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Thread: So Chains vs Winter tires vs cheap AS tires

  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    San Diego, CA
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    So Chains vs Winter tires vs cheap AS tires

    so a friend of my brother (who is known to be cheap) is needing to do some work up in snow country of CA aka tahoe/ truckee califronia. He has a 2018 tacoma RWD and wants to know will his lionheart grand touring as tires work or is he asking for trouble. I think he should get a set for winter tires, because its like truckee, a place that can get lots of snow. SO I guess my question is those you deal with snow, how does chains vs winter tires go?

    tell me what you think? and what would you tell him if he was your friend?
    Also I would like to know about your experience if you care to share.

  2. #2
    Moderator map's Avatar
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    Dec 2018
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    Snow in a 2WD is never fun, especially with factory type tires... and even factory tires are an improvement on Lionharts. If it's equipped with a limited slip diff, that can work against you at times. An ice storm in Texas had me crab-walking our Chevy PU down the freeway for about 25 miles... and that was with an 11' camper on back for traction. The alternative in that unexpected storm was to wait in a truck stop for 24 hours.

    His PU is over 2 tons in curb weight. I'd suggest getting the best tires for snow traction he can afford. Tire Rack has some good reviews. That part of the state usually has good road clearing, but I'd lean more towards snow handling vs ice, when reviewing tires. Ideally, I'd go for a second set of wheels with winter tires. When temps get below freezing A/S tires get hard and don't grip on ice. Lionhart tires are OK for summer/dry driving, and are cheap to buy, but reviews rate them from poor in snow/ice conditions. I am all in favor of saving money, but risking a $30,000 investment to save $200 isn't a choice I'd make.

    That said, I built a wood rack of 2x6's to straddle my rear wheel wells. The only tire size available (w/o swapping to larger rims) were street tires. 300 pounds of sand bags tossed in the rack... directly over the axle. That helped my 1/2 ton stick to the road a bit better. Oh, and he'll probably still need to carry chains, but I hate putting those on a car.
    Last edited by map; 12-29-2020 at 02:53 PM.

  3. #3
    smark's Avatar
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    Apr 2014
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    My Dad use to installed snow chains, back in the 50s and 60s. I see folks use snow chains on there 4 wheel drive Ram pickups, in the Utah mountains.

    How much snow does your bother get? You might want to check out some 4 wheel truck sites for opinions. Youd get better advice, then on a Fiat 500 forum.

    Good Luck.
    Last edited by smark; 12-29-2020 at 03:01 PM.

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