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Discussion Starter #1
I have not yet purchased a Niro but probably will next year. My dream car would be the Niro with AWD. At this point in time, it does not exist so I am trying to think of a workaround that would improve handling in the event of unexpected snow. I have seen vendors on the web that offer easy on/easy off tire chains, that even a weak person like me could deal with. Has anyone tried this and how did it work out? Also, where did you purchase the tire chains? Thank you! :x
 

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I have not yet purchased a Niro but probably will next year. My dream car would be the Niro with AWD. At this point in time, it does not exist so I am trying to think of a workaround that would improve handling in the event of unexpected snow. I have seen vendors on the web that offer easy on/easy off tire chains, that even a weak person like me could deal with. Has anyone tried this and how did it work out? Also, where did you purchase the tire chains? Thank you! :x
I would just go with 4 snow tires. Depending on where you live and snowfall totals, you could opt to have the studs installed in the snow tires. I do NOT use studs in the snow tires. I'm in Upstate NY, just under the Canadian border, we have dry winters, (little snow) and sometimes we get hit with 2-3 feet, never had a problem with front wheel drive (never had AWD) and snow tires. NOT putting the studs in leave you the option to use the tires beyond any dates that your state/locale may mandate that snow tires be removed as that only applies to studded snow tires.
 

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I have not yet purchased a Niro but probably will next year. My dream car would be the Niro with AWD. At this point in time, it does not exist so I am trying to think of a workaround that would improve handling in the event of unexpected snow. I have seen vendors on the web that offer easy on/easy off tire chains, that even a weak person like me could deal with. Has anyone tried this and how did it work out? Also, where did you purchase the tire chains? Thank you! :x
I've always used winter tires and it worked fine for me. Few years ago in US, I was forced to purchase and install tire chains right in the middle of the road by police, (because of extremely slippery road condition and high snow level) while driving from one state to another. I've been using them for a few hours and it felt so bizarre and uncontrollable..
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I would just go with 4 snow tires. Depending on where you live and snowfall totals, you could opt to have the studs installed in the snow tires. I do NOT use studs in the snow tires. I'm in Upstate NY, just under the Canadian border, we have dry winters, (little snow) and sometimes we get hit with 2-3 feet, never had a problem with front wheel drive (never had AWD) and snow tires. NOT putting the studs in leave you the option to use the tires beyond any dates that your state/locale may mandate that snow tires be removed as that only applies to studded snow tires.
The problem with this is that I would have to keep the snow tires on almost all year to be guaranteed protection. I will be relocating to an area of Colorado where they often get surprise snow storms that can happen anytime from September through May. Also, I would find it a hassle to have to change tires twice a year, and then there's the problem of storing the tires. This is not a good option for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I've always used winter tires and it worked fine for me. Few years ago in US, I was forced to purchase and install tire chains right in the middle of the road by police, (because of extremely slippery road condition and high snow level) while driving from one state to another. I've been using them for a few hours and it felt so bizarre and uncontrollable..
The tire chains I am talking about are not the standard ones most people think of. These are easy on/easy off traction assistance devices. I would only need for the front tires and they would be for emergency use only in the event I was caught off guard with an unexpected snowfall. I am not yet allowed to post a link, but look up tire chain alternatives. One in particular is called AutoSock.
 

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Didn't even know there were alternatives to tire chains and studs so I had to look up AutoSock. A bit iffy about those products with how they fared in tests.
For chains, maybe Thule is a good option?

I just get a set of winters.
 

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The tire chains I am talking about are not the standard ones most people think of. These are easy on/easy off traction assistance devices. I would only need for the front tires and they would be for emergency use only in the event I was caught off guard with an unexpected snowfall. I am not yet allowed to post a link, but look up tire chain alternatives. One in particular is called AutoSock.
Oohh...

Are you talking about this type of tire chains? I've never seen them before.
 

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Oohh...

Are you talking about this type of tire chains? I've never seen them before.
That is interesting.

I have used Cable Chains (not sure that is the right word) that are easy to put on and take off. You drape them over the wheel, there is an extended gap between the links on the end of the ground and you can reach behind the wheel to hook the ends together, and easy to hook together on the outside.

It was a front wheel drive, so turn the steering to make it easy to reach the inside of the wheel to hook that side up.

Best I can do to describe them is:

A cable runs around the circumference of the tire on both side of the tire. There are cross cables with rollers on them spaced about 6 inches apart that run between those side cables. The cross cables at the ground end (once you drape the whole assembly over the top of the tire) has a larger space between the cross cables to allow for the tire to be on the ground while you hook the ends together.

Does that make sense?

Work very good as easy on off -- I found out about them when living in WA State and going skiing in the mountains. They will not let you proceed up the mountains when weather is bad unless you have chains (road blocks check you). So, you can lay on the ground (bring a blanket or something to lay on) and install the Cable Chains when needed.

Plus, they work better when you run into pavement and have to drive a distance on pavement until you meet slick surface again.

Here in East TN slick conditions are infrequent and don't last long, but they also don't have ability to take care of all the back mountain roads or neighborhood roads. We are retired and can wait it out usually (but in an emergency I would put the Cable Chains on and be able to get out to a main road).

I have a pair for a 2005 Dodge Van and would use it in an emergency. However, I would consider buying some for the NIRO if could find the size for the wheels.
 

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When I bought my Niro last September, my dealer made me sign a form that stated unequivocally that the use of tire chains would cause damage to the wheels and/or drive system and that this damage would not be covered by warranty.

Did anyone else have to sign this, or have any of you even heard this?

I have an upcoming cross country round trip to make, in March. Still on the original Michelin Green tires, as it never ever snows where I live. Not sure if I should get snow tires just for this trip.

Any advice or suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!
 

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I don't know if you can still get cable chains or if available for a NIRO size tire (cabale chains like I discussed in a previous reply), but they work very good and are reasonable easy to put on when you reach a sudden place you need them or if faced with a snow or icy condition before you leave home.

You will need to practice the technique and you will need to lay on the ground to make the final hook up. I use to carry an old rug to lay on.

Some interesting alternatives are shown in one or two posts on here (like a fabric or something covering the tire).
 

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The tire chains I am talking about are not the standard ones most people think of. These are easy on/easy off traction assistance devices. I would only need for the front tires and they would be for emergency use only in the event I was caught off guard with an unexpected snowfall. I am not yet allowed to post a link, but look up tire chain alternatives. One in particular is called AutoSock.
PRIOR to us getting our Niro this past July 2017, I used to ALWAYS leave snow tires on year round. I had mixed reviews and opinions from various garage guys/mechanics, some swearing NO don't do it!!! to "not a problem is this climate." But as I mentioned in an earlier post, we live in Upstate NY, we have all FOUR seasons for sure. Snow tires perform great in rain! NEVER hydroplaned! I always swore I would never switch tires seasonally but then the Niro happened, and I have to admit, seeing 57.5 mpg on a 90 mile HIGHWAY trip with the stock Michelin Energy Saver tires installed was a treat!

Many say snow tires will kill your mileage, but when we had 4 snow tires installed we went on a 120 mile round trip drive, mostly at 55mph, through the Adirondack mountains, hills, valleys, etc. October, 53 degrees, and we still got 50 mpg on that trip!! NO studs in the tires mind you. Once outdoor temperatures drop below 40 degrees so does the great mileage.

If you're not driving in hot desert heat, i.e. Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Southern California etc, there is NO reason you can't leave you un-studded snow tires on year round, you just wont get the best MPG possible on the Niro...........

I must tell you, this car handles GREAT with 4 un-studded snow tires! I've been on a mixture of ice, snow and freezing rain, all at the SAME time and this thing is the BEST vehicle I have EVER driven in winter weather, AWD be dammed! Never had it, don't want it.

I would stay away from chains, maybe, if price isn't a concern, keep some for an emergency, however on a cross country road trip with my dad from Northern California to NY (yes we hit snow a snow storm in Wyoming at the end of May!!) he was **** bent on buying the tire chains for his pickup truck and having the tire place (Les Schwab) in California show us how to put them on. Les Schwab is a great place but honestly the complicated process plus the risk of puncturing the tires and destroying them as well as possible vehicle damage if they're not installed correctly, was stressing me out big time. I've always used snow tires only.

Final though, for any of us that live in true winter/snow areas, I would NEVER rely on the Michelin tires that come with the Niro for winter performance. The mere fact that they are "low rolling resistance" i.e. "low grip" says it all in my opinion. Although they are rated as M+S (mud and snow) I simply wouldn't trust vehicle and passenger safety to tires that are best left for snow and ice free roads. Also, I am now someone who WILL change the tires seasonally. The way I look at it, the Michelin's give great MPG 3 seasons of the year, can't be the safety of the snow tires, and changing them out twice a year will make both sets last much longer. It's a win win.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
PRIOR to us getting our Niro this past July 2017, I used to ALWAYS leave snow tires on year round. I had mixed reviews and opinions from various garage guys/mechanics, some swearing NO don't do it!!! to "not a problem is this climate." But as I mentioned in an earlier post, we live in Upstate NY, we have all FOUR seasons for sure. Snow tires perform great in rain! NEVER hydroplaned! I always swore I would never switch tires seasonally but then the Niro happened, and I have to admit, seeing 57.5 mpg on a 90 mile HIGHWAY trip with the stock Michelin Energy Saver tires installed was a treat!

Many say snow tires will kill your mileage, but when we had 4 snow tires installed we went on a 120 mile round trip drive, mostly at 55mph, through the Adirondack mountains, hills, valleys, etc. October, 53 degrees, and we still got 50 mpg on that trip!! NO studs in the tires mind you. Once outdoor temperatures drop below 40 degrees so does the great mileage.

If you're not driving in hot desert heat, i.e. Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Southern California etc, there is NO reason you can't leave you un-studded snow tires on year round, you just wont get the best MPG possible on the Niro...........

I must tell you, this car handles GREAT with 4 un-studded snow tires! I've been on a mixture of ice, snow and freezing rain, all at the SAME time and this thing is the BEST vehicle I have EVER driven in winter weather, AWD be dammed! Never had it, don't want it.

I would stay away from chains, maybe, if price isn't a concern, keep some for an emergency, however on a cross country road trip with my dad from Northern California to NY (yes we hit snow a snow storm in Wyoming at the end of May!!) he was **** bent on buying the tire chains for his pickup truck and having the tire place (Les Schwab) in California show us how to put them on. Les Schwab is a great place but honestly the complicated process plus the risk of puncturing the tires and destroying them as well as possible vehicle damage if they're not installed correctly, was stressing me out big time. I've always used snow tires only.

Final though, for any of us that live in true winter/snow areas, I would NEVER rely on the Michelin tires that come with the Niro for winter performance. The mere fact that they are "low rolling resistance" i.e. "low grip" says it all in my opinion. Although they are rated as M+S (mud and snow) I simply wouldn't trust vehicle and passenger safety to tires that are best left for snow and ice free roads. Also, I am now someone who WILL change the tires seasonally. The way I look at it, the Michelin's give great MPG 3 seasons of the year, can't be the safety of the snow tires, and changing them out twice a year will make both sets last much longer. It's a win win.
Thanks for your response. I live downstate NY in the Hudson Valley. As you probably know we have had a very cold winter here and plenty of precipitation. I have been driving in rain and snow with the stock tires and no problem. I even had to stop short and felt the ABS kick in. The handling is marvelous. I hope to relocate to Colorado in a year or so. The snow there is different. It is drier and perhaps more slippery and it can fall unexpected. The municipal services are not as fast or as thorough as in NY, so I may get the AutoSock once I make the move, but here in NY, I don't feel the need for snow tires or tire chains on this vehicle.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
When I bought my Niro last September, my dealer made me sign a form that stated unequivocally that the use of tire chains would cause damage to the wheels and/or drive system and that this damage would not be covered by warranty.

Did anyone else have to sign this, or have any of you even heard this?

I have an upcoming cross country round trip to make, in March. Still on the original Michelin Green tires, as it never ever snows where I live. Not sure if I should get snow tires just for this trip.

Any advice or suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!
I bought my Niro in December and was not asked to sign anything like that. I even told them I planned to buy the AutoSocks and they thought it was a good idea. I would not put real chains on though as it may damage the tires. The Autosock is approved in most states, for most cars.

I have not purchased the Autosocks yet, but it might be a good thing for your trip just in case. Though they function like tire chains, they are not real tire chains.
 

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I bought my Niro in December and was not asked to sign anything like that. I even told them I planned to buy the AutoSocks and they thought it was a good idea. I would not put real chains on though as it may damage the tires. The Autosock is approved in most states, for most cars.

I have not purchased the Autosocks yet, but it might be a good thing for your trip just in case. Though they function like tire chains, they are not real tire chains.
Thanks for the reply!

I inquired at length with my dealer, who eventually disclosed to me that the document I signed related to warranty issues on rims & wheel covers (hubcaps) when ANY tire chain-like device is used. So I decided simple logic applies: use any chain device that won't touch the wheel and it should be fine.

I read about the Autosocks here prior to my previous post. They look like a great design, and if I thought I'd need snow traction devices more than this one trip, I'd probably spring for 'em. But since I am pretty sure this is the only time I'll need them, I bought a set of cable chains for $20 that ride high on the tire, so worst case scenario I tear a sidewall - not ruin a rim. But I probably won't need them at all, I'm just making one cross country round-trip and I'll hole up for a day or 2 if I hit weather.

Incidentally, I'm actually on the trip right now. So far 1750 miles in, I have passed and/or seen exactly ZERO Niros. (And about 1000+ Prius's.)

But I DID pass this today:
 

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By the way mscoulter, I appreciate your hilarious totally-not-pc-yet-comically-cool avatar. You are clearly a person of style and taste, with a "devil-may-care" attitude, and I applaud you.
 

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Hello,
I am here in the same situation. I just bought the Niro last week-end and as I use to go in the Sequoia Park snowshoeing, my first quest now is to find cables for my tires.
I got a special verbal warning from my car dealer during contract signing telling me that I must buy a specific type of "cables with heavy duty plastic shell" to protect the car.
But nothing by contract or signed about that.

So I spent my last 3 days looking on internet for such "plastic protected cable" but found none. The best I can find as cable are the Z6 SZ131.
But I don't really know if it fits the Kia's recommendations.

For sure, winter tire is not an option for me as I do have snow only when I go in the mountain.
On top of that, CHP and Park Rangers do active chains mounting control during winter season, and sometime, even if chains are not to be mounted, you must have them in your car.

So ... so far, snow cables for tires is kind of unanswered subject.

Christophe.
 

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In my mind a good set of snow tires (Studded if you live in an area with icey roads) and a bit of good practice behind the wheel will do better than chains. I have never had to use chains on a maintained road in my time driving, and more than half of that time has been in snow and/or ice.


With that being said, I have a set of the most aggressive v-bar chains I could find for my truck and they make climbing snow and ice covered hills on gravel way too easy. I would never want to use them on the road though. If you need chains, in my mind it's time to re-assess if you really need to go for that drive.
 
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