How to Put on Snow Tire Chains and Drive Safely

Tire Chains Parts

Have you been struggling to know how to put on tire chains and drive safely? You actually don’t need to overthink it. We know that many drivers are not familiar with snow chains. And it is likely that you too need professional guidance to be able to do it in a simple way.

Imagine you are driving your car in a mountainous area in the worst winter weather and others are struggling to cope with the situation, but your car tires are getting sufficient traction and you comfortably continue with the journey. Would you not appreciate the service you get from your snow chains?

But right now it is highly probable that the possibility of ever traveling in bad weather is giving you sleepless nights. Many motorists hesitate to buy snow chains or do not know how to install them properly. If you fall into this category, you have no reason to feel sorry for yourself. Here, we will give you simple tricks on how to put on tire chains and drive like a pro.

When Should I Use Snow Chains?

We have already talked about the winter weather. Of course, it is one occasion when you need to use the chain. However, you need them whenever you notice that snow is coming, driving conditions are nasty, the road is slick, and dirty water is dripping off the wells of your vehicle. 

Do These Two Things Before You Leave

Before you leave for any journey, ask yourself whether you are able to put your drive chains safely. You should never make an emergency occasion the first time you are installing a snow chain. Before you leave, do the following:

  1. Practice until you are sure you are up to the task. Install your chains in a dry garage or driveway. If not, seek professional assistance. Your chains should be the appropriate size and you feel comfortable to do the work.
  2. Assemble a simple winter- road- trip -safety kit with all the items you need, including warm gloves and waterproof layers. Carry it as well as your snow chains whenever you are driving during winter.

When and How to Install Your Tire Chains

The only time you should boldly start installing your tire chains is when there is an emergency and you are comfortable and ready to hit the snow. Here are the simple steps that you need to follow.

  1. Ensure Your Safety

If you are driving, quickly puff off onto a safe shoulder and then put on your hazard lights. Consequently, Put on all your waterproof layers, gloves, headlamp, and hat.

  1. Use the Right Drive Chains

Is your vehicle is a front-wheel-drive? Your chains will go on the front. If it is a rear-wheel drive, they will go on the back. Consult your owner’s manual if your car is an all-wheel drive.

  1. Pull Out Chains and the Instructions

Now pull out the instructions and your first snow chain from the bag. Use the plastic instruction bag as the barrier between you and the snow.

  1. Untangle Your Snow Chains

Hold the chains from the plastic-covered cable, making sure everything is straight. The blue end should be on your right and the yellow one on your left hand. Also, make the chains to hang loosely and the metal hooks to face away from you.

  1. Connect the Chains Safely

 Put the chains on the ground behind the tire and be sure the end of the yellow cable enters first under the wheels from the right to the left side. Move on and grab both ends of the chains as soon as they are centered behind the wheel and then move them up over your tire.

  1. Connect the Red Hook

Since you have connected the cable on top, now connect the red one on the right to the first gold link on the left.

  1. Check the Diamond Shape

Push the connected chain over the top of your tire, and you will see the diamond shape against the tire. Put the center rail down the middle of the tire tread, which exists between each of the diamonds.

  1. Connect the Red Chain

At this point, look directly opposite the cable connection to find the red hook. Connect the one available on the right to the first gold link that you see on the left. Ensure the connected chain sets securely on top of your tire.

Pull the bottom of the chain towards yourself. These include a red draw chain that has a bungee on the right as well as a chain guide on the left.

Pull the long red chain tightly as much as you can until it locks safely into place once you have run it through the chain guide.

Use the bungee end to pull the chain at least once over the red loops and then secure it to the gold-side chain that you see on the opposite side of the red loops.

  1. Repeat on Second Tire

Follow the same procedure to install the chains on the other side of your car.

  1. Drive Forward Slightly

Drive forward about 15 feet to allow the chains to settle in the tires.

  1. Retighten Chains

For you to be able to take up any slack, unhook the rubber end of the draw chain and after that pull it tight once again. Guide the red chain through the loops and lastly ensure you latch the bungee to the gold-side chain safely.

How to Drive with Snow Chains on Your Tires

We recommend driving with great care when using snow chains. Excessive acceleration will put unbearable pressure on your snow chains and likely cause them to snap.

If you over speed, you make it difficult for you to hear indications that you need to stop immediately and remove the chains or replace them.

Always drive gently. What’s more, you should completely avoid driving on bare pavement and braking and starting suddenly.

Removing Snow Chains from Your Tires

Snow chains limit how fast you can go. As we have seen, they also pose to you a few risks. As such, it is great to learn how to put on tire chains properly and how to remove them.

Whenever there is no snow on the road, pull over in safe place and start removing them by unhooking the chain as well as bungee from the guide and then removing them from the tensioner.

Once you do that, you need to unlatch the red hook then and remove the yellow and blue cable connection. Ensure all your drive chain lies flat on the ground and then pull away slowly. That is all. You can now safely pick up your snow chains and store them.

How to Pack and Store Snow Chains

Since you will need your drive chain again in the future, ensure you lay them in your garage to dry. This way, you will prevent rust from destroying them.

Also, check them for any tear and wear. If you notice flat spits, ensure you replace your chains for safety reasons.


Do you Put Tire Chains on the Front or Rear?

Where you put your tire chains depends on your car type. If you have a front-wheel-drive automobile, install your snow chains on your front tired. For rear-wheel-drive, do it on the rear wheels. Put the chain on the front tire for your four-wheeler to grant yourself adequate steering traction.

How Fast Can you drive with Tire Chains?

You can drive with tire chains at a maximum speed of 30 to 50 km/h, depending on your owner’s manual.

Are Cables or Chains Better?

Tire chains are better than tire cables because they offer better traction and are long-lasting. Motorists often use the cable on 4WD vehicles and chains on 2WDs.

Do Chains Help on Ice?

Chains help on ice as they not only increase traction on the road but also break icy surfaces.

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