Posts: 118
Joined: Sat May 19, 2018 7:01 am
Location: Los Angeles, CA, USA

Re: Snow Chains

Similar to Alpes, Here is what CHP says:

Chain Requirements

R1: Chains are required - snow tread tires allowed.
R2: Chains are required on all vehicles except four wheel drive vehicles with snow tires on all four wheels.
R3: Chains are required - all vehicles - no exceptions.

R1 and R2 are the most common conditions. The highway is usually closed before an R3 condition is imposed.


The Toyo tire we have is (M+S) so no chains are required in R1/R2 but we still need to show CHP that we are carrying one just in case conditions worse to R3. I got an almost undersized chain and test fitted without the clearance issue.

Please keep in mind this is the minimum to pass CHP inspection. Doesn’t mean is safe...

I don’t have real world experience yet. It has been snowing in the mountains for two weekend straight and my daughters have been under weather one after another.
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Outlander PHEV SEL pearl white - MY2018
Posts: 309
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2018 4:35 pm
Location: Saratoga, CA

Re: Snow Chains

Tai626 wrote: Please keep in mind this is the minimum to pass CHP inspection. Doesn’t mean is safe...
IMHO the ONLY safe way to drive when there's chain requirements is with ALL 4 WHEELS chained. I once was driving into the southern entrance of Yosemite on CA-41 and there were R-2 controls in place. I had chained my front axle (the drive wheels on my previous car) and was coming down a slight hill where the road turned to the right. I hit a patch of ice and I took my foot off the gas and did not even touch the brakes; my car still spun around 180 degrees and ended up in the oncoming traffic lane facing the other direction, as if I were driving the opposite way. If there had been oncoming traffic, there wouldn't have been anything I could have done to avoid it; fortunately there was almost no one on the road that day. If I had had a bit more momentum, I would have gone down the embankment. So yeah, chaining only one axle is extremely dangerous.
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2019 7:54 am

Re: Snow Chains

Slightly off topic perhaps but I have just bought a PHEV and looked at chains because I have an unused set from my previous car (BMW 530D) and was hoping to be able to use then if needed on the PHEV. The requirement in the EU Owners handbook is to have a chain size of 9mm or less.
I was in Canada a couple of year ago visiting my son-in-law, who is a Mountie, and commented on the number of 4x4's 'parked on the berm' but very two 2 wheel drive cars and so asked him why that was - his answer was interesting.
The Mounties use mostly the typical 'Crown' cars even in winter but they are taught to drive according to the road conditions, but the attitude of many 4x4 drivers is that they do NOT have to drive with extreme care and watching for icy patches. On ice simple physics tells you the inertia of the vehicle takes control and steering has only a marginal effect. On ICE it matters not whether you have 2 or 4 wheel drive and with chains or not. They all slide but 4x4 drivers often think it doesn't apply to them.
2014 GX4 Glacier Blue
1450kg Caravan behind on long trips
Living in Rural Mid Wales
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2023 11:09 am

Re: Snow Chains

Hi, I used the information on this topic to purchase and use snow chains this past weekend in the Yosemite area (California) which was under R-2 restrictions. I have a 2018 Outlander PHEV and do not have mud and snow tires. I purchased these chains from Amazon: Security Chain Company SZ143 Super Z6 Cable Tire Chain for Passenger Cars, Pickups, and SUVs - Set of 2. I put them on all 4 tires after reading that that's the safest configuration for 4WD. The chains were easy and fast to install and worked fine even with less clearance. I love that you don't have to move the car to put these chains on and they self-tighten.

Hopefully this update helps someone else.

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