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  1. #1

    Default Options for Winter Driving in Mountains

    Just purchased my 2012 Chev Silverado 3500 last June. It is a single rear axle 4X4, crew cab long bed. When reading the owner's manual, I noticed that GM does not recommend the use of tire chains on my tires (265/70-R18 Michelins). Current tires are M&S all season. I drive over the Cascade passes during the winter to visit family and even though I never used chains on my last truck (1998 Dodge 4X4), there is always a possibility of a conditional road closure in Oregon when they require either chains or traction tires even though you have a 4X4. So I am looking at my options. If chains cannot be used because of potential damage if they come loose, then is my only option purchasing winter traction tires? Don't like storing tires in my garage either. Looking for suggestions (if there are any) before I pour out over a $1000 for winter tires. Thanks.


  2. #2


    studded snow tires are amazing. i will not go a winter without them anymore. however im ASSUMING there is no real reason not to use chains. ify ou say "if chains cannot be used because of potential damage if they come loose", well that oculd happen on ANY and ALL vehicle. just got to use common sence. plus chains are a great emergency option. add some weight to the back will also help of course.
    "i dont think you got the picture. i got a beautiful picture. this baby happens to have an extra turn of speed, which is the only thing i care about. you dont understnad what happens do you? they make cars. they make 'em exactly the same way. one or two of 'em turn out to be something special. nobody knows why. i know why. i may be kiddin' myself, but i think i can make somethin' out of that sad little bucket of bolts." ~ Tennessee Steinmetz

  3. #3


    I suppose using your logic that as you say, any vehicle could suffer this damage. Guess GM is maybe being a little over cautious on chains? Suppose the money move would be to purchase chains and carry them like I did the old truck. If I did have to use them over the Cascades, I could still put them on and as long as they were installed correctly, should not be a problem. I believe the chains on my old truck installed so they were tight with chain tighteners. Don't see how they would come off. So unless I hear some other words of wisdom, think I will go with chains.

  4. #4


    I think they may be trying to protect themselves and the consumer from damages and liabilties. If they said it was ok then someone would (its inevitable) drive down the highway at rediculous speeds or think they were indestructable and cause all kinds of problems. As long as there are no clearance issues chains will not cause a problem. Some of the road conditions and things we drive over are worse than chains. Common sense needs to be used. Traction for driving forward doesn't mean a person can turn or stop just as fast. Some don't understand this. If I were you I'd throw them in the back and use when needed. Just remember if you have a warrenty, get into an accident and they find out chains were involved it could cost you because it stated in the manual not to use them. Just something to think about.
    2003 Suburban 2500 LT, 6.0l Volant cai. 3.73 gear. Mobil 1 syn oil

  5. #5


    They also make an alternative product to chains out of steel cables.
    "It went together didn't it? Well then there has to be a way to take it apart!" - Me.

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  6. #6
    Jr. Engineer Jaele's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Fairfield CA


    check these out

    I had them on a saturn and they were awesome, take about 10 sec to install (you have to install the mounting plate before your trip) and they worked like a charm no damage to the wheel or tire like you will sometimes get with chains and cables
    2011 Silverado 1500 Z71 4x4 Crew Cab
    LED Dome light
    LED Floor lights
    RC Leveling kit
    Tow Mirrors Custom LED running/signal lights
    BakFlip G2 Tonneau Cover

  7. #7


    God help you if you try using a set of cables in place of chains in real ice and snow, over any normal road. Have you never noticed how many cable sets are strewn on the highway after a major snowfall??? they are crap, meant for absolute minimum use.

    GM is protecting themselves from litigation by not recommending chains. Chains will damage any vehicle if they are improperly installed, or if they break (very uncommon). Living 12 years at Lake Tahoe, and driving over the passes every week for the entire time I was there, never once was I required to install chains (operated various 4x4 pickups). However, I was often required to show that I had them. If I had not had them, I would not have been allowed over the pass. Carry the chains, use them if needed, practice installing and removing them several times before first time of potential use. Be sure your rubber snubbers are in good condition, and do not be stupid and use light-duty shock cords, like I see a lot of idiots doing. Good luck. for spider spikes...they work well for one season on a light vehicle (3000 pounds), and if going short trips on smooth roads. Don't even think of using them on a heavier vehicle to cross over long passes that may have ruts, potholes, etc.

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