Taking my new SV6 to perisher this season - tyre help needed

Discussion in 'Questions & Answers' started by shnilly, Apr 27, 2012.


    shnilly New Member

    Hi folks. I bought a new Holden SV6 which I hope to take down to Perisher this season. I'm planning on camping at KMR and driving up to the carpark each day. I have heard disturbing reports that the SV6 or SS for that matter don't do all that well down the snow. It currently has the standard 18" wheels which I also heard was a problem.

    My train of thought is in 2 directions. The first is to take 2 rear 16" in the boot with snow chains and swap when and if needed. The second is to use the nokian snow tyres and take some chains with me. But this case i would still need to ride on 16" wheels.

    Has anyone any experience in taking this type of car down to the snow. And if so what solution has worked for you?

    Thanks in advance (Im now starting to regret not buying that 4WD!!!!)

    Shrek Old And Crusty Moderator

    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 14, 2013

    gareth_oau Old And Crusty Season Pass Holder

    wow, just read the justcommodores link, bit of an issue for such a fairly common car.

    buy a set of smaller, secondhand tyres and fit them just for the trip might be the cheapest option for you, then carry chains to suit.
    Snow Blowey

    Snow Blowey Part of the Furniture

    I have had experience with Commodores in snow. Usually lending chains and dragging them out of a snow bank. Bad snow car. Too much torque over the light rear end of the car.

    You will be the first car to need snow chains.

    Your plan sounds good but will kill your storage space. Don't have any experience with snow tyres but i'm guessing chains would be a better bet.

    BobGnarly Dedicated Member

    I used to take 2 spares pre fitted with chains but this year I cant fit them in my ute due to the sleeper cab I am building.
    I have 245/35/19s and have found thule to be the best in terms of availability for odd size snow chains.
    I am going with these bad boys

    Ps dont worry about your car not being a snow vehicle, you rarely get caught in snow and when you do just take it easy and put the chains on. My car is a 600hp turbo ute, a disaster combo on paper for going to the snow but it works just fine and has never let me down.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 14, 2013

    dawooduck Pool Room

    The Konig K7 Snow Chains 104 size should fit ... check first though. Snowtyres (posts here) should be able to confirm for you.


    be very light on the brakes going downhill because that is where a front heavy car such as a SV6 will get into trouble.

    chains or no chains ... locked front wheels + off camber road + ice\packed snow = ditch.

    Nowada Active Member

    Rear wheel drive + light rear end + no chain clearance = park at bullocks flat. If its an auto I would not even look at it. Brakes and snow/ice do not mix. This is the classic case for auto socks. Even if you load up the rear of the car you lose some steering off the front. There are about 2-3 very dodgy down hill bad camber corners on that road where ignorant and arrogant part time 4WD'ers don't make the corners. You see them every time it snows.
    If you can sacrifice the space in the boot 16 " wheels /tyres fitted with chains is the only real alternative. I would have the 16" wheels on the car every day while there anyway.

    BobGnarly Dedicated Member

    I would hardly say an sv6 has a light rear end, IRS cradles weigh a heap and with gear in the boot you could easily get close to 50/50 weight distribution.

    Most autos these days can be used exactly like a manual and with converter lockup its perfectly safe for engine braking with an auto. I do it all the time.

    Click the link I posted above, they are a definate alternative and one I will be going with this season.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013

    dawooduck Pool Room

    My subi auto worked great in the snow and even though it was AWD you still had to be careful about loosing the front end with the normal high end road tyres on.

    Rear wheel chains are no life saver going down hill

    Ralph_implement Dedicated Member

    Thule/Konig K Summit or Rudd Centrax are the go, I have used them on two different cars now, work well.

    Kunama New Member

    There is another way! I used it on previous vehicle which had wide tyres and lowered suspension. My main problem was clearance between the tyre and the mudguard lip due to the car being lowered nearly 3".
    I used coil spring spacers for the duration of my ski holiday. They are urethane spacers that fit under the coil and lift the car thus creating room for snow chains.

    As far as using an auto commondore in the snow, there is no problem whatsoever, just do everything gently. Easy on the throttle, easy on the brake. To take off on slippery surface put the car into 2nd gear or 3rd even rather than D which will engage 1st and will give lots of torque. If you're on the slippery stuff unexpectedly just remember to steer very gently and use the throttle even more gently. On icy down hills it is very difficult to stop a heavy vehicle, best not to be too quick in the first place.

    AUTOSOCKs might be the answer, I think they are now approved for use in Aus.
    Keith at Village Ski Cooma might be able to shed light on that subject.

    randomlyred New Member

    Iirc auto socks are legal to use as an adjunct to chains on a 2wd, not as a chain replacement. You could use them on the front wheels for steering traction with chains on the back, but not in place of chains.

    stansi Dedicated Member Season Pass Holder

    Where is snowtyres?

    He'd normally be all over a thread like this.

    snowtyres Active Member Commercial Member

    Here you go 
    Important Snow chain selection information, applies to all vehicles.

    You must read the vehicle owner’s manual and follow the instructions.

    The Rud, Thule & Konig snow chain warranty/guarantee does not cover any snow chains that are used on any vehicle that is fitted with wheels, tyres or a wheel/tyre combination that is not approved to be fitted with snow chains by the vehicle manufacturer.

    Does the vehicle have sufficient clearance to fit snow chains?

    One of the main problem area of the requirement to fit snow chains is the increasing number of vehicles, including AWD SUVs, where there is insufficient clearance to fit snow chains. These vehicles include front wheel drive, rear wheel drive and all wheel drive vehicles. 
    Drivers should consult the vehicle owners manual or ask their vehicle dealer about the tyre sizes the vehicle manufacturer authorizes for snow chains. 

    There may be liability and safety issues if snow chains are fitted to tyre and wheel combinations that are not approved by the vehicle manufacturer.

    The issue is usually the clearance between the inner part of the tyre and the suspension and or steering components rather than the clearance between the tyre and the body or the tyre and the mudguard. 

    The fitments of wider, lower profile tyres by the vehicle manufactures are increasing and many of these wider tyre and larger wheel diameters do not allow any snow chains to be fitted.

    High performance, high speed rated tyres and cold winter alpine temperatures, snow and icy roads are NOT compatible. 

    The safest and most correct alternative is to have a second set of wheels fitted with winter tyres that are identified with the ‘snow-flake on the mountain peak’ symbol. 

    The winter wheel set will use a narrower tyre on a smaller diameter wheel which will be approved by the vehicle manufacturer to have snow chains fitted.

    The safety issues that occur during extreme weather conditions, are compounded not only on the road conditions but also by the effect of the cold weather on vehicle tyres. 
    The tread compound of tyres that are fitted now to most vehicles, including AWDs, becomes like "hard plastic" at below 7° thereby losing the flexibility needed to build up sufficient grip for braking, for starting traction and for cornering. 

    The real key to winter tyre performance is, ironically, not the traction to accelerate, even though grip to drive through deep snow may be the first thing we think about with snow tyres. Instead, the real key is braking performance. The ability to stop is actually more important than the ability to go, and it is under these “exit event†conditions that winter/snow tyres excel.

    For details of Nokian winter/snow tyres refer:  http://www.snowtyres.com.au/

    cqen2l Addicted Member

    This ^^^
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 25, 2013

    Ralph_implement Dedicated Member

    I have used centrax chains on a front wheel drive hatch with 200kw and semi slick tyres in ice and snow.....whilst the pundits say that I should have died, I am still here.

    A bit of care and not working to a deadline will keep you safe, chains will assist in getting you there and help you comply with the law.

    agentBM Part of the Furniture

    Autos are no problem down there. I can recall slipping on ice covering the road between Smiggs and Perisher as the cops drove by. So all I did was reverse off the ice and go around....in the old auto 4.1L Cortina with re-treads. Was not carrying chains either.....oops, naughty. I don't know but it seems as though some considerable effort / expense for a few brief driving minutes on snow.

    sixty_eight Dedicated Member

    Sometimes the option of fitting smaller diameter rims is not an option due to larger brakes fitted to "sports" vehicles.

    BobGnarly Dedicated Member

    Yeah its 18" minimum on the back of mine due to brakes. Seriously its not that bad down there, common sense and chains will get you through. Its not like japan where you would be a fool to try and do it on normal tyres.

    BobGnarly Dedicated Member

    Snowtyres, what tyre would you recommend for someone like me who is on 19" wheels keeping in mind I drive 400klm on normal roads to get there.

    snowtyres Active Member Commercial Member

    Snowtyres, what tyre would you recommend for someone like me who is on 19" wheels keeping in mind I drive 400klm on normal roads to get there.

    ..................best to change the wheels size to 17" or 18" as winter tyres not available in 245/35R19 sizing.
    As we have said before high performance, high speed rated tyres and cold winter alpine temperatures, snow and icy roads are not compatible.

    tbnext Dedicated Member

    I'm guessing this sv6 is 4wd or awd and therefore no requirement to fit chains? If so I'm a bit surprised by all the planning. Drive to conditions and don't brake suddenly. Thousands of people do this every year without incident. Driving on icy roads is not rocket science, you just don't do anything in a hurry.

    tbnext Dedicated Member

    Sorry re-read maybe it isn't awd/4wd. I've taken many a 2wd, same advice really. Only thing I would do is call to make sure you can rent chains that fit.I took a Lexus is200 up to hotham years ago, I was the first to need chains looong before anyone else. Downhill was even better, but select a low gear, even in an auto.

    shnilly New Member

    cheers guys - im heading to see some guys tomorrow about chainss for the rear wheels. I guess im just a bit safety conscious but thats probably a good thing! i know most people say "most often than not you wont need them" but its the "or not" that i know is enevitable at some stage!

    i'll let you know how i go

    Mils Dedicated Member

    I think snow socks are legal for aus. Easy to put on.

    I have not used them though, no idea if they.are good...

    teckel Old And Crusty Commercial Member

    They're legal for 4WDs in NSW only. Not for 2WDs and not in Victoria.

    K10 Active Member

    Having an AWD with M+S tyres not winter tyres I been thinking about getting snow socks as a backup when its really cold/icy
    But thats when you want real chains so I'm hesitant to experiment

    Has anyone used them to compliment AWD?
    robbo mcs

    robbo mcs Active Member


    I did exactly what you are proposing. I had a AWD with M+S tyres. That particular car could not fit chains. I bought a set of socks just as a backup. I fitted them once on a heavy snow day just to see how they worked. They did help traction, grip and braking.

    However, in 4 years and around 200 days driving up to Perisher I never really felt the need to put them on even in the worst conditions.

    I recently sold that car and have bought a different 4WD with different size wheels. I'm probably not going to bother this time.

    One thing to be aware of is that autosocks really help when there is snow on the ground. They are not as good on slush, ice or ploughed roads

    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013