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Snow Chains / Spare Tyre And Going Abroad Advice

Cross Max

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Driving to a mountain resort in France at the end of January for week of falling down mountains with pieces of wood strapped to my feet. Taking the S-Max X Sport with Xenon headlamps and 235x45x18 wheels.

I've done a bit of research but am interested in anyone with experience of similar matters.


The French laws require you to carrysnow chains to drive the final leg of where we are going. It seems the tyre fitted to our car can not be used with regular snow chains that go around the back of the tyre due to clearance issues. The options open to me seem to be:

1) thule do a K-Summit option (K34) which seems to get around that problem as it only fits over the tread and front of the wheel. The only thing is they cost £300 so a bit expensive.

2) There is another chain produced (CK-7) which is thinner than most (7mm thick) and goes around the back of the tyre and costs considerably less at around £170. But I won't know if this works for sure without trying it.

3) Or Snow Socks. www.autosock.co.uk web site claims "Since 2010 AutoSock is certified to comply with the French winter equipment regulations and can be used in France where the snowchain sign (B26) is in place. Please note that AutoSock are the only snow socks that comply with this regulation." Snow socks can be picked up for around £65.


I was expecting to need some sort of light adjustment or deflector for driving on the wrong side of the road. I've read however that light deflectors are not a good idea as the lights get hotter than normal so the sticker will melt? Also people saying they can't find the template to fit them on newer cars? I may talk to Ford about this but a previous poster said Ford couldn't help!


For a while now i've had in the back of my mind to get a spare wheel to keep at home in my garage in case we get a local puncture and someone could go to our house and fetch it. I'm having trouble locating the same alloy wheel although i expect Ford would do me a new one for a large wedge of cash. I'm guessing a 16" or 17" S-Max wheel with a 2nd hand low thread tyre would do for getting out of trouble. Anyone got any thoughts? I also read people have carried a Mondeo space saver which has attracted negative comments. Either way I would like to carry a spare wheel to France with me to get me out of any emergencies so any pointers or suggestions (including link to the mondeo thing) appreciated.

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Snow socks work well as I found out a couple of winters back on our 'max when we went to Skye for xmas (also with 18" alloys).

I have 2 spare 18" rims in servicable condition - no bangs or buckles but they have both been kerb scraped - happy to part company with one for £80 (or £100 inc delivery) if you want it?

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  • 3 weeks later...

See my reply on this part of the forum

Not sure about the legality abroad though. Seem to be the easiest for wheel sizes that do not take proper chains. If the roads in france are snowy (rather than cleared tarmac) they are just the ticket.

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