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Tips On The Safe Use Of Snow Chains

Sep 4, 2008
You will be very familiar with treacherous driving conditions if you live in a country that experiences harsh winters. During the winter, snow and ice on the roads cause driving conditions that can be dangerous for even the most experienced drivers. The danger can be reduced considerably by fitting appropriate snow chains to your vehicle when these conditions occur.

Before purchasing snow chains read your manual and find out if snow chains can be safely used on your vehicle. The manual will also tell you the correct size to purchase. Also find out the regulations for your country or state as they can vary considerably. Once you have purchased your snow chains practice putting them on as this can be awkward, especially the first time, and you will be much better practicing in your driveway with the sun shining than on a cold road in the dark.

Snow Chain Types

The most economical snow chains are cable chains and these are recommended for all front wheel drive vehicles. Steel rollers give increased traction and give the maximum clearance between the tire and the wall of the fender. They are also very lightweight. If your vehicle has very little clearance, twist link chains will be better. Highway chains are recommended for vehicles with maximum clearance of the wheel well as they are heavier and more durable. One make you could consider is Road King as the square link design gives minimal vibration, which will give a more comfortable ride. Sno Grip chains, which also have a square link design, give excellent traction which helps with cornering and stopping. V-bar chains are heavy duty chains meant for snow clearing vehicles.

Putting on the Snow Chains

Do not deflate the tires to make them easier to fit. They should always be fitted to tires at their normal pressure. Make sure the car is in gear and parking brake is engaged before you start. Put the chain on the tire, holding it at the top, and make sure it is placed evenly. You will not be able to place the bottom part on the tire at this point. For chains with rings make sure the open connection is at the bottom of the tire. After you have placed the chain with the ring on the inside of the wheel the bottom of the ring can be connected. You might have to get down right under the car to do this.

Now drive forward a few feet, enough to expose the rest of the tire, stop and engage the parking brake. go back to the tire and finish fitting the chain. Tighten the chains. Now drive about a hundred feet, stop again and go back and re-tighten the chains. Now you are ready to drive with your snow chains.

Strap on Emergency Snow Chains

In an emergency strap on chains can be used. They are meant for short distances only or to help move a vehicle that is already stuck. On roads where snow chain use is mandatory they may not be legal. In an emergency they provide good traction and are very easy to install although they can only be attached to slotted wheels. Use them in pairs, attached to either both rear or both front tires.
About the Author
For more information and some good deals on Honda and Craftsman Snowblowers check out Honda Snowblowers or Craftsman Snowblowers
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