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Snow Chains for S3

Discussion in 'A3/S3/Sportback (8P Chassis)' started by beanoir, Dec 29, 2010.

  1. beanoir
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    beanoir Sharpest Tongue in the West

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    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 £250 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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  2. 1animal1
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    1animal1 The Clar!! it mouves!!!

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    alright matey, i was looking into this too for several reasons..... avoiding the £60 a pair sets as you have to keep stopping until the tension is right.

    I had settled on these @ £140 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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  3. 1animal1
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    1animal1 The Clar!! it mouves!!!

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    #3
  4. beanoir
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    beanoir Sharpest Tongue in the West

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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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  5. 1animal1
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    1animal1 The Clar!! it mouves!!!

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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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  6. Sarah's A3
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    Sarah's A3 MODERATOR V6 S3 Hybrid Staff Member Moderator

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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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  7. beanoir
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    beanoir Sharpest Tongue in the West

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    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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  8. beanoir
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    beanoir Sharpest Tongue in the West

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    Yeah, I have one of those on my list too!!
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  9. 1animal1
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    1animal1 The Clar!! it mouves!!!

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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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  10. Sarah's A3
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    Sarah's A3 MODERATOR V6 S3 Hybrid Staff Member Moderator

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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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  11. tku
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    tku Member

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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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  12. 1animal1
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    1animal1 The Clar!! it mouves!!!

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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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  13. beanoir
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    beanoir Sharpest Tongue in the West

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    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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  14. Cyrix
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    Cyrix Member

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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.
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  15. beanoir
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    beanoir Sharpest Tongue in the West

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    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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  16. icenutter
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    icenutter Member

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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 £20 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..
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  17. beanoir
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    beanoir Sharpest Tongue in the West

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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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  18. 1animal1
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    1animal1 The Clar!! it mouves!!!

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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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  19. 1animal1
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    1animal1 The Clar!! it mouves!!!

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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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  20. beanoir
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    beanoir Sharpest Tongue in the West

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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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  21. malpractice
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    malpractice New Member

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    Hey Guys,

    I'm needing to get some chains as well and I'm after the Thule CS9 or CK-7. Does anyone know if the clearance on an S3 2007 will deal with the 7mm/10mm chain size?

    Thanks,
    - Malik
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  22. Brett Butler
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    Brett Butler Member

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    just buy winter tyres so much better
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  23. mjr901
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    mjr901 S3 Pollution Plus+ Edition

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    If the lights are flashing at the bottom of the mountain then legally you have to chain up.

    If the French 5-0 happened to be up there they'd p1ss all over you for it if you didn't.

    My chains are at home and I'm at work, so I can't give a firm answer. I'd go 7mm anyhow, as for the distance covered with them on will be minimum and you have Quattro to fail back on too.

    Obviously a combination of winter tyres and chains are always going to be the best option.
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  24. spencer361
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    spencer361 Member

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    I bought chains for around £150 for my megane rs back in the day, Horrible experience. Driving to the point of no grip over snowy bits of road then wet bits of road and not know when to put them on etc. holding up traffic. They ended up snapping taking the paint off my wing and I thought never again.

    I bought the A3 SB FWD and straight away bought winter wheels/tyres. continentals ts830 for £615. I've had them on Nov - April for 4 years (works out at £150 a year), driving from the south of france up to the alps every weekend. I've put around 35-40,000 miles on them. You can drive through the majority of any snowy condition, up hill and down hill, round corners etc. And not worry about a single thing. better in the wet then your average tyre too.

    I lived in Chamonix for a season as a transfer driver, driving a rear wheeled drive mercedes viano on winters. the majority of english plated X5s and Q7s and anything on summer tyres for that matter, were either stuck at the bottom of the hill trying to get up or on the other side of the hill, at the bottom, embed into a bank because they couldn't stop or turn.
    #24

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