How to Install Snow Tire Chains

469697297Snow chains are crucial for driving in certain weather conditions, as driving without them can cause you to lose control of your car. Installing snow tire chains can be a pain once you’re actually in the snow. If you’re able to put them on before you reach snowy conditions, you’ll make your life a lot easier. Below are simple tips for installing tire chains in any weather.

  1. Lay out the Chains

Lay your chains out and make sure there aren’t any kinks or twists in the metal. If you can do this before dark, and before reaching snow, the process will be much easier.

  1. Fit the Chains over the Top of the Tire

Make sure your car is in park and that your parking brake is on. Put the straightened chains over the top of your tire. Try for three-quarters of the top of the tire and that the chains are straight running from side-to-side. If you have rings on your chains, make sure those are resting on the inside of the tire near the bottom. Tuck the chains under your tire.

  1. Slowly Drive over the Chains

Release the parking break and put your car in gear. Slowly roll forward just a bit, in order to roll over the section of the chains that is not yet fitted onto the tire. Put the car in park and engage the parking brake once again.

  1. Connect the Chains

Connect the two hooked edges at the inner part of the tire (the part close to the tire axle). Then connect the edges at the outer part of the tire. Make the chain links as tight as possible. Don’t use any tightening tools on link unit chains. If you have traditional chains, you can use tightening tools on those. You can use a bungee cord to make the links tighter as well.

  1. Check Your Work

Inspect the tires to make sure the chains are aligned, from the inner to the outer connections. Also make sure there is equal tension throughout.

  1. Repeat the Process

Do the same process for the other tires on your car. If you have experience putting chains on, you can install both the front and rear chains at the same time.

  1. Retighten after Half a Mile

Once you’ve driven about half a mile, pull over to a safe location and retighten any part of the chains that have become loose. At the beginning of your drive, it is common for chains to loosen as they adjust. After this retightening, your chains should now be installed correctly for the rest of your journey.

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