General Question

kevbo's avatar

Will I need tire chains if I have 4WD?

Asked by kevbo (25634points) February 3rd, 2008 from iPhone

We’re driving from Albuquerque to Durango and it is supposed to dump (snow) all week. I have regular/all weather bridgestone tires with good tread and full-time 4WD on my RAV4. Is it possible/likely that I will need chains for up to 2 feet of snow in 24 hours?

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6 Answers

freerangemonkey's avatar

I have never used chains in my life. 17 years of driving from the foothills to Tahoe. 4WD or AWD should work just fine.

ishotthesheriff's avatar

depends on where you’re at. states (like georgia, for example) get a lot of ice in the winter, but never much snow.
eh, so basically
ice, yes. you need chains.
not much or any ice, no.

but 4wd, awd, doesn’t matter what. ice is ice and no normal drivetrain can conquer it. unless you have chains [;

quepol's avatar

I recently drove from SF to Jackson Hole in my Audi. I drove over mountain passes and through near-blizzard conditions with no problem.

However, I arrived at my folks’s house and couldn’t get up their driveway. 950 miles and I had to put chains on at the bottom of the driveway!

Just a word of caution… Otherwise, I’ve driven to JH and to Tahoe many times and never used them.

Cardinal's avatar

Last week in the Cascades in Washington state the ice was so bad overlying the compacted snow I saw rescue 4 wheel drive SUV rigs chained up an all four wheels and barely able to move. This was on the pavement on I-90. It has snowed over 12 feet at the pass this winter. Sking is good, but very hard to get there. Also, here (Washington) frequently the state police will require drivers to show them their chains before being allowed to proceed beyond a certain point.

steelmarket's avatar

Read @Cardinal’s reply carefully ! You may never need chains to get traction, but you may need them to get by the highway patrol.

judochop's avatar

Chains will help you on any decline. Probably not needed but good to have if it helps everyone feel safer. I don’t use chains at all. I have had a Jeep Sahara and now I drive an Audi Quattro, both are all wheel drive. I drive in the mountains in the winter time and on the streets now. Despite how good any vehicle handles just make sure you drive smart and be slow. 4WD and AWD does not mean that you will not slide and once you start sliding down a hill you need a prayer and some tricky skills.

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