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I have a 2005 Prius, and will be heading to an area that requires snow chains. I read a thread on chains, but it wasn't clear what the best option was.

Does anyone have conclusive info on the optimal snow chains for a 2005 Prius?

Thanks very much in advance!
 

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Far from conclusive, but I used to carry Z-cables in 2001 Prius just in case. Have heard them rated highly in actual use. I rehearsed installing them a couple of times and they were quite a tight fit.

DAS
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hey, I realize that not everyone lives in areas that require snow chains, but there must be a few more suggestions, right?

Anyone else ever used snow chains on a 2G Prius?

Thanks!
 

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The only comment I can offer is they are not recommended by Toyota. I suppose the thinking is if you need chains the snow is too deep for the Prius ground clearance. Or it's just because of the tight wheel well clearances.
 

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Not exactly a true statement. With some "forcasts" the highway patrols of Nevada and California mandate them to just drive on the interstates in the Seirras. (Donner Pass)
And if you can get back far enough on this site I remember the first winter I had my 04 in 04 there were a lot of threads concerning a lot of California Prius owners asking the same question and being furnished answere. Some type of easily installed strap on chains that worked well on the Prius and were acceptable to the highway patrol. In fact as I remember, once the straps were applied the chain units were "snap-on's.

Come on, you skiers in California. Come up with the product. Maybe "Ricky" remembers.
 

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Disclaimer: I don't drive my Prius in the snow, I have an AWD SUV for that.

I would look into SCC Z-Chains and Super Z-6 cable chains (Z-Chain is a cable chain too). They provide the right balance between traction, durability, and ease of installation. The sock and plastic chains may be easier to put on, but don't provide the traction or durability of cables or chains, and link chains, though superior in traction, are a PITA to install and usually don't meet Class "S" requirements. The Z-Chains are less expensive than Super Z-6, and usually sufficient unless clearance is super tight. Super Z-6 is usually only needed on cars like sports sedans w/low profile tires (BMW, etc.).
 

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David Beale said:
The only comment I can offer is they are not recommended by Toyota. I suppose the thinking is if you need chains the snow is too deep for the Prius ground clearance. Or it's just because of the tight wheel well clearances.
Perhaps they have changed the owners' manual? I see in various Prius message archives posts from people who have gotten cable chains from their Toyota dealer's parts department...

US 2004 Prius Owner's Manual, section 8-2 "Do-It-Yourself Maintenance," "Engine and Chassis," "Installing Snow Tires and Chains," pages 294-295:
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Installing snow tires and chains

WHEN TO USE SNOW TIRES OR CHAINS

Snow tires or chains are recommended when driving on snow or ice.

On wet or dry roads, conventional tires provide better traction than snow tires.

....

TIRE CHAIN SELECTION

Use the tire chains of correct size.

Regulations regarding the use of tire chains vary according to location or type of road, so always check the local regulations before installing chains.

CHAIN INSTALLATION

Install the chains on the front tires as tightly as possible. Do not use tire chains on the rear tires. Retighten chains after driving 0.5~W1.0 km (1/4~W1/2 mile).

When installing chains on your tires, carefully follow the instructions of the chain manufacturer.

If wheel covers are used, they will be scratched by the chain band, so remove the covers before putting on the chains.

CAUTION
^A Do not exceed 50 km/h (30 mph) or the chain manufacturer's recommended speed limit, whichever is lower.
^A Drive carefully avoiding bumps, holes, and sharp turns, which may cause the vehicle to bounce.
^A Avoid sharp turns or locked~Vwheel braking, as use of chains may adversely affect vehicle handling.
^A When driving with chains installed, be sure to drive carefully. Slow down before entering curves to avoid losing control of the vehicle. Otherwise an accident may occur.

NOTICE
Do not attempt to use a tire chain on the compact spare tire, as it may result in damage to the vehicle as well as the tire.
I'll note that there's also a Caution warning in the Anti-Lock Brake Section warning you that you may need a longer stopping distance when driving with tire chains installed. (page 211)

Strangely the 2004 Owner's Manual doesn't suggest the type of tire chains, like the OM on my 2001. My 2001 OM suggests using SAE S-class (restricted/limited wheel clearance) chains.

Remember to take the center wheel covers off. Use only on the front (drive) wheels.

I've seen reference to this site for ordering: http://tirechain.com/P185-65R-15.htm

easiest to install is to either have a tire dealer install it for you (for example, Les Schwab), or to get a ratcheting system, but easy install will mean more expensive...
 

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I've been using the Les Schwab "Quick fit Diamond" cable chains with good success. Very little clearance is needed, and they install quickly. As stated, be sure to remove the plastic rings. They provide a pretty smooth ride compared to regular chains. Not sure how they do on ice, but I've had no problems with traction control engaging when driving in snow.
 

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Why does Toyota recommend against chains or cables on all 4 tires? I bought "Ecopia" tires that are supposed to be good for getting better mileage on the Prius, but they are summer tires (which is fine for year-round driving here in the SF Bay Area) ... but I'm now planning to drive up to the mountains next week for skiing. I know, I could have bought all-season tires, but these are what I own and I don't want to buy/change tires for once/year skiing.

So has anyone ever put chains or cables on the rear wheels? There seems to be enough clearance.
 

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yes ok i know its after the event and snow has fallen, however i am sure it will not be the last before the winter is over and just wondering whether anyone has had any experience of driving with chains or snow socks and your thoughts on which are best would be great,

see the socks they seem easier to put on and store etc and have the same effect of chain

thanks
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