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We'll go to a ski trip and there will be a lot of snow/ice on the roads. What have you used with your R-class 4Matic and if not used, have you carried something "just in case"?..
 

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We'll go to a ski trip and there will be a lot of snow/ice on the roads. What have you used with your R-class 4Matic and if not used, have you carried something "just in case"?..
I wouldn't use snow chains unless they were mandatory (some parts of the Colorado high country require them, for example). If not attached correctly, they can really damage your car. Also, if you wait until you actually need them to put them on, it may be too late, but on the other hand you don't want to be driving with them on dry pavement.

The beauty of winter tires is "they're always there for you" -- you put them on at the beginning of the winter season, take them off at the end, and don't have to think about them in between. For most parts of the country, winter tires, particularly in combination with 4matic, should work great even in ski areas. My experience has been that the best snow/ice traction can be found with Bridgestone Blizzaks. I have driven now a total of 6 vehicles now with winter tires (4 different brands of winter tires) in the last 18 years: 1 with front-wheel drive, 4 with all-wheel, and one with rear-wheel drive and have never had a serious problem with traction even under some pretty treacherous conditions.
 

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What ptbowman said. Definitely invest in winter tires. It's nice to have them for conditions that don't require chains, but are probably too much for all-seasons to handle.

If you think it's going to get that bad where you're headed, bring a set of snow chains if you feel like, but DEFINITELY read about how to use them properly in the manual.
 

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I have an R63 for which I purchased and have used snow cables on all 4 wheels for my ski trips in Northern California. When I contacted Mercedes for their position regarding snow chains on this vehicle they said absolutely not. However, I contacted a gentleman who specializes in snow chains and difficult fitment applications (he is a ski fanatic) and he was able to set me up without any problems. Thomas is located in San Diego but to ensure and guarantee proper fit, he will not sell unless you are able to bring the vehicle to him in person. I was so concerned about chain fitment that I had the salesperson at the San Diego dealer where I purchased my vehicle bring my R63 to Thomas for fitment confirmation before I ever saw the vehicle in person! The salesperson even had the chains in their carrying bag in the vehicle when I went in to do the paperwork and took delivery!

If snow cables will fit all four wheels of my vehicle which has 265-R45-20 tires, it should not be a problem for any of the other R Models. True, a 4matic vehicle can handle some pretty nasty snow conditions without chains, but having snowcables gives me a little more peace of mind.

Here is Thomas' website for those who might be interested:
snowtraction.com
 

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I am a tech for Mercedes and in NO WAY especially on an r63 should you put snow chains - I also live in Colorado and chains are NOT FOR YOUR BENZ! Causes way more
problems than its worth, trust me! Get good winter tires and if you want to drive your
500 horsepower van in the snow, dont expect traction without tracks!
 

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Benztech601,
I appreciate and respect your thoughts regarding this topic but unless there is a technical reason having to do with the the incompatability of the 4matic system with snow cables as opposed to fitment/clearance issues, I respectfully disagree.

First, I never have nor would I ever drive this vehicle in snow as if it were a rallye car whether it had 503hp or 53hp. Yes, it would be great to have a set of "Blizzaks" sitting in the corner of my garage ready to go, but for the relatively miniscule amount of time that the vehicle is in snow, much less shod in snowcables, this solution is not cost effective. If I lived in an area of the country, like Colorado, where snow is a much more common and prolonged issue I definitely see your point and the advantage of a set of snow tires. However, in California, especially in Southern California, we drive hundreds of miles to get to the snow and once at our destination, drive 50 miles or less in it. This is the reason why I believe that in this scenario the snow cables make the most sense. In addition, I have literally driven the 300 miles to the snow and exited the freeway and come upon a California Highway Patrol chain inspection at the bottom of the offramp requiring chains. I have had to install my cables less than 8 miles from my destination. Also, while I am not familiar with Colorado vehicle codes regarding chain requirements, in California, ALL vehicles must carry chains and must show them at a chain inspection area. The CHP has three different chain requirements depending upon snow conditions called "R" ratings. Some vehicles may not be required to use chains under all conditions, but ALL vehicles must carry chains.
The California chain inspection requirements are:

R-1 chains required except for vehicles with snow tires (chains required for any vehicle pulling a trailer)

R-2 chains required except for 4-wheel drive with snow tires

R-3 chains required for all vehicles

Please note that in California, under R-3 conditions, a Blizzak snow tire equipped vehicle, without chains/cables, would be turned around and not allowed to proceed while my vehicle, with snow cables, would be allowed to continue. Again, I appreciate your input but for the reasons above, snow cables offer the best solution.
 

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Those who would ignore Mercedes technical specifications get what they deserve.

It's not as if they know better.
Sift through the manuals, noting that lawyers write much of the warnings and boilerplate for MB.:)
 

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R-3 chains required for all vehicles

Please note that in California, under R-3 conditions, a Blizzak snow tire equipped vehicle, without chains/cables, would be turned around and not allowed to proceed while my vehicle, with snow cables, would be allowed to continue. Again, I appreciate your input but for the reasons above, snow cables offer the best solution.
MW - btw, have you seen R-3 conditions imposed in the Sierras? Don't they usually just close the road? I have never witnessed this in the Lake Tahoe area.
 

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Snow chains on R500 4-matic

If you read your manual, it can be done but:

Please observe the following guidelines
when using snow chains:
 Use of snow chains is not permissible
with all wheel/tire combinations
( page 532).
 Snow chains should only be used on
the rear wheels. Follow the manufacturer’s
mounting instructions.
 Only use snow chains that are
approved by Mercedes-Benz. Your
authorized Mercedes-Benz Light Truck
Center will be glad to advise you on this
subject.
 Use of snow chains may be prohibited
depending on location. Always check
local and state laws before installing
snow chains.
 Do not use snow chains on the spare
wheel ( page 534).
 
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