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Snow Chains


KenBa
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I have recently purchased a Rav 4 Excel 2019 with 18 inch alloy wheels.I am looking to purchase snow chains for this vehicle but have read on some sites that standard snow chains are not suitable.Some sites suggest that I need ladder track chains.Can anybody clarify the situation,or offer any other advice.

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Snow chains on alloy wheels and particularly the latest Toyota diamond cut ones, you are looking for are damage wheels. In general snow chains only to be used in deep snow over a feet and for very short time at low speeds. If a good all season or winter tyre can’t get you through the chains won’t help much either. Snow socks are way better imo especially if your plan is to fit these on oem tyres ( summer tyres). 

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Unless you're going super off-road I can't think of any situation in the UK where you would need snow chains!

You're better off getting a set of proper winter tyres (And even those will be overkill for most drivers down here; Vector 4 Seasons or CrossClimates will be fine for the vast majority of people in the UK, nevermind South East England! I don't even bother changing from summer tyres because there's just no point where I am!), and a can of snow grip spray for the rare occasion you do get stuck.

Snow chains and socks are a PITA to use as you can't use them on the road, so you'd have to put them on when you get stuck (While freezing), move, then take them off again once you get to clear road. Getting decent snow tyres and the grip spray will the job in 99% of situations and be far quicker and more convenient unless you're doing some extreme winter off-roading...

 

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Snow chains you need steel rims.

I sugest a bag of sand and a shovel at a push just use sawdust I used to use this when cars were rear wheel drive but can get along without it now on front wheel drive systems.

I live in a hilly area North/Durham UK.

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The snow grip/liquid snow chain spray is better than a bag of sand; I slightly suspect it is just Pine-Sap-In-A-Can but it's super sticky and works surprisingly well! It's also just a small can so doesn't take up much space in the car...

It wears off pretty quickly, so not great for really tricky roads, but for those situations where you're a bit stuck and if-I-can-just-get-out-of-this-rut-I'll-be-fine-type situations it's great stuff.

It's not great for trying to traverse deep snow drifts tho'. AWD and proper off-road tyres are the only things that work in that sort of snow...

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I live in one of the highest points in Lanarkshire but haven’t seen any significant snow in the last few years.  I was given a pack of snow socks nearly 10 years ago and they have remained sealed in their shiny wrapping case since that time.  Unless you live in a very remote area and don’t mind damaging your wheels, I find it difficult to justify purchasing snow chains.  

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I assume that the OP is intending to travel somewhere in Europe where the carrying and use of snow chains is mandatory.

The owners handbook gives guidance on the selection of "tire chains" (sic) in terms of link sizes etc. and their fitment to the front wheels only.

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I have snow chains for my 2005, according to the handbook the chains are too thick but I fitted them and checked clearances and they are fine, so maybe you need ladder ones,  but maybe some lowish profile conventional chain will be fine.

I'd start by getting under the car and looking at clearances, especially when the car is on full lock each way. The two issues to worry about are chains hitting the body work or catching on brake/suspension parts.

As it happens I also run winter tyres all year round and have snow socks too. Best insurance policy you can buy to avoid ever having a problem is to carry the right kit just in case!

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13 minutes ago, Derek.w said:

At one time you had the option of studs fitted to winter tyres.

I had mud and snow radials and studded.  They were 155s, narrow by todays standards.  I guess I used them 3-4 months a year and lost studs but they showed no sign of wear in 9 years. 

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Hi , was in Iceland recently on a 3 day break and it seemed to me that about 75% of cars had studded tyres.

when I questioned a taxi driver about how much snow they get in and around Reykjavik he said very little and even when they do it's only a couple of inches.

However the stud tyres were more for ice which they get a lot of.

If you live in the north of England then maybe worth thinking about if you can put up with the noise and I guess high wear.

Terry

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Terry, as I said, no tyre wear though I did loose some studs.  Didn't count but it was certainly lower than 50%.

I know I eventually stopped using them after I think the 4th car out grew them.  I can't remember the snow-argument between narrow and broad tyres. 

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Roy124 said:

Terry, as I said, no tyre wear though I did loose some studs.  Didn't count but it was certainly lower than 50%.

I know I eventually stopped using them after I think the 4th car out grew them.  I can't remember the snow-argument between narrow and broad tyres. 

 

 

 

 

narrow good, broad poorer. I'm old enough to remember my little old cars with their very skinny tyres but never seemed to be that much bothered about even deep snow. It's more a memory of freezing to death even with the 'heater' at max if it had one!!!

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I remember my parents putting a couple of concrete pavement slaps in the back of our Mercedes (rear wheel drive of course) so the car would go up the hill and into the garage - rear wheels first of course - when we had heavy snow fall 😅 Our Mini drove well in winter (with winter tyres) but was a nightmare in deeper snow because the small wheels compacted the snow in the wheel arches! Mind you, this was in Northern Germany 😊

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I can't find when studs were illegal though there was chatter in 2009 and reference to 1986 regulations.  I used mine in the 70s.

I remember at Aviemore one time a Bentley was doing a wheel change.  He had got up to the ski park but decided to switch to studs for the journey down. I can't imagine he got 4 in the boot as they were massive. 

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Forgot to add to my previous post above

whilst in Iceland I was pleasantly surprised to see a lot of RAV 4 s ( current model ) over there.

Generally one every 5 minutes or so which is more than I personally see in the UK.

Terry

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I also had a set of chains bought in Cyprus. They were Italian.  They consisted of two circles of chains with cross chains.  Unlike many others, these circles consisted of hard plastic lengths encloseing the chains. 

Very simple to use. Simply drop one circle behind the wheel, slip a short bar over the other end of the chain, loop back and latch.  Repeat on the open side, job done. 

 

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Studs are useless for snow, they're only good for ice, but they absolutely shred tarmac which then makes them much more prone to pot-holes, so where studs are legal, there are normally a lot of stipulations about when you can use them.

The best snow tyres have a lot of 'sipes', basically little thin cuts, on the surface of the tread block - These 'catch' snow, and for some reason I don't understand the best thing for gripping on snow is... more snow... so by catching the snow in the sipes and stopping it from acting like a roller this somehow gives snow tyres more grip!?

I used to think having a good blocky tread like an off-road tyre would work best, and that is true for deep fluffy snow, but for compacted snow it's these magical sipes that do all the work!

 

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4 hours ago, Cyker said:

Studs are useless for snow, they're only good for ice, but they absolutely shred tarmac which then makes them much more prone to pot-holes, so where studs are legal, there are normally a lot of stipulations about when you can use them.

The best snow tyres have a lot of 'sipes', basically little thin cuts, on the surface of the tread block - These 'catch' snow, and for some reason I don't understand the best thing for gripping on snow is... more snow... so by catching the snow in the sipes and stopping it from acting like a roller this somehow gives snow tyres more grip!?

I used to think having a good blocky tread like an off-road tyre would work best, and that is true for deep fluffy snow, but for compacted snow it's these magical sipes that do all the work!

 

Snow sticks to snow, and this is how we make snow balls to throw at cars with winter tyres 🛞❄️☃️👌

These were very good on snow and ice, also ultra quiet, sadly couldn’t last more than 4 seasons thanks to the salty roads. Tread depth 4-5mm but huge cracks formed. Not safe to drive anymore. Btw the mud and off road tyres are not good at snow and ice at all,  they are almost as bad as summer tyres. 

F7450526-E1AA-4007-97E3-9EAC9EFA6401.jpeg

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