E46Fanatics - View Single Post - Changed to winter/all weather tires, car handles like a boat
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Old 10-28-2013, 09:45 AM   #8
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: SW Michigan
Posts: 804
My Ride: '99 323i & '00 323iT
Transmission: 3 pedals
Originally Posted by Sweetness View Post
Nope. You went from tires that were really grippy, have excellent tread patterns, and are made for summer driving.

Your all seasons, or winter as you say, have different tread patterns and different grip ratings. Thus the feel, slightly.

But yes, depth also dramatically effects handling. Believe me, you'll get used to it over time. Then when you switch back, you'll be like "Holy Sh1t"
Why do you feel this normal difference?

  • Generally speaking, more sidewall = more flex, longer reaction time from wheel turn to tire turn.
  • And all-weather tires tend to have smaller tread blocks which makes for more "squirm" than the big, fat blocks in performance rubber. The tread is also deeper than summer tires = more "squirm". This is magnified between brand new winters and summer tires that have already experienced some wear.
  • Add to that the fact that the rubber is different. Performance tires turn to stone long before 0C, whereas winter rubber is made to stay flexible at much colder temps. But it is soft, and does not offer the same stability
  • In addition, the underlying construction of performance tires is different from winter (or even all season) tires.
Think of how different it is wearing winter boots and beach sandals. They are both "shoes" but they will feel very different while shopping in the mall.
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