The GS gets ready for winter | Our Cars | Honest John

6 Nov 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on The GS gets ready for winter | Our Cars | Honest John
Lexus GS450h

The Details

With temperatures dropping this week I’ve timed it well to get winter tyres fitted to the Lexus. I’d actually planned it a few weeks ago but as often seems to be the way, there was a delay in getting hold of the right tyres for our Lexus. But luckily there’s been no snow or ice so far and the Lexus has been fine on its standard summer Bridgestone Potenza RE050A tyres .

However, I’m very pleased to have now got the winter tyres sorted. Especially with snow predicted next week and a several trips up north planned. I’m also pleased that I haven’t had to have different wheels fitted to the Lexus. Unlike two years ago when I had to swap the 20-inch wheels on the Audi A6 I was running for some very plain 17-inch alloys .

That said, I do think the Lexus would look quite good with a set of black steel wheels on. It also means that if you do end up sliding into something like a kerb, the damage won’t be as costly as it would to an alloy wheel. However, this year I’ve been able to keep the same wheels on and just changed the tyres.

So now the GS450h is running on Pirelli Sottozero Serie II tyres with 235/40 R19 on the front and 265/35 R19 on the back.

These have an asymmetric tread pattern with the inner part designed to expel water and the outer area, with its more rigid and spaced blocks, designed to give high levels of grip in snow. So now I’m actually hoping we have snow so I can test them out. The GS450h also has a snow setting for the gearbox so it could turn out to be pretty good when the cold weather really sets in.

#160;#160;#160;#160;#160;#160;#160;#160; #160;#160; New Pirelli Sottozero winter tyres mean the GS450h should be onto a winner when it snows

Lexus GS450h

Of course winter wheels and tyres are a common look on the continent where in many countries winter tyres are compulsory.

Considering the difference they make to safety it makes a lot of sense and seeing the chaos that even a few centimetres of snow causes us here in the UK, I think we should have a similar law. True there’s the expense of another set of tyres, but while you have winter tyres on, your summers aren’t being worn. So you’re just spreading the miles covered over two sets of tyres.

What I have noticed is how much quieter the Pirelli winters are compared to the Bridgestones and although they aren’t quite as grippy in high speed corners, they’re still mightily impressive for a winter tyre. The ride is ever so slightly better too. So overall I’m very pleased so far.

Although I’ll have to wait for snow and ice before I give a final verdict.

It’s not just the snow though. Below 7C winter tyres are more effective. With normal summer the rubber loses its flexibility in the cold. It#8217;s all to do with the compound of the tyre. Cold weather tyres have a higher ratio of natural rubber and silica in the compound which doesn’t stiffen up as much as synthetic rubber in cold conditions.

Therefore the tyre is more flexible and able to perform like a tyre should. Summer tyres simply go hard in the cold temperatures.

Aside from the tyres, I’ve topped up the washer fluid in the Lexus. I’ve now invested in a funnel so I don’t leak it all over the engine bay. Seeing as the car is only two months it only needed a small amount. Aside from that everything else appears to be as it should, not that you can really tell given how the GS engine bay is basically a large bit of plastic.

So winter here we come!

Lexus GS450h
Lexus GS450h
Lexus GS450h
Lexus GS450h
Lexus GS450h
Lexus GS450h
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