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Help please!!! Lexus IS 250 AWD - can/should we put chains on?

Cathyb

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Tuggers: We live in Southern California and driving to see kids in Denver and Colorado Springs in October. We own a Lexus IS 250 All Wheel Drive and are getting different answers from our Lexus dealer here. One says we can/should put chains on the rear tires but they don't sell any that fit our tires -- the auto parts guy says don't need them because we have AWD.

October a few years ago in another car we got caught in a TERRIBLE snowstorm in Colorado which is why this question is coming up.

NEED YOUR HELP:eek: :eek: :eek: Thank you in advance!
 

gorevs9

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IMHO, if they don't sell chains that fit your tires, then I would NOT try to install a different size.
That being said, is the average October snowfall in CO that great to even require chains? If you were planning to stay on the major roads, any snow should be cleared away to the point where chains were unnecessary.

If you need some peace of mind, a good set of snow tires on all four wheels should suffice. If there was that much snow in October where chains are required, then I would be sitting by the fire with a hot toddy in my hand :)
 

T_R_Oglodyte

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I have little hesitation to use chains, even with an AWD vehicle.

The reason is very simply and very important. AWD only has an effect when the car is accelerating. All cars apply brakes to all four wheels. When you step on the brakes there is no difference between AWD and 2WD. So even if the AWD gives traction for startup and pulling through snow and ice, I want the traction for stopping as well.

When I chain an AWD vehicle I always put the chains on the front tires. That's because you steer a vehicle with the front tires. In fact if you have are chaining tires on an AWD vehicle, I can't imagine why anyone would suggest chaining the rear tires instead of the front tires. In fact, if someone offered me that advice, I would immediately question almost any other advice given. That's about the same as someone claiming to be knowledgeable about timeshare advising that a person should never buy a resale timeshare.

My rules: Front tires if the car is AWD or front drive. Rear wheels if the car is rear wheel drive. The most important place to put the chains is on the drive wheels. If all wheels are drive wheels, then put the chains on the front tires so you get traction on both drive and steering.
 

ricoba

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I would wait to buy them once I got to Colorado. The Lexus dealer or tire shop there should have chains available, and will know the proper installation, since they use chains more than we do here in SoCal. But if I were to speculate, I would agree with Steve, that they probably will go on the front and not the rear.
 

bogey21

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Personally I wouldn't screw with chains in October if the only places you are going to visit are Colorado Springs, Denver, and the highway between them

GEORGE
 

T_R_Oglodyte

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Every car I own gets a set of chains that are stored in the trunk. On a pleasant day I test them to make sure they fit and get familiar with how to put them on and take them off.

When you need chains it's much nicer to have the chains in the vehicle, knowing they are the right size and knowing how to put them on, than it is to try to fumble with them some evening in freezing weather in freezing weather with six to twelve inches of snow on the ground.

There have also been several times when we would have been stuck in our house had I not had chains stored in the vehicle.

BTW - chains aren't just for snow and ice. They are also useful for mud. Although you might not live in a snow area, you likely still could have to deal with mud. If there's flooding or mudslides and you will need to get away in your vehicle. You want to do what you can do to make sure that vehicle will perform when you need it to.
 

Cathyb

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Thank you all! We called two Lexus service depts in Denver area and this is what they reported: Don't recommend putting chains on the IS250 AWD back tires because the clearance between tires and shock struts is very small and the chains could damage the structure.

Both talked about rear tires as logical place for chains if the space was available. We have decided to drive without chains and hope the next worse snowstorm for Denver area doesn't happen to us. :eek:
 
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