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Old 12-19-2002, 11:16 AM   #1
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 31071
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oakland. CA
2003 WRX Wagon

Default chain requirements?

The Caltrans website specifies "4 wheel drive with snow tires" as being required on many Sierra highways in lieu of chains. As a WRX driver will they let me drive in areas so designated without chains? Are there conditions where they will make me use chains? I have the stock M/S tires.

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Old 12-19-2002, 11:48 AM   #2
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 21302
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
2002 WRX wagon


Yes, they'll let you through because you have AWD and your stock M/S tires are snow tires. Usually, they'll close the road to everyone if it gets so bad to the point where you have to put chains on a 4wd.

However, I've heard that in these cases, you can still get by but only if you can prove that you live there (ie drivers license with your address) and are just trying to get home. Otherwise, vacationers will have to wait til the weather subsides.

2 years ago, I cruised by a check point during a bad storm in my Pathfinder. Kicked in the 4x4 and it seriously took me 9 hours from the Bay Area to Reno. Couldn't see a damn thing. Me and two other cars groped our way not really knowing where the road was at about 15mphs. I picked the left lane and tried to keep the mountain w/in 10 feet of the car so I wouldn't drive off a cliff. No chains required on 4wds, but no way in hell will I ever drive in that kind of weather again.
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Old 12-19-2002, 02:28 PM   #3
Scooby Guru
Member#: 7374
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: North Bay, SFCA
2007 Grandpamobile


They won't require you to chain up, but leagally you are supposed to carry them with you. Having said that, I have never been asked to show that I have chains (I don't). I have heard of other people being asked to show their chains in a 4wd, though...*knocks on wood*.

Make sure you gas up in Sacramento or shortly thereafter, carry water and a flashlight...
Stanley is offline   Reply With Quote

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