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GrahamV

Snow Chains

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Does anyone have any advice and thoughts on fitting snow chains to an F pace? Being all wheel drive would you fit them to the back or front tyres or all four? The manual has some suggestions but does anyone have any experience to add to that?

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Where are you planning to take it? For road use in the UK choose a full set of winter tyres suited to the conditions in question, and you are unlikely to need chains.

Chains may be needed for deep snow if you live a mile or more from the public highway in a very exposed location, but not on road.

One of my business partners lives in a harmhouse a couple of miles off road way out on the moors. In the absolute worst winter conditions he fits heavy duty chains to his Defender, and uses it to get from the house to the road, where he leaves his Discovery to use on road.

The chains he uses could never be used on road, and take more than an hour to put on the car and tension. They then stay on until the snow goes.

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I have only seen snow chains in use once, in spite f working in North Wales on a hill for 8 years and in the Peak District in Derbyshire for 12 years.  When I saw snow chains being used it was in flat Sutton Coldfield when there was two inches of snow, and was driving from Derbyshire to Sutton Coldfield.

The chains were on a Range Rover!  I think careful driving on winter tyres or even all weather tyres should be OK in our relatively mild winters unless you are well off the beaten track.

Peter.

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Dear Pete and Leo,

I'm a regular winter skiier and go the the French Alps. Chains are sometimes obligatory and sometimes they have been the only means of getting about. My Saab 9.3 was fearless in chains. This is my first all wheel drive vehicle hence my questions. Thank you for your comments so far,

Graham.

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Hi Graham, 

That is a very good reason.  When living in Derbyshire I was snowed in a few times and could have done with chains, but taking some time off work was a bit enjoyable!

Regards

Peter. 

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I have driven 4WDs for more than 40 years, mostly Range Rovers but also Defenders, Discovery, Nissan Patrol, Jeep Cherokee and Diahatsu Fourtrack. I used all of them off-road as well as on.

My first Range Rover was the earliest four door model. It had narrow mud and slush tyres, and would conquer snow drifts so deep that they piled up on the bonnet. I also drove it through water that formed a bow wave at the bottom of the windscreen.

I have climbed grass/gravel slopes at around the magic one-in-one angle with no problem.

I never used chains, and in my experience it was my courage that was the limit, rather than the vehicle.

Modern vehicles have wonderful 4WD technology which should enable them to outdo those old vehicles, but sadly are supplied with wheels and tyres which make them far less able than my first Range Rover.

That said, all that an owner needs to do to make full use of their ability is to fit narrow wheels with all-terrain tyres.

They will then have tremendous traction on mud slush and snow, but drivers need to bear in mind that performance on ice is not improved unless they fit nailed tyres, and whilst all-terrain tyres help when it comes to braking in snow or slush, it is better to avoid using the brakes whenever possible.

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My wife and I live out in the sticks on the Shropshire / Herefordshire border and at a high elevation so snow in the winter months is not uncommon. Since we've been here in fact we have seen only one year, last winter, where we saw very little snow indeed.  Besides my S Type, which is a fairly recent acquisition, my wife and I respectively run an Audi A4 Allroad and an Audi A8 both of which have the benefit of 4WD. Neither of these have faced any problems in getting up or down the local hills nor have they ever baulked at getting into our driveway which consists of an uphill U turn into a garage area that has defeated any number two-wheel drive vehicles. Saying that though reminds me that our driveway entrance did defeat my A8 on one occasion but that was because it bellied out on deep snow.

My twopenneth on the subject; unless you are going seriously off-road, winter tyres should be more than sufficient for all but the most extreme conditions. That said, given that you sometimes drive around the Alps, I would simply chuck a set (of four) in the boot together with the tools you need to fit them.

Also, if your F Pace fails to handle anything but the most challenging conditions I would take it back to Jaguar for a refund under the Trades Descriptions Act.

Cheers,

Steve

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