Installing snow chains

Safe driving, even in winter

With the arrival of winter comes icy roads, rain, and frost. What never goes away is being in a hurry and having to deal with traffic. Of course, in less than perfect road conditions, it’s also pretty easy to risk getting into an accident. And sometimes, even winter tires aren’t enough. So, how can we feel safer, besides always being very careful? Thanks to snow chains for cars!

Snow chains for cars: how they work

Snow chains work in an extremely simple way: they increase the amount of grip the tires have on the road when it is icy or covered with snow. The increased traction between the car and the road makes driving in adverse winter conditions much safer, as it reduces the possibility of cars losing control and skidding on icy surfaces.

Snow chains
Snow chains, or tire chains

Car snow chains are not a fixed item that must be kept fitted at all times. They are a series of chains are wrapped around the tires and fit securely to the wheels so that they do not shift during movement. The need for them to stay put is why it is extremely important to choose the right size of snow chains, as it could be very dangerous to buy the wrong type. In fact, well-fitted snow chains can even outperform winter tires. They are much thicker than the tread of your tires, even if you have winter tires, which makes them more efficient in creating grip on the road.

How to fit snow chains

Chains should be mounted on the wheels that propel the car forward, the ones that make traction to understand each other. If your car is a front-wheel drive, this is where snow chains will be most needed to keep your car safe while driving on ice. If your car is rear-wheel drive, you’ll need to fit chains to the rear tires instead. You can drive with snow chains on all four tires, but this is generally considered unnecessary unless you have a 4×4 vehicle.

Snow chains for cars
Installed snow chains on car tires

What are snow chains made of

Chains are made of a strong, durable metal that allows them to take the full weight of your vehicle without breaking. You can count on your car snow chains to last for many winters as long as you use them safely and under the right conditions. Never drive on surfaces that are not covered in ice and/or snow while you have chains installed.

Tire chains explained

There’s a good chance that without the layer of snow to protect you from chains, it can severely damage both the road surface and your tires. You’ll also drastically reduce the life expectancy of your chains and tires if you drive on asphalt or hard surfaces with chains installed. To make sure they do their job to protect you on those winter roads, also make sure you always obey the limits: don’t drive faster than 20 mph when they’re fitted.

The theory of car snow chains

Car snow chains are used to help vehicles overcome traces where the snow is particularly heavy or dense. In fact, they are usually used in mountainous areas that see a lot of snow during the winter. So how do they work? It’s actually a pretty simple process: traction and wheel slip are the two factors to consider.

Snow chains wrap around the tread of your tires and lock securely to prevent slippage. Basically, they allow your tires to get a better grip on snow- and ice-covered roads, giving your vehicle more traction and better control. Different sized chains are made for different sized tires, so make sure you get the right size. As mentioned above: using chains for the wrong size tires can damage your tires.

In addition to gaining traction by biting into the snowy surface, snow chains increase it by preventing wheel spin. Wheelspin occurs when the force delivered to the tire tread by the motor is greater than the friction between the tread and the available surface – an event that causes tires to lose traction.

IF everything is clear just make sure you buy the right size of car chains.