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  1. #1
    beanoir's Avatar
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    Snow Chains for S3

    Hello All!!

    I'm currently busy planning my first trip away snowboarding, and i'm driving down to Meribel (French Alps) in February. I understand that during the winter months the local police may stop drivers at the bottom of the mountain roads en-route to the ski resorts to check that drivers have snow chains if they believe that the road conditions require.

    Now I know that Quattro is a great help in the snow, and winter tyres are a huge benefit if you have them, but even if I had both of these I still may need chains. The problem is, the cheapest I can find that are apparently recommended for the profile of wheel and diameter (standard 18") are Ł250 a pair.

    My question is, has anybody found chains for an S3 or similar sized wheels (and fitted or used them) that are a bit cheaper? What with all the first time kit I have to buy this little trip is starting to cost the earth!

    Cheers!
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  3. #2
    1animal1's Avatar
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    alright matey, i was looking into this too for several reasons..... avoiding the Ł60 a pair sets as you have to keep stopping until the tension is right.

    I had settled on these @ Ł140 a pair IIRC for 225/45/18's, haven't bought them yet but seem to be a happy medium between the best ones and the cheapest and are self tensioning.....
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  4. #3
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    Cheers! Great minds and all that, I was looking at these exact pair although I am still to be convinced 100% that they are suitable for my car, from what I gather it's all about clearance behind the wheel. I may make some calls tomorrow and see what the manufacturers say.

    Also, do you plan on fitting just to the front wheels? My interpretation of the manual is that even with 4WD it is still only required to fit to the front wheels, interested what others think.
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    1animal1's Avatar
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    Yeah the plan was on fronts only as really can't see me needing all four,i have a shovel for days like that
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  7. #6
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    Does it have to be chains or would they accept the snow socks? Just wondering as these are cheaper and dont need tensioning


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  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarah's A3 View Post
    Does it have to be chains or would they accept the snow socks? Just wondering as these are cheaper and dont need tensioning
    No apparently not, snow socks only work in snow, they work buy snow adhering to them and then you effectively drive with snow gripping snow, in much the same way as snow tyres work. So they are great in soft snow, but when it comes to compacted hard stuff or ice, they are pretty much useless. The local rozzers won't accept them as a viable replacement for snow chains for that reason, so i'm told anyway.

    Good thinking though!
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    beanoir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1animal1 View Post
    Yeah the plan was on fronts only as really can't see me needing all four,i have a shovel for days like that
    Yeah, I have one of those on my list too!!
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    1animal1's Avatar
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    Yeah tbh I can't see how snow socks can be as anywhere near as effective,i have heard that a good set off winter tyres wil outperform them....and once the snows down and had one set of tyres on them your gonna want something that digs in
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    Fair enough, was just a cheaper option but as you said, not good on compounded snow. Hope you find a set, dont bother with Audi, they are really expensive!


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    tku
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    For the price your paying Beanoir, wouldn't it be easier to not drive and just get a flight? Ok I know im being unhelpful but all this sounds so I dunno...drive to nurburgring..yes..drive to south of france..yes..drive to the alps? hell no!! Plus fuel too..sigh.

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    1animal1's Avatar
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    The guys got a point, saltzburg 1000 miles each way, 400 in fuel equals your flight matey, although it is on my to do list for the hell of it
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1animal1 View Post
    The guys got a point, saltzburg 1000 miles each way, 400 in fuel equals your flight matey, although it is on my to do list for the hell of it
    You both make a good point, it's true. But 1) i'm not a fan of flying, quite seriously not, and 2) I have always quite liked the idea of driving to the Alps.

    The sensible option would be to grab a flight with sleazy jet, but I just quite fancy the drive to be honest, but even so i don't have an endless supply of cash and i'd like to do the snow chains economically if possible.

    I've heard you can rent them, might check that out today.
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    Would a good set of snow tyres not be sufficient? it would be a much better all round solution and you don't have the speed restrictions of chains.

    I did look at these Thule K-Summit - Thule - Thule RV Accessories - Tire Chains that have no issues with clearance at the rear.

    4x Winter tyres, Quattro and a spade for when you inevitably get the car beached in deep snow has never failed me yet though.

  16. #15
    beanoir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyrix View Post
    Would a good set of snow tyres not be sufficient? it would be a much better all round solution and you don't have the speed restrictions of chains.

    I did look at these Thule K-Summit - Thule - Thule RV Accessories - Tire Chains that have no issues with clearance at the rear.

    4x Winter tyres, Quattro and a spade for when you inevitably get the car beached in deep snow has never failed me yet though.
    The Thule ones do look good, and probably the best to have, but quite pricey.

    Unfortunately, winter tyres are not enough to satisfy the plod, it has to be snow chains apparently.
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    If it helps; the police only really stop cars if the snow is really bad. They are pretty efficient about cleaning the snow from the roads in resorts, so the roads are only really a problem after (and during) a big dump.

    One useful tip is that you can get snowchains cheaply at supermarkets, and more reliably at the equivalent of Halfords. But then they are not the posh type...

    We've driven to the Alps to go skiing for a good few years now. With 4 in a car it works out cheaper. And you aren't limited to 20kg luggage, or have to pay Ł20 each way for your skiis. Plus you have the car there to go to the (cheaper and larger) supermarket in the valley.

    Also don't forget that it might take you an hour to get to the airport, then you have to be there 2 ish before your flight, which is 2 hours, then an hour to get out the airport, then a 3 hour transfer. So it doesn't actually take that much longer..

  18. #17
    beanoir's Avatar
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    All useful tips guys, thanks!

    As it turns out, my boss has a set for his Passat which needed the low profile types, and will fit mine. So for this year it looks like I can borrow them and if I make a thing of going regularly then i'll get some in the next year.

    Result!!!
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  19. #18
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    Nice one mate that is a result, let me know how you get on cos going to be making the same trip next year as just bought the missus skiing lessons for christmas :D

    Ftw, have heard a few stories of cheap chains coming off and damaging bodywork, self tensioning ones seem to be the way forward
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  20. #19
    1animal1's Avatar
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    Any suggestions btw for a good resort for beginner/intermediate slopes....pref germany/austria as want the whole scenic thing and german beer
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  21. #20
    beanoir's Avatar
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    I'll let you know how it goes Tim, I'll probably make a road trip of it and drive down through France, then across the Alps and up through Germany on the way back, so I might do a pics thread if I get some decent stuff.
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