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It's that time of the year again!

This will be my 3rd year driving in Winter with my IS 350. Last 2 years was so-so. Basically if the roads are plowed and I'm using my winter tires, I am ok for the most part. There were a couple times I had to use my driving skills to make sure I didn't get stuck or drive too fast. It can be done.

I came across these http://www.flextrax.com "GoClaws" as they call them. It seems like a better alternative than chains (which I never used). They look a lot less noticeable too.

I am wondering...

1) What your guys thoughts are on this product.

2) Would this help with my Winter tires or would it hurt the benefits of my Winter tires?

3) Has anyone used these on a lexus is before?

Let me know if you need any other info.

Thanks!

Jeff.

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I am also looking for alternatives to standard chains for an '09 IS250 RWD (stock 245 45 17)

It only snows here once every 20 or 30 years, but we cross the Sierra Nevada occassionally and last week we were caught without chains by a sudden storm. The road iced up and cars that were stopped by a jack knifed truck began to slide off the crown of the road. Only great skill, Snow mode and lots of luck kept us from joining them. I am keenly interested in chain alternatives that do not require moving the car to complete installation.

I also looked at the English version Rud site, but the product selector on the German site says that none of there chains fit '09 IS250 (European model), but I don't know what wheels and tires are specified.

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I contacted them and they said it probably would not fit due to clearance on an IS 350 (probably similar to 250). However, once I get my snow tires put on, I'll check for myself.

They also directed me to their sister site http://www.snobootz.com/ Which offers a unique product that requires a little less clearance.

That one looked pretty good too.

Any other ideas on these?

Thanks

Jeff.

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I bought aftermarket 17" Bobert wheels and Bridgestone Blizzak tires and I usually put two bags of ice melter in the trunk at the back corners. Still unable to get out of my steep driveway with even very light snow. I'm looking at Audi S4 or Infiniti G37x as alternatives.

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Three of the chain styles from SCC appear to be the right size for the IS250 RWD. Has anyone used them?

Does anyone actully use chains on an IS250/350?

Snow tires by themselves are not enough to meet California's requirements in chain control areas; all vehicles must carry chains. As I write this it is not snowing but the requirements on I80 over the Sierra are--CHAINS ARE REQUIRED ON ALL VEHICLES EXCEPT 4-WHEEL-DRIVE VEHICLES WITH SNOW TIRES ON ALL 4 WHEELS FROM KINGVALE (PLACER CO) TO THE DONNER LAKE INTERCHANGE (NEVADA CO).

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  • 3 weeks later...
I bought aftermarket 17" Bobert wheels and Bridgestone Blizzak tires and I usually put two bags of ice melter in the trunk at the back corners. Still unable to get out of my steep driveway with even very light snow. I'm looking at Audi S4 or Infiniti G37x as alternatives.

I have experienced St. Paul, MN winters with RWD, FWD and AWD cars and best performers I have had are AWD (Mitsubishi Eclipse, Subaru WRX and 2006 Legacy GT) all with Bridgestone Blizzaks all around--I recommend Blizzaks for handling snow and some ice. The AWD cars accelerate wonderfully in snow (I used to have a blast with stop light "drag racing" Corvettes and other muscle cars in the snow) and don't get stuck (within reason) but stopping and turning of course can still be a problem. So depending on how steep your driveway is AWD will help (which other cars have managed your driveway by the way?).

I would appreciate advice from other IS350 drivers regarding winter driving with this car. This is my first winter with 2007 CPO IS-350 which came with set of Michelin Alpin winter tires. With one 50 pound bag of salt in trunk I had hoped for better traction and handling in snow with snow tires mounted. However it seems IS350 power upsets balance of car in snow such that traction is very difficult to obtain. I use SNOW setting and find TRAC control unpredictably killing power in snow very nervewracking so I turn TRAC and VSC off and drive carefully managing tire spin. Would appreciate additional tips from those experienced in driving IS350 in snow regarding what else I can do to at least make the best of situation--should I add more weight in trunk to gain traction or what?? Thankyou, Dennis

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I bought aftermarket 17" Bobert wheels and Bridgestone Blizzak tires and I usually put two bags of ice melter in the trunk at the back corners. Still unable to get out of my steep driveway with even very light snow. I'm looking at Audi S4 or Infiniti G37x as alternatives.

I have experienced St. Paul, MN winters with RWD, FWD and AWD cars and best performers I have had are AWD (Mitsubishi Eclipse, Subaru WRX and 2006 Legacy GT) all with Bridgestone Blizzaks all around--I recommend Blizzaks for handling snow and some ice. The AWD cars accelerate wonderfully in snow (I used to have a blast with stop light "drag racing" Corvettes and other muscle cars in the snow) and don't get stuck (within reason) but stopping and turning of course can still be a problem. So depending on how steep your driveway is AWD will help (which other cars have managed your driveway by the way?).

I would appreciate advice from other IS350 drivers regarding winter driving with this car. This is my first winter with 2007 CPO IS-350 which came with set of Michelin Alpin winter tires. With one 50 pound bag of salt in trunk I had hoped for better traction and handling in snow with snow tires mounted. However it seems IS350 power upsets balance of car in snow such that traction is very difficult to obtain. I use SNOW setting and find TRAC control unpredictably killing power in snow very nervewracking so I turn TRAC and VSC off and drive carefully managing tire spin. Would appreciate additional tips from those experienced in driving IS350 in snow regarding what else I can do to at least make the best of situation--should I add more weight in trunk to gain traction or what?? Thankyou, Dennis

I live in St. Paul too but I have IS250 AWD. I just leave it in the garage and use my beater for the winter. You should how much damage the salt has done to my beater. Last year, I think they used a lot more salt.

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I use All Seasons, which don't get great traction in any conditions, but get decent traction in *all* conditions. Forget what they are, but I've been fairly satisfied with them. They still have good tread after 2 years (albeit less than 20k miles in that time). I was looking at chains and/or winter tires, but not sure if I'll go that direction now that I've heard the lack of success from others.

At any rate, I do OK in Colorado winters, and the greatest challenge is getting into my driveway; particularly since the entrance is more of a curb than a ramp. I can't really get up any speed without slamming into the "curbramp" and @^%@ing up the suspension, but at the same time, I can't get up the driveway without any momentum. Usually I end up having to shovel the driveway and part of the street bare just to make it into the garage.

As for TCS/VDIM, they can be very counterproductive in the snow, and I routinely disable them. Anything up to 2-3 inches is ok, but higher than that -- particularly anything deep enough to reach the undercarriage -- and I'm not going very far. I did manage to make it uphill in 7 inches, but it took a few running starts and steering was nearly impossible.

The only thing the "snow" mode seems to do is lessen the pedal/throttle ratio, so it's basically worthless unless you have trouble noticing when your wheels are slipping, in which case it makes it harder to accidentally overthrottle.. I keep an eye on my tach though, and if it starts increasing while I'm not accelerating, I let off the accelerator.

It would be nice if they made AWD with larger engines/more power than their RWD counterparts to compensate for the parasitic loss of the drivetrain. That's really the only thing that keeps me from buying an AWD sport sedan. For now I just use my GF's Jeep when the weather's really nasty.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I read a Car and Driver winter tire test which showed Michelin Alpin which came with my CPO IS350 is not truly a winter tire vs other options from Michelin and others. Alpins seem to be better than so called All Weather but not as good as their Winter tire. I have had experience with Bridgestone Blizzaks which I think are more of a winter tire and I expect the IS350 would do much better in snow with a true winter tire vs my experience so far with the Alpins. The trade off is true winter tires will not handle as well on dry/wet roads as all weather tires.

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