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Posted: 2/1/2011 10:29:27 AM EDT
Ok, I spent an hour stuck on the side of the road. The road was all ice and the wind blew me into a ditch and I had no traction. I have a 96 Suzuki Sidekick 4x4. I think I need to break down and buy some cheap (only used 1-2 times a year) chains. What type do I need and what should I look for?

Thanks,

Chris1836
Link Posted: 2/1/2011 10:33:31 AM EDT
First, are you running legit snow/ice tires? Something like Blizztaks or Michelin Alpines.
Link Posted: 2/1/2011 10:42:17 AM EDT
Sine you live in Texas, I doubt you want to spend money on snow tires. Get a set of chains and learn how to put them on. Just don't go crazy with your speeds and life will be good.

Chains>Tires for extreme traction
Link Posted: 2/1/2011 10:44:42 AM EDT
Link Posted: 2/1/2011 10:55:35 AM EDT
The wreckes have them so I assume they are legal. I just run my regular tires, I just want to be able to have more traction in ice.
Link Posted: 2/1/2011 10:57:34 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/1/2011 11:10:33 AM EDT by maleante]
Chains are only for certain extreme conditions such as: Deep mud ruts, a few inches of slick mud on top of dry roads, DEEP snow (ie up to your bumper), or any combination of snow, mud that includes steep or long moderate inclines/declines.

Chain laws are enforced on highways and interstates only when snow is on the ground, not ice... hence chains=snow, ice=stay home.

Since you are experiencing ice, good siped tires are much better than chains. Tire chains do not do much good on ice.

A general rule is that if there is ice outside so bad that you are thinking about chaining up, you should probably stay home.

For my job, I throw chains about 100 times a year, I've had times where chains are not enough and D9 Cats are the only option after chaining up.
Link Posted: 2/1/2011 10:58:32 AM EDT
How much ice do you drive in annually? We have snow and ice all winter long up here and no one uses chains. Especially if you have 4x4.
Link Posted: 2/1/2011 11:03:11 AM EDT
Go to http://www.tirechain.com. Get the alloy square straight links. The alloy square straight links will provide the same traction as the v-bars but they will be niceer to drive on the pavement with. The v-bar is best used in ice when you're off-road.

Learn how to put them on in your driveway. Keep in your mind that if you think you should put the chains on you should. It's much easier to take chains off if they aren't needed. You want to put chains on BEFORE you get stuck. You don't want to be putting chains on AFTER you're already stuck.
Link Posted: 2/1/2011 11:08:50 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Engineer5:
How much ice do you drive in annually? We have snow and ice all winter long up here and no one uses chains. Especially if you have 4x4.

He's in Texas, two inches there is like 2 feet for you since they're not accustomed to it.

There's a possibility he's not using all terrain or off-road tires since driving habits, and conditions, may not normally call for it. Chains are a cheap and easy solution to add traction when it's not feasible to buy tires that would rarely be used.
Link Posted: 2/1/2011 11:16:36 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Gixxersixxer:

Originally Posted By Engineer5:
How much ice do you drive in annually? We have snow and ice all winter long up here and no one uses chains. Especially if you have 4x4.

He's in Texas, two inches there is like 2 feet for you since they're not accustomed to it.

There's a possibility he's not using all terrain or off-road tires since driving habits, and conditions, may not normally call for it. Chains are a cheap and easy solution to add traction when it's not feasible to buy tires that would rarely be used.


Yep, most of my driving is on roads or slight mud off road like that. I don't use off-road tires, don't need them. It snows 1-2 times a year and just need something for when it does snow and ice up. Thanks for the info. We do have about 5in. on the ground and our area is at a grinding halt.

Link Posted: 2/1/2011 11:19:13 AM EDT
Down south they don't have a lot of salt or anti-skid and when they do have it they don't really have the equipment to get all the roads done when they have an ice story. I have run chains on a truck and just be warned that you have to be careful about how fast you drive with them on your car and they really give you a rough ride when they are on there. I only used them in deep snow but yea it turns a 4x4 truck into a mini bulldozer as could push snow out of the way that was really deep with a bed full of snow and chains on a 4x4 F150.
Link Posted: 2/1/2011 11:42:22 AM EDT
Originally Posted By maleante:
Chains are only for certain extreme conditions such as: Deep mud ruts, a few inches of slick mud on top of dry roads, DEEP snow (ie up to your bumper), or any combination of snow, mud that includes steep or long moderate inclines/declines.

Chain laws are enforced on highways and interstates only when snow is on the ground, not ice... hence chains=snow, ice=stay home.

Since you are experiencing ice, good siped tires are much better than chains. Tire chains do not do much good on ice.

A general rule is that if there is ice outside so bad that you are thinking about chaining up, you should probably stay home.

For my job, I throw chains about 100 times a year, I've had times where chains are not enough and D9 Cats are the only option after chaining up.


Tire chains are not good on ice???? Chains are about the only thing that works on real ice. I've lived in Maine and Alaska all of my life, and experienced plenty of deep snow and ice. Hell, I drive on frozen lakes all the time.
Link Posted: 2/1/2011 11:42:27 AM EDT
Chains work but they are a bit of work to put on .
If you are running them they eat themselves up in short order .
many cars and small trucks don't have the clearance .
unless installed correctly and kept tight they can cause serious dammage to the vehicle
Link Posted: 2/1/2011 12:36:42 PM EDT
Chains work great for ice. This is about as cheap as you are gonna get Sears If your tires are 215/65-16 (original equipment size) you would get Code 8 $63.33 including shipping.
Link Posted: 2/1/2011 6:37:08 PM EDT

.
Link Posted: 2/2/2011 5:51:51 AM EDT
I have never used the cable type chains. How do they compare to the older chain type tire chains? Obviously they are easier to put on but how do they compare otherwise?
Link Posted: 2/2/2011 6:40:13 AM EDT
Thanks for all the info. Going to order some after my next pay day.
Link Posted: 2/2/2011 6:42:05 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Quarterbore:
I have never used the cable type chains. How do they compare to the older chain type tire chains? Obviously they are easier to put on but how do they compare otherwise?


The cable-type chains were originally invented for the front-wheel-drive cars that had McPherson struts that didn't leave enough tire clearance for chains.

In other words (as I have heard it) they don't help as much as chains, but they do help quite a bit.



I would agree on looking up your state's laws about chain use first.
I know the rules about running them on interstates are different but the times of least traction I've ever seen (when even 4wd vehicles could barely move) was not snow, it was freezing rain that left a solid sheet of wet ice on the roads.
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