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#1 (permalink) Old 03-12-2006, 10:44 PM
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Default Snow Chains

Has anyone had to buy snow chains and have put them on a Prius? I'm heading to Tahoe at the end of the month and would rather be safe than sorry (with chains rather than without). Any recommendations--should I get the basic or am I able to upgrade slightly to the all-weather chains? Is there anything I should expect? First off, I've never driven in snow. Secondly, I've only technically been driving for a month (2 months roughly by the end of the month). Thirdly, I will have a car near max load (with people and equipment). And lastly, what should I expect in snow-temperature conditions?

- Phish Phood, Los Angeles, California
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#2 (permalink) Old 03-13-2006, 01:16 AM
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Look at Pep Boys, et al, for a plastic box to put them in, that has a funny shaped lid. That lid is a ramp, with a groove to set the chains in before you drive up. This simple gizmo makes putting them on a snap. Never used them on a Prius, but they made it easy on two other cars.

Also, stash extra tensioners in the box, as well as gloves, some hand cleaner, rags. And stash a piece of cardboard in the back to kneel on as you work.

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#3 (permalink) Old 03-13-2006, 02:05 AM
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Default Chains on Prius

I have never had chains on my 2005 Prius, simply because I have not had it long enough!

I taught driving for 35 years. Putting chains on a Prius is just like any other car. Practice in the driveway of your home before you go. Do it twice so you know what you are doing.

When you get up there, find a level place to apply the chains. Then limit your speed to 25 mph! Everything you do must be done smoothly. Steering, accelerating, braking all must be done smoothly.

Me. . .I have shoveled enough snow in my lifetime to know to stay down here in Fremont, CA where it is warm. . .most of the time.
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#4 (permalink) Old 03-13-2006, 02:05 AM
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With all these cautions you can see that if at all possible you don't want to fool with chains. Give the Highway Patrol a call and I am sure they will advise you that they are seldom needed on U.S. 80. If they do because of blizzard conditions over Donner Pass at the time of your trip I believe the gas stations on either side of the mountain have ajustable chains for sale. They mount them for you and a station on the other side will purchase them back from you and remove them. It's been a lot of years so check with the Highway Patrol about this. It may have stopped with the advent of 4 wheel drive SUV's which are not required to use chains
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#5 (permalink) Old 03-13-2006, 03:09 AM
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Default chains

As is happens I 80 over Donner Pass is "chains required" at this moment.

http://www.dot.ca.gov/

I bought SSC Z cable chains for my Prius and have not used them yet. I don't really hope to, because installing is a pain, you have to go slow, and anywhere they are required, driving conditions are very poor. However they are the right thing to bring along in the winter mountains.

Along with scraper, jacket, gloves, blanket, 2 flashlights, food, water, a full tank of fuel and windshield blue-juice. Still wanna go?

DAS
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#6 (permalink) Old 03-13-2006, 12:45 PM
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Expect loosy mileage in the cold. Probably in the low to mid 30's. But the wt. of the car will make it easier to handle so enjoy.
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#7 (permalink) Old 03-13-2006, 12:57 PM
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Hehe.. taking my nephew (1 year old) to the snow Maybe I'll cave and ask my bf to take his beamer instead... we'll see

- Phish Phood, Los Angeles, California
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#8 (permalink) Old 03-15-2006, 01:14 AM
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Default Spike Spiders

Another alternative to traditional chains are something called Spike Spiders. This nifty gadgets only take minutes to put on and are a lot safer than chains with considerably less risk in damage to your car's axle if the chain ever came off.

I had a set on my Saturn and they were a gem.


http://www.spikes-spiders.com

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#9 (permalink) Old 03-18-2006, 03:47 PM
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hm, I know I posted links to some snow chains in the past, but I cannot find it with the poorly-indexed Google search above...

Surprisingly, the US NHW20 owner's manuals don't list anything about snow chains. the US NHW11 owner's manuals did list that you should look into SAE class "S" snow chains for low-clearance.

-- Michelle Vadeboncoeur, mrv@kluge.net
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#10 (permalink) Old 03-24-2006, 01:48 PM
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Default Re: Snow Chains

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phish Phood
Has anyone had to buy snow chains and have put them on a Prius? I'm heading to Tahoe at the end of the month and would rather be safe than sorry (with chains rather than without). Any recommendations--should I get the basic or am I able to upgrade slightly to the all-weather chains?
A word of caution. Our Prius dealer actually made us sign an agreement not to use chains. There is a clearance issue with normal chains. Cable chains and maybe some of the Quickie types are probably OK. We go up to Tahoe often but usually try to time the trip between storms. So, although I have cable chains, I have yet to use them. I also have a 4WD alternative vehicle to use in bad weather. Of course, it costs $70 more in gas to get there and back in the 4WD.

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2004 Salsa Red BC, 7/13/04-2/27/07 (46.4 MPG, best tank 54.4)
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