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Old 11-21-2014, 09:47 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas
3,316 posts, read 5,308,408 times
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Okay...I know NOTHING about this...

Are tire chains a big hassle to use?

I've found myself in a situation where some of my winter driving at times will require them.

Also are there any types that are significantly better or worse than others?

Obviously this is not related to Houston...it's for the mountains.

This would be for a 2wd 4Runner Sport which I really am not in any hurry to part with...it's excelled at anything I've asked of it.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 11-22-2014, 03:06 AM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
32,103 posts, read 39,155,933 times
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Yes, they're a hassle to use. You don't put them on until you absolutely need them, which means you're doing it outside, in the snow and cold. But the alternative may be worse.
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Old 11-22-2014, 03:17 AM
 
33,134 posts, read 39,067,107 times
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I'd imagine if it snowed enough in Houston that you needed tire chains it might be a better idea to just stay off the roads for a day or so as everyone else without tire chains will be stuck so you wont be going anywhere.
Up here in Canada no one uses tire chains we get by very well on snowtires.
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Old 11-22-2014, 06:05 AM
 
13,563 posts, read 16,060,181 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by North Beach Person View Post
Yes, they're a hassle to use. You don't put them on until you absolutely need them, which means you're doing it outside, in the snow and cold.
...while lying on the cold, wet ground.

And, let us not forget that you need to remove the chains once you get to a stretch of continuously-cleared pavement. On long drives under certain conditions, you might wind up installing/removing/installing/removing those chains multiple times in a single day.

Modern-technology winter tires are the way to go, because they are reasonably effective on ice, as well as on snow.
The term "snow tires" is archaic.

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Old 11-22-2014, 06:36 AM
 
8,791 posts, read 9,617,809 times
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In the mountains they have signs that say " Chains beyond this point." When I was trying to cross Storm Mountain ( Utah) in a blizzard , at night, I didn't have chains. I also crossed Wolf creek pass in a storm with out chains . I have to say crossing Wolf Creek pass in a blizzard was not altogether uneventful. If I had known what I was heading into, I would have either cancelled the trip, taken a southern route to a lower elevation or used chains.
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Old 11-22-2014, 06:47 AM
 
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
2,540 posts, read 3,057,246 times
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I second the idea of having "winter tires " rather than chains. My car has two complete sets of tires, on rims. Three season tires, and winter tires, which are changed in the fall and spring. This winter will be the sixth year for the "winter tires " and they are at about 60 percent of their tread life. I drive about 20,000 miles a year.

Most people don't know that below about 40 F, the rubber on "all season " tires starts to become hard and lose it's ability to grip the pavement. The colder it gets the less the "all season " tires are able to work properly. On the other hand, the winter tires have a softer rubber compound, and specially designed tire tread for snow and ice. Winter tires stop better on ice than "all season " tires do, by a 25 percent margin.

A popular tire commercial, here in Canada, shows 2 cars running a slow speed slalom course on a hockey rink, which is obviously a ice surface. Winter tires on one car, summer tires on the other. The summer tires just don't work at all on ice or snow.

Note that just putting "winter tires " on the drive wheels is NOT the way to go. In order to have proper traction AND steering AND braking............they need to be on all FOUR wheels of the vehicle.

In at least one Canadian Province, winter tires are required, during the winter, by law. Get into an accident with summer tires, receive a large court fine.

Jim B. In Toronto.
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Old 11-22-2014, 08:21 AM
 
Location: MN
2,734 posts, read 2,572,787 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canadian citizen View Post
I second the idea of having "winter tires " rather than chains. My car has two complete sets of tires, on rims. Three season tires, and winter tires, which are changed in the fall and spring. This winter will be the sixth year for the "winter tires " and they are at about 60 percent of their tread life. I drive about 20,000 miles a year.

Most people don't know that below about 40 F, the rubber on "all season " tires starts to become hard and lose it's ability to grip the pavement. The colder it gets the less the "all season " tires are able to work properly. On the other hand, the winter tires have a softer rubber compound, and specially designed tire tread for snow and ice. Winter tires stop better on ice than "all season " tires do, by a 25 percent margin.

A popular tire commercial, here in Canada, shows 2 cars running a slow speed slalom course on a hockey rink, which is obviously a ice surface. Winter tires on one car, summer tires on the other. The summer tires just don't work at all on ice or snow.

Note that just putting "winter tires " on the drive wheels is NOT the way to go. In order to have proper traction AND steering AND braking............they need to be on all FOUR wheels of the vehicle.

In at least one Canadian Province, winter tires are required, during the winter, by law. Get into an accident with summer tires, receive a large court fine.

Jim B. In Toronto.
The OP lives in Houston, so a majority of the time a winter tire will be worthless waste of money. I think the tire chains might be a better idea. Chains would give more traction then just winter tires and the only times you'd ever use them would be in a storm (how often would you actually need them?) I couldn't do my job (private snow plowing company) keeping my truck in 2wd and just relying on my Nokian snow tires when we get 8+ inches. If I had chains on them, it would make life much less painful (though I've never used them)

If you buy winter tires, buy chains too, it's better to have them and not use them, then need them and not have them.
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Old 11-22-2014, 08:56 AM
 
Location: Pacific NW
9,173 posts, read 5,374,381 times
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SoHoVe said they were for use in the mountains, not Houston. Winter tires aren't a substitute for chains when the law says "chains required" to cross a pass and the state patrol is out checking each vehicle. That $500 ticket if you don't have chains on will make it seem cheap to buy a set of chains. There is an exception here for 4x4 that have M&S tires, they don't have to have chains on when the state patrol says chains required but they oddly still have to have chains in the vehicle.

Quote:
I have an all-wheel or four-wheel drive vehicle. When "Chains Required" signs are posted, do I have to use chains?
No. All-wheel drive vehicles are exempt from chain requirements when all wheels are in gear and are equipped with approved traction devices, provided that tire chains for at least one set of drive tires are carried in the vehicle. See WAC 204-24-050.
Traction Devices - Washington State Patrol
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Old 11-22-2014, 09:22 AM
 
Location: WA
5,292 posts, read 20,697,476 times
Reputation: 5622
I think chains are a huge hassle but after getting caught in a clipper snowstorm in the mountains which resulted in a dangerous scary and costly incident I now carry a winter box (chains, gloves, hat, flashlight, etc.) in the trunk. Since I rarely venture out with snow expected I manage with all season tires, but would switch to good snow tires if I regularly drove in true winter conditions.
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Old 11-22-2014, 10:57 AM
 
Location: Denver
3,138 posts, read 6,901,436 times
Reputation: 2907
Check out the Thule CB12 chains. I used these on my Ford Focus and it was pretty amazing where I was able to take my front wheel drive car with all season tires.

The Thule chains were pretty easy to use. However , that requires you to practice the install a few times before you are in the snow. You can drive these on dry pavement a little while practicing.

One thing that could be worth it is check your local Craigslist list for snow tire / wheel combos for your truck. You never know what you might find....even in Houston.
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