Audi A4 winter wheels & tyres

by chris sanders on 25th September 2013

Audi A4 wheels & winter tyres

The Audi A4 is clearly one of the most popular executive vehicles in the UK and with good reason; all variants whether its cabriolet, saloon or avant look great, drive great and have fantastic build quality. When the temperature drops then owners are increasingly looking for a winter wheel and tyre solution in order to keep their A4 moving safely. Luckily with an Audi, making such an investment will really pay off as an A4 fitted with winter tyres will be an incredibly safe vehicle come the cold weather. Unlike its German counterparts such as BMW & Mercedes the Audi is either front or all-wheel drive, so while your neighbours rear wheels are spinning away on his 3 series you will be confidently pulling away from the drive whatever the weather. Maybe you can be neighbourly and smugly offer him a ride to work?

Front wheel drive vehicles work really well in the winter when fitted with a cold weather tyre, and if you’re lucky enough to have an A4 Quattro system then when combined with winter tyres then you will literally be able to get anywhere even when there is thick snow on the ground. Personally I owned an A4 Avant Quattro for a while which I had Vredestein Wintrac Xtreme fitted and it was quite amazing, that winter we didn’t have much snow but loads of ice and the motor never faltered.

So if you’re considering a winter driving solution for your A4 then what should you go for?

Well you could just fit winter tyres to your existing wheels. By doing so you will benefit from having a product that is designed to work well in the colder conditions, the rubber stays supple and offers great traction on cold, wet, slushy, snowy or icy roads. You would also benefit from reduced braking distances and far superior handling when compared to the standard factory fitted summer tyres. There are a few considerations to swapping just the tyres, first is the cost. If you buy winter tyres only then you would need to get these fitted onto your current alloys and this will cost around £60 each time, so £120 a year. Also if your version of A4 came on fancy, big wheels and low profile tyres then you will find that winter tyres are rather expensive. I think it’s a reasonable rule that if your current wheels are 16” or 17” then you can just switch the tyres at a reasonable price, anything 18” upwards is going to be close to £200 a tyre or more so considering a winter wheel and tyre package would be sensible.

Investing in a second set of wheels to fit your winter tyres onto has a few benefits. First is price again, even though you have the additional cost of the wheels initially you have dramatically reduced fitting costs. Your Audi winter wheels should come with the tyres fitted (they certainly are when we supply them) therefore they will just need bolting onto the vehicle. This can be done yourself, at any garage at a minimal cost, or as part of the package price when bought though our partner Tyremen. The wheels don’t have to be that expensive either, a cheap set of steel winter wheels costs around £230, so the alternate £120 a year tyre swapping cost makes the wheel option look like pretty good value for money.

Also fitting a wheel & tyre package allows you to (generally) fit a smaller wheel and a narrower tyre. This really helps when it comes to winter traction as it’s a case of the narrower the better for winter tyres. Those super large and wide alloys put on by Audi may look great for the summer but act like big snow boards in the snow, whereas a narrow tyre will dig into the snow much more effectively and improve winter traction. Smaller winter tyres are cheaper too so you would probably find that for the price of say 18” winter tyres you could get a set of 16” wheels & tyres. Essentially smaller wheels & tyres are cheaper and more effective, this is certainly the most practical and convenient option for winter.

When reducing wheel size you are trying to re-create what Audi offer on the base model A4’s and quite often this is using a 16” wheel & tyre. There are certain models that such a reduction is not possible though, examples of this would be S4, 2.7 & 3.0 engines and versions with over 170bhp. On these a larger brake is fitted which a 16” wheel would catch on so you would need to go for a 17” package.

In 16” you have the most options wheel wise, you can go for steel, aftermarket alloys and even ‘take off’ genuine Audi alloys. The genuine Audi A4 winter alloys are perfect for winter; they have just done factory mileage and are a fraction of the price of those from Audi. However there is nothing wrong with any of these options it purely comes down to cosmetics. If your A4 is listed above and will not take a 16” wheel then in 17” you are going to have to look at alloys as steel are not made in anything over 16”.

Which winter tyres to choose?

The answer to this could be a number of blog posts in its own right, however here are a few of my thoughts and opinions:
Budget winter tyres – AVOID, I don’t see the point in them! If you’re trying to make your vehicle safer for the winter then these just don’t cut the mustard.
Mid-range – Uniroyal are totally decent, they come out of the same factory as Continental and perform really well in their own right. Hankook also make a good winter product that will serve you well.
The best winter tyres – there are a few really good tyres on the market but current test winning tyres Continental winter TS850 or TS830P are great products. Our retail company, Tyremen are still really big fans of Vredestein winter tyres, the Snowtrac 3 offers about the best pure snow performance and the Wintrac Xtreme is a great all-round winter tyre that offers incredible longevity.

If you want more info on which tyre to go for then why not take at our winter tyre reviews site.

Any questions? Feel free to leave a comment below and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can or call the friendly team at Tyremen, 08456 807808

Which Tyres?

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Thomas Woler September 27, 2015 at 4:44 pm

Very informative, I currently have an Audi A 4 S-Line with low profile tires , here in Canada we get a lot of snow and ice so I will be changing over to winter tires. I previously had a Mercedes E 350 and I still have the winter tires and rims, I have checked out the bolt patterns and they match, the center bore is different but since the Mercedes bore is 67MM and the Audi is 57.1 MM I should be able to use this set of tires by installing hub centric rings. My main question is will the Mercedes rims fit over the brakes and would going with a regular profile tire on a smaller rim affect the ABS and or the all wheel drive system. I’m guessing that if the diameter of the tire sets are close there should be no problem since the sensors would get data which would fit the control parameters.
Any thoughts.

Thanks :
Tom

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