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Sport 4 S. Cold temps, normal driving ?

Son of SVO

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Out here in SE Michigan (raised in Chicago-land, western suburbs), I call this time of year and spring the grey zone for those of us that DD our cars. It will greatly depend on temperature and the level of moisture that lands on the ground for you. It can be done and for reference I'm running Extreme Contact Sport's for my summer and VikingContact 7's as my current winter rubber.

I have run UHP A/S and Summer's in the grey zone I reference and UHP A/S and Snow Tires in full winter time as well.

About two yrs ago now I drove back to Chicago on UHP A/S right after an Ice Storm ripped through right before Easter. My car almost spun itself into the wall on I-94 (this is what caused me to get snow/nordic tires) as I felt I had zero control in that moment (Definitely a code brown moment thankfully nothing happened).

My advice is as follows:

If you see any snow and have consistent 45 degree or lower temps, you should opt to get an off-season set of rims and tires in either the Snow/Nordic Tire or Winter Performance Tire category.

If you rarely see snow and have consistent 45 degree or lower temps, opt for winter performance tires or get UHP A/S tires.

If your winters are in the a grey area where you have temps that rarely drop down to freezing and stay in the 35-50 range, you should more or less be fine with UHP A/S.

I would not recommend keeping your summer tires on if your temps drop below 40 degrees consistently (you will not have any grip whatsoever if it does drop and it happens to be slick out there). If your temps rarely go below 40 then I'd say you can run your summer tires but keep in mind below 45 they can start to have serious damage to the meat of the tire as they were never designed to operate in those temps (but given you have PS4S's you should be alright if the time spent is limited).
Great advice!! Totally second it. I'm now running UHP AS4s as summers since replacing the worn out PS4S last spring. Cares for the "gray area" here in the Boston area, particularly in the fall. No more temp anxiety! For a regular street driven car I don't feel you give up much performance vs the PS4S.
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Skye

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https://www.michelinman.com/auto/tires/michelin-pilot-sport-4-s

"WINTER DRIVING Tires that meet the US Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA) denition of snow tires are marked M/S, M+S, or M&S. On such tires, normally referred to as “All-Season” tires, the “M+S” designation is molded into the sidewall. Tires without this notation are not recommended for winter driving in regions that experience winter conditions."

A quick Googling of, "michelin 4s in cold weather driving" is littered with threads and posts advising other drivers it is not in their best interest to use the tires, any Summer tire, in these colder conditions.

From personal experience in CO, Drivers with Summer tires are often the ones which are forced to abandon their vehicles, either due to loss of traction, an accident or both.

One day you might go out and things are OK, the next, you're sliding off the side of the road. Treat yourself to an A/S or true Winter set or don't drive the car when it's below 50F / 10C.
 
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NightmareMoon

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I wouldnt conflate low grip in cold temps with tire damage in low temps. I have not found dry grip on the Michellins in sub freezing temps to be all that dangerous as long as precipitation wasnt involved. Maybe an all season would grip better but as far as it just being cold, other than tire damage I would absolutely run a few errands on the MP4S.

That said, cracking on the tread surface is I think the main issue. If you only get a few really cold days a year you could just use a little self control and you wont die. But if your tires are cracked up after that and you need to replace them… thats expensive.

Now, if the cold days are likely to also have a chance of wintery precip - well I’d rather take a cab than drive a summer tire. I’ve totaled one car on summer tires in icy conditions, and I dont intend to ever do that again. OTOH I limped the GT home during light 30deg snow and didnt die, but it was sketch. I drove over a (very short) partially iced up bridge once too, but I’m NOT making a habit of that either. Those tires had cracking when I did retire them.
 

MAGS1

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MAGS1

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I wouldnt conflate low grip in cold temps with tire damage in low temps. I have not found dry grip on the Michellins in sub freezing temps to be all that dangerous as long as precipitation wasnt involved. Maybe an all season would grip better but as far as it just being cold, other than tire damage I would absolutely run a few errands on the MP4S.

That said, cracking on the tread surface is I think the main issue. If you only get a few really cold days a year you could just use a little self control and you wont die. But if your tires are cracked up after that and you need to replace them… thats expensive.

Now, if the cold days are likely to also have a chance of wintery precip - well I’d rather take a cab than drive a summer tire. I’ve totaled one car on summer tires in icy conditions, and I dont intend to ever do that again. OTOH I limped the GT home during light 30deg snow and didnt die, but it was sketch. I drove over a (very short) partially iced up bridge once too, but I’m NOT making a habit of that either. Those tires had cracking when I did retire them.
I would assume being in the southern part of the country, that warmer pavement temps probably help you guys out a bit with grip when you do happen to get a little bit of a cold snap. Cold pavement and cold summer tires up here are no bueno.
 

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NightmareMoon

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I would assume being in the southern part of the country, that warmer pavement temps probably help you guys out a bit with grip when you do happen to get a little bit of a cold snap. Cold pavement and cold summer tires up here are no bueno.
Idk the road surface can still get pretty cold, but anyway I dont think the OP was asking about grip
 

MAGS1

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Idk the road surface can still get pretty cold, but anyway I dont think the OP was asking about grip
I don’t think he was either but if he’s contemplating driving on PS4S in the winter, that should be a factor to consider IMO.
 

Mikepol2

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Here is what Michelin sent me when I asked if the PS4S could be used in place of the Cup 2's:

Michelin Ultra-High Performance (UHP) Sport Summer tires use tread compounds that are optimized for maximum dry and damp grip in temperate conditions. As the temperature of the compound nears freezing, the grip level of the tire begins to degrade. Michelin does not recommend using UHP Sport Summer tires when tire temperatures drop below 40°F (5°C) or on snow and ice. At tire temperatures below 20°F (-7°C) Michelin UHP Sport Summer tires may develop surface cracks in the upper sidewall and tread area if flexed. Do not use, roll, or drop MICHELIN UHP Sport Summer tires with temperatures below 20°F (-7°C). If the tires have been cooled to 20°F (-7°C) or less, let them warm up in a heated space to at least 40°F (5°C) before being installed or moving a vehicle on which they are installed. Do not apply heat or blow heated air directly on the tires. Always inspect tires before use. Never use a tire with freeze cracks, breaks, or damage to the sidewall or tread.

And here is Continental's advice (much less descriptive):

Thank you for contacting Customer Relations. This is a UHP summer tire and cannot be used in temperatures below 45°.

Hope this helps.
 

NightmareMoon

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Thank you Michellin. No thank you Continental for treating your consumers like simpletons.
 

MAGS1

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noac

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I drove a 2013 Boss 302 that I bought new home, about 100 miles, in a minor snow event. It was coming down really good when I left, no plows out yet and probably about 2-3“ total by the time I got home. I drove like an old lady. The tires were summer only Pirelli P Zero. I made it fine and the car did fine. No spinning, sliding etc or any weirdness. I would probably try to find a set BAP wheels and tires for the winter. There are always sets for sale on eBay and FB. Better safe than sorry.
 

RedTetsu13

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Thank you Michellin. No thank you Continental for treating your consumers like simpletons.
To be fair though whatever goes for michelin usually holds for conti as well. Their tires are generally so closely matched you can generally assume the same things about both sets in each space 😆
 

RedTetsu13

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Also we are beginning to get into the space of can vs should and in my experience the should definitely should take precedence here

*also excuse my brain I'm 100% glitching after paying for my sins today in practice lol
 

MACHtobers Very Own

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I don't daily drive mine and it's a weekend play car.

With that said i do not drive the car below 40 degrees

40-50 I drive like a grandma IF for some reason I even happen to be driving it.

That's what I saw on a few other forums of other performance cars.

1 time I some how ended up in 30/32 degree weather and I did not like it. I was also taking it very easy.
 

dhborden

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Great advice!! Totally second it. I'm now running UHP AS4s as summers since replacing the worn out PS4S last spring. Cares for the "gray area" here in the Boston area, particularly in the fall. No more temp anxiety! For a regular street driven car I don't feel you give up much performance vs the PS4S.
Concur. I'm in southern New England and go to my square set of A/S3s once the temps start staying below 50 consistently.
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