Read the text and fill the gaps with the correct sentences A – H. Write the letter of the missing sentence in the box in the gap. There are two extra sentences you will not need.
Do you use winter tyres? After several cold snaps in recent years, Brits have slowly woken up to snow tyres which can keep going where normal rubber gives up. 1 ………………..
Should you bother buying winter tyres? How much do they cost and, crucially, do they actually work? 2 ……………….. More accurately, they’re cold-weather tyres, designed to work in lower temperatures, on wet and dry roads, as well as giving better performance on snow and ice.
The science bit is easily explained: winter/cold-weather tyres contain more natural rubber than regular tyres, and are constructed of a softer compound. 3 ……………….. If you see a winter tyre up close, you’ll spot that the tread is different to a more conventional summer tyre. The contact patch of a winter tyre is more rugged: they’re covered in thousands of ‘sipes’ – tiny channels cut into the rubber which help displace water at a faster rate. 4 ………………..
Cold-weather rubber is becoming more relevant to more drivers for two reasons. Firstly, because our winters are getting more and more unpredictable. 5 ……………….. Secondly, you can now get yourself winter rubber in a massive range of sizes, from supermini boots right up to gargantuan 20-inch wheel compatible items like you’d find on the back of a Porsche Boxster. It’s potentially a much simpler way to keep mobile without investing in a more expensive 4×4.
6 ……………….. Shoe a BMW 5-series for winter and you’re looking at an £800 bill, and the only way is up. A set of four winter tyres and 20-inch ‘RS Spyder’ alloys for CAR’s long-termer Porsche Panamera GTS comes in at a cool £4060, including fitting. Winter peace of mind doesn’t come cheap, and yes, you do have to get four tyres: settling for just a pair for the driven wheels will do more harm than good, as this unbalances the whole vehicle.
A. On snow, it’s these little crevices that bite into the soft stuff, giving purchase and grip.
B. First things first: ‘winter tyres’, as we’re accustomed to calling them, is actually a misleading title.
C. Countries where winter tyres are obligatory have fewer accidents in winter.
D. Sometimes they’re mild, and sometimes the country grinds to a halt under a couple of inches of the white stuff.
E. This allows them to stay supple as temperatures drop below 7 degrees C, maintaining higher grips levels on the road, in conditions where a normal tyre becomes hard and less keyed-in to the asphalt.
F. There’s the obvious financial outlay to swallow: a set of four winter tyres for a Fiesta will set you back in the region of £350.
G. Having tested several types of winter tyres, we recommend getting a set, especially in the northern region of the country.
H. The UK still has very few winter tyres in use – just 3% of tyres sold in 2011 were designed for cold weather use – but trade bodies say the uptake is increasing.
Answers: 1-H 2-B 3-E 4-A 5-D 6-F