Studded Tires & Tire Chains
- Driving in snow and ice can be a challenge. However, there are a handful ways to help make driving in winter conditions a safer, less stressful experience.
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When to Use Studded Tires
If you live in an area where you’re frequently forced to drive through severe winter and road conditions, studded tires might be for you. The metal or plastic tire studs help drivers maneuver in tough winter driving conditions, mountainous roads or areas, or roads that require sharp cornering with enhanced traction. Studded tires have studs built into the tread or installed by the dealer. Keep in mind that these studs are excellent for ice traction, but they are not meant for roads that aren’t covered in snow or ice. Before installing studded tires, check state regulations where you will be driving as some states specify dates when they can be used or prohibit them altogether.
Understanding & Installing Tire Chains
If you live in a place where you regularly drive in severe winter conditions, you may want to consider tire chains (also known as cables). Some mountain roads in the west require drivers to have chains in order to drive on the roads. Tire chains enhance traction on snowy and icy roads. In order to properly install tire chains, follow the manufacturer’s instructions. General steps in installation may include the following:
- First, check for breaks in the chains. Unroll and lay the chains on a flat service in order to inspect them for any damage.
- If you don’t find any breaks or damage, go ahead and place the chains flat near the tire you’re preparing to install them on.
- Place the chains over the top of the tire. The side with the keyhole latch attachment should be on the outside of the tire (facing you).
- Now make sure that the chains are placed straight across the tire’s tread.
- You’ll need to bring the keyhole latch and lever lock to a height that’s comfortable to work in, and in order to do this, you should slowly roll the vehicle just about a foot forward.
- When you do this, the chains will fall out of place. That’s normal. You can re-drape the chains over the tire after you have moved the vehicle forward.
- The lever lock will now be in a place that makes it easier for you to attach it.
- The chains should be secured on the inner side of the tire before you can continue. To do this, pull the end of the chains to meet the keyhole latch and secure the chains to the backside of the tire.
- Now you can begin fastening the lever lock on the outer sidewall. Pull the chains so that the lever lock meets the knobs.
- Remember to always make sure that the chains are centered over the tire’s tread.
- Go ahead and attach the lever lock to the third knob in order to make sure that the chains are tight and secure over the tire.
- To close the lever lock you can pull the lever toward the top of the tire at a 180 degrees angle.
- Repeat this process for all tires and drive cautiously for about a half of a mile in order to ensure the tire chains were properly installed.
Please note that you should not use tire chains on snow tires or exceed 30 mph while the chains are installed.