OT-Snow Chains vs Cables- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    OT-Snow Chains vs Cables

    Living in Southern California I don't use or need snow tires all that often. In fact I don't even own a set of them. Can you imagine that? Well I'm heading off to the mountains at the end of the week and it looks like we might be getting some snow while we are there. I have a little Mazda 6 station wagon and I think I better pick up a set of chains or cables. Are they pretty much the same or is there something I should know about? If it really matters, I'll probably only use them once or twice a year.

    thanks in advance,
    andy
    Always preach the Gospel; even if you need to use words.

  2. #2
    loco
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    I use cables on my 07 honda civic and they work great through snow and mud. They are also much lighter and easier to install then chains.
    "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." (Ferris Bueller)

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by konacoffee
    I use cables on my 07 honda civic and they work great through snow and mud. They are also much lighter and easier to install then chains.
    thanks-that is the kinda info I was looking for!

    Merry Christmas
    Always preach the Gospel; even if you need to use words.

  4. #4
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    I think chains are more expensive than wires too so probably not worth it if you'll only use them 1x a year.

    Another downside to chains on a car is that chains often fit a little loose and when the wheels start rolling fast the chains can pull off of the tire a little bit (like an inch or two). If you don't have enough clearance between your tires and fenders you can really mess up your paint.

  5. #5
    wg
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    Used cables for years for the trips to Tahoe in the old Mazda MX-6. Quick n easy to install, much simpler than screwing around with chains. Especially with tight clearance between a tire and the wheelwell. Get a set and do a test install on the driveway before heading up.
    Don't harsh my mello

  6. #6
    weirdo
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    I use chains on my 2wd pickup just because that`s what I`m used to. Due to clearence issues, I really wouldn`t want to use anything but cables on a front-wheel drive. I don`t agree that cables are easier, though- I think it depends on what you have most practice at.
    Recalculating....

  7. #7
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    Clearance first, traction second

    Look for interference with suspension and brake parts first, and tight fits with mudflaps and fenderwells. If you really NEED traction you should get chains, but they won't do any good if they tear out your brakelines. You can get "traction aids" that have cables along the side and chain cross-pieces, and these last a LOT longer than the typical cables with coil-wrapped cable cross-pieces. Chains provide the most traction, cables provide a bit, and carbide straps are very nearly useless in slop. Whatever you get, make sure you use tensioners to pick up any slack that develops while driving - BUY tensioners if the cables/chains don't come with 'em. And buy spare tensioners, and carry them as well. Leave the chains in the car all year, as they work (kinda) in mud and wet grass, too. Half a mile in the mud also cleans off any rust, although this maintenance tip is not recommended by the manufacturers.

  8. #8
    I wish I had...
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    Cables are: lighter, quicker to put on/take off and they are cheaper

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