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2018 GMC Terrain FWD 1.6L Turbo Diesel
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, I’m going on a trip to Washington from Southern California, and was wondering if I needed to have snow chains or not. My vehicle never came with the owners manual, and it does have snow mode equipped. I bought snow chains just in case, but was wondering if I can even use them or not. Any help/advice would be great!
 

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2018 GMC Terrain FWD 1.6L Turbo Diesel
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I’ve looked in the manual, but it doesn’t say whether I should/shouldn’t use chains. But everywhere else I’ve read says I can’t use chains because I have the “snow mode”
 

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08 LS AWD Summit white(SOLD), 07 Torrent FWD Black, 05 Pursuit Sedan, '16 F150 XLT Sport Blue Flame
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I personally don't know how bad washington can get in terms of snow, but Personally, in just run good winter tires on my vehicles that are FWD. even a decent set of all weathers can do the trick. Just drive mindfully and don't go too fast for the conditions. Don't make any panic based decisions and you should be fine. If the weather gets really bad, worse case scenario you can use them, just wouldn't use them if not needed.
 

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2018 GMC Terrain FWD 1.6L Turbo Diesel
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Right, I have the snow chains, but I was wondering if even snow cables might work, money wise getting A/T tires isn’t feasible, but I know there’s toll booths that say they’re required, but if chains are recommended for my GMC I don’t know what I’d do
 

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2017 Equinox LT 2.4 FWD
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OP, although I now live in SC, I'm originally from Washington State, so can be of some help to you I believe. If you're just going up I-5 to the Puget Sound area, you most likely won't need chains. However if you're going from the west side to the east side of the state it would behoove you to carry chains if you're taking US 2 over Stevens Pass or taking I-90 over Snoqualmie Pass as these 2 passes often have winter conditions where AWD or chains are required. White Pass is less likely to have chains or AWD requirements, but at the very minimum traction tires are often required. The 4th west to east route is through the Columbia Gorge where snowfall usually isn't a problem but can have the occasional ice storm. The Washington State DOT website has a pass report that you might find handy. Cable chains would be my choice with a FWD Terrain, they work better with radial tires and are easier to mount.
 

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I’ve looked in the manual, but it doesn’t say whether I should/shouldn’t use chains. But everywhere else I’ve read says I can’t use chains because I have the “snow mode”
Page 320:

Do not use tire chains.There is not enough clearance.Tire chains used on a vehicle without the proper amount of clearance can cause damage to the brakes, suspension, or other vehicle parts. The area damaged by the tire chains could cause loss of control and a crash.
 

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2018 GMC Terrain FWD 1.6L Turbo Diesel
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
OP, although I now live in SC, I'm originally from Washington State, so can be of some help to you I believe. If you're just going up I-5 to the Puget Sound area, you most likely won't need chains. However if you're going from the west side to the east side of the state it would behoove you to carry chains if you're taking US 2 over Stevens Pass or taking I-90 over Snoqualmie Pass as these 2 passes often have winter conditions where AWD or chains are required. White Pass is less likely to have chains or AWD requirements, but at the very minimum traction tires are often required. The 4th west to east route is through the Columbia Gorge where snowfall usually isn't a problem but can have the occasional ice storm. The Washington State DOT website has a pass report that you might find handy. Cable chains would be my choice with a FWD Terrain, they work better with radial tires and are easier to mount.
Thank you! I live in SoCal and I am traveling from there to Aberdeen Washington
 

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… money wise getting A/T tires isn’t feasible, but I know there’s toll booths that say they’re required…
A couple of notes here.
  • AT tires are NOT the same as Winter Tires
  • If they are required, they are required, or don’t drive in those areas

AWD will only get you so far, proper tires will get you further, and when it gets really nasty and slick, you need chains, cables, or socks.

I have driven in near blizzard conditions in the mountains with AWD and standard all-season tires. It sucked. We made it, but some scary moments when you start sliding when going down the hills. Going up, AWD was enough to keep us moving. But AWD doesn’t help when turning or stopping. We out proper winter tires in for our next trip and they were a game changer.


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