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Car "Snow socks"?


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I've had my Mazda RX8 since the summer of 2013, and due to the non-winter of 13/14 I've not had to drive it on any snow, ice or slush...until today. Long story short - it was a nightmare; summer tyres with little tread, inclines and a cocktail of hail, ice and slush don't mix. Throw in a fairly light car with minimal torque and rear wheel drive and you've got a real challenge. A challenge I didn't much enjoy and could have easily not seen through.

 

Anyway, to cut to the chase - has anyone used or otherwise had any experience with "snow socks" for cars? I've been looking for a solution to my traction problem and concluded that winter tyres are probably not cost effective and chains not at all practical, which leaves me with the snow socks. They seem to be the most suitable option for me: cost effective, easy(ish) to fit as and when needed and take up little space in the boot when not needed.

 

Should I take the plunge and buy a pair? I don't much fancy a repeat of earlier today...

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I've had my Mazda RX8 since the summer of 2013, and due to the non-winter of 13/14 I've not had to drive it on any snow, ice or slush...until today. Long story short - it was a nightmare; summer tyres with little tread, inclines and a cocktail of hail, ice and slush don't mix. Throw in a fairly light car with minimal torque and rear wheel drive and you've got a real challenge. A challenge I didn't much enjoy and could have easily not seen through.

 

Anyway, to cut to the chase - has anyone used or otherwise had any experience with "snow socks" for cars? I've been looking for a solution to my traction problem and concluded that winter tyres are probably not cost effective and chains not at all practical, which leaves me with the snow socks. They seem to be the most suitable option for me: cost effective, easy(ish) to fit as and when needed and take up little space in the boot when not needed.

 

Should I take the plunge and buy a pair? I don't much fancy a repeat of earlier today...

Far better to replace your tyres preferably with good deep treads on them - not only will these help you in the slush and the snow but they will help in wet conditions as well - it is surprising how greasy a wet salty road can be and it is very easy to aquaplane in the slightly deeper water on what it seems you have, virtual slicks - on the other hand I haven't had any serious problems when driving in slush and snow with good treads.

 

Many years ago I got a Triumph Herald with a rear wheel drive up a snow covered hill which defeated everybody else.

 

From a safety point of view the tyres are pretty well one of the most important aspects of a car, they are your only contact with the road surface.

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It looks like snow socks are focused on snow not ice and slush,  people sometimes have problems with wheel arch clearance but they have been very useful to some people.

 

Examples Reviews here http://reviews.halfords.com/4028/291117/reviews.htm?sort=rating http://answers.halfords.com/answers/4028/product/291117/questions.htm

 

 

Consider me biased as I have them! The latest generation snow/cold wet weather tyres are so good now ; ever hear people say they regretted spending the money on them? 

 

Top tyre strangely enough a winter tyre! http://www.tyrereviews.co.uk/Tyres_For/Mazda/RX8.htm

 

So if not skint from spending it all on buying  the car , Its a no brainer! 

 

Someone having fun on youtube  

 

p.s just to confuse things...all season tyres! 

http://www.tyrereviews.co.uk/Article/2014-All-Season-Tyre-Test.htm

Edited by LincolnSnowstorm
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I own snow socks but this is now the third winter with winter tyres, they are far better. Snow socks are useful for getting you out of tricky spots but they soon wear on roads that only have patchy snow, it's not fun having to pull them on and off with wet, cold hands. Winter tyres however go on and stay on 'till March. They give better grip and shorter stopping distances in wet and icy conditions as well as snow. The combination of the two and you can go anywhere, I've happily had my van over Kirkstone pass in 6" of fresh snow, no problems.

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Snow chains are good for the powered wheels, if they are adjusted correctly they work fine and do not smash the wheel arches to bits, "tip" drive a few hundred yards and adjust them, then adjust them again after 10 minutes driving. Then check them every day for looseness and adjust. You will be fine.

 Don't know about snow socks, but treat most modern ideas about getting through snow with a pinch of salt, in my opinion.

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Out of all the non 4 wheel drive cars I've driven in the snow, I found a Fiat Panda to be the best.

 

i've heard someone else say that too. in 2009/10 we had a ford focus which couldnt even get out of the drive! 2010/11 we had a volvo XC70 4wd which was brilliant. still not had the chance to try my land rovers in the snow but off-road they are unstoppable.

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i've heard someone else say that too. in 2009/10 we had a ford focus which couldnt even get out of the drive! 2010/11 we had a volvo XC70 4wd which was brilliant. still not had the chance to try my land rovers in the snow but off-road they are unstoppable.

 

I think it's because they are relatively underpowered so don't overreact when you put your foot down in the snow, so to speak. Plus they tend to have more revs in a higher gear than your average car so it naturally does the 'pull off in a higher gear in the snow' thing.

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I own snow socks but this is now the third winter with winter tyres, they are far better. Snow socks are useful for getting you out of tricky spots but they soon wear on roads that only have patchy snow, it's not fun having to pull them on and off with wet, cold hands. Winter tyres however go on and stay on 'till March. They give better grip and shorter stopping distances in wet and icy conditions as well as snow. The combination of the two and you can go anywhere, I've happily had my van over Kirkstone pass in 6" of fresh snow, no problems.

 

I'm starting to come back round to the idea of winter tyres, mainly because of the convenience and the fact that the car needs new rubber anyway. I figure I may as well fit some winter tyres now that I can use for the next 4 months, and hopefully by April/May I can afford a set of summer tyres!

 

Out of interest MS which winter tyres do you use? I'm eyeing up some Nokian WR A3's...

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Snow socks are an aid to help you out of a sticky (!) situation with you car in snow. They are not and are never said to be a full time replacement for winter tyres. They are very good at what they are to be used for, and as said above wear quickly on normal road surfaces, which is why the advice is to remove them once you reach tarmac.

For down here where it never snows, there's never a need for winter tyres, or snow socks really.

Edited by Dorsetbred
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Yes winter tyres do give you great peace of mind with them being on all the time. I have Toyo H09s, they're for vans and light trucks though. I have heard of people leaving winters on all year without any problems or what I've done is bought second hand steel rims so I can swap wheels over myself, saves money in the long run. I swapped mine over a few days ago, can't wait to drive in snow now!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Set of Cooper weather masters sa2 winter tyres on my wife's Honda Jazz. Had to pay £200 for the set and £40 to change them over each winter and spring, but this is my third winter out of them. Fantastic grip in all conditions, I laugh at the folk in there 4x4 with summer tyres getting stuck on small icy hills whilst I skip past them. Great investment, I do live in Scotland though, so winters up here are colder.

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