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Z-Chains vs Autosocks

 
Old 12-31-2018, 09:16 AM
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Default Z-Chains vs Autosocks

(From amazon post I wrote)

I test-fit a Super Z6 (SZ441) and a Z-Chain (Z-579) from Peerless chain company, and an Autosock 498 on a 2018 Audi Q-7 with 285/45-20 all-season Goodyear run-flat tires. I was working in a garage on a clean concrete floor and it was around 36 degrees. I only fitted left front wheel. Then I took a short drive around my neighborhood at speeds up to 25mph on dry asphalt. I havenít used either in true winter conditions Öyet.

Passing both chains under the car and around the tire was difficult because of the size of these tires. I happened to have a broomstick with a hook in the end that helped.

Fitting the Super Z6 was somewhat more difficult than the Z-chain because the low profile fastener that is behind the wheel is trickier compared to the simpler hook and loop on the Z-Chain. Wiggling the chains around until I could latch the Super Z6 in outside of tire was not too hard, but the latches must be lined up correctly at just the right angles before final connection. Stretching the rubber band tighteners into place took moderate effort. Big benefit was that once the chain was on, no further effort was necessary. Test drive was uneventful and chains rumbled as expected.

Fitting the Z-chain was easier because the inside hook and loop is simpler and the outer fasteners are also simpler. Then you just wiggle and yank them to get as tight as you can. Going out on road I re-tightened but still noticed a slight tapping. Then I retightened one more time and they were quiet. Surprisingly, they were also smoother than the super Z6. I suspect that, once tightened, the Z-Chain are actually tighter than the Super-Z6 which rely on the rubber band system.

Both chains triggered the TPMS system low pressure alarm. I checked the tire pressures and contacted the dealer. The service advisor reassured me and told me that just the vibration would set off the alarm. The ownerís manual had simple instruction for resetting the TPMS system.

So, tradeoff is that you can completely install Super Z6 in one step but they may be slightly looser and noisier. You would have to pay attention to rubber tightening bands. I cannot estimate lifespan.

Original Z-chain is slightly easier to install, but requires at least one extra stop for retightening, at which point you may be in winter conditions, but they seem to be tighter and smoother. They came with some fairly substantial looking gloves with nice large gauntlets that come up over your arms. The Super Z6 only came with fragile looking clear plastic gloves that donítí look like they would last very long. Both require some finesse to get back into bags. Both came with good instructions.

The Autosock installed very easily in about three minutes, including backing the car up after the first half of installation. It could easily be done in two and with a helper to move the car, maybe just one. They were much lighter and easier to handle. On the road there was no vibration at all, they centered themselves perfectly, and the TPMS system was not activated. Removing them was even easier, especially if you have a helper move the car after they are half off. They came with a nice bag, good instructions, and a cute pair of plastic gloves that I would expect to last one time.

The plan is to keep the Z-chains and the Autosocks, hoping to never need them. Of course, true winter tires are always an option if I need these devices too often.

I really canít give any of these five stars since I havenít put them to the real test in winter. If I have something to add in the winter or spring, Iíll update.

More details are on these websites:

Super Z-6 instructions and videos:. https://www.peerlesschain.com/brands...6-tire-chains/
Z-Chain instructions and videos: https://www.peerlesschain.com/brands...oices/z-chain/
Autosock: https://shopautosock.mcgeecompany.com/

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Old 12-31-2018, 11:01 AM
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I am considering autosocks as well due to ease of install and adding very little to tire profile. I have to assume they do a good job since they are explicitly approved as traction devices in Washington state.
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Old 12-31-2018, 11:22 AM
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They are also officially approved in Colorado. Really, a lot depends on how well your DOT works and the hills you need to climb.

I have every confidence that Auto-socks will be easy to use and they are nice and light. How well they work in various situations and how long they last is much less obvious, That's why I bought Z-chains, too. I'm hoping not to use anything since tires are fresh.

I didn't need anything with old Volvo XC70 and fresh all-seasons in spite of a lot of whining by tire nuts.
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Old 12-31-2018, 07:15 PM
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I also bought z6. Said that I have m+s tires and these tires are approved as winter tires in CA, NV, UT, ... I’ve actually just drove from San Jose to Salt Lake City (800 miles in mostly winter conditions) and Q7 was absolutely stable (after disabling line assist that caused some wondering).
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Old 01-01-2019, 08:39 AM
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Do you have M+S "all season" ("three season" in Canada) or real All-weather (4 season) tires with mountain snowflake logo?
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Old 01-01-2019, 08:40 AM
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wondering or wandering? - sort of the same.
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Old 01-01-2019, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by tipster1947 View Post
Do you have M+S "all season" ("three season" in Canada) or real All-weather (4 season) tires with mountain snowflake logo?
M+S, the stock run flat ones. My wife was driving her Q5 also with stock M+S tires and said she felt car was unstable a couple times on the icy patches. I didnít feel any issues at all.
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Old 01-01-2019, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by tipster1947 View Post
wondering or wandering? - sort of the same.
Damn autocorrect
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Old 01-01-2019, 11:42 AM
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Thanks, Alex. Good to know. When I started researching alternatives to OEMs the trade off from 3 season to 4 season seemed to be less highway comfort. Winter trip is over 1800 miles on interstates each way. Don't want to be wondering about wandering.
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Old 01-18-2019, 11:18 AM
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Thank you so much for this post. I am in this same boat. If you had to pick one Zchain or Autosock which would it be? I have a 2019 Q7 with 285/35-22 wheels and trying to figure out which snow chains or equivalent to go with. A bit scared to use the Z chain in case of rubbing on the rim and damaging the finish. Hence the Autosock seems like a better play. Any thoughts and or pictures would be greatly appreciated.
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