For all those who put chains or cables on all four wheels… Just how fast are you driving? With cables, or chains, I have never driven over about 20 mph because of all the noise made by the chains/cables slapping around down there so “lateral stability” is not an issue. I only use them to get out of a steep parking spot or to go a short distance on very steep, icy roads. One set on the drive wheels is enough.
@Keith, if I owned chains or cables, I would only use them in weather that necessitated slow driving. In other words, if there is no reason to slow down, there is no reason for chains or cables. The conditions should dictate both speed and need for chains or cables. If you find yourself driving fast with chains on the tires, you don’t need the chains.
Yes, my point exactly.
I’m not sure I can agree that chains or cables on the drive wheels is enough, especially if the car is RWD. You can’t drive up every hill backwards.
@dagosa – Thank you for your response and explanation.
@keith – Thank you, also, for your response. With respect to your viewpoint, which I can understand, I must say that Dad only used chains in deep snow conditions when driving was imperative and could not be avoided until roads were cleared. He drove no faster than about 25 mph in such conditions. Also, my mother was from Detroit and her entire family of engineers, some of whom worked in the automotive industry, always chained up all four wheels when using chains. And the professional test car driver who taught my mother to drive on the Packard proving grounds taught her to always chain all four tires if putting on chains. So with that background in what I was taught, that is why I have been confused by the idea of putting chains on only the two drive wheels in either RWD or FWD.
On fwd, rear chains add to lateral stability just like good tires on the rear does as well. Traction aid electronics using abs can increase stopping distance dramatically when trying to work with these
imbalances in traction. They can actually decrease braking on the front while trying to keep the rear from coming around. So, yes., it is probably just as if not more in some instances as you can still affect performance of your systems in a negative way. You dad is a wise man, even today.
@dagosa – I had wondered about that. My current car, a 2007 Impala, has both ABS and TC. It is the first car I’ve ever driven with either of those. The ABS has taken some getting used to (especially the noise!) but in the few cases it has kicked in on dry pavement it has both shortened stopping distance and reduced any tendency for the car to skid or fishtail. However, the one time I had to really slam on the brakes on a greasy slick wet downhill, it was as if the car wasn’t stopping so much as sliding nice and straight with little decrease in momentum. Out of a lifetime of habit, I ended up pumping the brakes the old fashioned way. Not sure if that ended up helping or hindering though. Traction control also has taken getting used to. In minor situations, like starting up from a red light on a wet street, the TC intervention is very brief and almost unnoticable. But the few times it has kicked in on icy/snowy conditions I’ve found it a bit of an annoyance as it seems to interfere with my handling the car against any skidding the way is ingrained after almost 40 years driving.
Amen, Marnet. Even on a FWD vehicle, rear traction is valuable enough to make it worth chaining the rear tires.
Yes. People do all sorts of things for convenience. And it works, in some situations if you drive very slowly and you don’t drive too much on ice and hills. IMHO, cables with their smaller gripping edges can be better then chains on ice. Even chains with ice bars.
Ken Green they do make snow cable chains for wheel chairs, just google “wheelchair snow chains” and at least one source sells them for around $50. Not sure how easy they are to install
Thanks for sharing and discussing valuable knowledge on this topic.
I am searching snow tire cables on craiglist ( I hope, cables also should be fine in comparison with chains).
My car tires are 215/60R 16. A see a tire cables on craiglist, it is written on its label, size is P215/60ZRR16. Will that fit on my tires, is this is different cable ?
The important Numbers for the size of your tires are 215 60 16 (width,aspect ratio,wheel diameter) The craigslist cables should fit.