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      09-14-2014, 04:31 PM   #1
Nola 32/65
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How cold is too cold for PSS tires in the winter?

I've read people say their good until it gets around 50* or below but no one says what happens below that temp. Are they still fine for normal driving on regular streets and interstate? At around what temp should we really stop driving the car at because the tires aren't safe anymore?

I live in south Louisiana so it doesn't stay cool here for long but sometimes we have a week here and there when it'll be in the 20s/30s so is that too cold for normal non spirited driving on PSS tires or what?

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      09-15-2014, 04:56 AM   #2
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I drive mine in the UK all year round - the grip starts to fall off noticibly from 40F downwards and you do have to be extra careful below 32F but they are drivable down to 20F as long as you are easy on the throttle and brakes.
I trade driving slow (still usually at city speed limits) on cold mornings to be able to drive faster (than possible on winter tyres) in the warmer afternoons.
No good in snow though.
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      09-15-2014, 06:31 AM   #3
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I agree with Post #2. Grip falls off around freezing, but is in no way dangerous. You'll figure it out. Test in a straight line rather than on an on/off ramp.

PSS2 are useless in snow. I drive mine in New Hampshire until it starts snowing and then I put the snow wheels on, usually in December. We often have freezing or even colder temps before the snow starts. It was 36F last night and it is only mid-September.
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      09-16-2014, 12:28 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SenorFunkyPants View Post
I drive mine in the UK all year round - the grip starts to fall off noticibly from 40F downwards and you do have to be extra careful below 32F but they are drivable down to 20F as long as you are easy on the throttle and brakes.
I trade driving slow (still usually at city speed limits) on cold mornings to be able to drive faster (than possible on winter tyres) in the warmer afternoons.
No good in snow though.
Quote:
Originally Posted by pbonsalb View Post
I agree with Post #2. Grip falls off around freezing, but is in no way dangerous. You'll figure it out. Test in a straight line rather than on an on/off ramp.

PSS2 are useless in snow. I drive mine in New Hampshire until it starts snowing and then I put the snow wheels on, usually in December. We often have freezing or even colder temps before the snow starts. It was 36F last night and it is only mid-September.
Thank you both for your replies! Sounds like the tires will be just fine for the short time it gets cold down here.
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      09-16-2014, 02:31 AM   #5
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As long as it is dry, it's good in my books. Obviously, no spirited driving at <20F
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      09-16-2014, 09:02 AM   #6
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Yeah, dry grip at 20F is still better than my all-seasons. The downside of runnig them below about 40 isn't really the lack of grip dry but wet traction disappears and once they are cold for extended periods they will never be the same again when it warms up again. Summer/r-compounds don't like extended cold, and the outer tread blocks of the PSS are a near-r-compound
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      09-16-2014, 09:20 AM   #7
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Slightly different tire but I drove Michelin PS2 tires year round here in N.O. with no issues. As other have pointed out, when the temps drop just be aware of the reduced performance of the tire and adjust your driving accordingly.
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      09-16-2014, 04:02 PM   #8
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One thing to note is that when you live down south, even if it gets cold for a week, the ground doesn't freeze the way it does up north in the middle of winter. So the pavement won't be as cold as it would be in the middle of a northern winter when it's 20 degrees.

All in all, summer tires year round in southern Louisiana should be fine. If you do happen to see any snow though, don't drive in it. Most southern cities pretty much shut down if it snows, so that should be no major issue.
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      09-17-2014, 12:16 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richbot View Post
Yeah, dry grip at 20F is still better than my all-seasons. The downside of runnig them below about 40 isn't really the lack of grip dry but wet traction disappears and once they are cold for extended periods they will never be the same again when it warms up again. Summer/r-compounds don't like extended cold, and the outer tread blocks of the PSS are a near-r-compound
Great information. Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kscarrol View Post
Slightly different tire but I drove Michelin PS2 tires year round here in N.O. with no issues. As other have pointed out, when the temps drop just be aware of the reduced performance of the tire and adjust your driving accordingly.
Yea, we drove on the PS2s last winter also and didn't have any problems but we were both also still learning the car in general since my fiancé got it in Nov and its just a weekend car.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ben@tirerack View Post
One thing to note is that when you live down south, even if it gets cold for a week, the ground doesn't freeze the way it does up north in the middle of winter. So the pavement won't be as cold as it would be in the middle of a northern winter when it's 20 degrees.

All in all, summer tires year round in southern Louisiana should be fine. If you do happen to see any snow though, don't drive in it. Most southern cities pretty much shut down if it snows, so that should be no major issue.
I didn't think about the core temp of the ground not getting that cold, that's a very good point.

Speaking of the south shutting down, we had a couple days of ice issues last year, not even snow and our entire infrastructure was shot to hell lol. All of south La shut down for a few days each time, my fiancé's hospital went in hurricane prep mode and went on lock down. It was pretty crazy how some ice on the roads shut this area down.
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      09-24-2014, 11:16 AM   #10
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While not directly applicable to the PSS as it is not a DOT comp. tire, do keep in mind that the materials in a summer tire can be damaged by driving in cold temps. I have driven on my Auto X tires for a winter event and split the tread. See this excerpt from the Tire Rack:

"In addition to normal tire storage recommendations, Track & Competition DOT performance category tires require supplementary storage procedures be followed to prevent tire compound cracking due to exposure to cold temperatures.

While these recommendations are general guidelines offered by Tire Rack, selected tire manufacturers may have additional specific recommendations applicable to their tires. Follow the tire manufacturer’s recommendations whenever available.
It is not recommended to drive on these types of tires at temperatures below 40 degrees F (5 degrees C).

It is recommended these types of tires be removed from the vehicle and stored indoors at temperatures maintained at above 32 degrees F (0 degrees C) when not in use."
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      09-24-2014, 07:32 PM   #11
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Our PSS stay in the unheated garage all winter in freezing weather in NH. No issues ever. Have lived here 20 years and run snows in winter and performance summer the other 3 seasons. I drive the performance summers, PSS on two of the cars for the last few years, until the snow starts. They are useless in snow. I may run R888 on another car next year and I would bring those into the basement in the winter, but I would drive them until it gets to freezing temps.
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      09-28-2014, 12:56 PM   #12
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I'd like to point out that while the grip fades as the temperature drops, the tires also wear faster.
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      09-28-2014, 12:59 PM   #13
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Just installed heater in garage to combat low temps in winter to allow all my rcomps to be happy.
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