Winter is here, and if you need to drive on snow-covered roads, chains are a must. Some areas even require chains on vehicles crossing mountain passes.
Before installing your chains, read the instructions on the plastic sheet that comes with them. Also, make sure that your tires have enough clearance for the chains to fit without rubbing against the car body or undercarriage.
Chains are a safety device
A chain is a serial assembly of connected pieces, called links, typically made of metal. It has a general character similar to that of a rope in that it is flexible and curved in compression but linear, rigid, and load-bearing in tension. It is used for a wide variety of applications. For example, it is an integral component of a jib or a winch for moving heavy loads. It is also used to support vehicles in the event of tire bursts or on icy roads, and it is often a requirement for driving in mountainous areas. In addition, a chain may be attached to the end of a vehicle’s axles to provide traction in snowy conditions.
Safety chains are a legal requirement for trailers and are designed to be hooked to the hitch loops of a towing vehicle. They prevent the trailer from becoming unattached during towing, which could lead to injury or death to the driver and passengers of the towing vehicle. The chains are bolted or welded to the front coupler of the trailer and to the hitch loops of the towing vehicle and must be correctly positioned to prevent off-tracking and severe lateral movement. They are available in capacities to handle 2,000 lbs. up to 7,500 lbs.
The length of safety chains is also important for their performance. The longer the chain, the more likely it is to engage a foreign object and initiate a kickback. However, shorter chains are less likely to do so. This is because they are designed to cradle the tongue of the trailer rather than pull it to one side.
There are many different types of chains, each with its own unique characteristics. For instance, snake chains are popular because of their sleek design and fluid movement. They are characterized by a slight point in the center of each link, which creates a chevron pattern that resembles snake skin. They are also less prone to catching on obstructions and are easier to install than traditional chains. Additionally, these chains are made from stainless steel to reduce corrosion and wear.
They protect your tires
When used correctly, chains protect your tires from damage. However, if your chains become loose while driving on dry roads, they can flap and hit the road surface with enough force to cause severe tire damage. If this happens, it’s important to stop your vehicle as soon as possible. Loose chains can also wrap around strut or shock components, which can be costly.
When choosing the right snow chains for your vehicle, look at the chain’s length and pattern to see if it fits your tires. The manufacturer will usually provide a chart that shows how many links are needed for the size of your tire. If you are unsure what type of chains your vehicle needs, check the owner’s manual, or ask an employee at your local auto shop.
If you are driving on a road that has been designated as chain-controlled, make sure to follow the warning signs and use chains only when necessary. This will help prevent the chains from damaging the roadway, and you’ll avoid getting fined. The traction offered by chains is much better than the tread on your regular tires, and they will get your car moving faster when it’s stuck in the snow.
You can find chains that fit most vehicles, but it’s important to buy the right size for your tires. The best way to do this is to measure the circumference of your tires. This information will be shown on the side of your tire and should be included in the owner’s manual. You can also find this information on the chain packaging.
To install the chains, first, pull them out towards you from underneath your car. Then, place them over your tire and connect the cable ends with one another. The chains should now encircle the tire, and you can use the red hook on the bottom of the chains to connect it with the gold chain guide on the top.
To secure the chains, drive your car forward about 15 feet or a full car length. This will give the chains a chance to settle in and tighten up. You should also re-tighten them after you’ve driven a short distance and periodically inspect them for looseness or damage.
They are easy to install
There are a few things to keep in mind when installing chains. First, you should always make sure that the road ahead is clear of snow or ice before putting on your chains. This way, you can drive at a reasonable speed and avoid getting honked at by angry motorists. Ideally, you should put the chains on all four tires to get your vehicle’s best traction and control.
Next, find a safe spot to pull over and park the car. You should also turn off the engine and set the parking brake before starting. You may need to jack the car up to gain access to the wheels. Make sure that the chains are centered on each tire and don’t tangle or twist. Once you have everything ready, straighten the wheel and lock the parking brake. Then, you can untangle the chains and lay them flat on the ground. The plastic instructions that come with your chains can be helpful for this step. Once the chains are laid, start putting them on. Start with the tire that is the drive wheel. Ensure that the chain length is straight and hangs about three-quarters of the way around the tire. Then, grab the attachment system (whether it’s a hook or clamp) and attach it to the outside of the tire facing you. Repeat this process for the remaining tires.
You should then drive your vehicle forward a few feet to bring the portion of each chain that was not accessible into view. This will give you much easier access to the chain connection points and save your wheel wells from any potential damage. Finally, you can reach under the vehicle and connect the other end of each chain with its own fastening point. Be sure to leave a few feet of slack so that you can tighten the connection later on.
Remember that chains are not designed to be driven at high speeds. In fact, driving at more than 25 mph with chains can damage both your vehicle and the chains. This is why you should only drive with them if absolutely necessary.
They are a good investment
Most people have experienced that panicked moment when their car’s traction on icy roads starts to slip, and the car shudders as they try to keep control. Chains can help prevent this situation, and they are a good investment for winter drivers. They are especially recommended for those who live in snowy areas or regularly drive on mountainous roads.
When choosing a set of chains, look for ones that are made of durable material and can hold up to repeated use. Metal chains are typically heavier and more expensive than plastic models, but they offer superior traction. The best way to determine the right type of chains for your vehicle is to ask a professional who will be able to recommend a good brand. There are also several different types of chains, from diamond to ladder-style, so be sure to choose the one that will best suit your needs.
Once you’ve chosen your chains, you’ll need to install them. First, ensure the car is parked on a hard surface and the tire isn’t full of snow. Then, open the bag and pull out the instructions and the chains. The chains are usually draped over the tires, and the hooks seen along the yellow and blue sections should be pointing away from the rubber to avoid damage.
Next, connect the red chain along the bottom. Ideally, you’ll want to have chains on all of the tires, but sometimes this isn’t possible. In this case, put the chains on the tires on your drive axle, which are the wheels that spin when you push on the gas pedal. If you have a four-wheel or all-wheel drive car, place the chains on the front or rear tires.
Remember to drive slowly and gently while the chains are putting pressure on your tires. It’s important to maintain control of your vehicle, and driving faster than 30 mph can cause damage to the road. The chains should only be used on roads with ice or snow and never on bare pavement.
Many companies now manufacture quick-fit chains that are easy to install on the tires without taking them off. These are a great option for those who don’t have the time or space to lay out and fit traditional chains. Some manufacturers even sell a tool to tighten the chains without taking them off.