To "borrow" from the movie / musical 'Grease' ...
Summer rubber had me a blast
Summer rubber happened so fast
I met a tyre crazy for me
Met a wheel cute as can be
Summer days drifting away to oh oh the Summer rubber.
It says "drifting away", and that sport uses up a lot of tyre rubber. ;-)
On 27/06/2013 6:49 AM, Brake Dive, Acceleration Squat and Body Roll Bros
Suspension Works wrote:
Do you want a suggestion for it? I would suggest Nexen Roadian HP's.
Nexen Roadian HP Tire Reviews (16 Reviews)
I got them on my Tribeca, and tread wear seems to be very slow, and
these are fairly cheap to buy. Usually available through Walmart, if
you're in the US. The tread pattern is super-aggressive too, great for
rain obviously, but also for some light to medium-severity snow.
Chains are mandated by law at certain times (winter snowstorms) when
driving in the mountains but, so far, only for truckers (at some
minimal axle count and weight). While those laws don't affect you
driving around in a passenger car, that doesn't obviate their need.
AWD does *not* affect the maximum traction of tires on ice or dig you
out of deep snow. AWD has little effect on glare ice: all wheels just
spin away. AWD doesn't alter that you have the same 4 tires as
everyone else during braking. AWD is not a panacea. It actually
tends to make drivers worse in they will get into deeper trouble.
They overcompensate as to just what AWD will actually do for them.
Unless you actually practice, it will not improve your driving skills
but may mask some of your bad ones. Can you ensure that at the time
you encounter snow-covered glare ice and deep drifts on a mountain
pass during or soon after a snowstorm that you are really fat and have
3-4 other really fat passengers with a full load of luggage to ensure
you have a lot more weight on your tires to increase your traction?
More likely you're the only one in the vehicle (i.e., it's empty of
passengers and cargo). AWD does nothing to improve the traction of
your tires, and deep treads help some in deep snow but not on glare
ice where bald tires would be better (but then how to get to the glare
ice without needing treaded tires to get there).
For those claiming they have or never will need chains, they're
admitting that they have never and don't expect to ever test the
drivability of their vehicle in really bad driving conditions.
I get a smile when we have those nights where there is a light but
continual mist that coats everything with a thick layer of glare ice.
Tree limbs fall off due to the weight. Everything is slick. You
can't even walk up the slight incline of your driveway to open the
fence gate to drive your car into the garage so instead you have to
walk in the snow to get up there. The AWD will slide back from a stop
sign at an intersection with a stop light/sign like any other car
without AWD. You have to hope you can drive your right side tires
into the snow bank to get some traction and hope the snow bank hasn't
solidified into rock. It would take me 2 hours to make the normally
15-minute drive to work but I'd make it. Of course, I could also make
it with my rear-wheel drive highly-modified muscled Mustang, too, but
it would be even more frustrating to drive that slow and deliberately
plowing into bank snow with that car.
The Mousetwang was low to the ground with wider tires so tended to
plow the snow more; however, the Subies barring the Forester aren't
really super-high, either, and can end up plowing deep snow ahead of
them. When time to leave from work, I had to smash my Subie back and
forth in the over-waist high snow to plow me a path to get enough
momentum to plow through the rest of the snow in the parking lot.
Since I had managed to get into work, like hell I was going to be sent
home early due to the severe snowstorm. I was already there so I
stayed while it continued the huge snowfall outside. Most everyone
else early when told or never bothered to drive in, so I had plenty of
room to use my Subie as a plow (and on another bad day I used my
Mustang as a plow, too, just to get through the apartment complex
parking lot -- good thing I know where are the fire hydrants sitting
in the parking lot that are unseen under blinding white snow that
eliminates any contrast to see depths or bumps in the snow). Yet
chains, even the low-profile lightweight cable-style chains or
autosocks (since I wouldn't be driving fast, only 4 miles, and on
pavement covered with 1/2" glare ice with 28 inches of snow atop that;
see video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WYjIDvSdzHQ ), would've
r-e-a-l-l-y helped that day on any vehicle that I was driving to help
give more traction to plow through the snow and move forward and steer
on the glare ice underneath. I did manage to drive from A to B but
that doesn't obviate that chains would've made the drive far less
daunting and much more safe.
Forester with chains in deep snow:
(and that snow was about half of that for the day that I mentioned)
Forester on "easy" off-road trails:
(nice hard river beds, one side out of mud, not soupy deep mud)
If the second video is the extent of the worse driving conditions you
expect for off-roading or the snow depth is less than the underside
clearance of the vehicle then you don't need chains -- except on glare
ice when the roads are NOT horizontal. Yeah, try driving up hilled
pavement thickly coated with glare ice. You'll just sit at the bottom
of the hill spinning your tires. Zero friction is still no friction
regardless of how the wheel power is managed. Chains are needed for
extreme conditions. The 2nd video isn't really showing you extreme
driving conditions. In fact, it looks like locations were selected to
ensure the Subie would perform well.
When you see videos of how well various cars behave on ice, it's like
lake ice with snow cleared away. That's not glare ice that forms with
misty rainfall that freezes on contact with pavement. They would have
to shave the lake ice and then mist it up so it have the same super
shiny glassy and clear (no bubbles) surface as glare ice. Even at:
this isn't glare ice plus there's some snow to rough up the surface.
You could walk on that ice. I'm talking about the glare ice where you
have to use more force to keep your feet together or they would slide
out and you fall, the kind of mirrored ice where you can't even get up
a 10-foot driveway entrance with maybe a 12-degree pitch at most
without first getting a running start to slide up the glare ice to
reach the gate. Plus this was a video on controlled friction failure
and hardly something that equates to safely driving on roads to avoid
going into the ditch or hitting other cars on the same road. By the
time these drivers manage to get control of the car, they would
already be in the ditch or smashed into another car driving in the
same reckless manner on a road with no shoulder or rails or a road
shared with other vehicles.
So ice only forms on horizontally flat places? Uh huh, sure. Please
explain to me just how AWD is going to help you on an icy incline when
it starts to slide backwards. Once the slide starts, you've lost.
Spinning the tires will only further lower the coefficient of friction
if you try to continue driving uphill while sliding down. Solid
braking on all 4 tires is the only way to get the maximum friction
while sliding. The coefficient of friction is severely reduced once
traction is lost. Spinning the tires reduces it further. Here's a
funny ice video:
(wheeee, and whew, it missed collision)
Even with AWD on the Subies that I've owned, once the tires on one
side go into a drift of snow, like those made by prior vehicles
pushing the deep snow around, what happens? Well, of course, the car
pulls into the drift. There's more friction on that side. Having
more friction on the non-drift side would likely help you keep from
your car ditching into the drift or going into an uncontrolled spin.
The AWD system doesn't help keep the car from pulling into the drift.
You try to stay out by turning the other way only to spin that way
once the drift-side tires get out of the drift. On highways during
rush hour that are covered with even 6 inches of snow with the
resulting drifts all over the roads, including in the middle, it can
be nerve wracking trying to not get pulled into another lane and smack
into another car. Chains help dig you through the drift while helping
the off-side tires not slip so you can point your car out of the drift
without having to over steer to get out. Despite hitting the drift,
you still need to stay in your lane on public roads. Getting pulled
over and hitting another car still leaves you responsible for the
accident. If you can't keep your car in your lane, you shouldn't be
on the road. AWD is nice but it often doesn't help when you hit that
unexpected interlane drift. Maybe you can see the drift but maybe not
when the snow is densely falling (low visibility) or it's so new that
it's all white so there's no contrast for you to guage depth.
Oh, and chains also help if you're a mudder that overextends the
"normal" capability of your vehicle. With chains, you might not have
to plod through the mud to get to a nearby farm to ask the farmer to
bring over his tractor to pull you out. Since we're talking about a
commuter passenger vehicle, it's unlikely you have mud tires on your
Subie unless you already know that's where you're going, plus are
there mudders for 13-inch wheels? They act like paddles to get you
through the really soft soupy stuff.
Subie with chains in place of mud tires:
More likely the reason you don't even consider getting chains is they
are bitch to put on. In a nice dry well-lit garage, yeah, it's a bit
of crawling around on the dry floor to work on the inside of the tire.
But often you're already out in the field when you realize you need
them. You're out crawling in the snow, often wet, dirty, and salty
and getting colder and more numb hands as the minutes tick by.
One day I'll have to see what those autosocks are like for installing
when you're already stuck out in otherwise impassible glare ice and/or
excessive snow depth. They look a lot easier to install for temporary
short-distance and low-speed use. Chains are for when I know that I'm
going to exceed the normal ability of the vehicle or I'm suspect
driving conditions are going to really horrible (and I really
shouldn't be there but I'm stubborn, or stupid, or overzealous, or
playing, or manly egotistical, or all of the above).
The more off-roadable is your vehicle, the farther you can dig your
self into trouble and the farther away from help to get out, so chains
can help to rectify your bad decision. The more torque you have in
your drill with a screw bit, the more likely you'll torque off the
head and be stuck reaching for the vise grips to remove the broken
screw. I suspect you've never pushed your Subie very much beyond its
advertised envelope for handling or you've never happen to encounter
severe driving conditions where chains would really help and may even
be required to move the vehicle. Sliding around on ice is fun to both
driver and observer when it's planned. When not planned, it's
stressful if not destructive to driver or vehicle -- but it's still
funny to observer when they see you over extend the ability of rubber
on ice or use your car to push through really deep snow but manage to
plow up an impassible more dense mound of snow after only a few feet.
Chains are for more severe driving conditions than you have put your
I follow your comments and am familiar with them. Basically I'm saying
that for my normal driving conditions where I live, chains and the like
are no longer needed.
We live on a hill and years ago with rear wheel drive would usually have
to leave the cars at the bottom of the hill for a week or two during the
winter. Front wheel drive cut this time back and now with our Foresters
we never have to park at the bottom of the hill.
Couple of years ago I did get stuck in a snow drift out in a field off
the road. No tire or chain would have got me through as all 4 wheels
were lifted off the ground. Shoveling the snow out from underneath the
Forester and backing out saved me.
For "normal" driving, no, chains aren't needed. That wasn't your
original statement which insinuated that chains are never needed.
Depends on you plan to use and play with your vehicle. Depends on
what other external savior resources are available to you to extracate
yourself from when "normal" becomes "unexpected or extreme". AAA
isn't always going to have someone near enough with a tow truck or
tracker or crane to get you out. Your cell phone might be out of
range or its battery weak or dead. There may be no other passerbys
for days or weeks or centuries at your dire location. You're all
alone so only what you have with you can you use to get you out of a
bad situation. No help from anywhere else.
I have chains in the trunk for when normal suddenly changes to
abnormal. Same reason why I stow a medkit and winter survival kit
along with jumper cables, tow strap, flares, bungie cords and rope,
oil, washer fluid, fan belts, wiper blades, a bag of gravel, a folding
army shovel, and a couple of toolboxes and wrench and socket sets in
the cargo area. I probably have more back there but haven't
inventoried it lately. Many times all that isn't to help me. I've
probably used it more to help others than myself to get out of a bad
situation. In fact, I've used many of the tools, straps, winches, and
whatnot to assist in building a new garage for my buddy or putting up
siding, windows, doors, and roofing on his sister's house. It doesn't
have to be reserved for use only for vehicle emergencies.
We've had glare ice from overnight misting too often here to ignore
that no scheme for transferring power to the wheels is going to help
you. Since there is little or no friction available, it's just like
your tires are off the road. Something more is needed to acquire
sufficient friction to controllably move the vehicle.
I remember a time when I was playing around with a Jeep CJ-5 and kept
pushing it past its normal limit mostly to see how good (or bad) I was
at controlling the vehicle. Everything went better than I expect ...
except when it came time to jump the railroad tracks. Rains has
washed out the ground around the tracks so there were huge and wide
ruts. The rails were up on a hump of earth for as far as I could see
either way. I figured to gun the Jeep to get enough speed to jump
over the rails. That's because the rails at the top of this washed
out hump were higher than the clearance under my Jeep. Somewhere
along me speeding up to the hump, I chickened out and lessened the
pressure on the accelerator pedal. I think it was I realized that I
had not first walked to the other side to see what was over there
before making the leap. Sure enough, the Jeep landed squarely onto
the rails with all four mud tires completely elevated off the ground.
In this case, it certainly didn't matter what type of tranny was
employed or how power got distributed to the wheels. The wheels were
floating in the air. I tried using the winch to pull the Jeep off the
rails but the cable snapped. That's a lot of dead weight to attempt
to pull forward but get the vehicle to move straight up (the rail
width was probably the same distance between the tires). Then I heard
a train horn in the far off distance. Oh oh.
I dug out my tools which included some huge pipe wrenches (for large
plumbing work). It unscrewed the rails from the ties, put the Jeep
into super low gear. I had a cabled remote control to work the engine
and winch (but still had to move the steering wheel) so I didn't need
to be inside the cabin to push down on the accelerator. The reason
for this remote control and the super high gear transfer case to
provide high torque at high RPM but give very slow travel speed was
for use when moose hunting and having to be outside the vehicle to
gauge its maneuvering through the tightly spaced trees in the forest
while dragging out the moose. Often the trees were closer than the
side mirrors that I had to flatten against the car sides. I used one
of the ties to lever up on the rear end to assist a rear tire to get
up and over the rail. I heard the train horn again but this time it
was closer. Got to hurry.
I finally got the Jeep off the rails and out of the way. Was I done?
Nope. Now I had to put back together the rails. Drag back to replace
the rails (over 500 lb each so I could only lift one end barely enough
to get it atop the tie to lever up and move over a bit at a time),
keep working the rails to rotate them so the working side was up, use
the tie to slam them into position over the other ties, screw them
down back in place (these weren't spikes but huge lag bolts) while
using the old bolt holes to determine how to space the rails, dig more
dirt out of the recess for the removed tie so I could replace it, and
screw the rails to it. As I recall, I nearly fainted 3 times, or
more, trying to move those rails out from under the Jeep and then put
them back. If I didn't have those huge pipe wrenches along, I
would've never gotten off the rails in time or put the rails back
together in time. I didn't want my Jeep shredded by a train but
wasn't going to be responsible for a train derailment. Whew done and
in time. Then I heard the train (ground sound) going past me but
there was no train. No, it wasn't a ghost train. The train was on
another set of tracks about 100 feet farther into the wooded area from
where I was.
After checking for undercarriage damage (the exhaust pipe was crushed
nearly shut but I could still drive the car at slow speeds), I walked
up and down those rails. Maybe I would find a switching location and
why the train was on the other track. I found out it was a section of
track that had been disconnected and no longer in use. Geez. All
that laborious effort to reconstruct the track for nothing.
So being young, strong, and educated about my vehicle still didn't
stop me from making a stupid mistake. The more robust the off-road
vehicle, the farther you get dug in or the worse situation you get
into. You should see me battle with off-road cars with my dirt bike
as to who can get farther into a swamp and back out. It's not if you
will get dug into a situation needing other help. It's when you will.
Chains were an emergency tool, like a towing strap, for when I got
overzealous or was stupid or chickened out or something unexpected
happened. It was insurance that was on hand when needed.
As in your case or mine, with the wheels off the ground, AWD isn't
even relevant. Even having a winch was irrelevant since hiking the
whole weight of the vehicle directly up while pulling on a cable at 90
degrees won't help (snap goes the cable -- plus I was missing the
tackle and pulley so I could only use 1 strand instead of multiple
strands through pulleys to increase the force). I pretty much knew
the winch wasn't going to help but had to try. I doubt anyone plans
on having x-inch pipe wrenches in their trunk in case they get jacked
up on train rails.
If you're the type that plans for when normal suddenly and
unexpectedly changes to abnormal, like you have jumper cables, tow
straps, and a toolbox in your trunk, then chains should be considered,
too. If you have a good-quality folding shovel in the trunk to dig
you out of snow or mud then why aren't chains in there, too? How
often do your headlights burn out leaving you one-eyed? Yeah, not
often but if you're one a foresting road in the middle of nowhere and
lose half your light then some headlamps in that toolbox are
recommended, just like extra fuses, and so on. It depends on what you
expect could be happen and just how likely or dependent you want to be
on having others coming to your rescue. You might have to abandon the
vehicle to return later to salvage it so a compass might be helpful if
you're trekking on some back forest roads. Map and flashlight, too.
I figure chains are just part of your emergency gear.
Tire chains really aren't that expensive to add to your emergency
wares. How much did those good-quality jumper cables cost that remain
flexible in subzero temperatures and have heavy-duty jaws that can
connect to both posts or studs on car batteries? Unless you plan to
be in situations requiring chains or they are mandated by law for your
vehicle so high-quality chains are a must, just get some cheap ones
since you aren't expected the unexpected to last that long or under
sustained hardship. I'd rather rely on me to get me out rather than
some GPS and emergency call gimmickry that has you rely on others (and
pay for that). If you do tote chains, remember to pack a pair of long
length insulated fingered water-proof winter gloves and maybe a piece
of carpet for when you have crawl in the snow or mud on a sub-zero day
to put on the chains. Fingers can get cold and numb very fast in
subzero weather, especially when working with metal which is an
excellent heat conductor. Cold wet clothes from melting snow from you
crawling in snow can be hazardous to your health. Filthy clothes from
wallowing in the mud to put on chains isn't recommended for the
interior unless you don't care about some $300 clunker.
Of course, all this discussion about chains is moot if you're driving
on 13-inch rims. The smallest diameter for using chains looks to be
14 inches. I haven't looked into the autosocks. If you can't use or
afford chains, pack something else to help you dig out: folding
shovel, gravel, chunk of carpet, washboard, plank of treated plywood
with ridges screwed on, or whatever you prefer. Plan for some
self-reliance on extraction from an emergency. If you rely on
gadgetry, like GPS, emergency callers, or cell phones, then you better
not travel far from civilization. You're relying on someone else to
save your butt. Do you want to be one of those that freeze to death
each year for the lack of the cost of a set of chains? I don't know
how many lose digits or limbs each year due to frostbite. Getting
stranded because you thought chains, a shovel, a blanket, food, and
other emergency gear was too expensive could end up dearly costly. So
would driving into a tree after hitting a snow drift that pulled your
car off the road to dive into a ravine. Do you really want to pay
that deductible after your car swerves into another lane to hit
another car because you dug into an interlane snow drift or when
skidding through the icy intersection?
That reminds of how we used to enjoy going to the 2nd floor in the
corner of my prior employer's building to look out the window and take
bets on whether a car coming to an icy intersection would hit another
car coming to the same icy intersection. Damn, lost that bet. Ah,
won that one. Oooh, a double hit. Um, called a hit on the tow truck
but the other guy didn't hit the tow truck but he did hit the disabled
car getting towed from a prior crash. Does that count as a hit? It
was the best show to watch. We'd come back from lunch and plow into
the snow bank to get traction to stop while waving at multiple drivers
who went skidding through the intersection. Hello, wave, yeah, we
knew you weren't going to stop, ha ha. Then we'd just sit there to
watch the next one slide through. One guy locked up his wheels so he
could jam into reverse and spin his tires the other way. Sorry, guy,
that won't give you more friction but less. Only works in the movies
where James Bond pushes a button and 3-inch sharp steel spikes pop out
from his tires. AWD wasn't going to save their butt as they
gracefully slid through the intersection. No power transfer scheme
was going to save face for them. Waving to them as they slid through
was salting the wound since we knew them and they knew we would
ridicule them again later.
I figure chains are just part of your emergency gear depending on
terrain and weather you're willing that have your vehicle experience.
It's up to you what to include in your safety equipment. Haven't need
to use the folding shovel, gravel, plank with ridges, or other stuff
in many years since chains do the work. Chains might be pricey now
but they are cheaper than the cost of your insurance deductible. Get
this insurance to avoid using that insurance.
where I live 13"ers are common and chains can be procured.
I torn half a set once, so I know firsthand
I wonder how well these work with studded tires ;-)
No matter how much verbiage you'd expend extoiling the virtues
of the chains and/or the snow tires there will be people
insisting that they can wing it. Sigh.
P.S. NOT the kind of responses I was expecting revitilizing the oldie
Had an emergency. Couldn't go out to measure them to give an idea of
how huge they are. Didn't get back to this post to edit the variable.
Had to submit what I had written so far and quit.
Pairs of 36-, 48-, and 60-inchers (but, as I recall, I only needed or
only could use the 3-footer). Iron, not aluminum, very heavy: 15, 20,
and 44 pounds.
I doubt they would work over already-chained tires, too, or mudders,
or monster-truck tires, or tank tracks. >;^>
Changing out studded tires and having room for another set of 4 to
tote around would be far more inconvenient than toting around chains
and the inconvenience of putting those on when you need them.
There are folks driving on bald tires, using their knees to control
the steering wheel while painting their face, yakking away with a cell
phone planted to their ear, reading a newspaper while driving, or even
a combination of these. When men talk, they can continue to look
straight forward (so they get accused of not listening). When women
talk, the listener just must look at the speaker, including the
driver. Some use the skinny emergency-only spare tire (a bad joke for
a spare) as an everyday tire. Now I know as a kid why my dad was
always grumbling "People are stupid."
Not germaine to the Subject header, either, but that's where Frank
What rear seats? This is my lil working mule. Me and 1 passenger.
That's it. This story was about my Jeep having all wheels off ground
and how no power transfer scheme was going to help. Not even a winch
helped in this case.
I got that. I guess I was not reading slowly enough to realize it was
a wrangler. I was under an assumption it was a 5 door jeep.
But, then, even wrangler is 4 seater. Could not read your mind
if you run your lil mule with rear seats folded, removed
or fully intact.
Here in California, there are times and places when ALL vehicles
are required to CARRY chains, even if you don't need to put them
on right away. I once bluffed (well, lied) my way into Yosemite
National Park when they asked whether I had chains with me. I
subsequently went out and bought some, which have resided unused
in my cargo area ever since. (I did put them on once just to make
sure I would know how if I needed to do it for real.) The Caltrans
website says: "All vehicles, including four wheel or all wheel drive
vehicles must carry chains upon entering a chain control area."
My impression is that Caltrans rarely goes to R3 status (all
vehicles must chain up), instead opting to close the road when
conditions deteriorate below R2. However, the fact remains that
there are times when all drivers are required to have chains
ready and will be asked that at checkpoints. I presume that's
in case they let an AWD vehicle through a checkpoint in an R2
situation but then things get worse and you have to chain up.
I must say it's been fun driving through checkpoints in my Subie
while other people are on their bellies in the slush putting on
Years ago driving from Sacramento to Lake Tahoe in early September, I
saw signs on the road that chains were required. There was no snow
anywhere but apparently signs were needed a couple of days before and
the highway department had neglected to turn them back.
We were going to drive the rental Chevy from Yosemite to Tahoe but the
pass was snowed in and closed. We were in a motel outside Yosemite and
I recall driving in with a sign saying "curves next 16" miles and seeing
the same sign repeated again after 16 miles. Neighbor's son lost his
life on one of these roads.
Less than a week before, we had driven up from Orange County where it
was 105 degrees.
Another time, in Palm Springs I walked in snow in the surrounding
mountains in the morning and sat around the hotel pool and swam that
afternoon maybe 15 miles away.
California is an interesting place ;)
It is indeed a most unpredictable place to drive. Many years ago I bluffed
my way into being the last vehicle across Monitor Pass on the day before
Thanksgiving when the crews were closing the snow gates -- told them that I
had to turn my vehicle in at the Oakland port for shipment to Japan (true,
but I really didn't NEED to go over that particular pass). No Subie then --
I was driving a Nissan Fairlady SPL311 and was repatriating it to its
homeland as part of a USAF assignment. That was the first time I'd seen an
avalanche in progress but luckily it was in my rearview mirror.
Even now there are many places in the Sierra Nevada where it is obvious
that winter chains are mandatory without recourse to signage since the
pavement is subtly chewed up by many chained vehicles passing over. I was
driving over in May of 2012 on my way across the old Lincoln Highway route
in the MX-5 when the noisy pavement became obvious but it took me a while
to figure out the cause.
It's common at this time of the year for different parts of the
Bay Area to have 30-degree differences. Say, 65 in San Francisco
and 95 in Walnut Creek. Even 40-degree differences aren't rare.
An hour ago, I got a screen grab of a regional map showing a
50-degree spread from Point Reyes to Antioch. It's backed off
to 48 degrees now, but still, that's just mind-blowing!
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