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Django44

Tire Chains

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I have a 2008 ES-350 and, given the miserable winter to date, am thinking of purchasing and using tire chains during the next big snowfall. Has anyone used them and do you have any recommendations on them pro or con? If recommended, is there a preferred brand?

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I have a 2008 ES-350 and, given the miserable winter to date, am thinking of purchasing and using tire chains during the next big snowfall. Has anyone used them and do you have any recommendations on them pro or con? If recommended, is there a preferred brand?

Tire chains would be a bad idea on a ES350. The clearance from the tires to wheelwell would not be sufficient for chains. I would recommend winter driving tires. If you cannot get around with winter driving tires then it's best to stay home. We live in Canada and have the winter tires and get around very well with them but there are times when it is best to stay home. Tire chains worked quite well on older vehicles that had more ground clearance as well as clearance in the wheelwells.

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Northern Virginia and you really feel like the winter has been that bad? I haven't had any problems getting around. Did you live in the area last year?

Chains are really for dire snow type emergencies. For instance it is illegal to run chains when you can see any roadbed surface on the road, because it tears up the road.

The ES really isn't the type of vehicle that benefits from chains anyways. Its FWD, and the wheel well clearances are very slim as the above poster said...

Chains are great in deep heavy snow or ice on a RWD car...but on the ES it wouldn't be worthwhile.

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Thanks for your thoughts, Steve. I've been living in the Northern Virginia area for over 30 years and know that it can go five years with barely any snow and then drop 24" in 24 hours, like last year's Snowmageddon. No, I don't intend on using chains for anything but emergencies. For example, during last week's disastorous snow (Commutageddon) my wife, who is wearing a temporary leg brace, was trapped at a local Metro station with no way to get home. I tried to drive up to get her but couldn't get up a hill on our street due to packed snow over ice. If I had a set of chains I could've slipped them on and made the run. I don't consider snow tires practical since 98% of the time in the winter I'd be running them on dry pavement - plus I don't like the noise.

I've done a bit of research and find, first, that the my Lexus manual (for my '08) does give guidance on chains on p. 169, including specs on sizes (for clearance purposes I suppose). I also see that Thule shows chains for Lexus at their web site. I saw mention of snow cables as well. I'm going to continue looking into it, again for emergency purposes (we also make trips to the Midwest in the winter at times over the Alleghenies). I'm just interested in knowing if any other 350 owners have experience with chains.

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Just looking at the clearances I'd be leery of chains. The wells are so tight that the long handled brush I use when washing the car to clean the wheel wells doesn't fit between the tire and the well down at the bottom of the wheel well.

I'd be afraid you'd damage the car.

Have you ever thought about getting something a little more snow-friendly? If I made trips to the Midwest in the winter I'd want something with 4WD...

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Just looking at the clearances I'd be leery of chains. The wells are so tight that the long handled brush I use when washing the car to clean the wheel wells doesn't fit between the tire and the well down at the bottom of the wheel well.

I'd be afraid you'd damage the car.

Have you ever thought about getting something a little more snow-friendly? If I made trips to the Midwest in the winter I'd want something with 4WD...

Just as an FYI, I put on a set of Michelin X-Ice Snow/Winter tires this season and what a great tire. In addition to excellent traction on snow, packed snow and ice, they are very quiet and ride very comfortably. I highly recommend them. Paid $136 ea. plus $20 mount and balance.

Paul

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Just looking at the clearances I'd be leery of chains. The wells are so tight that the long handled brush I use when washing the car to clean the wheel wells doesn't fit between the tire and the well down at the bottom of the wheel well.

I'd be afraid you'd damage the car.

Have you ever thought about getting something a little more snow-friendly? If I made trips to the Midwest in the winter I'd want something with 4WD...

agree..es350 is not the car for the snow..in fact, my experience so far this winter is that it is worse than other front wheel drive cars in slippery conditions, not sure why that is

chains + es350 = doesn't sound right..no shortage of all-wheel drive vehicles at the es price point..audi a4, infiniti g37, etc

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Actually I thought my 350 was pretty good in the snow, certainly better than my 300. What kind of tires do you have, the Michelins or the Bridgestones?

I mean...its no AWD car but I wouldn't be afraid to drive it in 4-5 inches of snow.

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Actually I thought my 350 was pretty good in the snow, certainly better than my 300. What kind of tires do you have, the Michelins or the Bridgestones?

I mean...its no AWD car but I wouldn't be afraid to drive it in 4-5 inches of snow.

mine came with the michelins

saw some think heavy snow in front of me a couple of weeks ago..got up some speed, figured it wouldn't be a problem..kept it fast and straight, but got stuck anyway..was able to rock it out

last 4 cars have been maximas, also front wheel drive, and for some reason they were much better, perhaps weight distribution, don't know

take my rava4 in the snow now

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My guess is its the Michelin tires. The ES comes with the MXV4 S8 which has terrible snow traction reviews. Mine has the Bridgestones....

When it comes to deep snow though, its just a function of it being too deep and building up underneath the car. The ES has a low chin...

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my experience was that my winter traction problems were due purely to the crappy tires on the stock ES... I added a winter only set of Michilin Alpines and have had no problems driving through Pittsburgh the last two winters.

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my experience was that my winter traction problems were due purely to the crappy tires on the stock ES... I added a winter only set of Michilin Alpines and have had no problems driving through Pittsburgh the last two winters.

so much for all season tires...I saw Michelin, so I figured they were good

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They are good tires in that they are quiet and smooth, its just that those particular Michelins aren't great in the snow traction department.

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