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Tire Chains & AWD w/ Trac ControlTire chains are a pretty old fashioned way of handling traction problems in snow and ice. When most cars were rear wheel drive, and few had even a basic mechanical spin control that would apply power to the wheel with the least traction, using chunky snow tires, studded snow tires, and putting a few sand bags in the trunk for added weight was the extent of traction engineering in the 1960�s and 1970�s. Snow chains were occasionally used in pretty extreme conditions, and had a lot of limitations. You had to keep speed to a minimum, avoid driving on dry pavement, and check the chains frequently to ensure they were tight. Otherwise, a loose link could start swinging around, and cause some pretty spectacular damage to the body and the tires. Auto manuals usually had these procedures noted, and usually recommended that fender skirts, if so equipped, be removed before using chains.

The popularity of front wheel drive cars in the 1980s and all season tires mostly eliminated the sale and use of tire chains. By the 90�s the popularity of SUV�s, all wheel drive, and electronic computer managed traction control almost completely eliminated the need for tire chains.

The Ford Freestyle with all wheel drive is a pretty capable car in the snow, and if conditions are bad enough that you can�t get around, it may be time to stay home. Tires with more aggressive tread then the tires Ford provided might be a consideration. Otherwise, read your owner�s manual for recommendations regarding the use of chains. It may simply say you should never use chains, give you some basic pointers, or not address the topic. Assume that if the topic is not addressed, that Ford probably hasn�t recommended the use of tire chains since the death of the Country Squire wagon in the late 1980�s.


See page 189 in the owners manual:

"Use only SAE "S" class cables or equivalent on the front axles for P215/65R17 equipped vehicles."

There's more on page 189.

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โˆ™ 2011-02-23 20:08:27
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Q: Which axle should be chained up on a Freestyle with AWD and Traction Control if one has only one set of snow chains?
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