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Tire Chains

28810 Views 58 Replies 30 Participants Last post by  San_Carlos_Jeff
Anyone looked at the tire chain requirements for the Pilot? I finally have my Pilot on order for over here in Germany courtesy of the guys at Since skiing in the Alps ofter requires you to have tire chains in your possession whether you need them or not, I am curious about what will fit on the Pilot. My '97 Jeep Cherokee (that is being replaced by the Pilot) has a problem with the factory tires not having enough clearance according to the manual. Instead of getting caught without them, I opted to purchase some low profile chains from JCWhitney. Fortunately, I never had to use them and risk any damage. What does the manual say for the Pilot? Also, anyone thought about one set vs. two. My understanding with AWD or 4WD is that you need them on all four tires, otherwise you are just driving a 2WD vehicle with just one set on. Know it is too hot out to be thinking about snow, but just curious?
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Once your Pilot arrives you'll have to fill us in as to how it handles on the autobahn. As far as chains go the Pilot seems to have plenty of clearance. Good luck!
Autobahn Driving

Will do. Understand the Pilot tops out at 109MPH. Should do fine since my wife's bouncy Jeep cruises fine at 90MPH and has hit 100MPH no problem. As a small anecdote: I was driving my 1999 Accord EX 4dr (148hp ULEV 4Cyl) from Wuerzburg to Heidelberg on an open stretch of A81 about a year ago. Was cruising just fine at 120MPH (and still getting passed) and all of the sudden bam, bam, bam. The weatherstripping on the front windshield has popped lose on the drivers side and whipped around and started hitting the driver side window. Pulled over and used some handy duct tape to put it back into place. Had to keep the speed under 90MPH to keep it from coming back off. The local Honda dealer got to see me the next day for some quick warrenty work. Never had a problem since. They were able to pop it back in with some more glue. It is rare to find good stretches of Autobahn now a days, but 100MPH is very typical even on a crowded roadway. Germans are very disciplined about keeping to the right. They also obey posted speed limits better than Americans - especially since they love to hide cameras and send you the ticket in the mail.

P.S. Anyone checked their manual on tire chains yet?
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Bought Chains

I order these chains from

Item 54ZX9176U - Code 1 Super “Z” LT Design Cable Tire Chains
Quantity of 2 @ 99.99 Pair

The book recommends S Class Chains for low clearance and if you have one set, put them on the front. I am a firm believer that if you have AWD/4WD you might as well do all 4 tires to take full advantage of the available power. If you only do the front tires, then you are only driving a 2WD vehicle in the snow.

Details on the above can be found at: Pages/Traction Products/szlt_products.html


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Tire chains

Yeah, I know the Pilot has AWD, but in serious snow and ice, tire chains can be a life saver. I've seen too many so called SUVs who have slipped off black ice onto the side of road.

Any recommendations as to brand and type?
Good MDX chain discussion here: chains&pagenumber=1

Most of us went w/Z-chains: and had the best prices/service @ the time.
I have bought two pairs of the above chains from JCWhitney. No snow yet, but they are mandatory in the Alps when there is snow on the road.
Tire Chain. Is it needed on the Pilot?

I need someone's help! Can you guys tell me if I still need tire chains for the pilot even it's a 4WD. I am not sure I have never use them. Thank you.
I believe it's not up to you to decide. If the CA highway Patrol decides that certain roads require chains, all vehicles will need to comply.
That;s ture, thank you - I didn't thing about that.
They are required in Europe when you are told to have them. Unfortunately, here in Heidelberg which is further north than every state but Northern Maine - only ever gets rain - limited snow. Think they would still help in really deep snow or on ice. Bought a complete set of 4 from JcWhittney. Purchased the Z-Chains they had available for low profile use.
Whether your vehicle is 4 wheel drive or not, if the conditions are bad enough, you will need chains or snow tires.
Other 4WD Vehicles Use Them

When the snow gets to be more than, say, 6 inches, I've seen other 4WD vehicles (Bronco, Grand Cherokee, Blazer) use chains, so I would guess that if the conditions were bad enuff, then you can slap some chains on the Pilot. I, personally, have never used them...
Not allow

I know in New York and Massachusetts are not allow to have chain in their vehicle, only for Law Enforcement and EMT/EMS and Fire only.

:cool: 2003 Pilot SS EX-L RES,Fog Lights with Lower Trim,Crossbars for Roof Rails,Half Nose Mask,Rear Splash Guards,Running Boards,Rear Back-Up Sensors,Wheel Locks,Auto Day/Night Mirror,Wood-Grain Trim Panel—All Interior Trim,EX Emblem, VTEC Emblem,Gold Exhaust Finishers,Fog & Head Light using XD5 5100K Bulb, AutoShade Ventvisor,Fender Flare
I've been in a really bad snow storm on the mountain overpass
between Jackson Holl WY and Idaho. Come to think of it, there
is always a snow storm on that overpass. The rule local police
was enforcing -- EITHER 4wd OR chains to pass.
Tire Chain question

Has anyone actually bought chains for the Pilot? If so, what brand? Also which wheels would they go on, front or rear?

I think in CA, 4WD and AWD are OK in the snow, but in case of a roadside inspection you have to show you have them just in case the snow gets really bad. Any info would be great. Thanks.
We're heading over to Breckenridge, CO this winter.

Any idea if the:
"have chains to continue"
rule is ever applied when driving from Denver to Breckenridge?
Pilot tire chains

Pep boys carries the best cable chains available for the Pilot in the Bay Area and has best price of anyone I called (~$87 vs. $127 for everyone else). Its "S" class rated but I've found it to be a suspiciously tight fit behind the tire and the strut housing.

I bought it just in case CalTrans checks to see if you're carrying it. In actual driving, I haven't encounted any situations in the snow where the VTM-4 and Intregities needed help. Note: driving on ice is another matter and any car, 4 wheel drive or not, would gain traction with the added chains.
vellinga said:
We're heading over to Breckenridge, CO this winter.

Any idea if the:
"have chains to continue"
rule is ever applied when driving from Denver to Breckenridge?
Probably NOT. Go to the following link for Colorado Chain Law information:


Great, thanks Rod.

This is exactly why I love lists like this one. Quick and relevant answers to nearly every question.

I looked at the altitude of Chicago (~550 ft above sea level) to Denver (5400 ft) to Breckenridge (~9600). Wow, what a climb, up to Breckenridge.

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