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Discussion Starter #1
My dealer says that I shouldn't use snow chains on my Volt. He said that the "other kind" is what I should use. By "other kind", I assume he meant snow cables.

Anyone have any thoughts? Opinions? Experiences?
 

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A snow tire?

And I am resisting the Aggie joke.
 

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When do you expect snow in Southern California? Haven't you heard about global warming? :)

But, yeah, snow cables might fit on the Volt, if you really need something.

Snow tires might be a better solution though, and work well with the Volt's traction control and stability control.
 

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I suspect he was talking about "Spiders". FWD cars often can't use chains or cables because there isn't enough clearance on the inside of the wheel at full lock (wheel turned all the way). Spiders attach from the outside of the wheel and only partially wrap around the tire. Snow tires would help in the snow but you won't want them when you come back down to the lower elevations and they won't help when they have chain controls in place. A good tire store should be able to set you with the right rig.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for all the responses. Although I live in sunny, warm Southern California, I am an avid snowboarder and frequently drive to Mammoth Mountain resort during the winter months. I also try to get up the local mountains when I can (Snow Summit, Bear Mountain). At least once a season, I run into a "chains only" restriction on the roads. Therefore, snow tires aren't really an option.

I thought cables would provide more clearance than chains, and was hoping to be able to get away with just cables. I'll have to look at the spiders. A friend of mine uses them.
 

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I have same situation as you, live in CA and want to drive in the Sierras in the winter. To comply with CA law, need a chains / cables solution for the vehicle. I had been in touch with the Volt team and was offered this advice:

"have some information regarding the Volt tire and chain question.

As you are well aware, the VOLT officially is considered "NON-chainable" as indicated in the owner's manual. However, for Europe, we recommend the following tire size and rim size: 205/60R16 96 XL or "extra-load" rated tire

The correct rim dimensions are: 16 x 6 1/2 J with 41mm offset. This tire is the chainable tire size in Europe, and therefore, will work for the Volt in the USA. If chains are to be used the vehicle must have 16" wheels and tires and GM offers a 16" wheel that will work.

We use a steel wheel 16 x 6.5 ( from a CRUZE) with a Winter Tire of either

205/60R16 96 H XL Michelin Alpin A4
205/60R16 96 H XL Goodyear UG7+"

I just recently got this info. So have not yet priced out the solution. Or tried it on snow.


Thanks,

Art
 

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You may also want to remove the air dam to give you more road clearance when the center isn't fully plowed or when you encounter all those frozen chunks kicked up in the middle of the lane. California's mountain roads can be brutal in the winter. For me, there are just too many bad things that can happen to vehicles like a Volt in those conditions. I'll take my 4WD in those times and wait for a Voltec AWD in the future.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hi Guys-These web site states they have snow chains and cables for the volt. They also let you match your size and width of the tire so you can have a perfect fit, please keep us informed on your decision.
http://www.etrailer.com/chains-2012_Chevrolet_Volt.htm
Thanks for the link, but the web page says, "check vehicle owners manual to ensure there are no restrictions on use of tire chains". Are those chains/cables really for a Volt? I think they are just generic to the tire size.
 

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I had mentioned a few days ago that the Volt team had recommended that I switch to 16" rims if I wanted to use chains. They sent me the following response to a few questions that I asked them:

Q- Are you recommending that I switch to 16" rims / snow tires for all four wheels?
A- That is what is released for Europe - we have validated and tested that combination. The European Volt has the same dimensions as US version, so we are confident it will work.

Q- Did you look into the feasibility of using cables (SCC SC1034 ) on my stock 17" wheels/tires? Would be much less expensive than four wheels and four tires.
A- Unfortunately my engineering team has no data about the use of tire chain on 17". I think the reason we have 16" approved for Europe because of clearance issue with the 17".
 

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Thought I might have to break out the chains. Parked in a lot last week that apparently hadn't been plowed. The snow was packed down into a sheet of wet ice. Didn't notice a problem parking but coming back out to my car, I noticed a rear wheel drive truck having a difficult time getting out of the lot. A GM fwd vehicle a couple spots next to me couldn't even back up, spinning tires. I was worried until I put it into reverse. Backed up and drove out of the lot without a problem. Guess chains will wait.
 

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Why wouldn't you be allowed to use dedicated snow tires in lieu of snow chains in non-snow tires?

I hate this state more and more the longer I live here.
 

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Thule makes an alternative traction device for most cars, the K-Summit, and they require ZERO inside clearance. They are expensive but probably will work for the Volt. Size K34 should fit with 215/55-17 tires:

http://www.vulcantire.com/ThuleKSummit_l.htm

I have a set for one of my other cars and they go on relatively easily. I have not yet had a chance to try them in the snow.
 
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