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Old 09-25-2011, 09:47 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default "Winterizing" my Yaris

I've got a 5spd Toyota Yaris (front wheel drive sedan FWIW). Live in the prairie southwest where there's not much snow, but am planning on taking it up to Colorado on a couple of trips this winter. Just looking to be able to climb the front range (I-70) during a blizzard or snowstorm, if necessary. Would like to avoid chains unless I hear from you all that THAT'S THE WAY TO GO. Coloradans, what's the rules on I-70 about chains/snow tires/4WD in snowy conditions? Do they check closely?

So other than the boarding trips, pretty much drive on dry/wet asphalt and concrete. Snow tires or all seasons? Should I get four, or just for the drive wheels? If snow tires, how quickly do they wear out on regular road conditions, should I change to my original tires as soon as I get back home?

Thanks!
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Old 09-25-2011, 11:24 AM   #2 (permalink)
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snow tires work amazing. i bought mine from tire rack, mounted and balanced to $40 black steel rims, for around $550 shipped to my house. the nice and best thing is to have them, throw em on for your trip, and take em off when u get home. they have an outer tread that will wear much faster then normal rubber b/c its made to be soft in cold weather and has other particles like silica in it for grip but not longevity.

snow tires - u get there guaranteed if the road is open.

anything else - maybe/probably, depends more on skill and luck.

having chains isnt a bad idea but if u have snow tires i wouldnt even carry them.
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Old 09-25-2011, 11:28 AM   #3 (permalink)
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snow tires work amazing. i bought mine from tire rack, mounted and balanced to $40 black steel rims, for around $550 shipped to my house. the nice and best thing is to have them, throw em on for your trip, and take em off when u get home. they have an outer tread that will wear much faster then normal rubber b/c its made to be soft in cold weather and has other particles like silica in it for grip but not longevity.

snow tires - u get there guaranteed if the road is open.

anything else - maybe/probably, depends more on skill and luck.

having chains isnt a bad idea but if u have snow tires i wouldnt even carry them.
Got it, thanks!
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Old 09-25-2011, 12:47 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Regardless of snow tires, many mountainous areas still require chains if you don't have a 4WD/AWD vehicle. Check your owners manual to see if there is any information on chains. Example, my 4WD Toyota FJ Cruiser the manual specifically says NOT to chain the front tires. You should be ok with just chaining your drive wheels (front).
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Old 09-25-2011, 01:12 PM   #5 (permalink)
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search and make sure you know how to mount the chains properly if you are going to ues them.
It would be bad if they slipped off and went round & round slapping into the body of your car or you throw them into a snow bank never seeing them again.
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Old 09-25-2011, 01:19 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Colorado chain laws are for commercial vehicles. My wife has a scion tc and I plan on some snowtires for her car. Most likely studded tires. Many people I work with use them from nov - april up here and they last years.
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Old 09-25-2011, 01:21 PM   #7 (permalink)
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More than likely we will both just ride the free local bus the majority of the time lol. When not staying local we will probably take my truck.
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Old 09-25-2011, 04:41 PM   #8 (permalink)
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When chains or traction devices are required, snow tires count as traction devices. Only vehicles over a certain weight are required to have chains.
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Old 09-25-2011, 05:22 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slyder View Post
search and make sure you know how to mount the chains properly if you are going to ues them.
It would be bad if they slipped off and went round & round slapping into the body of your car or you throw them into a snow bank never seeing them again.
Don't buy the cheapest chains you can find either! This exact scenario is what happened to me last winter in a huge dump. My poor car still has the battle scars. The difference here is that I had them on right, they just fell apart. Oh, and you can't return chains once you've opened them, especially once one is lost in a snow bank somewhere. Needless to say, I bought better chains, and have been problem free ever since.
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Old 09-25-2011, 08:15 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I'm a professional semi/fuel hauler down in Denver

If 70 is bad enough that you need chains on your personal, you shouldn't even be on it. 70 goes from bad to impassible in a flash.

The state believe it or not, actually does a pretty decent job of keeping 70 open. For us drivers it's safer than shooting up 80 thru wyoming because 70 rarely shuts, they just put on chain laws.

If I were you, I wouldn't bother with chains because you have a good chance of causing damage to your vehicle when you drive to fast and break a chain link... That chain will beat the crap out of your car before you can even stop. Chains can also give you a false sense of security, you don't want that.

Just get a nice set (4) of winter tires. Don't bother with studs as they aren't very affective once you drive on dry pavement, and they can cause you to slide and wipe out on wet/rainy roads.

Get winter tires with some nice siping and drive smart.

Rumor has it we won't have a chance to go to fast this season anyways.... Looks like we're going to have pace cars leading us around at 55mph tops, around the tunnel.

My best advice, get a real car. A Yaris doesn't belong in the mountains during the winter.
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