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Old 12-15-2008, 03:36 PM   #1 (permalink)
KPK
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Question Snow chains for 04 MDX?

Hi,

I have following questions on snow chains. Please point me to the summary if it has been discussed before:

1) Does MDX require snow chains or snow cables?
2) Do they have to be put on all 4 tires or just the front 2?
3) Is there a recommended brand for snow chains/cables?
4) Do I need to select VTM to enable AWD driving through ice/snow or does it kick in automaically?


Thanks
KPK
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Old 12-16-2008, 12:28 AM   #2 (permalink)
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All this info can be found in your owners manual. Its good stuff.

1) It depends if you plan on going somewhere that requires them.
2)Front tires only.
3)SAE Class ‘‘S’’ cable-type traction devices, with rubber chain tensioners
4)You need to engage VTM. VSA is what kicks in.

*Copied from the manual.*

Snow Chains
Because your vehicle has limited clearance, mount only SAE Class ‘‘S’’ cable-type traction devices, with rubber chain tensioners on the front tires. Use traction devices only when
required by driving conditions or local laws. Make sure they are the correct size for your tires. Metal linktype ‘‘chains’’ should not be used. When installing cables, follow the manufacturer’s instructions, and mount them as tight as you can. Make sure they are not contacting the brake lines or suspension. Drive slowly with them installed. If you hear them coming into contact with the body or chassis, stop and investigate. Remove them as soon as you begin driving on cleared roads.

VTM4
The Variable Torque Management 4WD System (VTM-4) automatically transfers varying amounts of engine torque to the rear wheels under lower traction conditions. If more traction is needed when your MDX is stuck, or is likely to become stuck, you can use the VTM-4 Lock button to increase torque to the rear
wheels. The vehicle must be stopped with the engine running.

Move the shift lever to First (1), Second (2), or Reverse (R) gear.
Press the VTM-4 Lock button. The light in the button will come
on.

To get unstuck, apply light pressure to the accelerator pedal. Do not spin the front tires for more than a few seconds. Because of the amount of torque applied to the rear tires, they should not spin. This is normal. If you are not able to move the vehicle,
stop and reverse direction. do one of the following:
Press the VTM-4 Lock button.
Move the shift lever to D , D or D .
Turn the ignition switch to LOCK (0).
The VTM-4 Lock will temporarily disengage when the vehicle speed
exceeds 18 mph (30 km/h). It will automatically engage again as the speed slows below 18 mph (30km/h). The button light will remain on.

NOTICE:
Do not use the VTM-4 Lock button on dry, paved roads. Driving on
dry, paved roads with VTM-4 Lock ON may damage the rear dif f erential when making a turn. Strange noise and vibration can also result. Do not continuously spin the front tires of your MDX. Continuously spinning the front tires can cause transmission or rear differential damage.

VSA
The Vehicle Stability Assist system helps to stabilize the vehicle during cornering if the vehicle turns more or less than desired. It also assists you in maintaining traction while accelerating on loose or slippery road surfaces. It does this by regulating the engine’s output, and by selectively applying the brakes.

When VSA activates, you may notice that the engine does not respond to the accelerator in the same way it does at other times.

The VSA system cannot enhance the vehicle’s driving stability in all
situations and does not control your vehicle’s entire braking system. It is still your responsibility to drive and corner at reasonable speeds and to leave a sufficient margin of safety.

Where do you plan on going?
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Old 12-16-2008, 03:36 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I hear SCC chains are pretty good. But what does a California flatlander know about tire chains?

http://www.scc-chain.com/Traction%20...Trac_home.html
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Old 12-16-2008, 06:35 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Snow chains for 04 MDX?

Quote:
Originally posted by KPK
Hi,

I have following questions on snow chains. Please point me to the summary if it has been discussed before:

1) Does MDX require snow chains or snow cables?
2) Do they have to be put on all 4 tires or just the front 2?
3) Is there a recommended brand for snow chains/cables?
4) Do I need to select VTM to enable AWD driving through ice/snow or does it kick in automaically?


Thanks
KPK
I'm guessing you live in California? Its the only place I know of where we even think about putting snow chains on. I've answered your questions below. But first - if you have good tires on your MDX, you really don't need snow tires. If you have bald or old tires, then its not a bad idea. I put snow tires on my MDX each season and I love the added traction I get. YMMV

1) Does MDX require snow chains or snow cables? - NO
2) Do they have to be put on all 4 tires or just the front 2? - FRONT ONLY
3) Is there a recommended brand for snow chains/cables? - NO, BUT I SUGGEST CABLE CHAINS IF YOU'RE GOING TO GET THEM
4) Do I need to select VTM to enable AWD driving through ice/snow or does it kick in automaically? - NO, NOT NEEDED

VTM only works in R, 1 and 2 anyway. You can use it in the snow if you want, but it will turn itself off above 25 or 30mph, or if you shift to 3rd gear or higher. The MDX's built-in AWD works very well in snow in my experience. I can make the back end swing out on hard acceleration if I want to give the kids a thrill, but mostly it tracks very well.

Bottom line: If you have good tires, you should be fine. Take it easy, leave yourself extra room to slow down, and keep some winter supplies in the back of the car just in case.
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Old 12-19-2008, 09:53 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I think the original poster does not know the difference between VTM and "VTM lock". Midnight's quote from the manual should clear that up.
The VTM is like a real-time AWD, it kicks in automatically as needed. But the VTM Lock, that helps you get out or really sticky situations, works only in R, 1 and 2 and only below 18mph. From 1 to 18mph it gradually reduces torque going to the rear axle.

The MDX does not require snow chains, it depends on the state/location whether they require snow chains or not.
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Old 12-20-2008, 02:11 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks for all the responses.

I read owner's manual after posting the question and found the information that midnightMDX has mentioned above.

Difference between VTM and VTM-Lock makes sense now.

I am headed to Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks. I picked up Super Z- LT ZT729 cables from Pepboys, just in case.

KPK
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Old 12-21-2008, 01:00 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I scored a set of brand new, never opened SCC Super Z6 chains on Craigslist for $60 today. They're $135 at napaonline.com.

I'll probably never need them, as R3 conditions (4WD w/M&S tires must have chains) are rare in CA (they usually close the road first), but just in case I get asked to show my chains at a checkpoint, I figure I should have some. Besides, the price was too good to pass up.

The guy selling them told me he had plans to go to the snow, then says (as he points to his wife, playing with their two kids) "but then she got pregnant". Dude, didn't you have something to do with that???
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Old 12-26-2008, 01:58 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Hey, that's a good buy!
I am curious, I know that the manual says SCC Super Z-6# SZ 435 "TIRE CHAINS" but when I had my 10k service at the dealership my salesman said to make sure I use "SNOW/TIRE CABLES" not tire chains, and that I signed a document about this when I took delivery of the X. So are cables different or better?

Quote:
Originally posted by jhue
I scored a set of brand new, never opened SCC Super Z6 chains on Craigslist for $60 today. They're $135 at napaonline.com.

I'll probably never need them, as R3 conditions (4WD w/M&S tires must have chains) are rare in CA (they usually close the road first), but just in case I get asked to show my chains at a checkpoint, I figure I should have some. Besides, the price was too good to pass up.

The guy selling them told me he had plans to go to the snow, then says (as he points to his wife, playing with their two kids) "but then she got pregnant". Dude, didn't you have something to do with that???
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Old 12-27-2008, 02:48 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by gotMDX
Hey, that's a good buy!
I am curious, I know that the manual says SCC Super Z-6# SZ 435 "TIRE CHAINS" but when I had my 10k service at the dealership my salesman said to make sure I use "SNOW/TIRE CABLES" not tire chains, and that I signed a document about this when I took delivery of the X. So are cables different or better?
SCC Super Z-6 are cable chains. The traction part is a braided steel cable wrapped inside small cylindrical metal links or coils, rather than actual chain links.




More pictures:

http://www.scc-chain.com/Traction%20...SZ6_Photo.html
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Old 03-11-2009, 07:19 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Chains

Hi - this is my first post and I don't yet own an MDX , but have my eye on one I do quite a bit of traveling in the Sierra Nevada during the winter. Would mud/snow tires be sufficient? I really don't like chaining up and the AWD feature is a major selling point for me.
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Old 03-11-2009, 11:03 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Chains

Quote:
Originally posted by Douglas007
Hi - this is my first post and I don't yet own an MDX , but have my eye on one I do quite a bit of traveling in the Sierra Nevada during the winter. Would mud/snow tires be sufficient? I really don't like chaining up and the AWD feature is a major selling point for me.
Absolutely.

If you have good tires, you do not need chains. Caltrans will not require them (except in R3 conditions, which never happen - they close the road first).

I have two sets of wheels for my MDX. One has summer tires and one has winter tires. But I'm a freak. I drive to Tahoe every single weekend all winter long. More than 50% of the miles I drive are between home and Tahoe. I love the added security and traction of having real snow tires. But good M/S tires are sufficient for almost all use. Just don't expect them to perform well in snow when they've got 20-25K+ miles on them.

This season I have the Michelin X-Ice. They're pretty good. The Dunlop Winter Sports were a little better, and Blizzaks are better than either of those options. Lots of people also love Nokian Hakas, but I've never driven those.
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Old 03-11-2009, 11:27 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Thanks for the recommendations Sinecure. I go to Truckee about every other week up Norhwoods Blvd. to Tahoe Donner. It can get pretty icy! Thanks for the quick response.
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Old 03-12-2009, 11:33 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Going up Northwoods isn't usually too exciting. Coming down can be. A couple seasons ago I put my MDX up on the snow bank after I couldn't get good traction as I approached the stop sign. The next week I bought new snow tires.

I have a spare set of wheels in my garage if you are interested in having two sets and dedicated snows. Let me know.
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Old 03-12-2009, 05:13 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Thanks - I'll certainly keep that in mind and will send a PM for more details.

Doug
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Old 03-13-2009, 10:30 AM   #15 (permalink)
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'06 MDX

Just received SCC (Security Chain Co.) SZ-429 Cable Chains for $82.24 from Amazon.

http://www.scc-chain.com/Traction%20Pages/Trac_SZ6.html

The Installation video on their web site is clear but the instructions which came with them are not so.

Put them on/off a couple of times in the garage and they are as easy as chains could be and seem sized right. They also come in a stylish carry bag.

I make trips to north lake frequently and don't anticipate having to use them in that VSA/VTM is that good. The bag (Stylish) is probably the best feature for me.

More on impressions of the Traction Control:

I've driven regular 4 Wheel Drive with Transfer Cases/Locking Hubs in snow & ice aplenty. I am astonished at how well these computer controlled traction control systems adapt to varying conditions. It's a modern marvel! No more feet on the dash trying to get it out of 4WD after hitting dry road.
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