What is an AutoSock?Oct 10th, 2022
We all travel, and the winter months can be treacherous. Ice, snow and rain, the Oregon climate always seems to keep residents on their toes. To combat the weather, some folks opt for all-weather or winter tires, or simply decide to struggle to throw on a set of chains in the elements. What most may not know however, is that there’s an easier option. That would be the AutoSock. The AutoSock works how it sounds; they are socks for your tires!
Snow socks (also known as tire socks or auto socks) are textile devices that wrap around the tires of a vehicle to increase traction on snow and ice. They are normally composed of a woven fabric with an elastomer attached to the inner edge. The fabric covers the tire tread and is the contact point between the vehicle and the road. The elastic band keeps the sock in place and makes installation easy. Some snow socks have an additional component that covers the rim of the tire, which prevents snow or debris from gathering between the tread and the sock. The AutoSock is reusable as well, just throw the cotton sock in the dryer and it will be ready for use again.
Not only are they easier to install than traditional chains, but they are also more affordable than swapping out tires for all-weather ones. The AutoSock is available in most sizes and works best with AWD vehicles. Just like tire chains, it is important to have the right size for your tires as they are size-specific. Snow chains are more durable and can be used on dry surfaces (e.g. by skidders), but when damaged they risk tearing up the wheel well or wrapping around the axle and brake lines. Snow chains can also cause damage to the rim, directly to the pavement or other vehicles on the road as the “fly” off your vehicle. This makes the AutoSock a great alternative for someone that is weary of traditional chains.
When regions invoke snow chain laws – a common precautionary measure during inclement weather – tire socks are generally not considered a legal equivalent to snow chains. However, some snow sock brands are individually approved according to the related governing body like CDOT (Colorado Department of Transportation). In Oregon, the AutoSock is approved as an alternative traction device for snow chains.
We hope this guide was able to help you better understand how the AutoSock works and why they are beneficial. For more information on the AutoSock such as sizing or frequently asked questions, please visit their website. Looking for an AutoSock Set? Stop by our parts department!