If tire chains are recommended where you live, it’s important to get them before you need them. In some places that get heavy snowfall, a tire snow chain for your tires is actually mandatory. Check with the local authorities to know any laws pertaining to tire chains before driving in areas that might get heavy snowfall, such as mountainous terrain. This will help ensure you have the right chains for the conditions.
Getting the Right Fitment
Tires chains need to be fitted to your tires and your vehicle. You will need to get the tire size from the sidewall of your tires. If you have snow tires, you’ll need longer chains than if you have all-season tires because the tread and shape of the tire are a little different. Check the owner’s manual of your vehicle to know the clearance of the tire chains. You may also want to think about the type of driving you to plan to do. There are singles and dual chains, depending on the types of roads you’ll encounter. Also, tire chains are meant to be fitted to the driven wheels. If you have a front-wheel-drive or rear-wheel drive, you’ll only need one set of tire chains, which come in pairs. If you have four-wheel drive, get two sets of chains to give you maximum traction. Order tire chains from the same place you would get your headlights.
Ensure Your Safety During Installation
Don’t try to install your tire chains for the first time when you’re out on the road. Practice at home on dry ground before you need them. A parking lot or your garage is the perfect place to make sure that you can install your tire chains safely. Make sure you have a level surface. Engage the parking brake.
Lay each chain in front of the wheel. Make sure the chains aren’t tangled up. Wrap the chain around the tire. You should get about 75% coverage of the circumference of the tire.
Tuck the extra ends of the chains under the tire. Move the vehicle ahead a few feet to gain access to the rest of the tire. Connect the two ends of the chain. Ensure alignment and fit. If you are fitting the chains to the front tires, you may want to turn the steering wheel to have more space to work. Ideally, if you were actually putting them on in snowy conditions, you would drive slowly for about five minutes on a flat surface to make you get the tire chains on correctly. If you are practicing, you won’t do that step, because you shouldn’t use chains on dry surfaces.
Try to chain up before you need to. Pull your car off to a safe place. Keep your headlights on if conditions suggest you need to. Try to avoid chaining up on the side of a hill or mountain. For safety’s sake, you want a flat surface. Use patience, especially when chaining up during a snowstorm. Your safety is more important than any deadline when you’re driving on snowy roads.