How to get the best use from your AutoSock snow socks
Here are some notes about what to expect from AutoSock, and some tips about how to get the best use from them:
General driving tips
First of all, please read the instructions, especially the comment "Avoid spinning the wheels, extreme braking and acceleration, since this could damage the product."
The usual rules of driving in snow apply, i.e. pull off slowly, stay in as high a gear as possible, "anticipate" even more than normal, avoid hard braking.
The speed limit of 30mph / 50kph will seem quite fast enough on snow. It is a maximum speed, not a recommended speed!
Specific driving tips
Some suggestions for situations where AutoSock are not making the difference expected:
On a rear wheel drive car, uphill slope, sheet ice: You need some weight in the boot – it makes all the difference. Don’t just spin the wheels and trash the AutoSock.
On a hill in really slushy snow. You may drive forward then slip. The AutoSock are sticking to the snow but there isn’t enough strength in the snow to hold the weight of the vehicle. Roll back down a few feet, compressing the snow and driving out the water. Then try again, moving further up the hill than before. Three steps up, two back.
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. See below. AutoSock are the only snow socks that have been tested and approved to be used in France as an equivalent snow chain product. You will need to make sure you have the correct sticker if you are going to be using AutoSock in France. Please click here for details.
How long will they last?
Fundamentally, the more you drive on clear roads / gritted tarmac, the faster they will wear out and the sooner you will need to buy another set.
They are a "Get you out of trouble" solution and are not intended for prolonged use. You will probably use them to get down to the gritted road, then you take them off ASAP it is safe to do so.
From the instructions: "The wear limit is reached as soon as 50% of the white road-contact fabric is worn out and the underlying black safety material has become visible."
You will find that small holes start to appear as they become worn. This is no big deal and will not affect their performance until it becomes obvious that they are looking ragged and well worn – then they need replacing. If they are ripped, this is due to snagging on e.g. a loose mudguard, a loose screw on a wheel arch liner, some other third party influence. (If you hear them catching on something, stop and sort it out!)
There are bands of Kevlar running across the AutoSock; these provide overall strength, help to prevent the socks from splitting after misuse, and help prevent holes from spreading.
Overall, use your common sense about how long to use them, and of course and where possible you should avoid potholes, raised manholes etc.
Don’t forget to remove your AutoSock at night. You don’t want them freezing to the ground!
A 'wear and tear' guide pdf is available to view. Click on the thumbnail below.