Are you planning a trip during the next winter season or do you have to drive to your work every day and the temperature outside is really cold? Getting stuck in the snow and sliding out of control on ice are things nobody wants to live. Fortunately, we can tell you when do you need tire chains. So it can make your life safer and more accommodating when the weather is freezing.
It is the beginning of the week. I am ready to take my car and go to my job when I notice that the falling snow has left a layer of ice on the road. I worry about thinking that my car could lose traction, slip and have an accident! … but immediately I remember that last summer I bought one of the best portable tire compressor and a new pair of chains for tires thanks to the insistence of my cautious father.
While I am preparing to install them on my tires, we will review some key aspects in relation to these implements:
Tire chains are implements designed to cover a tire or wheel in order to offer better traction on snowy roads. They are used in snow and can also be effective for traveling on ice or on muddy surfaces. There are several designs of tire chains on the market, from simple wrapping chains of tires adjusted by tensioners, to chains that only cover the tread pattern of a tire.
Most snow chains are sold in pairs and may or may not come with the tensioners necessary to mount the chains on your wheels. For anyone looking to buy a quality set of chains, they should expect to spend anywhere between $20 to $300, based on need or desire.
These devices are especially useful when the weather is extremely cold and a layer of ice has been generated on the road or even when the surface is completely covered with snow or mud. Since the pavement is no longer in direct contact with the tire and the coefficient of friction between these elements (ice, snow or mud), and the tire rubber is less than that of the pavement in dry conditions, the traction is lost. Additionally, tire rubber tends to harden when the weather is cold, which also helps the tires slip, so the chains are designed to give you added traction in the snow and decrease the likelihood of getting stuck.
When the use of chains is appropriate and when is not
A very important part of you all you need to know about to use tire chains is to be sure that it is really the necessary moment to use tire chains. You should consider the following factors before installing them:
- Use chains when there is a layer of fully compacted snow or ice.
- Do not use chains where roads have been cleared. It is not effective and usafe.
In fact, tire chains should only be used on those roads with several inches of snow or under hazardous weather conditions, like when an ice layer has been created on the road. In roads with normal conditions, or if it has not started to snow, they are not needed.
Chains are a great advantage when you have to drive through snowy landscapes, but they can also cause great damage to the pavement and your car when not used properly. In fact, in most states, laws have been enacted to regulate the use of tire chains. These laws indicate when you should and when not to use tire chains. You must take these regulations into account as you may be subject to fines if you do not comply with them.
Additional tips about the tire chains to consider
You have to contemplate the following elements to choose the right tire for your car and to use it properly:
- Check the chain size or type. It should be suitable for your tire dimensions and vehicle weight and power.
- Verify clearance: Both at the inner face of the wheel and between the tire tread/surface and wheel arch, considering space to get your hands into the arch.
- Make sure you fit properly the chains to the driving wheels, if you have any doubt, it’s better to check first in the car user’s manual or with your service provider.
- If possible, practice fitting the chains in good weather conditions, in order to know previously how to put them on.
- To fulfill their mission, some part of the chain must be in contact with the road at any time. Some types of tire chains have an excessive space between the chain rungs and allow the bare tire contact with the road surface.
- Tire pressure should be 25 PSI or higher when using chains.
- Tire manufactures recommend that cars shouldn’t travel faster than 30 miles per hour when fitted with chains.
- Stop and check the tension of the chains after driving about 180 yards.
- Remove the chains if the conditions of the road are safe.
When and why you might need tire chains
If you have to drive your car, SUV or truck frequently in snow and ice conditions, this is the option for you. The tire chains offer a better grip and a safe and stable option under these climatic conditions. The manufacturing materials of these chains are very resistant to use, which makes them suitable for daily use, and will become your best companions on snowy roads for several seasons.
The manufacturers of these chains usually incorporate features to ease their installation. You will appreciate this every time you will find yourself installing the chains under heavy snow!, about the costs, like everything in life, what offers you safer conditions and durability tends to have a higher cost, but if you want to feel confident traveling in hazardous weather conditions I recommend you to use them
Now that you have got all you need to know about to use tire chains, realized when you might need them and I have installed my new snow chains for tires, I will start my engine and I will go calmly and safely to my job. Don’t let the snow get in the way of your winter getaway.