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First time using snow chains - success!

Posted by RodM [Email] (more from RodM) on Thu, 18 Jan 2018 09:17:45 Share Post by Email
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Late this summer I bought a vacation/retirement home up in Northern Michigan. What I didn't really appreciate at the time was how steep the road was from our house to get out of the development and how "interesting" this made driving after a heavy snowfall. I have Continental ExtremeWinterContacts on my 2004 9-5 Aero wagon, and those were fine if the road had recently been plowed or the snow was compacted down, but 8 or 9 inches of fresh snow on a steep slope provides a challenge.

One option is to buy something with AWD but I figured snow chains were worth a try (I only need them to get 0.75 miles out of our development - once on county roads, the regular winter tires are fine). I had heard about how aggravating they were to put on or off so I figured I would try the Konig self-tensioning chains, that you are supposed to be able to get on and off in 30 seconds or so. Well it wasn't quite that quick (there's not much room to work in the wheel arch of a 9-5), but it was pretty easy and they worked great. I had to turn off the traction control, but got up a very steep road, with enough unplowed snow that I was catching it with the front spoiler and spraying it everywhere.

I bought them from Amazon UK for around $200 including shipping (they are more like $350 from US based websites for some reason). Anyway it's possible that AWD/4WD is in my future depending how much time I spend there in the winter, but for now the snow chains are a great low cost alternative to that!

Just thought I would share my experience since I haven't seen much written about snow chains here.

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