Go Back   English Forum Switzerland > Help & tips > Transportation/driving  
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 10.10.2013, 20:09
fatmanfilms's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Verbier
Posts: 21,376
Groaned at 461 Times in 352 Posts
Thanked 23,091 Times in 11,824 Posts
fatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond repute
4X4's Winter Tyres & Chains

I have a BMW 330ix which can have winter tyres in either 205 50 R 17 93 Q M+S or 225 45 R 17 91 Q M+S

The Handbook states that chains can't be used with 225 45 R 17, the winter tyres I have are this size 2 of the 4 are in good condition.

Do the police ever insist that 4x4's use chains on mountain roads, I spend at least 15 weekends in the mountains often arriving late at night, so being prevented from completing the journey would be a pain.

Thanks in advance for any info.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 10.10.2013, 23:00
Verbier's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Lully VD
Posts: 4,359
Groaned at 16 Times in 16 Posts
Thanked 4,601 Times in 2,332 Posts
Verbier has a reputation beyond reputeVerbier has a reputation beyond reputeVerbier has a reputation beyond reputeVerbier has a reputation beyond reputeVerbier has a reputation beyond reputeVerbier has a reputation beyond repute
Re: 4X4's Winter Tyres & Chains

This is one of those "legal vs practical" questions.

What BMW is saying is that there is not enough room between the tire and the wheel well so the chains will damage the car. And obviously you want to keep the current tires since they are in ok condition.

OFFICIALLY, when you see the chains sign, you are required (even with 4x4 - and yes, I checked a few different websites) to put on the chains.

PRACTICALLY, the police normally will let you pass and will not fine you if you have a 4x4 and good winter tires.

Here is the sign as a reminder to those who do not see it very often, or at all.



And for completeness, here is the sign for when chains are no longer required.

__________________
Do or do not, there is no try(ing). Yoda

Last edited by Verbier; 11.10.2013 at 11:24. Reason: added one more photo
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank Verbier for this useful post:
  #3  
Old 10.10.2013, 23:07
Tom1234's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Kanton Luzern
Posts: 16,289
Groaned at 571 Times in 447 Posts
Thanked 24,253 Times in 9,769 Posts
Tom1234 has a reputation beyond reputeTom1234 has a reputation beyond reputeTom1234 has a reputation beyond reputeTom1234 has a reputation beyond reputeTom1234 has a reputation beyond reputeTom1234 has a reputation beyond repute
Re: 4X4's Winter Tyres & Chains

Quote:
View Post
This is one of those "legal vs practical" questions.

What BMW is saying is that there is not enough room between the tire and the wheel well so the chains will damage the car. And obviously you want to keep the current tires since they are in ok condition.

OFFICIALLY, when you see the chains sign, you are required (even with 4x4 - and yes, I checked a few different websites) to put on the chains.

PRACTICALLY, the police normally will let you pass and will not fine you if you have a 4x4 and good winter tires.
What would your insurance company do though if you did have an accident on such a road in your 4x4 - and you didn't have snow chains?

There must be someone here who's done that?
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 10.10.2013, 23:31
Mark75's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: by the lake (either one)
Posts: 2,510
Groaned at 45 Times in 39 Posts
Thanked 3,136 Times in 1,363 Posts
Mark75 has a reputation beyond reputeMark75 has a reputation beyond reputeMark75 has a reputation beyond reputeMark75 has a reputation beyond reputeMark75 has a reputation beyond reputeMark75 has a reputation beyond repute
Re: 4X4's Winter Tyres & Chains

Quote:
View Post
Do the police ever insist that 4x4's use chains on mountain roads, I spend at least 15 weekends in the mountains often arriving late at night, so being prevented from completing the journey would be a pain.
In the Canton of Graubünden I have never seen the chains mandatory sign without 4x4 exemption in the last 20 years.

Don't know about other cantons, sorry.
Reply With Quote
The following 4 users would like to thank Mark75 for this useful post:
  #5  
Old 10.10.2013, 23:34
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: 4X4's Winter Tyres & Chains

If it's a clearance issue, why not go with a set of cable chains? As far as the legal vs. practical question, one of those fifteen nights is bound to be bad enough (police or not) to demand a set of chains to get you where you're heading. In the last three seasons I've used (proper) chains half a dozen times on the Audi, probably could have gotten by without two or three of those, but the other times... no way José.


Last edited by Ratbert; 10.10.2013 at 23:49. Reason: é
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 10.10.2013, 23:59
fatmanfilms's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Verbier
Posts: 21,376
Groaned at 461 Times in 352 Posts
Thanked 23,091 Times in 11,824 Posts
fatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond repute
Re: 4X4's Winter Tyres & Chains

Quote:
View Post
What would your insurance company do though if you did have an accident on such a road in your 4x4 - and you didn't have snow chains?

There must be someone here who's done that?
I don't believe chains will reduce the risk of an accident, just the risk of getting stuck. Unless the snow is very deep you have less breaking ability with chains, virtually none when you cross a patch of road which is almost clear of snow, same story on a hair pin bend!

I also pay an additional premium to cover gross negligence, so it does not really matter what the insurance would say.

I did buy some chains & they probably would fit the front wheels OK if I came across a difficult policeman. The only place I have had to put them on is going unto Verbier late at night, so I should probably go & ask at the police station in Martigny.

I have only ever put chains on on a rear wheel drive BMW (LSD) when the police insisted, I have always been able to manage without with good winter tyres.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 11.10.2013, 00:11
me.anon's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: thun
Posts: 2,182
Groaned at 49 Times in 33 Posts
Thanked 2,886 Times in 1,401 Posts
me.anon has a reputation beyond reputeme.anon has a reputation beyond reputeme.anon has a reputation beyond reputeme.anon has a reputation beyond reputeme.anon has a reputation beyond reputeme.anon has a reputation beyond repute
Re: 4X4's Winter Tyres & Chains

I found this . . .
http://www.20min.ch/winterspecial/news/story/21622068
and this . . .
http://www.tcs.ch/de/test-sicherheit...hneeketten.php
in German, I'm afraid.

If 2 of the tyres are anyway not in good condition, can you replace these with the narrower tyres and then mount the chains on these ? You need only chains on say the front wheels if these are drive wheels.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank me.anon for this useful post:
  #8  
Old 11.10.2013, 00:16
fatmanfilms's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Verbier
Posts: 21,376
Groaned at 461 Times in 352 Posts
Thanked 23,091 Times in 11,824 Posts
fatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond repute
Re: 4X4's Winter Tyres & Chains

Quote:
View Post
I found this . . .
http://www.20min.ch/winterspecial/news/story/21622068
and this . . .
http://www.tcs.ch/de/test-sicherheit...hneeketten.php
in German, I'm afraid.

If 2 of the tyres are anyway not in good condition, can you replace these with the narrower tyres and then mount the chains on these ? You need only chains on say the front wheels if these are drive wheels.
I don't think you should have different sized wheels front & back, the rims are also slightly width & different style so probably a bad idea.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank fatmanfilms for this useful post:
  #9  
Old 11.10.2013, 09:09
dodgyken's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Democratic Republic Kenistan
Posts: 10,653
Groaned at 280 Times in 231 Posts
Thanked 19,403 Times in 7,402 Posts
dodgyken has a reputation beyond reputedodgyken has a reputation beyond reputedodgyken has a reputation beyond reputedodgyken has a reputation beyond reputedodgyken has a reputation beyond reputedodgyken has a reputation beyond repute
Re: 4X4's Winter Tyres & Chains

FMF - I tried to buy chains for my 530XD from BMW - and they told me (paraphrasing) "to bugger off"

They are rather confident that for on road winter driving you'll never need chains. And so far, after 3 winters, using x-Drive I never have done. The 530XD wasn't as grippy as the Alpina - but that is more down to the Blizzaks (as opposed to Sottozeros) then the system. Coming down from Amden in very bad conditions - switched on the HDC and everything was fine.

If you get the chance over winter find a snow/icy car park - leave DSC on - put it in first gear - full lock - and gun it - and experience what happens when you really provoke the electronics. It will not perform proper donuts - constantly trying to correct itself. Then switch DSC off - and spend 20 minutes driving like Loeb.

(Engelberg has nice big car parks for such activities - apparently )

(530xd = 225/45R17 all round. Alpina = 245/35R19 all round)
__________________
"Don't believe everything you read on the internet" Abraham Lincoln
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank dodgyken for this useful post:
  #10  
Old 11.10.2013, 09:43
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Nidwalden
Posts: 433
Groaned at 39 Times in 12 Posts
Thanked 447 Times in 187 Posts
salie has an excellent reputationsalie has an excellent reputationsalie has an excellent reputationsalie has an excellent reputation
Re: 4X4's Winter Tyres & Chains

Quote:
View Post
I have a BMW 330ix which can have winter tyres in either 205 50 R 17 93 Q M+S or 225 45 R 17 91 Q M+S

The Handbook states that chains can't be used with 225 45 R 17, the winter tyres I have are this size 2 of the 4 are in good condition.

Do the police ever insist that 4x4's use chains on mountain roads, I spend at least 15 weekends in the mountains often arriving late at night, so being prevented from completing the journey would be a pain.

Thanks in advance for any info.
Yes, happened to me once. The police would not allow anyone to leave the parking area and drive down the mountain without chains, 4x4 or not.

Last edited by salie; 11.10.2013 at 09:52. Reason: forget to mention the important part of chains
Reply With Quote
The following 3 users would like to thank salie for this useful post:
  #11  
Old 11.10.2013, 09:45
fatmanfilms's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Verbier
Posts: 21,376
Groaned at 461 Times in 352 Posts
Thanked 23,091 Times in 11,824 Posts
fatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond repute
Re: 4X4's Winter Tyres & Chains

Quote:
View Post
Yes, happened to me once. The police would not allow anyone to leave the parking area and drive down the mountain, 4x4 or not.
Looks like I better buy 4 tyres then, thanks for the info.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 11.10.2013, 10:06
Tom1234's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Kanton Luzern
Posts: 16,289
Groaned at 571 Times in 447 Posts
Thanked 24,253 Times in 9,769 Posts
Tom1234 has a reputation beyond reputeTom1234 has a reputation beyond reputeTom1234 has a reputation beyond reputeTom1234 has a reputation beyond reputeTom1234 has a reputation beyond reputeTom1234 has a reputation beyond repute
Re: 4X4's Winter Tyres & Chains

Quote:
]I don't believe chains will reduce the risk of an accident, just the risk of getting stuck.[/B] Unless the snow is very deep you have less breaking ability with chains, virtually none when you cross a patch of road which is almost clear of snow, same story on a hair pin bend!
Chains will stop you sliding on icy tracks but in the same conditions, winter tyres could prove useless.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank Tom1234 for this useful post:
  #13  
Old 11.10.2013, 10:17
Mark75's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: by the lake (either one)
Posts: 2,510
Groaned at 45 Times in 39 Posts
Thanked 3,136 Times in 1,363 Posts
Mark75 has a reputation beyond reputeMark75 has a reputation beyond reputeMark75 has a reputation beyond reputeMark75 has a reputation beyond reputeMark75 has a reputation beyond reputeMark75 has a reputation beyond repute
Re: 4X4's Winter Tyres & Chains

Quote:
View Post
They are rather confident that for on road winter driving you'll never need chains. And so far, after 3 winters, using x-Drive I never have done.
For the last 15 years I've driven AWD cars (Audis and Volvos) in winter, frequently going back and forth between the Engadine and the Zurich area. Never owned chains. Never missed them.
(Of course that's no help if you need to drive where they don't allow 4x4 exemptions...)

Quote:
View Post
Then switch DSC off - and spend 20 minutes driving like Loeb.
Unfortunately the safety freaks at Volvo don't let you turn it off completely.
Maybe I need to switch back to Audi (or BMW).

Quote:
View Post
Yes, happened to me once. The police would not allow anyone to leave the parking area and drive down the mountain without chains, 4x4 or not.
Care to tell us where that happened? Thanks.
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank Mark75 for this useful post:
  #14  
Old 11.10.2013, 10:18
dodgyken's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Democratic Republic Kenistan
Posts: 10,653
Groaned at 280 Times in 231 Posts
Thanked 19,403 Times in 7,402 Posts
dodgyken has a reputation beyond reputedodgyken has a reputation beyond reputedodgyken has a reputation beyond reputedodgyken has a reputation beyond reputedodgyken has a reputation beyond reputedodgyken has a reputation beyond repute
Re: 4X4's Winter Tyres & Chains

Quote:
View Post
Chains will stop you sliding on icy tracks but in the same conditions, winter tyres could prove useless.
Concur.

What is impressive though is switching on HDC (Hill Descent Control) even on surfaces you would not think it possible to drive down - it will hold the pre-set speed (16kmh for example). I suspect it tortures the brakes and uses a great deal of engine braking - along with all the electronics.

Ultimately there are conditions in which driving - no matter what the vehicle - ceases to be a good idea - x-Drive and Winter tyres has covered all the driving I have had to do.
Reply With Quote
The following 3 users would like to thank dodgyken for this useful post:
  #15  
Old 11.10.2013, 10:56
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: 4X4's Winter Tyres & Chains

Quote:
View Post
FMF - I tried to buy chains for my 530XD from BMW - and they told me (paraphrasing) "to bugger off"
My 1999 Volvo V70XC was also disallowed from using chains, but at the time (and in the UK) I hadn't discovered winter tyres so I thought they were kind of a good idea for ski trips, so I ended up getting a set of the type that mount on the hub and don't have any parts on the inside of the wheel, as that was where the clearance was an issue

Quote:
View Post
They are rather confident that for on road winter driving you'll never need chains. And so far, after 3 winters, using x-Drive I never have done.
Likewise. I've never used chains on any of the 4wd cars we've had since we've been here.

Quote:
View Post
If you get the chance over winter find a snow/icy car park - leave DSC on - put it in first gear - full lock - and gun it - and experience what happens when you really provoke the electronics. It will not perform proper donuts - constantly trying to correct itself. Then switch DSC off - and spend 20 minutes driving like Loeb.
I definitely second this too, understanding just how much the DSC/ESP is doing in icy conditions is important, as it's only then that you'll realise when you're pushing it a little too much.
Quote:
View Post
(Engelberg has nice big car parks for such activities - apparently )
Allegedly.
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank for this useful post:
  #16  
Old 11.10.2013, 11:15
fatmanfilms's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Verbier
Posts: 21,376
Groaned at 461 Times in 352 Posts
Thanked 23,091 Times in 11,824 Posts
fatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond repute
Re: 4X4's Winter Tyres & Chains

Quote:

Likewise. I've never used chains on any of the 4wd cars we've had since we've been here.


Allegedly.
Maybe I just wasted some money as I bought 4 x Uniroyal MS PLUS 77 205/50 R17 93V XL to go with the chains I bought in Carrefour for 14.50 Euro at the end of last season.

I think I know that car park, it's rather empty pre season however they still charge you 5 CHF a day.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank fatmanfilms for this useful post:
  #17  
Old 11.10.2013, 11:21
Freebooter's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Baden-ish
Posts: 178
Groaned at 8 Times in 6 Posts
Thanked 154 Times in 75 Posts
Freebooter has an excellent reputationFreebooter has an excellent reputationFreebooter has an excellent reputationFreebooter has an excellent reputation
Re: 4X4's Winter Tyres & Chains

Quote:
View Post
What would your insurance company do though if you did have an accident on such a road in your 4x4 - and you didn't have snow chains?

There must be someone here who's done that?
If your tyres have "M+S" (all season) together with an icon of a snowflake on, you're ok (provided of course that the tread depth is still acceptable).


Toyota Land Cruiser, ever since I gave up on BMW for winter driving in the 1990s. once I "had" to get back to Zuri from Zermatt for a meeting.
heavy snow & avalanches closed (or rather were going to close the road - I arrived minutes before the authorities) at Herbriggen. nipped through nicely with all season tyres and basic Toyota 4WD
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 11.10.2013, 11:41
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: 4X4's Winter Tyres & Chains

Quote:
View Post
I think I know that car park, it's rather empty pre season however they still charge you 5 CHF a day.
Quite cheap for a skidpan session/track day, though.

But don't do it at night when I'm trying to sleep otherwise I _will_ call the cops on you
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank for this useful post:
  #19  
Old 11.10.2013, 11:45
fatmanfilms's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Verbier
Posts: 21,376
Groaned at 461 Times in 352 Posts
Thanked 23,091 Times in 11,824 Posts
fatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond repute
Re: 4X4's Winter Tyres & Chains

Quote:
Quite cheap for a skidpan session/track day, though.

But don't do it at night when I'm trying to sleep otherwise I _will_ call the cops on you
I prefer the car parks in France which are generally free
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 11.10.2013, 11:56
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Nidwalden
Posts: 433
Groaned at 39 Times in 12 Posts
Thanked 447 Times in 187 Posts
salie has an excellent reputationsalie has an excellent reputationsalie has an excellent reputationsalie has an excellent reputation
Re: 4X4's Winter Tyres & Chains

Quote:


Care to tell us where that happened? Thanks.
Well to be exact it was not Switzerland but Lech/Zurs in Austria. Really annoying as half the decent is through partly covered tunnels which have no snow in them so bad for your tyres with chains on. I had an Audi Quattro with winter tyres fitted but absolutely no one was allowed down without chains. What happened to the people who were not allowed to leave, I've no idea. Perhaps they just waited until the police had gone.

The chances of the police doing this must be small as it was the only time it has happened in perhaps 1000 trips into the mountains during winter. That was the only time I've used chains on a 4WD but carry them in the car in any case.
Reply With Quote
The following 3 users would like to thank salie for this useful post:
Reply




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Winter tyres or winter tyres and wheels mountainsandlakes Transportation/driving 23 22.10.2012 12:31
Winter tyres - don't f*&k with e-pneus.ch... gavmcginty Transportation/driving 24 13.12.2009 17:35


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 05:36.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
LinkBacks Enabled by vBSEO 3.1.0