Infiniti JX Forums banner
1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
209 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So we're going on a little trip in December to Lake Tahoe. I'm driving up and I've never had our JX35 AWD in the snow. I think all the threads I found were w/ Blizzak tires, I'd like to know how the OEM tires perform in snow or if I should get chains or get dedicated Blizzaks. We don't get "much" snow in San Diego or go skiing much, so any recommendation would help. Thanks.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
820 Posts
I've been searching for a compatible tire chain or cables even though the owner's manual says don't use chains. I checked the owner's manual for the new QX60 and it states going to the 18" tire and using chains. I've searched a number of provider sites and found an interesting item which is approved in Washington State called the tire sock. As of last winter however, I couldn't find one that fits the 20" tire. I'm still going to look for something just in case since we live in an area that gets occasional snow. I posted an item last year regarding chains and our Canadian friends mentioned that they don't use them in Canada, but use dedicated snow tires which perform very well per our members. I'm still interested in hearing how others have experienced snow in the JX with the stock Mud and Snow tires. Please keep us posted if you find anything and I'll do the same.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
209 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
I guess the one reason chains aren't really good is because it's bad for the roads and could at times damage the car/wheel if it ever came loose. It's also a pain to put on.

Blizzaks cost about $800 from tirerack for the 20" ones and I saw wheels around 200 each if I didn't want to keep mounting and unmounting tires. It may not be as big of a problem if I go to a snowy place once a year so the extra cost is really why I bought the AWD anyways. But I guess if I bought extra rims, then I might also get the TPMS mounted too.

I wish there was a place I could rent blizzaks.

This is strange, OEM performance tire is 235/55-20 but the Winter Tire is 245/50-20 any ideas?

This is the Tiresock, it's rated at 30mph max although that's the same for chains. This place has the one for the 235/55-20 for $110. It's the tiresock not the Autosock rated by the Germans.

For the Autosock, Amazon sells it for $75. Get the 785 version according to the Fitment guide. I might have to just get these. For $75, it ain't bad at all.

Great, Note: TireSock/AutoSock is not meant for severe snow conditions, and cannot be substituted for chains for travel through mountain passes.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
467 Posts
Thorin,

You won't need to put chains on to satisfy Caltrans. They close the road before they get to the R3 chain level. Will you want/need them? Hard to say. I doubt it, but ymmv. You can always wait and buy them around Tahoe when you're there, if the forecast is for really slippery conditions.

Overall, the oem 18" tires are better in the snow than the 20" ones. But as long as you have relatively low miles on either, you should be fine.

Personally, I have two sets of wheels for my vehicle. One with snows and one with summers. But a) I'm anal about winter driving and b) I work part time in Tahoe at Alpine Meadows. I ski every weekend all winter long. That means at least 20 trips to Tahoe every year. And my house there is at the top of a 3 mile hill at 6800'.

You might want to buy a set of cable chains to have just in case. I would not advise true chains for the JX. You want the lowest profile ones you can find (i.e. cable chains). Practice putting them on someplace flat and dry. It isn't fun putting chains on ever, and it is always raining/sleeting/snowing when you actually have to get out and do it. If you practice a couple times, it will take way less time the first time you have to do it for real. Also, keep something (bungie cords work) to use to keep any slack out of the chains if they don't come with a tensioning device included. You don't want the chains flapping around because they'll ruin the wheel wells and/or the quarter panel around the wheel if they come loose. If you're driving with chains and you hear them hitting the wheel well/fender, stop and fix the problem immediately.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
209 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks Sinecure,

It's good to know that AWD will satisfy Caltrans, I just don't know about the tires. The car just hit 6000 miles yesterday with 11 months of ownership. I think I'll just buy them from Amazon before I get up leave San Diego.

Thanks for the advice on the cable chains, I think I'll get those instead of the autosock.

how about these?
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000HZDFVY/ref=noref?ie=UTF8&psc=1&s=automotive

Would you put them on the front or the rear tires?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
467 Posts
Those z chains will be fine. Front tires. But I wouldn't put them on unless you really, really have to. You're limited to 25-30mph when you put chains on.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
having lived/worked/played in the Reno Tahoe for all of my life, I have never had to use chains
on my personal vehicles'. Having said that, I have always had good all season M/S rated snow
tires, " Michelin " are my first choice. Thorin78 I would not think twice about driving up there
with the rubber that is on the car.
Funny you go to Tahoe and we go Coronado for X-mass...just saying!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
209 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Thanks, it's really an insurance policy in case Caltrans says I need chains. I don't want to have driven all that way from San Diego and have to go back to Sacramento because I'm not allowed to get up Tahoe. Finding a good set of chains at a decent price is also a good plan for the future if we go to Mammoth or Big Bear. My co-worker was turned around at Mammoth because he needed chains.

I did go to Tahoe one year and was stopped by Caltrans for chains, but it was a awd ford expedition rental and they let me go. My relative had a RWD pathfinder and couldn't make it out of the driveway b/c it was up hill at the lodge. Spent half a day putting on the chains cuz the key for the chain was effectively gone and couldn't latch. Yeah that happened.

It's all for our kids ya know. They're under 4 so we want to make sure they get there and safely. Yeah, we get spoiled in San Diego, it's cold when it's below 70 and hot when it's over 80. :p I grew up in Philly and went to school in upstate NY so I'm no newbie when it comes to snow or driving in snow.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
209 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
So should I heed this warning?

Manual section.

Tire chains/cables should not be installed on 235/55R20 size tires. Installation of the tire chains/cables on 235/55R20 size tires will cause damage to the vehicle. If you plan to use tire chains/cables, you should install 235/65R18 size tires on your vehicle.

Use of tire chains may be prohibited according to location. Check the local laws before installing tire chains. When installing tire chains, make sure they are the proper size for the tires on your vehicle and are installed according to the chain manufacturer’s suggestions. Use only SAE class “S” chains. Class “S” chains are used on vehicles with restricted tire to vehicle clearance. Vehicles that can use Class “S” chains are designed to meet the minimum clearances between the tire and the closest vehicle suspension or body component required to accommodate the use of a winter traction device (tire chains or cables). The minimum clearances are determined using the factory equipped tire size. Other types may damage your vehicle. Use chain tensioners when recommended by the tire chain manufacturer to ensure a tight fit. Loose end links of the tire chain must be secured or removed to prevent the possibility of whipping action damage to the fenders or underbody. If possible, avoid fully loading your vehicle when using tire chains. In addition, drive at a reduced speed. Otherwise, your vehicle may be damaged and/or vehicle handling and performance may be adversely affected.

Do not use tire chains on dry roads. Driving with chains in such conditions can cause damage to the various mechanisms of the vehicle due to some overstress.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
209 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Looks like only Thule K-Summit XXL K77 snow chains will fit the 20" tire as it doesn't go behind the wheel. I think certain GM vehicles had the same where the chains/cables would rip out the brakes in the vehicle. So maybe the autosock will work well unless the Rud system is much cheaper than the $700 for the Thules.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
467 Posts
Those Thule things are expensive. I have a set of Spikes Spiders for my son's Volvo and they work great in lieu of chains.

I really don't see why there'd be a difference b/w the 20" and 18" wheels when it comes to chains. The brakes aren't different and the overall diameter of the tire is the same on both wheels. You may risk scratching your wheel with the chains, but that'd be true on the 18" also.

Frankly, as brianv points out, this whole discussion will, in all likelihood, be moot. Caltrans isn't going to make you put chains on an AWD vehicle. They ask you to show that you have them, but I've driven 80 from Sac to Tahoe hundreds of times. They never ever get to R3 conditions - the road closes before they get to that point.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
209 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Yeah if I lived in snow country the Thule world be useful. The spider spikes aren't available in the 20 inch tire. So the autosock is probably the best option just to have. I think chains are needed on R2 conditions even for AWD.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
467 Posts
You don't have to believe me Thorin. I only drive to Tahoe from the Bay Area 20-30 times/winter. I've only been doing it for 15 years. I work at a ski area. I have two sets of wheels for my AWD SUV.

I give up trying to help and providing good information. Believe whatever the hell you want.

Or, use your fingers and google it. Here's the page from Caltrans:
http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/roadinfo/chcontrl.htm
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
We have used the z-chains when we head to our cabin in the mountains. We have used them twice with no problems. We don't need them enough to justify dealing with snow tires.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top