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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I will heading into the mountains in the next couple weeks. This will be the first time in the snow if it does snow. What should i expect and really Chains?? I have AWD. The Trip is to South Lake Tahoe, if anyone knows this area. The roads are plowed as far as i know, but just want to make sure things are safe and the car handles snow well. I will be taking my family with a 7 month old. So, you can see why i want to ask, just wanna be cautions. I have checked the Saturn Discussions and they seem to be some help. Many of the Saturn Outlook owners seem to be happy with winter driving. I will not be doing any off road just driving the old 50 up to Tahoe....

Any suggestions and or tips. The say to carry Chains? Do i really have too, with AWD?????

Thanks for any tips!!!
 

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There are really two answers to your question; reality and the law;
- Reality - is that the vehicle handles very well in rough winter conditions and I have had my AWD Acadia in very deep conditions on several high altitude ski trips with no issues at all.
- The law - is unfortunately very clear and there are three stages of winter driving requirements in the California Mountains, and I do know that they are enforced by the CHP in the Tahoe area. If they go to stage 2, 2wd vehicles are required to have chains while 4wd and AWD (with all season tires) can go without, BUT, the 4wd and AWD MUST have them in the vehicle to SHOW at the road inspection site. This is so that if they go stage 3, where everyone needs them, they know that you have them. The reality is that they never go stage 3, they will close the road first, but they WILL CHECK at a road block under stage 2 that you are carrying them and if you don't have them with you, they will turn you around. Over the last 8 years, with many ski trips per season, I have only actually put chains on twice (my choice and once was on the Acadia) but I have had to show them to the CHP to get through a road check, at least a dozen times.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks GerryL,

Question; When you put them on by choice,was it pretty bad, or was it just for the extra precaution? Your right about the law... Also, i thought that the clearence of acadia and/or outlook was not made for Chains: can i ask what brand you used. I have the 19 inch wheels. I am hoping it it not at all bad. I have not heard anyone having a problem driving in winter conditions, or if i think about it, not even using chains....

Thanks for your response i feel better with the upcoming trip...
 

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You are correct, the words in the manual say not to use chains but rather chain alternatives. That is really what I used, they are acually steel cables. The ones I used were the SCC sz441. They are a different size than the ones that others have had problems with in some of the other threads on this board. I used them for 80 miles on hard pack and ice on a day that 16 additional inches fell. It was stage 2 and I could have gone without, but I had them, and just figured it was a reasonable thing to do (happen to have had a full load of kids aboard).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the info...

Good call on the chains, never hurts to be safe with kids on board...

Have a good evening!
 

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We've had our Acadia since the first of December, and we've had tremendous snowfall this year in Utah. My wife drives the Acadia and has been extremely happy with it's handling in the snow. We had an '07 Denali XL before our '08 Acadia, and the Acadia is so much more capable and sure footed in slippery conditions.
I drove it in a storm about 2 weeks ago that put down over a foot of snow at my house down in the valley. It came down quick...the first 4-6 inches fell in the first hour, most vehicles were stuck or off the road. The Acadia had no problems at all... I'm actually very impressed. I believe that it is underpowered, but extremely capable.

I have no experience with chains of any type... the canyons here get closed before they require chains on anything AWD.
Good luck... drive safely, but go with confidence, it's a great ride.
 

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Just be carefull with the steel cable chains. If you ride on them too long on no snow, they will break and reek havoc on your car...
 
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