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    Warning - 997 Carrera S winter driving with summer tires

    Today we had again a pretty sunny weather over here in Bavaria, unfortunately a lot of sun and blue skies but also freezing temperatures around zero degrees celsius. This temperature is actually very dangerous because it turns slightly humid streets, even ones looking almost dry, in a pretty slippery nightmare.
    My rear slipped away today three times, I almost hit a tree with my rear. And everything happened at speeds between 40 and 80 kph, no high speed driving. The streets were pretty much dry but still very slippery due to the around zero degrees celsius temperatures. I decided to forget about the summer tires and get winter tires...finally. My dealer had a set in stock and half an hour later, I was driving on winter tires in the same size as my 19'' summer tires.
    What a difference, INCREDIBLE. Although the winter tires are new and they aren't "run in" yet (a little bit of rubber has to go to offer perfect traction, this happens usually after the first 200-300 km or slightly more), they provided almost perfect traction for the rest of the evening. Especially side grip has improved substantially, no nervous rear end anymore and brake performance is also substantially better.

    If you live in a region with temperatures around zero degrees celsius or lower, do yourself a favour and get winter tires. It makes a difference like day and night, especially on the 997.
    I got the ContiWinterContact TS 810 S N0, just for the record. This is a winter tire which has been specifically developped for the 997 and which uses a new technology with different rubber compound mixtures in different parts of the tire contact surface. As I said, I'm very impressed with the difference. The winter tires finally took away the horror of winter driving. I don't know how good 295/30 19'' tires are in deep snow (although I heard that snow performance is impressive for such a wide tire) but on cold and slippery pavement, they definetely rule. Highly recommended!

    Re: Warning - 997 Carrera S winter driving with summer tires

    Winter tires are actually strongly recommended as soon as the temperature drops below 7*C.
    Warning: don't wait to 'almost hit a tree' before putting them on!

    Greetings,
    --Pierre

    Re: Warning - 997 Carrera S winter driving with summer tires

    Thanks RC, can't wait to read your report after you drive through snow-covered roads!

    Re: Warning - 997 Carrera S winter driving with summer tires

    The trouble is (for those of us without a garage!) where do you keep your "spare" set of tyres during the summmer / winter time? I'm not getting my 997 until March next year, but your post has worried me somewhat RC. Especially as I've been used to driving Audi quattros for the last 5 years...

    Re: Warning - 997 Carrera S winter driving with summer tires

    Quote:
    The trouble is (for those of us without a garage!) where do you keep your "spare" set of tyres during the summmer / winter time?



    Do you have space in a basement, attic, or large closet? If not, how about friend's or relative's storage spaces?

    Re: Warning - 997 Carrera S winter driving with summer tires

    See if your dealer will store them. My dealer will store them for a nominal charge. I think $25.

    Re: Warning - 997 Carrera S winter driving with summer tires

    So what did you do with your summer tires? How did you transport them home? Did you buy new rims as well?

    Re: Warning - 997 Carrera S winter driving with summer tires

    Quote:
    pierre said:
    Winter tires are actually strongly recommended as soon as the temperature drops below 7*C.
    Warning: don't wait to 'almost hit a tree' before putting them on!

    Greetings,
    --Pierre



    Pierre, I'm 39 years old and I live in Bavaria, so I had my "share" of cold, icey and snowy winters. Of course I know that winter tires are a MUST in our region, my Cayenne Turbo has winter tires for more than two months now.
    The problem is: I never drive my sports cars on a daily basis, especially not in winter time. And if I drove them in winter time, I usually did it when the sun was shining and the streets were dry or semi-dry.
    The 997 Carrera S Michelin Pilot Sport 2 tires seem to be a different story, they provide incredible grip above 15*C and very acceptable grip up to around 5-6*C from my experience over the past several weeks. But around zero degrees celsius, they SUCK. And furthermore: the PSM jumped in pretty late (chrono sport off), so I decided to get rid of that dumb feeling in my stomach and go for winter tires.
    I mean it was funny today to experience how I was sliding on all four wheels through a 100-110* curve without the PSM jumping in at around 40 kph. Not very fast.
    It wasn't too scary because I had a good feeling but I didn't expect it because the street looked dry in that curve (the exit of the Autobahn). I was driving at 40 kph only because I expected somehow problems but the slide came pretty unexpected at that speed.
    Later on, I tried a lot of stupid things with the winter tires and they kept the car pretty stable on the street. Surprisingly, the PSM jumped in this time from time to time. And the side grip of the winter tires is worlds ahead compared to the summer tires. I just wanted to remind people again of the dangers of the current cold season. Of course users from Florida or Texas or the Middle East should ignore this post.

    Re: Warning - 997 Carrera S winter driving with summer tires

    Alin, are you in the US? If so, I may ask my dealer as well. Thanks!

    Re: Warning - 997 Carrera S winter driving with summer tires

    It would be very nice if Porsche USA bothered to designate, or preferably arrange for dealers to stock appropriate winter tires at this point since a potential snowstorm is predicted for the New York area on Monday.

    Very fortunately Tire Rack e-mailed me today that they had finally shipped (to my dealer) the winter tires I special ordered from them a month ago. Hopefully I will get them on by Monday, and hopefully they will work well, but these are Tire Rack's recommendations only. My dealer is still waiting for Porsche USA to make some pronouncement on the subject.

    You'd think that a company selling hundreds of near $100K high performance cars into the North East would take the matter a little more seriously considering the negative consequences of driving with the stock summer tires.

    Pretty soon folks around here are going to be picking up their shiny new 997s and driving them right off the dealer lot and straight into the nearest tree!

    Hopefully nobody will get hurt!

    Re: Warning - 997 Carrera S winter driving with summer tires

    Quote:
    Holminator said:
    So what did you do with your summer tires? How did you transport them home? Did you buy new rims as well?



    I got a complete set of 19'' wheels (same Carrera S rims plus ContiWinterContact TS 810 S N0 winter tires in the same sizes as my summer tires) from Porsche.
    My dealer had "mercy" with me, he charged me a very interesting price and I'm very happy about it. Maybe he knew exactly how to "catch" me because paying 4600 Euro (the official price tag) for a set of winter wheels for a car I don't drive on a daily basis would have been too much money for me. The summer wheels are stored at my dealer of course, why should I take them home with me?!

    BTW: my summer tires have only 4 mm profile left, after 6600 km of driving only. Ouch.

    Re: Warning - 997 Carrera S winter driving with summer tires

    6600km? WOW! That's really bad. What tire pressure (PSI) did you use?

    Re: Warning - 997 Carrera S winter driving with summer tires

    Quote:
    Holminator said:
    6600km? WOW! That's really bad. What tire pressure (PSI) did you use?



    As always: factory recommended. I drove the car too hard in the summer months and I didn't realize how much rubber I burned.

    Re: Warning - 997 Carrera S winter driving with summer tires

    Thanks! FYI--My little black car arrived two days ago and is in my hot little hands right now. We just returned from a business trip, our 1st road trip together, down to Virginia Beach and back to the Washington, DC metro area. The 997 is the best 911 ever IMHO!

    Re: Warning - 997 Carrera S winter driving with summer tires

    RC: why do you think you experienced what it seemed a somewhat erratic PSM intervention? could you think of the road conditions and explain the behavior or was that a system failure?

    Also... why did you pick 19" rims instead of 18" for your winter tires?

    Re: Warning - 997 Carrera S winter driving with summer tires

    When skiing I've often seen sports cars with winter tyres but without the alloy wheels (ie plain black steel wheels). This struck me as sensible as the salt on the roads can easily corode the alloy.

    Re: Warning - 997 Carrera S winter driving with summer tires

    Holminator:

    Yup. Live in Chicagoland.

    Re: Warning - 997 Carrera S winter driving with summer tires

    Quote:
    ADias said:
    RC: why do you think you experienced what it seemed a somewhat erratic PSM intervention? could you think of the road conditions and explain the behavior or was that a system failure?

    Also... why did you pick 19" rims instead of 18" for your winter tires?



    The PSM can't beat physics. It was pretty slippery and the car just slipped with all four wheels at the same time, this is probably the reason why the PSM didn't come on.

    Regarding the 19'' wheels: I don't want to drive my 997 in snow, I just wanted to have the same looking wheels with winter rubber to provide a much better grip at low temperatures. And this is where the rubber mixture counts, not the size. Or course 18'' and narrower tire sizes would have been better for snow/ice driving but I drive my 997 mainly on drive or slightly wet pavement. For serious winter driving with snow and ice, I have the Cayenne Turbo.

    Re: Warning - 997 Carrera S winter driving with summer tires

    Thanks Alin. I'd best see if my dealer will do it as well. RC is right, but for the record last Thursday I drove from Washington, DC to Virgina Beach, Virginia and back in my new 997 on a business trip. I started my journey on a cold, dark highway with a few twists and turns cutting through the middle of Fort AP Hill. At 5 AM the temperature was about 19F degrees and the road was probably slightly warmer than the air. The 997 exceeded 120 kph on summer tires with no problem with the sport chrono on. I too would feel safer with winter tires. It's a good idea.

    I got Pirelli Winter tires from Factory @ Euro delivery

    I just finished a week in southern Germany and Austria driving my 997S I picked up at the factory. I had arranged for the winter tires to be mounted and then shipped home with the car. I simply told them to mount the best tires they had based on their driving experiences and they mounted the Pirellis. It wasn't cheap however, 2000 euros for the tires, labor, shipping, etc. I experienced first hand the driving conditions described above especially the cold, wet roads. Fortunatley it had been suggested already on this board to do so. I was a bit of a logistical hurdle to get it done for a Euro delivery but with the help of the folks at Porsche it was done. IT added a couple of hours to my factory delivery because they mounted them on my day of delivery. However the tires and the car performed flawlessly.

    Re: I got Pirelli Winter tires from Factory @ Euro delivery

    Quote:
    Peterd said:
    I just finished a week in southern Germany and Austria driving my 997S I picked up at the factory. I had arranged for the winter tires to be mounted and then shipped home with the car. I simply told them to mount the best tires they had based on their driving experiences and they mounted the Pirellis. It wasn't cheap however, 2000 euros for the tires, labor, shipping, etc. I experienced first hand the driving conditions described above especially the cold, wet roads. Fortunatley it had been suggested already on this board to do so. I was a bit of a logistical hurdle to get it done for a Euro delivery but with the help of the folks at Porsche it was done. IT added a couple of hours to my factory delivery because they mounted them on my day of delivery. However the tires and the car performed flawlessly.



    I see only one problem: you have now winter tires on your car in Texas but what about the summer tires? As far as I know, Porsche doesn't "swap" tires, so I doubt they gave you the summer tires which they took off the 19'' rims to be able to mount the winter tires. Any details?
    And another food for thought: the Pirelli 19'' winter tires are recommended for areas with snow. The Continental TS810 are more for areas with less snow but cold weather. I don't want to drive my 997 Carrera S in snow, so the TS810 provides a sportier setup for driving in the dry/wet on those cold days.

    BTW: a complete set of winter wheels in 19'' size (original Carrera S wheels with approved tires in same sizes as summer tires) is almost 4700 Euro (incl. 16% VAT) over here in Germany. Not cheap.

    Re: Warning - 997 Carrera S winter driving with summer tires

    Please tell me it's just me, but I've been told by my service folks in NJ that the winter tires (Conti's) for the 997 still are NOT available in the US, which is a bit mind blowing for me personally. If someone knows information to the contrary, I'd love to hear it, otherwise I'll be taking the bus more often!

    Re: Warning - 997 Carrera S winter driving with summer tires

    I don't know the answer, swisstrader, but I know my dealer orders all of its tires through the Tire Rack, monopoly. You could check there.

    Tony

    Re: Warning - 997 Carrera S winter driving with summer tires

    The 19" tires are not yet available!

    GG

    Re: Warning - 997 Carrera S winter driving with summer tires

    Quote:
    Raven said:
    The trouble is (for those of us without a garage!) where do you keep your "spare" set of tyres during the summmer / winter time? I'm not getting my 997 until March next year, but your post has worried me somewhat RC. Especially as I've been used to driving Audi quattros for the last 5 years...




    In Switzerland the dealership can store them for you in their storage and handle the switching of tyres too. In fact all the larger tyre shops offer to store your summer/winter tyres when you purchase from them. There is, or course, a small charge for this!

    I get both sets of tires, winter and summer

    They are going to put the summer tires back on the car and ship me the winter tires. They told me that their experts preferred the tires they put on my car. Both brands were available and money was no object. I didn't drive in much snow but I drove in a lot of those wet surfaces with the temp at or just below freezing. Car handled beautifully. I just reviewed some pictures of my car and while I can't read all of the side wall, I can clearly make out the word winter on the side.

    Re: Warning - 997 Carrera S winter driving with summer tires

    Quote:
    swisstrader said:
    Please tell me it's just me, but I've been told by my service folks in NJ that the winter tires (Conti's) for the 997 still are NOT available in the US, which is a bit mind blowing for me personally. If someone knows information to the contrary, I'd love to hear it, otherwise I'll be taking the bus more often!



    I might have mentioned this elsewhere, but my Pirelli SottoZero winter tires should be arriving tomorrow from Tire Rack. These are the (stock size) winter tires they recommend highly.

    I was initially told they would ship December 31st but they shipped two weeks early.

    Both Service and Parts at Paul Miller Porsche to whom I had the tires shipped said it will be no problem for them to swap tires for the three years I will have my car on lease rather than purchase a second set of rims. I hope they are right.

    They certainly can't be accused of trying to oversell me!

    Re: Warning - 997 Carrera S winter driving with summer tires

    After reading your report, I asked my local dealer, re winter tyers and they say they have never been asked for winter tires, and yet we have 1ft snow here at the moment and temp is -1, so I have asked for them to price the conti TS810 - I dont think anyone in the UK bothers, but as I'm picking it up on Thursday and its a daily drive, I like Raven am also concerned why the dealer has not mentioned it.

    Re: Warning - 997 Carrera S winter driving with summer tires

    It's wierd isn't it how we never consider winter tyres in the UK. Whenever I've hired from Geneva/Zurich/Munich to drive up to the alps in winter, I've always been given a correctly equipped car - but back home very few people even know that winter boots exist!

    Then again, is it any surprise given that debacle on the M11 a couple of years ago. A couple of inches of the white stuff and the entire south east grinds to a halt.

    Re: Warning - 997 Carrera S winter driving with summer tires

    Reason perhaps we are so backward is - that I tried to order a set of - 235/40 R18 91V M+S (front) 265/40 R18 97V M+S (rear) Continental Winter Contact TS 810 N0 today - But UK porsche and Continental have said they cant get the front 235 tire, this is madness

     
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