Winter Tyres

With some driving in mountains planned over winter, we decided it would be a good idea to change the Mondeo onto winter tyres. In the spring I can get a second set of wheels and put the summer tyres back on.

Due to the inclement British weather, winter tyres were very hard to find. However, mytyres had stock, which made sense when I found out that all their tyres came from Germany.

I gave them a call on Tuesday 14th December, and they said they should be able to deliver by Wednesday 22nd…   On this basis I ordered. I kept a close watch on the order tracking as they made their way over.

They arrived on the 21st, and I had them fitted on the 22nd by Miller Tyres, the best tyre place in Malvern and who I recommend highly. Always good service, good prices, and no problems over many years (more than 10) for family, friends and myself using them.

The tyres that came off were Michelin Pilot Primacy HP. A very good tyre, but no good in the snow.

The tyres that went on were Dunlop Winter Sport 3D. Hopefully a very good tyre in snow and cold / wet weather.

Driving back across Malvern the difference was very noticable. Much more grip when accelerating / braking. Where the Michelins would have spun / slid, the Dunlops stuck to the road. They have been tested on cold road with athin snowy surface, hard-packed snow and loose slushy snow. Performance is excellent. It is hard to do a scientific comparison, but the car feels much more capable.

The change is tread pattern, and the different rubber compounds should account for this. Pictures of 2 of each set of tyres are below (I did change all 4…).

Michelin Pilot Primacy HP, part-worn
Dunlop Winter Sport 3D

The tyres have now been used for a 1600 miles round trip to the Vosges mountains in France.

For normal driving they were a little noisier on the autoroute / motorway, but otherwise felt fine. They worked well on a friend’s road which was very icy, and got up and down their hill with no slipping.

To get to the French house we were staying at there is a 2 mile ascent on a twisting and steep road which was covered in snow. Our hosts had to use snow chains to get up, but the Mondeo went up with no slipping, which amazed me. Some of the drive was very steep and I am sure the normal tyres would not have worked.

Throughout the time in France I was very glad we had winter tyres. They coped on all the snowy / icy roads we tried, even the steeper slopes, and were fine on the normal roads. Far easier than taking snow chains on and off which may have been necessary multiple times per day.

Examples of the flat roads we drove on are below. The grip for braking on these was very good (I did a few tests…).

Snowy road
Another snowy road

To conclude, these tyres are well worth the money. They let you go places where normal tyres fail, and in poor conditions where normal tyres may still work they have far more traction, and therefore give you greater safety margins.

Just need to get a 2nd set of wheels for the part-worn summer tyres that are now in my garage.


Tread depth

After 2 winters of driving, I measured the tread depth of the tyres.

5th February 2011 – Measurements in mm, outside then inside of tyre

Front driver’s side        – 7.2, 4.7

Front passenger’s side – 7.5, 7.5

Rear driver’s side         – 7.2, 7.5

Rear passenger’s side – 7.5, 8.0


The Michelin Pilot Primacy HP tyres (that will probably be replaced rather than going back) on have the measurements (in no order as they are stacked in the garage):

1 – 2.4, 2.2

2 – 2.5, 2.8

3– 2.9, 3.5

4 – 2.8, 3.0