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I just went through a snow storm last week while at work. I needed to put snow chains on to get my SHOOBOX home. I used a set my Dad gave me. The only way to get them tight around the tire is to jack the tire off the ground so you can reach behind the tire in the fender well. These are chains that are connected on each end by cables. When I got off the snow onto the highway the vibration loosened the cable ends from their support clips and wreaked havoc on the paint before I could find a place to pull completely off the highway to walk on both sides to remove them. Since we are in a long cold spell with snow and ice everyday, I found a clearing in the storm and went to work.

I washed the area with hot soap and water and thoroughly rinsed and dried the areas. I took two 500 watt flood lamps and used them to heat the metal to where I could use the touch up paint. I moved the lamp, painted a layer, then put the lamp back. I did this several times to build up the coat. While it is not anywhere near flawless, it will protect the fender from rusting until spring. I will get it painted in the spring. Back to the chains.

I looked it up and if you are going to buy snow chains, you have to get the "S" rated diamond quick-fit chains for low clearance fenders. They usually cost about $70. If you have oversized rims and tires, you will have to buy studded snow tires mounted on winter rims or purchase high performance vehicle chains that run from $350-$600 a set, your choice. Either option will cost about the same.

Final thoughts? Get the right chains or invest in studded snow tires. Stay away from cable chains, because anyway you look at it, you can't take the chains off until you are next to bare pavement. I work down by the water, so the only way out was uphill. The traction control told the car you're not going anywhere buddy. When I turned it off, the tires just spun in place, which as you know, causes highly polished ice under the tires that sticks around for the next person to try and cross. If you need to drive in snow-covered hilly areas, and using chains, take the time, jack up the car so the chains fit tight like they belong there. Take it slow and if you have to continue on bare pavement, keep it under 20 mph and use your flashers so everyone knows you still have chains on until you can find a place to remove them. I don't like studded tires on bare pavement as they not only decrease traction, they also chip away at the road surface. You will notice this most on concrete highways, they have the same shape as asphalt that heavy trucks have driven on. You know, two tracks down the road that collect water when it rains for hydroplaning and a hump in the center that can damage lowered cars.
 

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We aren't lowered or anything, but we had (have) a ton of snow on the ground which is very unusual for here in the Portland Area of Oregon...for the most part I didn't drive in it. We did buy the diamond quick fit chains for $75 from Les Schwab. They seem to work very well. I am impressed with how the XB2 handled in the snow. We did get turned around once just because of the tire divits created in the snow so when changing lanes it was a challenge when people were behind you.....Wish I had a pic of the face of the people that were behind us that ended up in front of us after the complete 180 we did changing lanes....but managed not to hit the snow bank or any cars. Traction control beeped a lot during that LOL.

It is harder now things are starting to melt, but there is a ton of slush on the road which seems to be harder to navigate in. I am amazed how many people without chains or snow tires were out on the roads and ON THE PHONE. Drove me bonkers!

All in all the car handled very well in the snow....but I prefer the snow packed roads to slush!
 
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