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Best way to put chains on tires? Are they effective?

Best way to put chains on tires? Are they effective?

Old Dec 21st, 2003, 11:52 AM
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Best way to put chains on tires? Are they effective?

I live in Delaware USA and have quite a bit of experience driving in wet/snow conditions; however, we use 4X4 primarily. If I rent a car, A) is it worthwhile B) if yes, what's the best way to do so C) any big considerations/compensations that need to be taken into accout?

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Andy
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Old Dec 21st, 2003, 12:00 PM
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There are two general sorts of chains: chains and cables. My observation is that cables, while theoretically easier to install, fall off quite frequently. Chains are a little harder and messier especially on a rear wheel drive car, but tend to stay on better. However, many cars cannot take chains because of the low clearance between the wheel and its well. One of my friends had an Audi 5000 and could not find ANY chains for it. In California, rented cars often may not have chains installed, so you must rent an SUV, at which point you might as well rent the 4 wheel drive version. Rules may well be different in Europe. If you can use chains, make sure that they are installed on the drive wheels and remember not to drive more than 30 mi. (50 km.) per hour.
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Old Dec 21st, 2003, 04:38 PM
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Are we correct to assume that the reason you posted this question here is that you will driving through snow in Europe??????????
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Old Dec 21st, 2003, 05:01 PM
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I would not attempt to install chains on a rental car without authorization in advance from the rental car agency -- as mentioned, some cars don't take chains and you could get hit for a major bill for damage. It's hightly likely that the car will have all weather tires.

I spent three years in Germany while I was in the Air Force and while we had a fair amount of snow, I never needed chains -- I did have a front wheel drive car with all weather tires and made it everywhere just fine. And I was not used to driving on snow and ice having spent the majority of my adult life in Texas, California, and Arizona prior to Germany.
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Old Dec 21st, 2003, 06:50 PM
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Chains can be extremely effective, but I've lived through winters in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan with more than 200 inches of snow and never even considered using chains. They are best for use in areas with a lot of very steep grades, such as mountainous regions. Even then, they are frequently installed and removed. It's a hassle. Frankly, I would need a good excuse to travel in an area where tire chains were a matter of routine. As pointed out earlier, you're talking about slow -- or, to say it another way: dangerous -- travel conditions.
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