Frequently Asked Questions

Not sure about Textile Snow Chains? Size, Fitting, Installation, Durability, Regulations? Find your Answers here.

How does AutoSock work?

Textiles tend to stick to dry snow and ice. The arranged fibres, used for the road contact fabric of AutoSock, facilitate the textile to absorb and ‘wick away’ any water between the ground and the tyre, thereby maximizing the dry friction grip. Each thread of the road contact fabric consists of more than 100 fine high-performance fibres, which lead to a “hairy” surface of the AutoSock traction fabric. These “hairs” penetrate the slippery water film and connect the tyres directly to the surface (snow). With correct use, AutoSock becomes “hairier” and even improves performance over time.

How does AutoSock perform compared to winter tyres and snow chains? 

Proper winter tyres (not 'all season' tyres) are an excellent choice for the winter months but they have their limitations. Winter tyres lose grip when the combination of snow and slope counts against them. Drivers worldwide are using AutoSock on winter tyres to e.g., climb steeper hills on icy roads and for making safe descents in loaded vehicles. 

AutoSock does meet all performance, safety and durability requirements of any snow chain standard worldwide. AutoSock can be more effective than snow chains in many situations, especially on ice. 

Is AutoSock suitable for use in mountain areas?

Yes, absolutely! AutoSock increases grip even with winter tyres on steeper roads, covered with snow.
AutoSock is an accepted alternative to snow chains in New Zealand.
In case it is mandatory to carry or even mount snow chains, AutoSock is a legal alternative to snow chains in Northern America, the EU (except Austria), Switzerland and Asia.

Does AutoSock work on ice?

Yes, AutoSock works well on ice. Depending on the conditions, AutoSock even works better than snow chains. 

How durable is AutoSock?

We initiate and support testing both in-house and through third parties on a regular basis. In order to obtain certification according to new EN16662-1:2020, AutoSock must pass at least 120km on dry asphalt without any safety relevant damages. In addition, durability is tested on snow-covered test tracks for several hundred kilometres. AutoSock warrants proper use and we highly recommend reading the included instructions before use. By avoiding unnecessary wheelspin and longer distances on clear roads, AutoSock will last a long time.

What makes AutoSock different to the competition?

AutoSock is the inventor of snow socks and developed them in cooperation with leading specialists in the fields of friction, yarns, fabrics and testing. This alone, but not only this, gives our products a unique selling proposition. 

There is no other textile traction device with more than 20 years of research and development, which includes continuous test driving, technical development and optimization. 

AutoSock has been developed in collaboration with automotive manufacturers – not just sold to them. AutoSock holds a globally leading number of approvals by automotive manufacturers.

Additionally, our products are covered by a solid product liability insurance in all our 60+ markets. When considering the purchase of snow socks, we highly recommend requesting certificates of approvals and inquiring about a potential liability insurance. Unfortunately, the current market is saturated with false claims. 

Does AutoSock damage roads?

No, AutoSock does not damage roads. AutoSock is completely made of textiles and does not contain any metal parts. Different to snow chains, which can lead to significant road damage each winter season, AutoSock does not harm road surfaces more than conventional tyres. 

Where can I find the correct AutoSock size for my vehicle?

You can find the correct AutoSock size for your vehicle by using our size finder to make sure AutoSock fits your specific tyre dimensions. Select the tyre width, the tyre profile as well as the wheel diameter and search for the according AutoSock model. 

To find your tyre code, please look on the sidewall of the tyres you would like to use AutoSock with. 

Please note that the tyre dimensions on our packaging only reflect the most common dimensions. Our online size finder includes an extended database that should be referenced if you can’t find your size on our packaging. 

If you can't find your tyre size, please double check you have noted it correctly. If you still can’t find the according AutoSock model, please send an inquiry to info@alpinesnowproducts.co.nz or to info@autosock.com.

How many AutoSock do I need?

As with snow chains, AutoSock is installed on the driving wheels of your vehicle. Your vehicle owner's manual has information about fitting of snow chains that you should refer to.

How many Autosock do I need for my 4x4 vehicle? 

For four-wheel drive vehicles, refer to the manufacturer's recommendation in your vehicle owner's manual concerning traction devices / snow chains. We usually recommend mounting AutoSock on all four tyres for 4WD, but some manufacturers may recommend mounting traction devices on the rear or front tyres only.  

Should AutoSock be mounted on the front or rear wheels? 

AutoSock must be mounted on the driving wheels. In case you have front wheel drive, mount AutoSock on the front wheels. 

If you have rear wheel drive, please mount AutoSock to the rear wheels. In order to increase braking and steering performance, it makes sense to also mount AutoSock on the front wheels. Please check and follow the instructions of your vehicle`s owner manual concerning traction devices / snow chains. Some manufacturers do not allow mounting of traction devices to the front wheels.  

How do I install and remove AutoSock?

The installation of AutoSock works with three simple steps.

Stretch the black elastic band of AutoSock over the top half of your tyre and pull the snow sock down, covering as much of the tyre as possible. Make sure the black elastic band sits behind the tyre tread.

Move the vehicle until the mounted half is under the wheel, then pull the AutoSock over the remaining part of the tyre. AutoSock will automatically self-center when you start driving. 

How do I take care of my AutoSock?

AutoSock improves with use as the fabrics become fuzzier. AutoSock does not require maintenance, but we recommend shaking out dirt after use and letting it dry properly before repacking. AutoSock is machine washable at 40°C / 100°F. Please take AutoSock off overnight. 

Is AutoSock reusable?

All components of AutoSock are engineered and tested for longevity and numerous mounting processes. AutoSock can be installed and uninstalled many times without problems.

I already have AutoSock: will they fit my new car?

AutoSock can be shared between multiple vehicles and tyre sizes. Please check the compatible sizes stated on the AutoSock packaging, or use our size finder to make sure AutoSock fits the other vehicle's tyre dimensions.

Can I drive on cleared roads with AutoSock?

It is okay to keep AutoSock mounted for shorter sections of cleared roads when you know there will be more snow or ice to come.  Autosock is a textile product and wear will increase when driving on clear roads. We therefore advice to take off AutoSock when you do not need them anymore to make them last longer. 

Will AutoSock damage my wheels?

No, AutoSock will not damage your tyres nor rims. All components are made of textile and evenly cover tyres and rims. AutoSock can even be used on optional tyres and rims where mounting of snow chains is not advised. 

Can I use AutoSock on cars with low clearance in the wheel well? 

Yes, Autosock works very well on vehicles with low clearance. With less than 3mm thickness and low weight, AutoSock requires very little space compared to conventional snow chains.

Does AutoSock work with electronic safety systems (ABS, ESP, etc.)? 

Yes, it does. The AutoSock traction fabric evenly covers the whole surface of the tyre, there is no change in traction level as experienced with most snow chains. This means AutoSock works perfectly with any electronic safety system and you can keep them activated while driving with AutoSock. 

How do I drive with AutoSock?

AutoSock created traction on the surface of the ice or snow layer. This is a major difference to conventional snow chains that need to “dig” into the snow or ice in order to create friction. 

AutoSock should be driven slowly, carefully and without wheel spinning. Avoid sudden, unnecessary hard braking and speeding. Please take them off once you have reached cleared roads.  

What is the maximum speed for driving with AutoSock? 

AutoSock for passenger cars should not be driven faster than 50km/h or 30mph. This is similar to the max. speed of conventional snow chains. The maximum speed for AutoSock for trucks, busses and forklifts is 30km/h or 20 mph. However, please adapt your speed to the current road and weather conditions. On a slippery road even 30 km/h or 20mph can be too speedy.

Can I leave AutoSock on the tyres overnight? 

No, please take them off overnight: AutoSock will take up a lot of moisture during driving and when you leave the sock on overnight, the water might freeze. This could impact the dynamic behavior of AutoSock. Therefore, we recommend taking off AutoSock after usage and let it dry. 

When do I need to replace AutoSock? 

AutoSock uses a unique two-layer fabric design: The traction fabric is white on the outside and black on the inside. Once you can see the black fabric on the outside, it is time to replace them with a new set of AutoSock. 

The white traction fabric will become “wooly” / hairier after some kilometers. This is part of the design and will lead to an increased surface area, thus creating even more friction. 

In addition to the above, there will be small holes and cuts in the fabric with increased mileage. This is perfectly normal and does not harm the performance or safety of the product. 

Can I use AutoSock on sand, in mud or on grass?

Although it is not designed or approved for such applications, customers have reported that AutoSock works well especially in fine sand. It might also improve traction on wet grass, but as soon as mud covers the sock, there will be no positive effect. 

Can I use AutoSock when snow chains are mandatory?  

AutoSock is an accepted alternative to snow chains in New Zealand.
AutoSock is a legal alternative to snow chains for cars and trucks in the majority of Northern America, Europe and Asia. AutoSock is certified according to the latest standards such as the new European winter traction standard EN16662-1:2020 for passenger cars. AutoSock is therefore the legal alternative to snow chains in any member state of the European Union except Austria. In addition, AutoSock is officially accepted in Switzerland when snow chains are mandatory.

Is AutoSock legal? 

AutoSock is an accepted alternative to snow chains in New Zealand.
AutoSock is a legal alternative to snow chains (tyre chains) for cars and also trucks in the majority of Northern America, Europe and Asia. AutoSock is certified according to the latest standards such as the new European winter traction standard EN16662-1:2020 for passenger cars and is a legal alternative to snow chains in any EU member state except Austria. In addition, AutoSock is officially accepted in Switzerland when snow chains are mandatory.

Does AutoSock have a liability insurance?

Yes, AutoSock does have a substantial, international liability insurance in place, covering our full range of products in all markets.  

What is included in the AutoSock product package?

One pack of AutoSock contains two snow socks, a pair of long gloves to protect your clothes and hands during mounting and an instruction manual in various languages.

I cannot find my tyres in the AutoSock size finder – what shall I do? 

Please double check the values you have selected in the size finder application. If everything is correct, but the size finder does not show you a suitable AutoSock size, simply send us a mail with your tyre dimensions to info@alpinesnowproducts.co.nz

How can I contact AutoSock?  

Contact us:

Alpine Snow Products Ltd
Tanga Road
Taumarunui 3992
Mobile: +6427 289 9483
Email: info@alpinesnowproducts.co.nz