10 Top Snow Chains

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Best snow chains on wheels: Hands-On recommendations for selection and use

When to put snow chains on wheels

Snow chains, or traction chains, are installed on tires to achieve maximum traction when driving on snow and icy surfaces.

These anti-skid devices are usually sold in pairs, as they are put on the drive wheels of the car. In addition, when buying, it is extremely important to consider the size of the tires installed on your car, that is, their diameter and tread width.

A car equipped with snow chains has significantly increased fuel consumption, and its maximum speed is limited to 50 km/h. But all these disadvantages are compensated by really high cross-country ability.

Chains play the role of an additional removable tread. The fact is that the links have a small area of contact with the road surface, so the car presses on the ground much harder. Thus, the improved wheel literally "digs" into the ice, snow or soil and starts rowing like the blades of a water mill.

Advantages of snow chains on wheels

Specialists have repeatedly conducted tests of the operational efficiency of chains, here are some of the results of one of them. Due to the chains it is possible to increase the passability of the car by 3-4 times. According to experienced motorists, with the help of anti-skid devices, the car becomes similar, in its off-road properties, to a cross-country vehicle.

Summer tires with anti-skid devices get close to the winter studded rubber in their cross-country ability, yielding to it in braking on loose snow, but surpassing it in acceleration on ice. Polyurethane belts, unfortunately, cannot achieve such high results. Besides, their reliability leaves much to be desired.

Disadvantages of snow chains

Of course, such wheel equipment allows you to improve the passability of the car, but do not forget that it has a negative impact on the handling. In terms of cross-country ability, the car becomes similar to a tractor, its permissible speed is reduced. The vehicle becomes oversteerable. This means that before you go off-road, it is worth trying to drive the car in normal conditions.

You should not forget about the other disadvantages:

  • Increased tire wear;
  • Strong noise during driving.

What kinds of snow chains on wheels are there

All snow chains are conventionally divided into soft and hard. In the first case, there are plastic or rubber anti-skid devices between the cables stretched around the circumference of the wheel. Whereas the second uses a pattern with transverse intersections.


Peculiarities of vehicle operation with snow chains on wheels

If the car is equipped with anti-skid devices, its movement at high speeds is unacceptable. The manual for the use of such devices specifies the maximum speed within 30-50 km/h.

If it is exceeded, the driver will face serious consequences, including accidents. So, a tire can burst or a torn lock can catch on suspension elements, causing at least serious damage.

It is not allowed to exploit the thus equipped car on dry roads for a long time. Some companies-manufacturers forbid driving a car with chains on wheels on asphalt. The matter is that on dry roads such equipment considerably increases the length of braking distance.

If such a device is put on the wheels, you should refuse to sharply increase and decrease speed, any actions should be as possible more soft. Thanks to such tactics, you can save the tires and suspension of the car.

Tips and advices on YouTube

Safety First: 8 Steps to Installing Winter Tire Chains