TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker and becoming a Supporting Member. For more info: Support TMC
Start a Discussionhttps://teslamotorsclub.com/tmc/tags/

Snow Chains older Model S RWD

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by CUBldr97, Dec 6, 2016.

  1. CUBldr97

    CUBldr97 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2015
    Messages:
    66
    Location:
    MD
    I have a 2013 RWD Model S, TESLA used to sell the Z 143 and the Z563 for the S, now only the Sport Trax.

    Do they no longer recommend the Z chains, if so why? i doubt i will ever use them, but wanted them as a back up to snow tires. Don't really feel like spending $400 on the sport trax.

    Thanks for your thoughts...
     
  2. dgpcolorado

    dgpcolorado high altitude member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2015
    Messages:
    1,148
    Location:
    The Western Slope, Colorado
    I use cable chains for my 245/45 R19 tires:

    Amazon.com: Security Chain Company SC1042 Radial Chain Cable Traction Tire Chain - Set of 2: Automotive

    I have no idea what would work on other wheel or tire sizes.

    Cable chains are for light duty use and in places where chains are used a lot on clear pavement they might not hold up well compared to traditional chains. Advantages of cable chains are that they are fairly easy to put on and don't stick out from the tire much, so better for limited clearance (which is what I would call my Model S rear wheel wells).

    I use mine for getting up my long, steep, curved gravel driveway when it is too slick otherwise. I don't need them for roads since the roads here are usually plowed and sanded promptly after a storm and if it is still snowing I can just stay home (I do volunteer work only). I have only one car so no backup AWD vehicle.

    FWIW.
     
  3. freeewilly

    freeewilly Member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2015
    Messages:
    463
    Location:
    Brea, CA
    Do you have air suspension?
     
  4. dgpcolorado

    dgpcolorado high altitude member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2015
    Messages:
    1,148
    Location:
    The Western Slope, Colorado
    No, I have coil suspension, so not adjustable.
     
  5. Canuck

    Canuck Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2013
    Messages:
    5,104
    Location:
    South Surrey, BC
  6. rpo

    rpo Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2014
    Messages:
    248
    Location:
    Washington
    I have a set of the Z563 chains that bought from Tesla and no longer need (and never even opened). I'll sell them to you...so PM me if you are interested.
     
  7. dgpcolorado

    dgpcolorado high altitude member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2015
    Messages:
    1,148
    Location:
    The Western Slope, Colorado
    I just use them for the rear wheels.
     
    • Informative x 1
  8. Hammer@OR.US

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2016
    Messages:
    233
    Location:
    Wren, Oregon
    There were several reports of lower control arm damage using the z-chain, there just isn't enough clearance to ensure that they don't hit. That's why Tesla now only recommends the sport trak because they do not go anywhere near the inside of the tire, they only attach to the outside. The zchains might work for very short distances to get out of a driveway or get unstuck but I wouldn't use them for any length of of time.
     
  9. shs1

    shs1 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2016
    Messages:
    33
    Location:
    Mariposa CA
    I bought the Trax last year even though I have the once blessed Z-Chains. BTW, I live in the Sierra in Mariposa County and actually needed to use the Trax a week ago. They are amazingly easy to put on and take off - that is their best feature. One does not really even need to kneel down, you just drape them over the top and sides of the tire, twist the handle to tighten the collet on one of the lug nuts and drive forward or backwards a few feet and the part of the chain that was beside the tire at the bottom sort of makes it way onto the tread of the tire as it turns. It certainly does not hurt to stop after a few feet and get out and push in any part of the chain that is not properly on the tire tread. I showed my wife how to put on the Trax a week ago as she was about to go off on a trip over the grapevine and we actually needed to use them the next day to get up a hill on a road that had not been plowed and the snow was all chopped up as many other had been stuck. She was very pleased how quick and easy they were to take on and off. They are therefore ideal for a quick on and off to get up a driveway or a particularly difficult hill. Worth $400 - that depends. Does not make sense if they just sit in the trunk, just in case. If you need chains regularly to get up your driveway, then yes. That is my situation and I spent some of my referral money.

    I have had them come off a few times during sharp turns, e.g. backing out of the garage and turning around on a gravel driveway to then drive forward up the driveway. Once on properly and underway, I have not had them come off, but never have had to drive more than a few miles with them. It does not hurt to aim you side mirrors down a bit, as then you can easily see the arms going around and assure yourself that they are on and doing well. I am guessing they they fit better and stay on better with new tires than with tires with minimum tread. I use them with XIce Xi3 winter tires and a 2013 RWD MS (air), and have a new set of Xi3s for this winter.
     
  10. Canuck

    Canuck Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2013
    Messages:
    5,104
    Location:
    South Surrey, BC
    Thanks. That should be fine for me too to get out of my driveway.

    Thanks for the offer but I didn't see your post until I had already ordered the Amazon ones.

    Thanks for the warning. I've read that too. But I only need to get out of my driveway and I will go very slow.
     
  11. rrosenbl

    rrosenbl Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2013
    Messages:
    164
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Great info on the use of chains, thanks all. I have to traverse from Vail Pass to Baskerville on the I-70, I'll be sure to take it easy and set my suspension to high as I got the Z-chains from Tesla when I bought the car in 6/2013. Never got a warning from Tesla Motors re. the
    z-chains so will use them.
     
  12. FlatSix911

    FlatSix911 918 Hybrid

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2015
    Messages:
    3,899
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
  13. dgpcolorado

    dgpcolorado high altitude member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2015
    Messages:
    1,148
    Location:
    The Western Slope, Colorado
    Picture:

    [​IMG]

    I wouldn't expect these to hold up with heavy use but I just need them for my driveway. (Which is why I just can't see going with the considerable expense of snow tires. Although chains are a hassle.)

    I'd be interested in seeing a picture of the Tesla recommended version of chains in use.
     
  14. FlatSix911

    FlatSix911 918 Hybrid

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2015
    Messages:
    3,899
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    I would definitely recommend a tensioner to keep the chain tight against the wheel ... and away from the suspension :cool:

     
  15. gzerninplatz

    gzerninplatz Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2014
    Messages:
    233
    Location:
    Troutdale, OR
    Anybody know about the reports of suspension abrasion from Z-chains? I don't know whether the reports are for 19" or 21" wheels, or RWD vs. AWD cars (they didn't say)...I have a set (RWD S85) but am hesitant to use them until I can validate or dismiss the suspension issues...now chains are recommended only for rear wheels and 19" tires...could that have been the issue?
     
  16. chalmc80

    chalmc80 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2016
    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    London
    Do you have a link or details to the sort of tensioner you would recommend? I am looking at these but not sure what you mean.
     
  17. FlatSix911

    FlatSix911 918 Hybrid

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2015
    Messages:
    3,899
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
  18. dgpcolorado

    dgpcolorado high altitude member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2015
    Messages:
    1,148
    Location:
    The Western Slope, Colorado
    #18 dgpcolorado, Jan 5, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2017
    I should point out that cable chains tend to have a more snug fit than conventional chains. I've found that three notches on both the inside and outside gives a fairly tight fit on my Model S tires. Regardless, for just getting up a driveway the chains alone are sufficient. If driving an extended distance with chains, tensioners might be a help, but for that sort of driving snow tires would be best.

    Here in Colorado we are in the midst of both the worlds of snow and sun. 95% of my winter driving is bare pavement, so snow tires don't make much sense (but I REALLY wish I had dual drive, it would make things so much easier!). Once I get up my long steep driveway the roads are usually in good shape: plowed and sanded. Then the paved roads melt down the the asphalt as soon as the sun returns. The dirt road I live on tends to remain snowpacked for long stretches but the Tesla has no trouble with it because it is relatively flat and I can take a running start at the one hill.

    Meanwhile it is snowing steadily at present and I will have several hours of shoveling to do tomorrow morning to get out.
     
  19. gzerninplatz

    gzerninplatz Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2014
    Messages:
    233
    Location:
    Troutdale, OR
    and if you do use Z-chains anyway, remember that they specifically advise AGAINST using a tensioner
     
  20. phb-M3

    phb-M3 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2017
    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    USA
    How long does it typically take to put the chains on in real life conditions? For example when there is already a couple of inches of snow and conditions are getting worse and the light is not great?
    Like some of the previous posters live on a fairly steep hill and would only need them for a mile or two. There is a convenient turn off with a street light before the hill.
     

Share This Page