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Trak 4X4 Snow Chain Just... Fell Off!?!

I ordered the official snow chain for Model X (link) and was able to use it for about 40 minutes.

I believe that I installed the chain well, tested them out by trying to yank them and could feel that they fit snug and tight. So off I went down the mountain in the snow. See the picture of the actual installation.

For the first 30 minutes or so, I turned both side mirrors downwards towards the wheels to make sure that everything is going well, and yes, they all worked like they should. After a while including several chain inspection stations, I trusted that the chains work as expected, I returned the mirrors into their normal position. 10 minutes later, I realized that the ride was pretty smooth. Suspicious, I checked the mirrors again and they were both gone. With zero indication that there were chains there, as if they just quietly fell off..!!

WTH? Anybody has similar experience or recommendation on what might have gone wrong?

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Speed. I was constantly around 25mph (40kph) which is the speed limit under snowy condition. Can't go faster since pretty much we have a line a cars crawling down the mountain. May have reached up 30mph once in a while but that's it.

Attachment to the lug nut. I made it tight enough that a casual attempt to turn the handle will not do anything. I didn't put my whole weight on it of course since that may burn the thread. Now, maybe I should have?!

And yes, they just disappeared without any noise nor damage. Clean off. Puffff.
 
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Barklikeadog

Active Member
Jul 13, 2016
2,037
2,088
PA
Snow question... Saw something interesting today. In the northeast, horrible commute, snow sticking to everything. Traffic was a crawl.

Guy in a model x had the hazards come on and stop. He got out, ran to the rear, wiped off one of the rear sensors. Crawled forward 100 yards, hazard lights, got out wiped sensor. Same again a 3rd time.

My sensor blocked alert came on. Just hit 'ok'. Is the sensor block alert a big deal in an X or was he overreacting?
 
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Speed. I was constantly around 25mph (40kph) which is the speed limit under snowy condition. Can't go faster since pretty much we have a line a cars crawling down the mountain. May have reached up 30mph once in a while but that's it.

Attachment to the lug nut. I made it tight enough that a casual attempt to turn the handle will not do anything. I didn't put my whole weight on it of course since that may burn the thread. Now, maybe I should have?!

And yes, they just disappeared without any noise nor damage. Clean off. Puffff.
I'm guessing not tight enough. The fact that you don't have any damage indicates to me that you may not have been going too fast. Tighter inside link. I once had a chain come off and noticed it right away. I started putting them on tighter and never had trouble again.

One service person told me that if I put warm chains on the car after being in the car, that the holding nut will slightly contract as it gets colder and loosen up so it needs to be re-tightened after a few minutes. My physics knowledge tells me that must be a minor and possibly insignificant effect, yet I suppose anything can happen.
 
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Used mine 3 times, The third time the center bar that holds everything to the wheel broke off on one side and I lost the chains and the "spider" holder, but not the part that attaches to the wheel lug. Like the OP I had the mirrors turned so I could keep an eye on them, and they silently disappeared, somewhere on the 30 mile long drive. I don't think I ever got above 27mph on the trip with most of if below 22 mph. Seems more like a defect than an install problem for me.
 
Speed limit MAX is 30mph, looks like you were there and below it so that should be OK. I believe the missing link "no pun intended" was to check the install after a mile or so, sometimes it just needs to be tightened after a mile or so. After that it should be good. Either that or the tension "links" were not tight enough. I have yet to put mine on (Trak) but also have a "traditional" Cobra backup. My cousin is a physicist so way smarter than me and he tells me the way these chains work use some "magical force" that relies on the tension (the links you adjust in the middle) to keep it in place.

If you need another set let me know or PM me. I have a good guy that can get it to you about 80-90 off from Tesla pricing and looks like you're in CA so no tax and free shipping.

Regards to the the guy wiping his sensors.... you don't need to do that... just about all cars that have sensors will have that happen in the snow. I personally wouldn't care as you shouldn't be using Autopilot in the snow.. cray cray... I don't!
 
While I have chains, because in California it's legally require to carry them in those conditions, I just put the winter tires on during this time of year so I don't have to deal with it.

Exactly, we're required to carry them in the winter when going up to Tahoe regardless if you're AWD or 4WD. Next season I'm going to be looking for a second set of wheels and winter tires. The Scorpion Winter should do fine driving from San Francisco all the way to Tahoe... Another option is to just keep the winter set at the family house in Truckee and mount when I get there, but then driving 4 hours is tiring so I'd be too tired to do anything when I get there.... :p
 

outie

Active Member
May 22, 2016
2,902
2,737
SoCal
Do you need chains if you have the M+S?
Yes, depends on the road condition.

I went to Mountain High on Monday. My oem Continental M+S tires with 10k miles performed pretty badly. I had regen set to low and was very careful slowing down or accelerating but the car was still sliding @ stop signs. When we left it started snowing so there was a thin layer of white snow/ice on the road. It was very scary even though I was driving at less than 10mph. The car would not stop at stop signs and when I had to make a right turn @ stop sign the car was sliding past the stop sign and on to the opposite lane during the turn. I know this is also due to my inexperience w/ snow driving but the car just didn't give me much confidence. The fact is if there was a car in front of me at the stop signs I'd have hit it. Granted I was driving on the backroads (per GPS) that doesn't have much traffic/cars. The main road was all backed up but probably safer with more cars picking up the ice.

I would not return to these places w/ my current set of tires and/or without chains.

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This is the intersection I needed to make a right and it just slide past the stop sign and onto opposite lane.

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K-MTG

Sunshade Captain of TMC
Oct 24, 2015
4,815
3,506
Irvine, CA
Yes, depends on the road condition.

I went to Mountain High on Monday. My oem Continental M+S tires with 10k miles performed pretty badly. I had regen set to low and was very careful slowing down or accelerating but the car was still sliding @ stop signs. When we left it started snowing so there was a thin layer of white snow/ice on the road. It was very scary even though I was driving at less than 10mph. The car would not stop at stop signs and when I had to make a right turn @ stop sign the car was sliding past the stop sign and on to the opposite lane during the turn. I know this is also due to my inexperience w/ snow driving but the car just didn't give me much confidence. The fact is if there was a car in front of me at the stop signs I'd have hit it. Granted I was driving on the backroads (per GPS) that doesn't have much traffic/cars. The main road was all backed up but probably safer with more cars picking up the ice.

I would not return to these places w/ my current set of tires and/or without chains.

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View attachment 379842

This is the intersection I needed to make a right and it just slide past the stop sign and onto opposite lane.

View attachment 379844

Wow! And going to Mountain High is considered to be an easy drive (not that many curves).

I am thinking about going to snow valley next month (higher up the mountain) - not sure what the weather would be like by then. I have roughly 24k miles on my continentals.

Did you notice other cars slipping? We have had some crazy weather (for SoCal). Might pickup the chains if available. I know some people are using the auto socks.
 

outie

Active Member
May 22, 2016
2,902
2,737
SoCal
Wow! And going to Mountain High is considered to be an easy drive (not that many curves).

I am thinking about going to snow valley next month (higher up the mountain) - not sure what the weather would be like by then. I have roughly 24k miles on my continentals.

Did you notice other cars slipping? We have had some crazy weather (for SoCal). Might pickup the chains if available. I know some people are using the auto socks.
24k miles? When I took my previous X into service with 15k miles on the Continentals, the service manager told me my tires are worn and should get replacement. I don't even drive aggressively.

Yes, to give the Tesla some credits, the truck in front of me was drifting like crazy multiple times on a straight road w/ the hazards on all the time. It was losing control many times and I kept a big distance (I needed a lead car). Its rear tires just kept spinning and its tail swinging left and right. The SUV behind me (Toyota Highlander or something) also lost control and went to the the opposite lane on the straight road. I didn't have any of that on the straight road. I only had issue coming to a stop and 90 degree turn.

There was also a big American SUV stopping in the middle of the back road getting chains on. It must've been slipping very badly.
 
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