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Tire Chain Comparison for 2015 Nissan Xterra with 265/75-16 Tires

Question:

I have a 2015 Nissan Xterra with DynaPro ATM 265/75 16 tires. The 2015 Xterra manual states that Class S chains are required for this vehicle. The fitting guide suggests the following Class S chains for the Xterra. Do you recommend one of the following over the others? Are the Thule and Pewag worth the extra cost?

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Expert Reply:

You are smart to check your owner's manual because many passenger vehicles require low-profile Class S tire chains to avoid clearance issues within the wheel wells. If the auto maker says to use only Class S chains, then that's the final word. Nissan may also state that chains are only to be on one axle, so be sure to observe all of their guidance.

For your 265/75-16 tire size we do offer a range of Class S chains that you can see on the link provided. These include the cost-effective basic cable type like the Glacier # PW2028C up to models with advanced features like assisted or automatic tensioning, which is among the benefits of chains like the Titan # TC2326.

The bottom line is that you get what you pay for in tire chains. Spending less means you may meet a legal requirement but be unlikely to install the chains since they will tend to be more challenging to use. Chains that sit in your vehicle do you no good. On the other hand, spending more on chains that have user-friendly features typically means that if conditions merit use of chains, you'll actually stop the vehicle to put them on and they will actually help you. Last year we went through a major training event on tire chains of all brands and I can tell you first-hand that chains that are easy to put on are the way to go.

Chains like the Pewag Snox # PWSXV600 feature automatic chain tension control, protection from scratches for your vehicle's rims and a quick-release mechanism. Together these important features will make using such chains a whole lot more productive. Between the Thule and Pewag chains I would go for the Thules since they have a 5-year warranty and you might not get to use them in the year you purchase them.

No matter which chains you decide on, always be sure to drive at reduced speed, usually 30 to 35-mph, and to remove the chains before reaching bare pavement.

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