FWD 2012 Chevy Captiva & Chains - "Traction Aids"

Discussion in 'Chevy Captiva Sport Forum (Saturn Vue)' started by drobs, Jan 28, 2014.

  1. drobs

    drobs New Member

    So I learned I bought one of these Front Wheel Drive Chevy Captiva LT's while I was overseas contracting in Iraq earlier this year.
    We were looking for something to replace our 2006 Nissan Altima. I was hoping for something AWD like a Volvo or Subaru and something that we could trade the Altima for and pay cash for the balance - used. The wife went car shopping and bought this fantastic vehicle - got 9K for the Altima and another car payment. I learned about it after the fact...

    What am I'm gonna do?

    I guess if anyone asks me the question... is that rental car? I'll say...

    "it sure is!"

    Now that I'm home I've been driving this car (ute) around south central Missouri and find it handles pretty good on pavement.
    Good acceleration with the V6, comfortable, handles the curves and hills well, I like the leather heated seats, and the sunroof.

    That was all fine a good till we got Snow & Ice.

    We got gravel county roads, hills, and lots of curves here in the Ozark Mountains. Went to Christmas party off a gravel road in the valley of 2 mile + long hills.
    There was snow and ice on the ground and we were unable to get up the hills in this Fantastic FWD Chevy Captiva. Friends of ours had to tow us up to the paved highway with their 4x4 Toyota Tacoma.

    Our experience was very similar to this:

    So the question is...

    What chains will fit this useless 2012 Front Wheel Drive Chevy Captiva?

    I note the the owner manual says not to use tires chains instead it recommends "Tire Traction Devices."
    That's not very helpful. What's a tire traction device?

    Looking on-line, I think I'm going to buy a pair of these S-Class minimum tire clearance snow chains:
    http://www.etrailer.com/Tire-Chains/Chevrolet/Captiva Sport/2012/TC2318.html?vehicleid=20121239485

    Wheel wells be damned we got hills in these parts.

    Any thoughts?
  2. Camaro69car

    Camaro69car Member 2 Years 100 Posts


    I think the tire "Cables" are what they want you to use, I dont see a problem with chains though.
  3. drobs

    drobs New Member

  4. Camaro69car

    Camaro69car Member 2 Years 100 Posts

    Havent had too many issues here since the white death came. Slid around a little bit, but you just have to have your witts about you. speed up on long downhill straights so you can get up the next hill.
  5. drobs

    drobs New Member

    That was the problem I was starting out at the bottom of the mile long hill. I'd recommend anyone that owns one of these FWD Mini-vans, in an area that might get snow, invest in some chains or cables.
  6. RayVoy

    RayVoy Epic Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts

    I'm glad this is the way you feel, because I suspect you will lose a fender liner.

    Keep in mind, that front drive assemblies are not as strong as rear drive diff. I suspect diff, or axle damage maybe in your future.

    Have you considered snow tires with studs?
  7. drobs

    drobs New Member

    From this recent learning experience, if there is snow on the ground, we're taking the Nissan 4x4 Frontier. Screw this useless mini-van.
  8. RayVoy

    RayVoy Epic Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts

    Haha, good choice, we do the same with Mrs RayVoy's front drive Saturn. It stays home, the truck goes out.
  9. drobs

    drobs New Member

    Here's the Captiva's front recovery point for anyone that's interested:
    Think I'll add a trail hitch to get a rear point.

    While checking out the spare tire area. I found this handy dandy divider net with buckles that fit those tracks in the cargo area.


    And a car picture:
  10. drobs

    drobs New Member

    SCC Z6 SZ143 cables installed:

    Bottom of hill:

    Top of hill:

    Still have to turn off the traction control. Not sure what the point of that is.

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