Installing Snow Chains Correctly

by Lee Wyatt
(last updated May 28, 2010)

In the states where it is illegal to use metal studded snow tires, then you need to use the next best thing – snow chains. Some people say that tire chains are better than snow tires. One of the major benefits that come from using chains instead of winter tires include lower initial cost—roughly $55.00 to $130.00 as opposed to upwards of $194.00 per tire. Snow chains can also be removed (and installed) fairly easily when they are no longer needed.

Materials Needed:

  • Chains (style and material of your choice)
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Pliers


  1. Type. There are three basic styles of metal chains, as well as different types of materials that they could be made from. Do a little bit of homework and decide which style you want (each style has its benefits). I usually use the metallic cable style of chains, since they are easier to put on, as well as a little lower in cost than the other metallic types of chains.
  2. Fit. You can purchase chains that are made for specific tire sizes. Personally, I would suggest getting fitted chains since it reduces the time required to get everything to fit exactly right. If this is not the type you get, then before actually installing the chains you are going to want to "pre-fit" them. Take a tire that is either the same size as yours and fit chains to it. You can also remove one of your tires and doing the same thing. You want to use chains that are going to be as tight as possible on the tire. This will provide a smother (not to mention quieter) ride. It will also help reduce damage to the chains and lengthen their service life.
  3. Fasten. Begin by laying the chains out in front of or directly behind the tires. Have another person help by guiding you (as you are driving the car) onto the middle of the chains. Raise the chains over and around the tires and fasten the hooks together. You should be able to see some fastening nuts. Tighten them with your fingers (if possible) and then use either an adjustable wrench or pliers to help tighten them even more.
  4. Speed. While driving you'll want to make sure that you do not go too fast. You are only going to want to go about 40 miles per hour, otherwise you could damage the chains or the tires.

Author Bio

Lee Wyatt

Contributor of numerous Tips.Net articles, Lee Wyatt is quickly becoming a regular "Jack of all trades." He is currently an independent contractor specializing in writing and editing. Contact him today for all of your writing and editing needs! Click here to contact. ...


Safely Using Muriatic Acid to Clean Your Driveway

If you have a seriously stained driveway, there is one surefire method that you can use to ensure you get it clean. The trick ...

Discover More

Storage Organization

Is there really anything in the world that will need more help in getting organized than a storage room or unit? Storage ...

Discover More

Restoring Copper Sinks

Since copper sinks are metal, their patina will invariably change color over time. This is a normal and expected process that ...

Discover More

Changing a Flat Tire

If there is one type of car repair that every car owner needs to know how to accomplish, then it has to be changing a flat ...

Discover More

Rotating Your Car Tires

Rotating your car tires is one of the many maintenance items that you can either pay good money for someone else to do, or ...

Discover More

Cleaning Tires

If you are really interested in getting your car looking the best that it possibly can, there is one area that you cannot ...

Discover More

Comments for this tip:

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 8 - 1?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


Subscribe to the Tips.Net channel:

Visit the Tips.Net channel on YouTube

Links and Sharing