Long Island Police Officer and Snow Tires

I heard the guys recommend purchasing four rims and snow tires for his BMW to get to work in the winter. I am sure there are lots of great benefits to running four snow tires, especially when it comes to handling. However, for getting traction on his drive wheels, he should look into getting a set of tire chains. The ones they make for passenger cars usually come with a storage case, and it is easier than changing four wheels. He may be the only beemer running around with tire chains, but aside from that is there any reason not to use them?

Chains are a lot less convenient, you can only use them part time, while wheels you swap in and out once a season.

Also there are areas that do not allow chains, and also others that don’t allow cars without chains.

Step 1 is snow tires, step 2 is chains, step 3 is?

Step 3 is a snowcat or snowmobile. :slight_smile:

Chains only need to be used in Extreme snow conditions.

Winterforce M&S. Basically the same thing as the Nokia tires at about half the price. I’ve been using them for year on my cars and trucks and NEVER get stuck. They hold up well for years if you don’t run them on dry roads for weeks after the snow’s gone.

This type of tire uses a special compound that’s grippy, but kind of “soft”, and aren’t meant to be used on bare pavement weeks and months on end. So better to have them put on just before snow flies, and off as soon as you pretty sure snow’s done for the season.

Great idea on having a set on rims and ready to go. One thing I would add is to get a cordless (lithium battery) impact wrench (gun), or a pneumatic one if they have a compressor. It’ll make the job 90% quicker than trying to do it by hand with a 4-way tire iron.

Tire chains are illegal in many areas, Long Island is likely one of them.

Long Island doesn’t get enough snow to warrant chains…Also …not very hilly.

Studded snows (maybe) if it gets real bad.

I wonder how many of the folks who recommend tire chains have actually used them.

When you consider that they can’t be used on roads that have been cleared down to the pavement, and that you can’t really drive faster than…perhaps…25 mph with chains, and when you consider the reality of having to lie on the cold wet ground in order to put the chains on and to take them off, tire chains only make real sense if someone is driving in a very rural area with little road maintenance.

For the typical driver living in a settled area, the chains would likely need to be removed only a few minutes after installing them, perhaps only to need to install them again later on a different stretch of road, only to remove them again, and so on…

I had a set of chains…and only used them twice…They are noisy…extremely uncomfortable ride…and just shakes everything…But they do work in deep snow when you just have to keep moving. My pickup (4wd F150) even with good AT tires at the time couldn’t traverse this road/hill without chains…but then again there was over a foot of unplowed snow on the road.

Similar experience to MikeInNH and VDCdriver.
Here’s what I wrote in a reply to a thread about a year ago:

In theory, chains provide much better traction than snow tires.
In practice, they will not provide you nearly the traction you need - mostly because they won’t be on your tires when you need them there.

One season about 40 years ago I decided to use chains instead of good snow tires. We drove weekly up to our rental ski house in northern Vermont. The first few trips up there I was full of energy and enthusiasm for installing chains. Then that passion began to wear off.

I grew tired of installing chains when the roads were unplowed, and then removing them again when they were plowed or pavement was showing (only to repeat the process several times in a night).

I learned that when you’re nice and warm in a car, wearing clean dry clothes, and perhaps a bit tired, the last thing you feel like doing is to get out, lie on your back - getting wet and cold, to install/remove/install/… chains.

I’m still a big believer in the value of chains, but not in place of winter tires.

Get four good winter tires.

Snow chains are certainly not necessary or convenient for Long Island. Hakkas are a good choice but Consumer Reports rates General Altimax Arctic better than Hakkas at half the price. I ran them on my Outback Sport last winter driving primarily in VT and Boston and they were great.

VDCdriver: “I wonder how many of the folks who recommend tire chains have actually used them.”

I’ve never used them, but last time I drove to Buffalo for Christmas, I wished I had them. I’m planning to drive to Buffalo for Christmas again, and this time I will have them.

When I was a company truck driver, my truck didn’t have them, but I would have used them in PA if I had them when I needed them.

I would rather spend $30 on a pair of car tire chains for a FWD vehicle and not need them than find myself without them when I need them.

I’ll be in NY (either Syracuse or Pulaski) for Christmas this year…Only once in the past 10 years was I glad we brought my 4wd SUV. But you never know…that damn lake-effect snow just shows up.