Thinking of going to Mammoth this weekend - snow chain advice

Thinking of going to Mammoth this weekend - snow chain advice

I am thinking of taking my Model 3 or possibly my Model S to Mammoth this weekend. Rain/snow is apparently predicted for Friday night. There is a suggestion that chains may be needed. As time is short and I do not have time to order snow chains online does anyone know where I could get snow chains in a hurry, Otherwise has anyone got experience with generic snow chains that they have used safely on either car.

GHammer | April 4, 2018

For MS with 19' tires the previously recommend chain was either a Z143 or Z563 Z-chain but unless they are put on perfectly they contacted the lower control arm of the rear suspension and caused damage. At least one report where it had worn almost all the way through the arm. This is one reason they went to recomending chains that only attach to the outside of the tire like the Trak Sports. Thule also makes a version like this, very pricey also.

Jazzy B | April 4, 2018

If you are in Los Angeles you can borrow mine.

Mike83 | April 4, 2018

I carry chains(the law requires it) but never needed them. The roads are usually plowed and the Tesla does great in snowy conditions. I would mainly worry about black ice but wouldn't want to be on the roads as you might get hit by another vehicle.
The newer chains look good and I would buy them but already have the old style(Z chains I believe).
Let us know about Mammoth Lakes as we haven't been up there in awhile but do enjoy doing the mountain bike trails. The superchargers are nice to have there
Check Caltrans for any restrictions.

SCCRENDO | April 4, 2018

@JazzyB. I am in Orange County. I am still trying to decide. It looks like snow conditions should be pretty good. Howard Shectker who seems to be the weather guru was talking about rain and snow Friday. He mentioned chain conditions. I just checked and he is now talking about snow on the summit and rain lower. I would rather not go than risk damage to either of my Teslas. It looks like I should be fine without chains but i would hate to be stopped and forced to put on chains outside Mammoth without having them handy. Are these chains easy to put on. I have had a previous bad experience with a Lexus IS350 which is also rear wheel drive but has a narrow wheel well. One of the chains ended up falling off and I couldn't make it up the last mile to the condo at the Canyon lift. I ended up parking in a condo down the road and left a note explaining my problem. They were cool about it. The next time I went up I was stopped outside mammoth to put on chains. I hired someone to do it and they were unhappy with my chains. So I had to go back to Bishop to buy new chains.

rxlawdude | April 4, 2018

I was going to ask if this was an all-wheel-drive MS (because the M3 as currently built is rear-wheel drive), but then I saw it was @SCC's. I know his MS is rear-wheel-drive so there's no advantage of one over the other from snow and ice stability.

It would indeed be a bummer to get almost to the slopes, only to be made to put chains on. And my experience with chains is such that I avoid driving in conditions where they are required. It was a messy, knuckle-busting process. Although the last time I did it was in 1983. :-)

Of course, with a dual motor MS with all-season tires, the basic chain requirement ("R1" conditions) doesn't apply. And in really severe conditions (R2) where chains are required even with AWD and snow tires, no one in their right mind would want to drive in the mountains.

SCCRENDO | April 4, 2018

It looks like the it will be mainly rain. I think I will defer my decision until Thursday night.

Jazzy B | April 4, 2018

The ones I got are from Thule but they are very similar to the ones on Tesla shop. Let me know if you want to borrow them. I am in San Gabriel Valley. If you are interested provide your email and I will reach out to you.

Solarfan | April 4, 2018

@rxlawdude | April 4, 2018,

This could be wrong, yetI believe that with all-season tires, the basic chain requirement ("R1" conditions) DOES apply.

I'm pretty sure that severe winter (Mountain Snowflake symbol) tires plus AWD will be required to avoid chains in California. is a good reference.

SCCRENDO | April 4, 2018

Thanks @Jazzy B. I am leaving from my office and going up the 395 so I will take a rain check. But I greatly appreciate the offer. It seems unlikely we will need chains. But I am taking a chance of course. We will take the S rather than the Model 3 because it is heavier but my classic 5 year old S has a capacity of 240 miles compared to 310 miles on the 3 and no EAP.

Jazzy B | April 4, 2018

Cool. Good luck and safe travels.

rxlawdude | April 4, 2018

MXM4 is snowflake labeled.

lilbean | April 4, 2018

It may be safer to take the S. We almost got hit head on when an idiot decided to pass at the wrong time.

lilbean | April 4, 2018

Also, every Model S I’ve seen in Mammoth did not have the Tesla chains.

Silver2K | April 4, 2018

hammer @OR-US | April 4, 2018
"For MS with 19' tires"

how expensive are 19 ft tires!?!?

GHammer | April 4, 2018

The lift kit to put those puppies on was the expensive part!

GHammer | April 4, 2018

"MXM4 is snowflake labeled."

They are M+S rated but not "Mountain/snowflake" or Severe Snow and Winter rated.

lilbean | April 5, 2018

Head on up @SCCRENDO. No lift lines right now!

High Plains Drifter | April 5, 2018

Take the SUV to the mountains. Only a fool would deliberately drive to a ski resort (snow country) with a low clearance vehicle.

SCCRENDO | April 5, 2018

Intended to ski Saturday and Sunday but winds up to 70 mph are forecast on Saturday so I think we are going to skip it.
@High Plains Drifter. I only have a Model S and Model 3 so I guess I will have to be a fool if I drive up.

AlsoRan | April 5, 2018

All season tires stamped M+S satisfy California requirements.


1 Snow-tread Tires: The California Vehicle Code, Section 558 defines a snow-tread tire as follows, "A 'Snow-tread tire' is a tire which has a relatively deep and aggressive tread pattern compared with conventional passenger tread pattern". Snow-tread tires can be identified by examining the sidewall of the tire where the letters MS, M/S, M+S or the words MUD AND SNOW have been stamped into the sidewall.

Silver2K | April 5, 2018

S with snow tires is fine. It's a tank in snow, any depth!

GHammer | April 5, 2018

"Only a fool would deliberately drive to a ski resort (snow country) with a low clearance vehicle."

I guess I'm a fool, I do it all the time and I have to drive over two mountain passes to get there. Never had a problem

SCCRENDO | April 5, 2018

@hammer. Do you use chains or snow tires??

lilbean | April 5, 2018

70 mph winds? Yikes! It was fairly windy today. It didn’t bother me because it cools me down. It’s spring conditions in Mammoth right now. We took the low clearance Jag once. The front end worked like a snowplow. :) There are plenty of Teslas up here.

lilbean | April 5, 2018

This Afternoon: Mostly cloudy, with a high near 55. Southwest wind around 10 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.

Tonight: A 40 percent chance of rain, mainly after 11pm. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 36. Southwest wind around 10 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.

Friday: Rain. High near 53. Southwest wind around 10 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%.

Friday Night: Rain. The rain could be heavy at times. Low around 40. Southwest wind around 15 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%.

Saturday: Rain before 11am, then showers after 11am. The rain could be heavy at times. High near 48. Windy, with a southwest wind 15 to 20 mph increasing to 25 to 30 mph in the morning. Winds could gust as high as 50 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%.

Saturday Night: A 20 percent chance of snow showers before 11pm. Partly cloudy, with a low around 24.

Sunday: Sunny, with a high near 55.

GHammer | April 5, 2018

@SCCRENDO Blizzak lm-32 snow tires. I carry the Trak Sport chains but in three years the only time they've been on is in my garage.

rlevin | April 5, 2018

All-season tires get you through R1 restrictions.

All-seasons + AWD get you through R3.

Only the good lord gets you through R3.

AWD Model S is a beast in the snow (although we are apparently "fools" for driving it there).

To meet the Caltrans/CHP requirements of carrying chains, we purchased "Snow Socks." They seem great and get great reviews. Have yet to need to use them, though.

rlevin | April 5, 2018

CORRECTION: All-seasons + AWD get you through R2.

lilbean | April 6, 2018

Lots of rain right now. It’s a good choice to skip the trip this weekend.

AmpUp | April 6, 2018

We just got back from there last night. All the roads are clear. In fact, there is barely any snow, even off road, where cars can go, only on the higher elevations. I drove a Model S with summer tires and had no problems....

lilbean | April 7, 2018

So sad. The rain is melting the snow. :(

lilbean | April 16, 2018

Mammoth got four inches last week and three inches last night. It's still snowing.

lilbean | October 9, 2018

Did anyone get their IKON pass in the mail? It doesn’t look like it’s RFID. :(

lilbean | October 9, 2018

Never mind. I think it is RFID.

eddiemontilla | April 2, 2019

JazzyB, I am taking my rear wheel Model 3 up to Mammoth April 3-5. i would love to borrow your chains.
i am a Fireman in Los Angeles and would take good care and be respectful..310-528-9802. let me know... thank you

lilbean | April 2, 2019

I don’t think you’ll need chains. It’s not supposed to snow until Friday 6pm.