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Old 01-16-2013, 08:09 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Yet another tire question - This time regarding winter driving

I've read a couple places here and there that the tires installed on the C5 should not be driven on cold or near freezing cold pavement. If this is true, why would the temperature of the road make any difference to the tire?

I've got 40+ years driving all kinds of cars under all kinds of conditions and never heard this before. Precip in the form of rain or snow I understand--but dry pavement? Is it a traction issue, wear issue or something else?

Thanks for the input and continued education!
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Old 01-16-2013, 09:57 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Yet another tire question - This time regarding winter driving

It is not only temp of road but air temp......some types of rubber get harder in cold weather. If the road is cold there must be cold air temp as well. I know if I drive my Z in december on dry roads I can't get any traction and can grab pretty good third gear "rubbber"....I think it is air temp that is the most important.....cold air cold road,warm air temp warm road.....I hope this make somes sense to ya......
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Old 01-17-2013, 03:43 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Yet another tire question - This time regarding winter driving

I was mainly concerned with safety. Is it there more risk involved driving with these higher performance tires during winter (even if it is dry) than regular, daily-driver tires.

My thinking was that I'd drive my Z06 during winter, but only on dry pavement. I won't if it poses a danger to myself or others.
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Old 01-17-2013, 07:07 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Yet another tire question - This time regarding winter driving

If you have the ultra high performance or DOT Competition tires, the manufacture says not to run them durning temps below 32 degrees. The reason is you will ruin the grip properties of the tires. I have two sets of tires in my basement waiting until spring before I put them on my Z06 and my track Miata. I haven't drove my Z since the 1st of Nov since I'm in the middle of an engine rebuild. However if I could drive it I would drive the old tires until spring.

As far as safety, ultra high performance summer tires have different compounds than all season radials. They just won't grip the same in the cold weather. So grip is your main concern. Other than that you can run them they just won't heat up like they would normally.
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Old 01-17-2013, 07:12 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Yet another tire question - This time regarding winter driving

Traction! Driving a bone-stock Z06 when it is cold outside is like driving a supercharged/turbocharged car with crazy horsepower. There is a major lack-O-traction :D Kinda fun-but be careful!
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Old 01-17-2013, 08:43 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Yet another tire question - This time regarding winter driving

Here's an article I found on summer tires and the difference of winter. It's says what I said earlier but much more completely.

Tread patterns and compounds vary among the seasonal tire types, and summer performance tires are different than winter and all-season types. Their tread does have grooves intended to shed water and prevent hydroplaning, but the main goal is to maximize the surface area that contacts the pavement, so the channels are narrower and often shallower. For the same reason, grip on dry surfaces tends to increase with wear, even with all-season tires.


The main goal of performance tires is to maximize the surface area that contacts the pavement.

Also crucial to performance-tires' traction are the rubber compounds, which are softer than all-seasons and better able to mold into the pavement's rough texture. The tradeoff is lower treadwear ratings and a shorter lifespan. Soft compounds might sound similar to winter tires, but the chemistry is wildly different: Winter tires are softer at sub-freezing temperatures, but they're too soft at higher temps. Summer tires are soft when it's warm but go hard as a rock in low temps, blowing the traction advantage they'd had on dry and wet pavement and making them downright dangerous on ice and snow. All-wheel drive won't save a car equipped with summer tires in a winter storm.

To provide the sharp steering response and higher grip desired by sport-driving enthusiasts — as well as the large-wheel appearance — summer performance tires come mostly in low-profile sizes. The tradeoffs here are many. A main one is ride quality, which gets firmer as sidewalls get shorter, all other things being equal. Both this and issues of construction make some performance tires very noisy. One exception is the noise the tires make — or don't make — when they lose traction. Where all-season tires might squeal as the car starts to slide, summer tires tend to be more discreet.

With low-series tires also comes higher risk of wheel or even suspension damage: The tire is less able to absorb hard shocks, and that means the rim and suspension components do, along with the driver's spine. Low-profile tires put the wheels closer to the ground, which exposes them to damage when parking along a curb. With normal tires, the sidewall absorbs any contact and typically rebounds unscathed.

If you're still not sure that any of the three tire choices meets your needs, you're in luck. The lines have blurred to a degree never seen before. There are now ultra-high- as well as high-performance summer tires, all-season performance tires and winter performance tires. The capabilities of all-season tires now stretch well into performance levels once known only to winter and summer tires. You can't get everything you want in any one tire, but you can get more than ever. Returning to the sedan analogy, luxury sport sedans are actually excellent performers — in addition to being roomy and luxurious — and some even come with all-wheel drive, which suits them better for winter driving. You can get a tire that has above-average performance in many areas, too, but just like the sport sedan, the more you get, the more it's gonna cost you.
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Old 01-20-2013, 03:08 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Yet another tire question - This time regarding winter driving

I've got ps2s, which are summer tires, and Michelin says not to drive them under 50 degrees, an all season tire is softer rubber, and provides better traction in all temps, but won't stand up to hard driving, or racing. So, in short, a summer tire is good at 100 degrees on the track. My tires love heat, but my next tires will be all season, so I can drive the car on cold days, but Here in Austin, we don't have many.
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Old 01-21-2013, 04:01 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Yet another tire question - This time regarding winter driving

Since i've had my z i've had supercars,nitto's,and bridgestones and they all sucked in temps below 50 degrees. This summer i put on conti's and they have been great in the cold weather,much better than anything else i've had on the car.
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