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I recently bought a 2005 Honda Accord and this is my first car. While buying I choose to take four brand new winter tires from the seller. As the winter coming in next couple of weeks in Canada, I thought it would be better if I go with winter tires. It was all going fine, but last week I was driving on on light rain ans realize my brakes not working as it should, every time I brakes it skids a little bit and finally ended with an minor accident yesterday. Now I am afraid of driving with this car, I always feel my brakes not going to work. Should I go for all season tire for the next three weeks (assuming winter comes in December).

  • Do you hear a grinding sound and feel the brake pedal pulsating? Your car almost surely has ABS, so if you don't, then there may be something wrong with your brake system. Winter tires can be poor on rain on clear pavement, so that might explain the skidding. – juhist Nov 3 '17 at 18:29
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    think of this, in most places you have some days of rain and wet (above freezing) roads mid-winter too. It would be plain unacceptable if "winter" tires were generally bad in the rain. Sounds like something wrong with the car. (assuming you aren't a new driver simply unaccustomed to driving in the rain..) – agentp Nov 3 '17 at 20:51
  • Continuing with some thoughts in this thread... I used to have Cooper snows on my front-wheel drive Camry, and that performed pretty poorly in the rain even when they were close to new. I wouldn't spend the money just to get all-seasons for a few weeks (although you'll get most likely better performance), just take it easy and wait for the snow to come. :) – Sheng Slogar Nov 4 '17 at 16:48
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From my experiences on winter tires I've always found temperature to be the biggest factor in their performance - it obviously varies slightly from tire to tire but I've generally found that their performance drops of significantly above about 7C. One year I was particularly lazy about changing my wheels back to the set with summer tires on and when temps were getting into the low teens grip was much reduced and even at relatively modest speeds the car was sliding quite easily.

Skidding every time you brake does seem a little excessive though - it could indicate a problem in the braking system or that the tires are particularly sensitive, or possibly even that your driving style lends itself to heavier braking then is necessary. To be honest I'd be looking at the tires as a starting point, running dedicated winter tires in such relatively high temperatures not only gives bad performance but all the additional skids and slides serve to increase wear on them as well.

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In general, winter tires are not as good as summer tires on dry and wet roads, so a longer braking distance is normal.

I can't find a really good study with good data about it, but most pages say that a winter tire has an about 10-15% longer full braking distance, even at cold temperatures. This of course depends on the tested tires, tire dimensions, underground and the car itself.

But keep in mind that a full braking is an extreme situation. While some accidents with winter tires could have been avoided with summer tires, the difference should not be that notable while normal driving.

Winter tires perform much better on snow and ice, where summer tires have only very little grip.

In your case, I'd say that there's something wrong with your braking system. Tires harden over time, so very old tires lost much of their grip, and very cheap, low quality tired do not have much grip at all. But your tires are new, and even the cheap ones should not be that bad.

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Winter tires are made of a softer compound than summer tires. They have more grip and will wear faster in warmer weather. I.e. less likely to slide/skid.

My opinion is this is more likely a brake problem than a tire problem.

Also note that if rain comes after a long dry spell the oil deposited on the pavement can float on the water and become very slippery. Again, nothing to do with tires.

I suspect there is a lot more in play besides the tires in this situation.

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