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Snow chains - any good?

(16 Posts)
QueenOfFlamingEverything Sun 05-Dec-10 11:48:19

We live up a 1 1/2 mile dirt track, with a hairpin bend and a few steep bits, which gets impassable by car very quickly in winter. Four wheel drives can still make it but cars have no chance.

Does anyone now anything abut snow chains for car tyres? Would it be worth getting some?

QueenOfFlamingEverything Sun 05-Dec-10 12:22:45

Or snow socks? Are they an easier option?

BikeRunSki Sun 05-Dec-10 12:29:51

I was about to buy DH some snow socks for Christmas - but now all sold out for his car! Article in Guardian yesterday where they talk to the AA about driving in winter, the AA really rate them.

QueenOfFlamingEverything Sun 05-Dec-10 14:30:01

which bit was the article in?

<<hopes dp hasn't used it to light fire yet>>

bounty007 Sun 05-Dec-10 18:30:22

used to drive in France with snow chains all the time...they are great if you learn how to put them on and off and can do it quickly..i can put on 2 in less than 3 minutes..which has blokes v impressed...
although you need to take them off the second you hit black roads or you will wreck both the chains and your tyres, so can be a real flaff if the main roads are clearded..
I also drove my polo in alps and had 4 winter tyres fitted, so never bothered with chains for it. Swapped for normal tyres in summer

BikeRunSki Mon 06-Dec-10 15:36:23

DH has recycled the paper! But, quite near the front of the main paper, in the newsy bit, on right hand side as you look at the paper, a half-page article with snowy photo, in which they talk about driving in winter, and I am sure AA man talks about snow socks being a good idea. Nothing very specific.

HopeForTheJingleBells Mon 06-Dec-10 15:45:31

yy bounty007

Would agree that first thing you need is winter tyres, and snow chains only in very specific road conditions.

And it is worth practising how to get them on and off BEFORE you are in a situation where you need them eg stuck halfway up a very steep hill covered in a sheet of thick ice while freezing wind is blowing, more snow is coming down, baby ds asleep in car, and a pick-up truck is sliding towards you with no traction and will probably crash into any moment because you cannot move out of the f**king way as you still have not got the snow tyres on....only as an example, of course grin

LadyMetroland Mon 06-Dec-10 15:54:25

We've just had winter tyres put on our car and it makes a difference. We have a dirt track to drive up, and it's on a massive slope so very prone to ice as well as snow. Winter tyres are definitely the way forward. I did a bit of research into it - go online and you'll find loads of people in snowy countries like austria who just have two sets of tyres on an ordinary car - swap back to summer tyres in March. no need for a 4x4, and in fact some 4x4s are completely useless in snow

snow chains are for when it's extremely snowy, and you can only go at about 20mph in them. Plus you have to keep taking them off when you reach clear roads - massive faff.

dikkertjedap Mon 06-Dec-10 18:57:16

snow chains are illegal on UK public roads ...

I bought Goodyear snow socks on the internet, were very quickly delivered (haven't had a need to try them yet though)(mind you bought them in October so may have changed now). I think winter tyres are superior (also you don't have the hassle of having to put them on and off like snow socks if you come across snowy surface and then fully gritted surface) but quite a few UK made cars don't have right axles I believe to fit winter tyres and to change that is very expensive.

stickersarecurrency Mon 06-Dec-10 19:04:35

Winter tyres are cheap (ours are Vrederstein and only £25 more per tyre than cheapest standard tyres) and easy because once they're on they're on. Great for ice - the rubber's designed to stay sticky at low temperatures. We just put two on but if I was less skint we'd have them all round. Probably selling out fast just now though!

BigTillyMincepie Tue 07-Dec-10 13:02:43

This is interesting - I didn't know that snow chain are illegal here, or that you can get winter tyres here!

We have had cars with winter tyres in France when we go skiing, and also used snow chais - MASSIVE faff, and I was the only one who could untangle them to put them on.....

peachybums Wed 08-Dec-10 21:40:35

Was going to say arent they illegal but wasnt sure and didnt want to look silly :s

StewieGriffinsMom Wed 08-Dec-10 21:42:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

debka Wed 08-Dec-10 21:47:25

Winter tyres are the way to go. And there's no reason to change them in the summer fi you don't want to/can't afford it, you can run them all year round.

orienteerer Wed 08-Dec-10 21:49:18

Winter tyres much more practical. Lived in a cold, snowy country for 5 years and had winter tyres, they were so good we never used the snow chainsgrin.

QueenOfFlamingEverything Wed 08-Dec-10 21:49:37

i only want them for driving the 1 1/2 miles down our unsurfaced drive to the road at the bottom - would remove them before going on roads

as it is we are stuck here despite the roads being clear as we can't get to them!

can't afford winter tyres

tbh our drive is so crap chains could not make it worse

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