Tire chains are otherwise known as snow chains. They come in handy when the snow and ice on the road is way thick and slick for your car’s tires. Vehicles’ tires can be fitted with these devices in order to give more traction when driving through slippery ice. We’ll walk you through simple steps in order to install tire chains.
Reminders Before Installing Tire Chains
Before you go about to install tire chains pull off the road completely and keep away from road traffic. Safety will be your highest concern when you’re out on a slippery road. Now that you are away and out of the traffic determine whether you have a front wheel drive car or a rear wheel drive vehicle. Your tire chains should be installed on your vehicle’s driving wheels.
You might want to check your car’s owner’s manual for any specifications you might miss. One thing you have to look for is if your vehicle has limited clearance with regard to using tire chains. If it is a class S, which simply means there is limited clearance, you should check further in your manual about installing tire chains on your type of vehicle. Traditional tire chains are not recommended for such types of vehicles, which means you will have to look for specific instructions from your car’s manufacturer.
Steps to Install Tire Chains
The first step to install tire chains is to turn off your engine and pull the emergency brake. Your passengers can wait in the car or wait outside in a location away from the traffic. Lay the tire chains on the ground keeping them flat and parallel to each side. Arrange the chains removing any tangles or twists present. Make sure that the sharp hooks are facing away from your tires.
Identify both the bow lever and the ‘C’ hook on each end of your tire chains. The other ends of your tire chains should have free links that have equal numbers on both sides. Reach behind the tires and insert the hooks to the third link on the other end of the chain. When you pull the slack make sure your doing it towards the edge of the tire. The hooks should be on the inner side of each tire.
Move over to the front and grab a bow lever. Insert it through the chain link and do this for each tire. To tighten the chains further pull the bow lever back past a link and insert it to the next one. Let go of the chains and check if they are centered on the tire. Make sure you have the same amount of free links on both on the inside of the tire and outside.
Reminders Before You Drive with Tire Chains
Once you’re done with the steps to install tire chains you should check if they fit the tires properly before you continue to drive. Chains should be tight on the wheels even without using any tools. The chains are too loose if you can fit your hand in between the tires and chains with ease. To tighten the chains, move each hook to the next link. Do the same for the bow lever to tighten the chains further. Drive a quarter of a mile forward and check the chains again just to make sure they’re secured tightly. Tighten the tire chains further if necessary.