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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For those of you that live in places that get a lot of snow, since the owner's manual states not to use cable or regular chains, how do you plan on preparing for driving in snow or ice? I've always carried chains just in case, but it looks like this isn't an option for the JX. We don't get a lot of snow but do have icy roads at times.

My other question is, how well do tires like the Bridgestone and Michelin mud and snow which come with the AWD usually perform in snow?
 

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I live in a region where IMO snow tires are a must, I've have used the Michelin X-ice in all my previous vehicles and will be looking to purchase some for the JX.
 

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"mud and snow" tires are a compromise. They are marginal summer tires, and marginal winter tires. Lots will argue M+S's abilities, but those who have used real snow tires like X-ice or Blizzaks won't! I run dedicated snows on our AWD Volvo XC70, AWD Subaru Outback, and our 4x4 F250. They see snow maybe 2% of the total time over the winter's miles. BUT, it's that 2% when you need them. You have a handling and braking advantage over everyone else. And, when the snows are on, the summer tires aren't wearing.
 

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We go to Lake Tahoe for skiing in the wintertime and occasionally there will be chain controls on the freeways and CHP will not let you drive through without any chains, no matter how many wheels drive you have and/or snow tires. I plan to get the appropriate size cables before next winter, just to pack and have in the JX.
 

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Good quality snow tires should be more than enough for most snow conditions. That and good judgement in driving.
 

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It really depends on where you are from. In canada some provinces need to have Snow tires during the months of winter. Its actually mandatory. The best way to avoid troubles is to get a decent set of winter tires, which will withsatnd the freezing cold temperatures and have a good tread for the best contact patch. Also its true to use a good judgement when driving.
 

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We go to Lake Tahoe for skiing in the wintertime and occasionally there will be chain controls on the freeways and CHP will not let you drive through without any chains, no matter how many wheels drive you have and/or snow tires. I plan to get the appropriate size cables before next winter, just to pack and have in the JX.
This is a good plan. But if you go to the north shore instead of Kirkwood, you won't get asked to show chains. 80 is either open to 4wd, or closed. They could ask to see your chains, but they never do.

On my MDX and Honda Pilot I've always had two sets of wheels. One with summer tires and one with snows (most recently X-Ice). I switch wheels in the fall and never have problems getting around Tahoe.

I grew up driving in the snow. For most Bay Area folks, some extra precaution when driving and making sure you have good tires is sufficient for their annual Tahoe trip. I drive up every weekend all season, so for me the extra investment is worth it in safety and reliability. What scares me most are the AWD/4WD vehicles you see from the Bay Area with low profile, nearly bald tires - who think AWD means they have ice brakes. Invariably the cars you see in the ditch in Tahoe are AWD.

The JX should be a competent snow vehicle. Remember that the Snow mode on your little dial is really just for lower speed travel. It simply reduces the likelyhood of the front tires slipping when you are starting from a stop, or accelerating at low speed. It isn't ice brakes, nor is it going to improve traction if you have crappy tires.

And while we're on the subject of snow driving. Don't forget that our FCW, LDW, ICC and most of the other alphabet soup of awesome nanny gadgets aren't going to work once they and the road are covered in snow.
 

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Buy winter rated tires for all four wheels. Stud them if your state or province allows them. And most importantly drive accordingly, if you over drive for the road conditions, AWD, four wheel drive and all the electronic nannies in the world still won't prevent you from hitting the ditch!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I wanted to refresh this thread since we are getting close to winter and there still haven't been any traction devices other than tire chains available for the JX. Washington State is now allowing the Tire Sock (a European device used in 35 countries) to be used when chains are required, but so far the company doesn't support the JX 18" or 20" wheel sizes.

Personally, I always carry chains in the winter even though I've only used them a hand full of times. I'm not driving in enough snowy/icy weather conditions to warrant studded or snow tires. I'm sure there are a lot of you out there that may be in the same boat. If anyone has any ideas or products that they know will fit the JX, feel free to post them. I'll be bird-dogging this item also. I have sent Nissan a request for information also since our other vehicle is a 2012 Rogue, with the same recommendations to not use tire or cable chains. Stay tuned!
 

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BobOB, i am also interested in this info.
I would also like to get chain for my JX35. I do however have the 20" wheel that comes with the deluxe touring package.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
BobOB, i am also interested in this info.
I would also like to get chain for my JX35. I do however have the 20" wheel that comes with the deluxe touring package.
I'm still looking on line and haven't heard anything back from the dealership. I did find a set of cable chains on the net but haven't been able to confirm the size yet. Even though the owner's manual says don't use chains, if you drive in an area where you might need them, I'd rather be safe than sorry.

There are some pretty exotic devices out there but they are very pricy and not sure if they will work. I'll keep looking and will post what I find.
 

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Would cheaper winter tires not be an option for these few months? Chains do decent damage to roads when there is no ice or snow around.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Would cheaper winter tires not be an option for these few months? Chains do decent damage to roads when there is no ice or snow around.
I totally agree with you, but if you are driving though our passes like I90 or I5 when chain requirements are posted, our State Patrol will not allow you to pass without approved traction devices.
 

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Is it just me, but when I just went to buy some chains for my JX-35 with the R20 tires, I was shocked to find the manual strongly recommending that there was not enough wheel well spacing to accept chains/cables! I know this thread is about figuring out a way around this, but my question is more about, was I an idiot to not check on this myself? Shouldn't Infiniti have warned me about this (and the fact that there doesn't seem to be any 20" snow tires for this car), and given me an option to get the 18" wheels, even with the Touring Package? I'm in California and I ski. I may never have to actually have to put chains on, but I'm pretty aggressive about going up during bad weather for powder days and going to a wide variety of locations. Do I have any grounds to be outraged and feel blindsided?

Also, if I never go on snow with the vechile heavily loaded, would I be able to get away with some low profile cables at low speed for the odd time I had to put them on? In other words, is Infiniti just covering their rears when the vechile is extremely loaded, running at highway speeds, on curvy roads?

And if I feel compelled to get some 18" rear wheels during ski season, could I just put them on the rear wheels? The manual appears to be silent on this, although it may be obvious for AWD situations as being a bad idea; more than just an annoying idea (TPMS issues, tranny and speed being off by 10%, ...).
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I've been looking for some sort of chain alternative for several months and have checked in with Infiniti Consumer Affairs. Nobody has a solution. The members on this forum from Canada have mentioned they don't use chains, rather they put snow tires on in the winter and have good results. If I recall, they are putting them on 18" wheels.

The JX is not alone with this issue. Apparently many newer model vehicles have the same issue with not being able to use tire chains. Our neighbor's Toyota Highlander for example has the same issue. I checked the Washington State Patrol's website to see what they will accept in the way of chain alternatives and the only thing listed is the Autosock, which at this time doesn't have a size that fits our vehicle. Pretty frustrating. If we had more snow here, I'd be investing in snow tires. I'm going to keep checking for a solution for folks like us and will post whatever I find.
 

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I know they aren't the exact same size as stock, but when you search tire rack they suggest 245/50/20. And there are some snow tires made in that size. Blizzak lm-60's, blizzak DM-v1, and the Michelin lattitude x-ice Xi2. You don't typically want to go wider with snow tires, but those tires certainly are a viable option If you want to stay with stock 20" rims and run a winter tire.

I've never driven a car with chains, but all my cars have a summer and winter set of rims/tires.
 

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Do I have any grounds to be outraged and feel blindsided?
No. This is really common for cars like this. Plus, you could have bought your JX from me and I'd have given you a 15 minute run-down on all the pluses and minuses of the various snow-driving options :cool:

And Caltrans isn't going to make you put chains on the JX. Technically there's a chain control where you need chains with AWD, but they always close the road before they get to that chain requirement.

Also, if I never go on snow with the vechile heavily loaded, would I be able to get away with some low profile cables at low speed for the odd time I had to put them on? In other words, is Infiniti just covering their rears when the vechile is extremely loaded, running at highway speeds, on curvy roads?
The answer to both these questions is, "I think so".

And if I feel compelled to get some 18" rear wheels during ski season, could I just put them on the rear wheels? The manual appears to be silent on this, although it may be obvious for AWD situations as being a bad idea; more than just an annoying idea (TPMS issues, tranny and speed being off by 10%, ...).
Putting 18's with snows on just one axle would be completely idiotic. And why would you think that the rear axle would be the one to put them on? This car is predominantly front wheel drive. The rears engage when the car sense slipping of the fronts. But bottom line, if you want to put snow tires on (I recommend this for people who drive to Tahoe a lot), buy a set of 18" wheels - either from someone on this board, or email me and I'll keep my eyes open for a customer who doesn't want theirs - and buy snow tires for them. You won't have tranny/speedo issues if you buy the correct size tires for them, and you can buy TPMS for them if you want.

I don't drive a JX. My winter car is an old Honda Pilot with 190K on the odometer. I have two sets of wheels for the Honda. One with snow tires (currently running Michelin X-Ice) and one with summer tires. With snow tires, the Pilot kicks butt in the snow. Yesterday in the parking lot at Alpine Meadows, friends and I pushed 8 other cars out of the snow (it snowed a lot during the day). Then I got in my car and easily drove away. Snow driving is all about tires (clearance helps if it gets stupid deep, but that rarely happens). AWD doesn't mean squat, except to the Caltrans guys who won't let you past chain check even with studded snows on a 2wd car. Cars I've driven with snow tires: 1989 Acura Integra, 199x Nissan Quest, 2001Acura MDX, 2003 Honda Pilot, 200x Toyota Highlander Hybrid - they all were awesome in the snow, including the two FWD cars. Yet I've driven plenty of cars with AWD/4WD and non-snow tires and they stink.

Getting off my high horse now and going to drive over to the ski area because it is dumping snow out there and I love the sound of Avalanche Control in the morning.
 

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Haven't tried the snow setting but snow tires does help plenty. maybe not as much as chains but it still does help.

The snow setting should play with the torque and AWD to help the car start up from a stop (my guess)
 
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