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oem 19" tires + NJ roads + winter = NO-NO!

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Old 02-13-2018, 09:30 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by markcincinnati View Post
My next door neighbor is a dentist -- I just can't see him changing a wheel on his car. My other neighbor is an executive for a global cosmetics corporation -- and he commutes to Toronto and back here to Cincinnati almost every week. Next year he gets South America. His luxury vehicle is a new, decked out, four-door, leather-lined Ford F150. We have, as you know, an S4 and SQ5. Only rarely do these folks even clear the driveway -- the retired couples on the street are the only ones who do that.

I'm sticking with my story that folks have so many things competing for their time (and the "real estate" required for 8 wheels and tires is considerable) that year 'round rubber is an acceptable compromise. I applaud you folks willing to pony up the resources of time, space, and money (although I read the argument suggesting the cost is virtually a wash) to swap tires twice yearly. I have decided to live vicariously through you and will tell anyone who will listen of the merits of tire swapping. At the Porsche dealer, I understand it is possible to have them store your "second set" at the dealer (I suppose there is a fee for this, although it may be a perk). If that option was offered at the Audi dealer, I wonder how many folks would opt for the maximum in traction.

My Audi deal would gladly store my winter/summer tires...I think it was $600(?) for the year. This way if one was inclined to be "lazy" or just lacking the desire to DIY it, the dealer could do it 2x a year while they waited in the lounge snacking and watching TV...
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Old 02-13-2018, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Idrive2Much View Post
My Audi deal would gladly store my winter/summer tires...I think it was $600(?) for the year. This way if one was inclined to be "lazy" or just lacking the desire to DIY it, the dealer could do it 2x a year while they waited in the lounge snacking and watching TV...
Well now the survey question for those of you who, like my wife and me, opt for UHP A/S tires (or even just A/S tires): Would you buy a second set of wheels, mount winter tires on them, then pay $600/yr to store them plus, I would assume some fee for dismounting your summer only wheels and vice versa? At this point, my guess is some folks would be attracted to the idea, but most will say, "why bother?"
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Old 02-13-2018, 02:23 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by markcincinnati View Post
Well now the survey question for those of you who, like my wife and me, opt for UHP A/S tires (or even just A/S tires): Would you buy a second set of wheels, mount winter tires on them, then pay $600/yr to store them plus, I would assume some fee for dismounting your summer only wheels and vice versa? At this point, my guess is some folks would be attracted to the idea, but most will say, "why bother?"
$600 seems steep for storage. Mine does it for $100/year and then $25/wheel each changeover - so $300/year all in. Even though I have a very busy professional life and three kids, I like to get my hands a bit dirty, and save that money doing it myself. Plus, I find the ease of doing it in my garage after kids go to bed in the evening to actually fit my schedule better than dealing with the innate hassles of taking the car in for service: having to make an appointment, take the car to the dealer first thing in the morning before work, get a loaner, and manage to get back there after work but before they close to pick up my car again. In this isolated case, I find DIY is a lot more convenient, and somewhat gratifying. Maybe this makes me a unicorn...
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Old 02-13-2018, 02:46 PM
  #34  
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Summer Tires are MUCH better than All Season Tires (for 9 months anyway). Well worth a set of winter beaters.
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Old 02-13-2018, 05:42 PM
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Originally Posted by markcincinnati View Post
Well now the survey question for those of you who, like my wife and me, opt for UHP A/S tires (or even just A/S tires): Would you buy a second set of wheels, mount winter tires on them, then pay $600/yr to store them plus, I would assume some fee for dismounting your summer only wheels and vice versa? At this point, my guess is some folks would be attracted to the idea, but most will say, "why bother?"
I could be a wrong on it being $600, maybe it was $400, I can't remember,but I do remember thinking it was way to much especially since I have a garage. Since I mostly drive go fast cars that usually come with summer or UHP all seasons, I have been a preacher of having a set of winter tires to anyone that would listen. In my opinion they are a necessity for winter driving if you want any sort of piece of mind. The way I see it, wheels and tires cost you upwards of $1700 or $550/yr for 3 yrs ( I lease) vs. a potential accident because you couldn't stop in time vs. a $500 deductible, your insurance going up, the time without YOUR S4, and the fact that the car once repaired never feels the same is money worth spending. Then I sell the rims and tires for $600-700 depending on how much tire is left and I end up paying about $1000 or $350/yr for piece of mind.
My local tire shop matches tire rack prices and charges nothing for the change over, so the only real inconvenience is driving back and forth with the tires. I used to do it myself but just don't feel like dealing with it anymore so I take the lazy (read old) way out...
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Old 02-13-2018, 06:26 PM
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Here now is "data" from what one would presume is more of an "expert" than any of us here posting on AW (the following is from TheTire Rack):

=====
Ultra High-Performance All-Season tires are scaled down versions of the summer tire line. While featuring reasonably strong and stable sidewalls, these tires are topped with a harder all-season compound that makes the tire suitable for varying temperature ranges. Due to this harder compound, the ultimate dry grip will not be as high as a dedicated summer tire.

It's not until these tires are pushed to their limits that most drivers will notice a difference.
=====
What I have found over a German car buying "lifetime" (since 1977) of 33 Audis and 3 BMWs is that the technology -- not just speaking of tires -- continues to improve. What used to be only available on the most expensive, most "extreme" versions are now offered as "standard" on even the entry-level versions of the mfrg's offerings.

Likewise, what used to be the performance of -- in this case -- the top of the line UHP (summer) tires is now de rigueur even from the mfgr's entry-level offerings. Of course, the top models have likewise improved substantially, too. Meanwhile, traffic conditions and our infrastructure have deteriorated making "pushing [fill-in-the-blank] to its limits" difficult and increasingly virtually impossible. If the "fill-in-the-blank" is tires, the point seems to me to be to ask the question "how often and how long can you push the "fill-in-the-blank" to its limits. If you do not track your car and you live anywhere that is reasonably close to other human beings, "most drivers will not be able to push their car's tires, torque vectoring rear differentials, brakes, or accelerative capabilities anywhere even close to their limits." Population density has increased and continues to grow ever denser practically every day. Finding "conditions" suitable for providing opportunities to come close to the limits of even an S4's relatively modest power and torque output continue to elude most of us most of the time.

So, although a UHP summer tire can be (and depending on the brand, may "often" or nearly always be) superior to the best of today's UHP A/S tires, the final analysis, according to Tire Rack, is that most drivers won't notice the difference.

And, Americans, apparently even those in Alaska, are "OK" with all-wheel-drive vehicles shod with A/S tires.

I do not argue that it is not possible to recognize and appreciate the improvements of summer-only UHP tires vs. all-season UHP tires -- I simply agree with the Tire Rack statement that most of us will never notice the difference (because we cannot even come close to the limits of these tires.)

I was kicking myself (and to a certain extent still am) for not taking the S4 I ordered that had the torque vectoring rear differential included -- I went for other things instead especially once I learned that the RS 3 eschewed the sport diff, relying instead on "brake based" torque management (this technology is standard equipment on the S4). Later I read that the TV rear diff is superior as the car is driven closer to its cornering limits. I even read a European test report of the new RS 5 and the author referenced the brake-based torque management's "remarkable" ability to tame the understeer of the nose-heavy Audi.

One of my sales reps customers wanted a new S4 (not too long ago) and when he found out it had a V6, he ordered the last of the V8 RS 5's, even though it was a fairly low torque offering compared to what was achieved via (then) super-charging. I wonder what he'll get with the new V6T with 450HP (same as the old V8) but over 100 ft pounds more torque than the V8 (at a lower rpm.)

The point is the technology has "raised the limits" substantially, while the environment (e.g., traffic, density, infrastructure) in which we drive has reduced our ability to even achieve what used to be available in terms of the limits of the engines, suspensions, and, perhaps especially tires.

Most of us just live in a world where what is currently "just good" exceeds what a short time ago used to be "great" -- and it remains that good is the enemy of great, but frankly it is so difficult to even approach the limits of what these cars are capable of.

Today's S4 exceeds what many of us have known as "supercars" -- even including a number brought to market in the 21st century.

I'm starting to buy my sales rep's "concern" -- that cars like the S4 provide a threat to cars beginning with an RS -- not because the RS cars aren't far superior, it's just that putt-putting along on a crowded Interstate is "about the same" in an S5 as it will ultimately seem to be in an RS5.

I do believe, even having said all of the above, the best UHP dedicated summer tires are superior to the best UHP all-seasons. Most drivers -- by far -- will opt for the all-season approach.

Look it up -- the data supports that currently a large majority of US drivers only will consider all-season tires, with some augmenting these with winters based on where they live and how much snow they have.

I wonder what will happen to our car buying habits once level-4 automation becomes widely available and adopted? Will we still even consider S4's?

Last edited by markcincinnati; 02-13-2018 at 06:33 PM.
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Old 02-13-2018, 08:37 PM
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Originally Posted by jayhawkmd View Post
$600 seems steep for storage. Mine does it for $100/year and then $25/wheel each changeover - so $300/year all in. Even though I have a very busy professional life and three kids, I like to get my hands a bit dirty, and save that money doing it myself. Plus, I find the ease of doing it in my garage after kids go to bed in the evening to actually fit my schedule better than dealing with the innate hassles of taking the car in for service: having to make an appointment, take the car to the dealer first thing in the morning before work, get a loaner, and manage to get back there after work but before they close to pick up my car again. In this isolated case, I find DIY is a lot more convenient, and somewhat gratifying. Maybe this makes me a unicorn...
A unicorn maybe outside these forums, lol. I doubt you are alone in this here. I do the very same for all 3 of my cars, swapping winter/summer wheel sets twice yearly for two of my cars, and rotating the van's all-seasons myself. It is one of the few jobs that doesn't require much in the way of tools, merely a bit of time and studying up on how to do it properly. Besides the money saved, my larger reason is also your own, every trip to the dealer for a small service is inherently a much more inconvenient hassle than doing it myself.

Last edited by dbuxton13; 02-13-2018 at 08:40 PM.
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Old 02-14-2018, 04:38 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by jayhawkmd View Post
$600 seems steep for storage. Mine does it for $100/year and then $25/wheel each changeover - so $300/year all in. Even though I have a very busy professional life and three kids, I like to get my hands a bit dirty, and save that money doing it myself. Plus, I find the ease of doing it in my garage after kids go to bed in the evening to actually fit my schedule better than dealing with the innate hassles of taking the car in for service: having to make an appointment, take the car to the dealer first thing in the morning before work, get a loaner, and manage to get back there after work but before they close to pick up my car again. In this isolated case, I find DIY is a lot more convenient, and somewhat gratifying. Maybe this makes me a unicorn...
I am the same here. My set of rims and tires ordered from Tire Rack doesn't take up that much room in the corner of the garage, and I think it would actually take me more time to have the dealer install them. Plus it is really not that hard to swap them out in the garage, and I might even call it enjoyable
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Old 02-14-2018, 05:00 AM
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Originally Posted by markcincinnati View Post
Here now is "data" from what one would presume is more of an "expert" than any of us here posting on AW (the following is from TheTire Rack):

=====
Ultra High-Performance All-Season tires are scaled down versions of the summer tire line. While featuring reasonably strong and stable sidewalls, these tires are topped with a harder all-season compound that makes the tire suitable for varying temperature ranges. Due to this harder compound, the ultimate dry grip will not be as high as a dedicated summer tire.

It's not until these tires are pushed to their limits that most drivers will notice a difference.
=====
What I have found over a German car buying "lifetime" (since 1977) of 33 Audis and 3 BMWs is that the technology -- not just speaking of tires -- continues to improve. What used to be only available on the most expensive, most "extreme" versions are now offered as "standard" on even the entry-level versions of the mfrg's offerings.

Likewise, what used to be the performance of -- in this case -- the top of the line UHP (summer) tires is now de rigueur even from the mfgr's entry-level offerings. Of course, the top models have likewise improved substantially, too. Meanwhile, traffic conditions and our infrastructure have deteriorated making "pushing [fill-in-the-blank] to its limits" difficult and increasingly virtually impossible. If the "fill-in-the-blank" is tires, the point seems to me to be to ask the question "how often and how long can you push the "fill-in-the-blank" to its limits. If you do not track your car and you live anywhere that is reasonably close to other human beings, "most drivers will not be able to push their car's tires, torque vectoring rear differentials, brakes, or accelerative capabilities anywhere even close to their limits." Population density has increased and continues to grow ever denser practically every day. Finding "conditions" suitable for providing opportunities to come close to the limits of even an S4's relatively modest power and torque output continue to elude most of us most of the time.

So, although a UHP summer tire can be (and depending on the brand, may "often" or nearly always be) superior to the best of today's UHP A/S tires, the final analysis, according to Tire Rack, is that most drivers won't notice the difference.

And, Americans, apparently even those in Alaska, are "OK" with all-wheel-drive vehicles shod with A/S tires.

I do not argue that it is not possible to recognize and appreciate the improvements of summer-only UHP tires vs. all-season UHP tires -- I simply agree with the Tire Rack statement that most of us will never notice the difference (because we cannot even come close to the limits of these tires.)

I was kicking myself (and to a certain extent still am) for not taking the S4 I ordered that had the torque vectoring rear differential included -- I went for other things instead especially once I learned that the RS 3 eschewed the sport diff, relying instead on "brake based" torque management (this technology is standard equipment on the S4). Later I read that the TV rear diff is superior as the car is driven closer to its cornering limits. I even read a European test report of the new RS 5 and the author referenced the brake-based torque management's "remarkable" ability to tame the understeer of the nose-heavy Audi.

One of my sales reps customers wanted a new S4 (not too long ago) and when he found out it had a V6, he ordered the last of the V8 RS 5's, even though it was a fairly low torque offering compared to what was achieved via (then) super-charging. I wonder what he'll get with the new V6T with 450HP (same as the old V8) but over 100 ft pounds more torque than the V8 (at a lower rpm.)

The point is the technology has "raised the limits" substantially, while the environment (e.g., traffic, density, infrastructure) in which we drive has reduced our ability to even achieve what used to be available in terms of the limits of the engines, suspensions, and, perhaps especially tires.

Most of us just live in a world where what is currently "just good" exceeds what a short time ago used to be "great" -- and it remains that good is the enemy of great, but frankly it is so difficult to even approach the limits of what these cars are capable of.

Today's S4 exceeds what many of us have known as "supercars" -- even including a number brought to market in the 21st century.

I'm starting to buy my sales rep's "concern" -- that cars like the S4 provide a threat to cars beginning with an RS -- not because the RS cars aren't far superior, it's just that putt-putting along on a crowded Interstate is "about the same" in an S5 as it will ultimately seem to be in an RS5.

I do believe, even having said all of the above, the best UHP dedicated summer tires are superior to the best UHP all-seasons. Most drivers -- by far -- will opt for the all-season approach.

Look it up -- the data supports that currently a large majority of US drivers only will consider all-season tires, with some augmenting these with winters based on where they live and how much snow they have.

I wonder what will happen to our car buying habits once level-4 automation becomes widely available and adopted? Will we still even consider S4's?
I am still very fortunate to have a lot of back country roads around here where one can be going 55 mph and have long nicely paved twisting roads with little to no traffic... I find that there are a lot of times I am out there with no destination but the road itself. I have had my Michelin X-Ice tires on since late October and I must say I have been surprised and impressed on how well these tires handle in the turns. I am sure I am wearing them quicker than normal, but it has been worth it for the enjoyment these drives bring.



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Old 02-14-2018, 05:51 AM
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Beautiful pictures! There are very likely such "back roads" available either to the east of Cincinnati (Adams County) or to the south in Northern Kentucky (just across the Ohio River). But damn it Jim, I'm a Dr., not a plumber! (said Dr. "Bones" McCoy). What I mean by that is, I agree with you, I envy your access to such bucolic and beautiful geography, but I can't get to what may be similar roads without going way, way the hell out of my personal ADI (area of dominant influence). My wife works in downtown Cincinnati, I work in an office park in a Northern suburb of Cincinnati, accessible by two (frequently clogged) Interstate highways. Finding the time to drive at least an hour east (opposite of my office) or perhaps more than an hour south (also opposite of my office) to find a lightly traveled road to "have a go" at "pushing the S4 perhaps a bit closer to its limit," is desirable, but it's just not possible from a practical standpoint.

Other than my own driveway, even when we have a "level one" snow emergency, literally ALL of the roads I travel regularly are cleared, "salted", and fully populated with thousands of people driving to and from work, school, and all of the places required to "afford" the life to which they have become accustomed.

I grew up in a town north and west of Dayton, Ohio -- a town where we had two grain-elevators and where seeing traditional Amish conveyances was a daily occurrence. There, had I something like an S4, I would have been able to allow my car stretch its legs and, where, in winter, "everybody" did mount snow tires on the family sedan.

That was then, this is now.

Enjoy your beautiful situation in your equally beautiful S5 (while you can).

Color me jealous.

Last edited by markcincinnati; 02-14-2018 at 05:54 AM.
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