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Old 03-12-2013, 08:38 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by EastCoastChris View Post
Ohhh damn really? Thats just the pass on 50 going to south Tahoe you need chains on right? Yeah I cant take the risk. She really is craaaaaa-zeee.
I saw all the signs on 80, chain installation area etc. But I just assumed it was toi late in the season for blizzard. It was a little hairy in places but didnt seem like I'd get stuck up there.

I'm looking forward to SugarBowl now! Yeah EastCoast run down is totally different than the Cali version. Cali is all about style I'm finding out. I need to get a sexier car! Lol

Thanks y'all for the help!
You don't need chains as long as you have a 4x4 with those good tires -- they have red and yellow dots on the sidewalls. That's what CalTrans looks for. If you don't have a 4x4, you need chains. Hopefully you'll get enough snow too need them!
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Old 03-12-2013, 08:55 PM   #22 (permalink)
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You don't need chains as long as you have a 4x4 with those good tires -- they have red and yellow dots on the sidewalls. That's what CalTrans looks for. If you don't have a 4x4, you need chains. Hopefully you'll get enough snow too need them!
4 x 4 actually is required to carry chains. Caltrans will not ask you to put it on but they will ask if you carry chains sometimes.
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Old 03-12-2013, 10:04 PM   #23 (permalink)
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You guys have a shit tonof regulations here in Cali. Did you know there is Agricultural Inspection Station if you come in to Truckee from Reno. I saw the sign riiight when I was about to fishbowl the car. Whoooooaaaaa.

I have All Wheel Drive, which I guess is different than full time 4wd. Its a Fusion Sport. Decent car but wont make it out of a blizzard. Its ok because the extended forecast says no precip anyway.

So I want to do this weekend and the 31st. But will Tahoe squeeze in at least one in April?
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Old 03-13-2013, 11:13 AM   #24 (permalink)
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you mean another snow storm?

Typically, april will have at least one good foot+ dump...but I wouldn't trust anything this season.

We also haven't received the massive 5 to 10 foot dump we usually get in March (in 2011, it was a 12 foot dump - no bullshit). That storm last week might be the last decent one of this season - you never know.

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Old 03-13-2013, 11:34 AM   #25 (permalink)
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4 x 4 actually is required to carry chains. Caltrans will not ask you to put it on but they will ask if you carry chains sometimes.
You'll be safe on All Season tires too...and in 5 years CALTRANS never even stopped me. If they see a Subaru they let you pass..along with all AWD cars with AS tires. For AWD or 4X4 you would need 2 sets of chains.
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Old 03-13-2013, 12:12 PM   #26 (permalink)
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You'll be safe on All Season tires too...and in 5 years CALTRANS never even stopped me. If they see a Subaru they let you pass..along with all AWD cars with AS tires. For AWD or 4X4 you would need 2 sets of chains.
When the most common chain controls are in effect (R1), all-seasons are acceptable for 4/all-wheel drive per the regulations because they are "M/S" or "M+S" (mud and snow). These qualify as "snow tires" Caltrans Winter Driving Tips Chain Controls

If you do want to put chains on a AWD, you don't need two sets of chains. They (including Subaru) suggest just putting them on the front tires. I had to do this when I was driving up with my stock summer tires on my WRX in December but have since switched to AS. I would still use chains with all-seasons, even if they weren't technically required, if the conditions were especially hairy. There really is no reason not be as safe as possible driving in winding mountain roads with an abundance of idiots. AWD doesn't add any advantage when you're trying to stop.
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Old 03-13-2013, 12:36 PM   #27 (permalink)
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When the most common chain controls are in effect (R1), all-seasons are acceptable for 4/all-wheel drive per the regulations because they are "M/S" or "M+S" (mud and snow). These qualify as "snow tires" Caltrans Winter Driving Tips Chain Controls

If you do want to put chains on a AWD, you don't need two sets of chains. They (including Subaru) suggest just putting them on the front tires. I had to do this when I was driving up with my stock summer tires on my WRX in December but have since switched to AS. I would still use chains with all-seasons, even if they weren't technically required, if the conditions were especially hairy. There really is no reason not be as safe as possible driving in winding mountain roads with an abundance of idiots. AWD doesn't add any advantage when you're trying to stop.

Hey it's your car. In 5 years of going up and down in every condition I never needed chains on AS tires. The only time I had problems was when CALTRANS could not open the Spur for avy control. No one could pass at that point. Not even the huge yellow Hummer with humongous tires
I drive early in the morning. Along with few other pow addicted usually able to drive on snow kind of people Most incident I saw involved jacked up 4x4 trucks and weekend warriors.
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Old 03-13-2013, 12:46 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Hey it's your car. In 5 years of going up and down in every condition I never needed chains on AS tires. The only time I had problems was when CALTRANS could not open the Spur for avy control. No one could pass at that point. Not even the huge yellow Hummer with humongous tires
I drive early in the morning. Along with few other pow addicted usually able to drive on snow kind of people Most incident I saw involved jacked up 4x4 trucks and weekend warriors.
Yeah, I'm sure you're right.

I really only used chains on my all-seasons once and that was because my pregnant sister-in-law was in the car and was nervous. I didn't feel like they were necessary. I drove up this past weekend when it was snowing (friday evening) and didn't have any problems without chains. This is also my first season living in the norcal area so I wasn't sure what to expect. That said, I've never had any issues driving the WRX in snow, even when I drove 3 hours in a 19 inch east coast dump a couple years ago in unchained summer tires. I love that car!
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Old 03-13-2013, 02:21 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Not a lot of people realize that virtually all AWD cars and SUVs are actually just FRONT Wheel Drive. The "all wheel" only kicks in when the on-board computer detects slippage. At which point your ESC might also kick in. There is almost always an AWD Lock button, along with an ESC defeat button, which allows you to turn on the drivetrain to all four wheels, while telling the onboard computer to stop trying to compensate for the slippery road (the ESC can be a bitch, take over your throttle and brakes if it thinks you're slipping -- in heavy snow, you want to have control yourself, not rely on a computer chip which can't tell there is a hairpin turn ahead). You have to keep your speed lower, but you probably are anyway if the conditions are that bad.

Also, I don't think AS tires are considered the same as M+S tires. M+S have the yellow and red dot on the sidewhile, and CalTrans considers them okay for R1 conditions. But they're not the same as AS tires, which I believe only have a yellow dot on the sidewall. It's spelled out in the CalTrans regulations.

I have AS tires on my AWD SUV, which is sufficient for Vermont conditions, but I'd never consider driving through the pass to Kirkwood on them if it was snowing hard. The M+S tires have a much deeper, beefier tread.

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Old 03-13-2013, 02:38 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Not a lot of people realize that virtually all AWD cars and SUVs are actually just FRONT Wheel Drive. The "all wheel" only kicks in when the on-board computer detects slippage. At which point your ESC might also kick in. There is almost always an AWD Lock button, along with an ESC defeat button, which allows you to turn on the drivetrain to all four wheels, while telling the onboard computer to stop trying to compensate for the slippery road (the ESC can be a bitch, take over your throttle and brakes if it thinks you're slipping -- in heavy snow, you want to have control yourself, not rely on a computer chip which can't tell there is a hairpin turn ahead). You have to keep your speed lower, but you probably are anyway if the conditions are that bad.

Also, I don't think AS tires are considered the same as M+S tires. M+S have the yellow and red dot on the sidewhile, and CalTrans considers them okay for R1 conditions. But they're not the same as AS tires, which I believe only have a yellow dot on the sidewall. It's spelled out in the CalTrans regulations.

I have AS tires on my AWD SUV, which is sufficient for Vermont conditions, but I'd never consider driving through the pass to Kirkwood on them if it was snowing hard. The M+S tires have a much deeper, beefier tread.
not all AWD are equal...




Subaru Impreza WRX STi (2005-2008)(Edit)

Full-time all wheel drive with 35/65(?) torque split front-to-rear under normal conditions. Driver-controllable Center Differential System (DCCD).

“Helical-type” front differential (2005-... WRX STI), varies the torque delivered to the left and right axle shafts, depending on traction and engine load. Instead of locking the output shafts so that they rotate at the same speed, this differential sends more torque to the wheel with more grip. In addition, it makes a gradual adjustment for a more fluid response.

Full-Time All Wheel Drive

This is a permanent all wheel drive or permanently engaged all wheel drive system. All wheels are powered at all times. The vehicles with full-time all wheel drive are equipped with a center differential that lets all wheels travel different distances while turning. This type of all wheel drive can be used both on and off road. In slippery conditions, the center differential can be locked, whether manually or automatically, depending on the vehicle.

When a manual center differential lock (available on off-road vehicles and some SUVs) is engaged, the transmission's behavior is similar to part-time all wheel drive, i.e. the front and rear driveshafts rotate at the same speed. The use of full-time all wheel drive with locked center differential is limited to surfaces with low traction.

In case of an automatic lock, a Torsen differential, viscous coupling, multi-plate hydraulic clutch, or similar traction device is used in conjunction with the center differential. When a wheel slip occurs (one driveshaft rotates faster than the other) the device locks the center differential and the torque is transferred from the axle that slips to the other axle that has traction. As soon as the wheel slip is eliminated, the device unlocks.

Some vehicles (Land Rover Discovery II, pre-xDrive BMW X5) do not have a locking center differential, but are equipped with an electronic traction control system (known as Electronic Differential Lock - EDL) on all four wheels. This electronic system detects slipping wheels by reading ABS sensors, then it applies brakes to the slipping wheels and the torque gets transferred to the wheels that have traction. While it performs well on slippery roads, the system cannot compete with a real mechanically locking differential when driving off-road.
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