush, plus they use a durable compound which can survive summer driving similar to an all season tire while still giving plenty of winter grip.
    insightman likes this.
  5. Puppethead

    Puppethead Well-Known Member

    Personally I think the winters in Portland are generally mild enough for all-seasons to be sufficient. Ice is likely the biggest issue, based on what little I've heard on national news about NW winter conditions. In Minnesota we have extended periods of below-zero temperatures and roads get "snowcrete" packed on them for the entire season, so winter tires make a big difference. On my ICE MINI Clubman I have all-seasons for spring/summer/fall and switch to snow tires for winter, but I'm not concerned with rolling resistance with that car.

    If you like running on summer tires and plan to switch out every season then it's kind of a wash. You could pick tires which fit your preference and budget.
  6. carrrl

    carrrl Active Member

    An all weather like Nokian WRG4 are great for a Portland winter. DiscountTire will happily order and install those. Decent enough in those warm fake out weeks, really nice performance in the cold and wet, handles the snow we get just fine. You could even use all year if you don't mind a little range/performance hit.

    Now the ice situation is just ridiculous here, negligent and inexcusable. As if everywhere else in the world has some secret Portland has yet to discover. Unless your life/job depend on it, just stay home for a bit or use an appropriate vehicle. No sense in wearing winters or studs for 6 months "just in case."
    Rexsio, MichaelC and SameGuy like this.
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  8. Dezeinstein

    Dezeinstein New Member

  9. Dezeinstein

    Dezeinstein New Member

    We just moved here in March, but you are correct about winters here - generally gets into the 30s only at night.
  10. Mike Dunn

    Mike Dunn New Member

    Just picked up our 2024 Mini hatchback in the Iconic trim, with nifty P7 summer tires. We live in Salt Lake City and get plenty of snow but, luckily, the SE is our third car and, as such, it will not leave the garage during inclement weather. Will drive it when the streets are clear, so not getting/needing foul weather tires.
  11. SameGuy

    SameGuy Well-Known Member Subscriber

    Just note that below about 7°C/45°F, summer performance tires are about as grippy on bare pavement as hockey pucks on ice, so it's still unwise to roll on summer rubber during the winter even if the roads are clear.
    MichaelC and TimB like this.
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  13. Mike Dunn

    Mike Dunn New Member

    Excellent point. I'll park the car until May.
    SameGuy likes this.
  14. revorg

    revorg Well-Known Member

    Here's an interesting video that speaks to one of our questions: should we be using tires designed for EVs? Warning - there are many questions that get a "maybe" answer. The video is from Tire Rack, published by INSIDEEVs.
  15. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member Subscriber

    "Interestingly, Tire Rack found that worn tires increase range quite substantially. However, those same worn tires aren't as safe and don't perform as well."
    I wonder how this is true. Is it because worn tires
    a. are lighter
    b. are more aerodynamic
    c. don't stick to the road, or
    d. don't expend energy through tread squirm?
    SameGuy likes this.
  16. fishbert

    fishbert Well-Known Member
    "Rolling resistance is at its peak with new tires. As a tire wears, rolling resistance gradually decreases by about 20%. This is due to less tread mass and rubber squirm. The tread compound also hardens during a tire’s years of service and exposure to the elements."

    ... 20% is a rather significant change
    insightman likes this.
  17. GetOffYourGas

    GetOffYourGas Well-Known Member

    To be clear, the SE does just fine in cold weather and snow/ice conditions. The traction control is top notch. It’s just the summer tires that kill you. So put proper tires for your local climate and enjoy the car year round!

    Then again, if you want to park the car to avoid road salt, I can’t blame you for that. It will certainly stay in better condition that way.

    Sent from my iPhone using Inside EVs
    SameGuy and carrrl like this.
  18. CuriousGeorge

    CuriousGeorge Well-Known Member

    Not that it matters to anyone other than me, but this is what I decided to do. I thought about getting winter wheels and tires and swapping back and forth, but didn't want the hassle. We'll see how it goes... depending on the severity of this winter, I may get to drive my SE a few times each month December - February, or not at all (unless I deliberately choose to take advantage of a warmer day).
    GetOffYourGas likes this.
  19. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member Subscriber

    I have winter and summer Loop Spoke wheels. Soon it will be time to put on the winter ones. Then I'll have to get my jollys from the MINI's handling in the snow when the snow gets here.

    However, driving around on dry pavement with winter tires is much, much less fun, even though safer than summer performance tires in winter temps. I don't know what you'll be driving while your SE pines for warm-weather respites, but I'm sure you'll really enjoy those rare days when you can take your SE out on the road.

    I keep telling myself I'm extending the life of my Hankooks while my Michelins are carrying me through to Spring. Meanwhile, you'll be extending the life of your MINI (and your summer tires) while your winter car is carrying you through to Spring.
    SameGuy likes this.

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