Bimmerfest BMW banner

1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,
Just like one of the other threads, I am running out of time to find snow chains and am wondering, what you would do?
I have an X5 with all season Goodyear LS2 run-flat tires, stamped M+S. We do not frequent snow country, it will be my first time driving there, we are headed to Tahoe in a 2 days, and it's already the weekend.
I have been monitoring the Caltrans website because there's been a lot of snowfall lately. Today the roads we will take (I-80 and 267) have been rated Chain Control level R-2, which means I have to carry chains for all 4 tires.
Right now, I have too much conflicting information.
When we bought the car, BMW said chains will void the warranty. I went in for service yesterday and my service advisor did not mention any warranty issues, but advised to get snow cables. Caltrans website has stated snow cables are not permitted. I called around the brick and mortar places about the Konig XG-12 Pro chains, and one guy told me those would ruin my struts. Another guy didn't have them in stock, so he told me to find 12mm or less chains.
The weather forecast shows it will be sunny the day we drive up, so I hope they plow up there fast. How fast can they do that?
I am really beginning to panic because Westbound seems worse and it may snow on our way back to the coast.
What would you do? We never go up to snow country, so there must be some of us occasional visitors who don't buy a separate set of wheels with snow tires, right? And how do you deal with Caltrans R-2 requirement to carry chains?
Thanks for your thoughts!
 

·
Nuclear engineer
02/2012 X5 35d M57Y CPO 99K miles NOKIAN WR G3 12K miles
Joined
·
17,463 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for your responses!
The Caltrans requirement is to carry chains.
I have Xdrive with All Season M+S tires.
I'm going to carry one pair of cables in the car. I called around and found only one store with one pair of cables in my size, and they said to put them on the front wheels. Another store told me most vehicles don't have the clearance for chains and have to go for cables. (I had seen a Caltrans website map alert on Fri during the snow storm stating that cables weren't acceptable, although that is not what is listed in their definitions page.)
"Spider spike" chains are expensive, and they are the only "chains" that do not touch the inside of your wheel. Konig's spider spike chains got bad reviews...for that much money, I would have hoped for a consensus that they are effective.

If anyone ever finds themselves in this predicament, order chains/cables a week early! Even brick and mortar stores need a few days to order!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,943 Posts
Op

If you are asking this question, my assumption is 1) you don’t typically drive in Sierra whiteout snow conditions 2) are from the Bay Area...only germane because rain is the worst driving conditions you regularly experience 3) rely on gps to reroute when you get stuck in apple gate/colfax/gold run depending on where the fwy closes.

My recommendation would be to wait a few days and go up to Northstar or north Lake Tahoe points beyond on 267 when conditions are much better. Ice and snow on I80 is no joke and they don’t call it Sierra cement for nothing.

Your xdrive and cables are no match to the conditions up there this weekend if you are not a super experience driver with snow tires. All Season tires mean nothing this weekend. Heed chp advice and stay home. Just watch the news to see all the cars in ditches.

If you do go up do a favor to the locals stay on i80 and major routes...don’t use gps or waze. The backroads are not safe and fully cleared / treated. You can’t prepare roads in advance in the sierras like you can in the Midwest and east coast ahead of storms...they don’t have the resources except for primary roads and the year round population east of Colfax isn’t high enough to justify all roads being cleared quickly.

Tuesday should be much better on major roads (i80/89/267), however do not take surface roads via gps...ie soda springs road/Donner pass road(aka old hwy 40) unless you want to get stuck. Leave early take blankets and water and get up there before eob Tuesday. Another storms rolling in Wednesday.

Sent from my iPhone using Bimmerfest
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Read your X5***8217;s manual. My E70 X5 manual states that chains should only be used on the rear wheels.

I accidentaly installed narrow profile cable chains on the front yesterday (Avery, CA) and heard a clicking sound while driving on them. It turned out to be the master link just barely striking the big aluminum strut support by the top of the wheel. So I swapped them to the back and had no issues, though steering became a bit vague as the front wheels did not have as much traction now.

There just is not enough clearance to fit chains on the front wheels.

If you were to buy slighly narrower wheels and rims, it would not be an issue. But the tires, even though they may be mud & snow rated are definitely more for dry or wet highway travel.

If I were to live in a snow environment, I would buy slighlty narrower wheels use real snow tires on them and carry chains as needed.

R2 chain control requires chains on two wheels, not all four. 4 wheel drive and all wheel drive do not need to have chains on, but must have mud & snow rated tires or snow tires. Then you still have to have chains for two of the tires.

http://www.dot.ca.gov/cttravel/chain-controls.html
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
We just spent a few days in Yosemite where chains were required. We used Z cable chains purchased from Vulcan Tire Company. (www.vulcantire.com). The chains were installed on the rear tires and did an excellent job.
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top