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Posted: 3/9/2015 10:44:23 PM EDT
I know there's another thread raving about them on trucks.  But I currently own a Forester and we're buying my wife a Legacy wagon or Outback by the end of the week.  

Now this year I tried putting Altimax Artics on my Forester....AMAZING!! Night and day difference from normal all-seasons.  However, the fronts are worn 1-2mm more than the rear.  Now I'll rotate them for next season but the point is....they wear.  I'm thinking if I invest in 2 pair of chains....they should last quite a while and significantly longer than a set of tires.....right?

My concerns are....can they be used on sedans and AWD vehicles without screwing up the trans/AWD system?  How long do they last?  What happens to the tires....do the chains mess up the treads at all?  When used on bare pavement, do they eat up the roads?  What happens at higher speeds in regard to gas mileage and handling?  

Anyone with experience please share.

Thanks!

-Emt1581
Link Posted: 3/9/2015 11:04:57 PM EDT

You can't drive faster than 30 mph on chains.  Therefore they are only on for a few hours a year.
Link Posted: 3/9/2015 11:07:36 PM EDT
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Quoted:

You can't drive faster than 30 mph on chains.  Therefore they are only on for a few hours a year.
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30mph?  Then how does the USPS vehicles use them??  They drive 55 on a daily basis with them and all the mail vehicles around here have them on.

-Emt1581
Link Posted: 3/10/2015 12:05:15 AM EDT
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Quoted:


30mph?  Then how does the USPS vehicles use them??  They drive 55 on a daily basis with them and all the mail vehicles around here have them on.

-Emt1581
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Quoted:
Quoted:

You can't drive faster than 30 mph on chains.  Therefore they are only on for a few hours a year.


30mph?  Then how does the USPS vehicles use them??  They drive 55 on a daily basis with them and all the mail vehicles around here have them on.

-Emt1581




They're running heavy duty commercial rated chains on vehicles that they neither own nor particulary care about. If they break a cross chain and beat the shit out of a fender well then it's of little concern other than the annoyance of the racket that it'll make until its fixed.

When it's your personal vehicle you tend to use a different decision making process.

Are you considering true chains or are you looking at cable chains?
Link Posted: 3/10/2015 12:11:38 AM EDT
Chains are for when you really shouldn't be on the road, but find yourself there (or off road and do something stupid like me )



You run chains as little as possible.




For a car, I would go cables all the way. I think you will run into clearance issues with regular chains. Chains barely work on my pickup (rear air suspension, the chains barely clear the bags), and won't clear on my front axle (because I am running larger than stock tires). I plan on getting a set of cables for the front before next winter. FYI: I drive a '98 F250 light duty (F-150 body style), so the fenders weren't designed with much extra room like the super duty trucks.
Link Posted: 3/10/2015 12:32:17 AM EDT
Quoted:
I know there's another thread raving about them on trucks.  But I currently own a Forester and we're buying my wife a Legacy wagon or Outback by the end of the week.  

Now this year I tried putting Altimax Artics on my Forester....AMAZING!! Night and day difference from normal all-seasons.  However, the fronts are worn 1-2mm more than the rear.  Now I'll rotate them for next season but the point is....they wear.  I'm thinking if I invest in 2 pair of chains....they should last quite a while and significantly longer than a set of tires.....right?

My concerns are....can they be used on sedans and AWD vehicles without screwing up the trans/AWD system?  How long do they last?  What happens to the tires....do the chains mess up the treads at all?  When used on bare pavement, do they eat up the roads?  What happens at higher speeds in regard to gas mileage and handling?  

Anyone with experience please share.

Thanks!

-Emt1581
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you don't use chains on bare pavement.....
20-30 mph
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snow_chains

you put them on when you need them and then take them off immediately after.

Link Posted: 3/10/2015 12:33:25 AM EDT
I had an MG1100 many yrs ago and it would go anywhere's with chains I made for the front...  

Until it high centered on it's flat belly pan...  
Link Posted: 3/10/2015 10:04:11 AM EDT
Limited wheel well space on those cars. Studded snow tires is all you should need in PA.

Chains are a last ditch effort, almost never needed in the northeast.
Link Posted: 3/10/2015 11:33:55 AM EDT
LOL, I had them on a '73 Fury wagon and went places I never should have gone.

That said, I have a few sets around, and STILL carry a set or two in my DD during the winter, but I actually haven't HAD to chain up in around 30 years, and that time, I'm GLAD I had them. Or I'd still be stuck there!
Link Posted: 3/10/2015 7:05:55 PM EDT
Quoted:
I know there's another thread raving about them on trucks.  But I currently own a Forester and we're buying my wife a Legacy wagon or Outback by the end of the week.  

Now this year I tried putting Altimax Artics on my Forester....AMAZING!! Night and day difference from normal all-seasons.  However, the fronts are worn 1-2mm more than the rear.  Now I'll rotate them for next season but the point is....they wear.  I'm thinking if I invest in 2 pair of chains....they should last quite a while and significantly longer than a set of tires.....right?

My concerns are....can they be used on sedans and AWD vehicles without screwing up the trans/AWD system?  How long do they last?  What happens to the tires....do the chains mess up the treads at all?  When used on bare pavement, do they eat up the roads?  What happens at higher speeds in regard to gas mileage and handling?  

Anyone with experience please share.

Thanks!

-Emt1581
View Quote


Check out this Subaru with chains:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_BzSe6JDJEs

Note as others mentioned. Chains are only used to get you out of trouble - being stuck. 30mph and below. Take em off when unstuck or the pavement is clear. They are not something to put on once and leave on all year. They are a self recovery item.

After getting stuck in our 2wd Chevy Ute last year I ordered cables and chains for both my vehicles.

I went with pair of these cables for our FWD Chevy Ute:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000HZFDPU/ref=oh_details_o00_s01_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Test fit pic - last year:


And these for my 4WD Nissan pickup truck:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000UNPVQA/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1


Both sets are easy to get on and easy to get off - no need to pull forward = you can put them on when the vehicle is stuck.
I used the Thule Chains last winter to pull a buddy out his drive and keep me from going into his gulley.

I would have no problem using the Thule Chains for mud. The cables - I'd worry about in mud.

Here's a pic last winter's border between N. Arkansas and S. Missouri. N. Arkansas doesn't plow their roads.


Edit: If I were you, I'd go to a Subaru specific forum and research what chains will fit my vehicles.I'd recommend the Thule or Rudd low clearance chains over cables if you have a choice.



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