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Driving in Tahoe - Page 2

post #31 of 32
My $.02:

I drive a VW Golf FWD and was told not to get chains. Not to confuse matters, but I picked up cable chains instead. I have a very low clearance on my VW and was told by (more than) one mechanic that chains can tear apart struts and other front-end components and may do a lot of damage to the car, especially if not installed correctly. I picked up cable chains for around $35, along with tensioners (basically bungee cords that keep the cables taut) for another ten bucks. These have worked fine, although I’ve only used them four or five times a year, and I live 1,000 feet above the lake.

You see, it might be puking snow in Tahoe one day, but the next day there won’t be a cloud in the sky and the roads will be totally cleared and dry by noon. An AWD/SUV is really not necessary here unless you want to look cool or impress your friends that you live in Tahoe when you visit them in the Bay Area.

Just beware that chains still require some skill and practice to drive with. The tire can sometimes spin within the chain (or at least it does in the cables) both when accelerating and braking. I personally would rather drive with cable/chains over regular snow tires in the ice (like we had Tuesday here) anyway. Have someone show you how to put them on, if unfamiliar.

And I don’t know why, but the first snows of the year always seem to be more treacherous than those later in the year, but that my have been said too late, as (like I said) Tuesday it was a sheet of ice on the Kingsbury Grade near where we live in Stateline.

One last thing, tell her to put the chains on once when it’s not a blizzard. She’ll definitely need the practice. I sometimes even put them on the day before a front is coming through. It’s not too much fun trying to put them on at eight in the morning in four feet of snow and 30mph winds after digging your car out.

Worst case, she’ll be on Mt. Rose Hwy or Spooner (or even her condo parking lot) and can ask someone to help her. People are generally pretty cool.

And tell your daughter to beware of tourists in rental SUV’s, as they believe they are invincible. She’ll certainly see a few of them on their roofs this winter on the side of the road.
post #32 of 32
Thread Starter 
Thanks to all. She is going to head over to reno as soon as the snow lets up and will just have to stay put in incline until then.
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