snow chains.............None will work????!!!!

snow chains.............None will work????!!!!

Started by Karen72 in Ski Chatter - 43 Replies

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Karen72 posted Jan-2009

Oh My God

I have been looking at getting some snow chains and was giong to buy some off ebay. HOWEVER, I decided to ring Volkswagen today (we have a passat 2004) to see how much it would be to buy VW snow chains. The guy was really helpful and he had also contacted another company that deal specifcally with snow chains and was told that VW Passats could not have snow chains as the clearance at the wheelarch or something like that was not big enough for them.

I cant believe that this is true. The guy said my only option was a snow sock which costs £86 but not sure if this would be legally classed as a snowchain. Surely people drive VW Passats in Austria?

Brucie
reply to 'snow chains.............None will work????!!!!'
posted Jan-2009

Sounds like an attempt at creative selling to me!!!
"Better to remain reticent and have people think one is an idiot, than to open ones mouth and remove all doubt"

Elgius
reply to 'snow chains.............None will work????!!!!'
posted Jan-2009

I've seen those Snow sock things (if its the same), its like a material cover for the wheel which grips the snow but has none of the disadvantages of the chains (driving on normal roads etc etc).

Allegedly they're good but to be honest I've never seen them used in anger or reviewed properly.

80 Bucks sounds a lot, but then I guess its for all 4 wheels?

Karen72
reply to 'snow chains.............None will work????!!!!'
posted Jan-2009

I dont think it was a cunning sell issue as they were quoting over £200 for the snow chains!

Tony_H
reply to 'snow chains.............None will work????!!!!'
posted Jan-2009

UK models of car differ dramatically from their european counterparts. In winter, you will notice that all the smart Audis, BMWs, Mercs and VWs have standard black steel wheels on, so as to accommodate snow chains and winter tyres. Over here, we are all so obsessed with having shiny high profile big fat alloy wheels that none of these are any good for fitting chains on to, and many wont even take winter tyres. Most people who live in or near mountains or in places where winter tyres are often needed own 2 sets of wheels complete with summer tyres on their spangly alloys and winter tyres on their steel wheels.

if you bought a set of steel wheels and winter tyres, I am sure you would find some snow chains that fit them.

There are of course exceptions to the rule, where snow chains fit some vehicles alloy wheels perfectly, eg 4 wheel drive vehicles and other models I am not familiar with, but I own a Seat Leon and previously had a VW Passat and found similar problems with them both.
www  New and improved me

Ise
reply to 'snow chains.............None will work????!!!!'
posted Jan-2009

Tony_H wrote:UK models of car differ dramatically from their european counterparts. In winter, you will notice that all the smart Audis, BMWs, Mercs and VWs have standard black steel wheels on, so as to accommodate snow chains and winter tyres. Over here, we are all so obsessed with having shiny high profile big fat alloy wheels that none of these are any good for fitting chains on to, and many wont even take winter tyres. Most people who live in or near mountains or in places where winter tyres are often needed own 2 sets of wheels complete with summer tyres on their spangly alloys and winter tyres on their steel wheels.

if you bought a set of steel wheels and winter tyres, I am sure you would find some snow chains that fit them.

There are of course exceptions to the rule, where snow chains fit some vehicles alloy wheels perfectly, eg 4 wheel drive vehicles and other models I am not familiar with, but I own a Seat Leon and previously had a VW Passat and found similar problems with them both.


That's not really true. It is true that some smaller cars can use steel wheels but it's not true that anything with power can, like "smart Audis, BMWs, Mercs" etc with the exception of the "value" end of those with the inadequate engines. Here in Switzerland wheel and tyre choices are part of the MOT type test and must be specifically approved for the car you're putting them on and steel wheels are not allowed for any powerful car.

It's also not true that people are changing wheels to accommodate snow chains, the reason is much more simple, low profile tyres aren't effective in full winter conditions so there aren't really any. It's only a tiny minority of people that would be remotely interested in using snow chains and they would get that coincidental benefit that snow chains can be fitted or fitted easier.

I wouldn't necessarily expect the information given by VW is correct either. Several types of chains are specifically made for low clearance like Spikes/Spiders or Rud Centrax for example. They offer some reduced performance compared to other chains but are generally adequate. Autosocks are a step down again and are generally reported in European motoring organisation tests as having inadequate performance.

Karen72
reply to 'snow chains.............None will work????!!!!'
posted Jan-2009

this has really thrown a spanner in the works. All along I have been assuming that I can just buy a set off ebay that have my tyre size. Does this mean it would be pointless buying these as they wont fit the car? even though you can buy them from tyre size? There is no way we can afford to buy 4 new tyres or wheels (as we have alloys on ours).

I would even begrudge buying this snowsock for it as I dont even think we will need to use them (or will we? any ideas?)

And if I am right in thinking, Snow chains are a legal requirement in Austria? So what do I do now?

Gdbn
reply to 'snow chains.............None will work????!!!!'
posted Jan-2009

Karen ... have you had a look at the clearance between the tyre and the body ?
And what size wheels and tyres do you have ?

G

PS ... the material your wheels are made of makes no difference.
Edited 1 time. Last update at 20-Jan-2009

Topic last updated on 23-January-2009 at 09:11

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