How to Make Wheel Chains by Yourself

Winter weather can make roads icy and dangerous, but there are ways to give your car more traction in snow. One of the easiest and most effective ways is to hook up a set of snow chains.

How To Install Chains

There are two basic types of wheel chains: those that require you to lay them out, drive over them, and secure them to your tires, and those that attach to the front or rear wheels by means of a quick-fit system. Some installation options are easier than others, and it’s important to follow the specific instructions for your particular chains.

How To Use Snow Chains

The most important thing to know about snow chains is that they are low-tech and have been around forever. They work by stretching lengths of cable across the tread of your tires to allow them to more easily “bite” into the snow and ice beneath your tire, giving you increased traction and stopping power when it’s needed most.

Some snow chains are woven from metal, while others are made of a material like fiberglass or nylon that will keep your tires from nicking and scratching the rubber surfaces of your wheels. The best ones will also be low-profile to help reduce glare and provide better visibility in snowy conditions, which is helpful for safety and driving confidence.

How To Select a Pair of Chains

If you’re looking for a lightweight set of snow chains, consider Soyond’s Snow Chains (pictured), which are 100 percent polyester and available in six-packs for $39. These are easy to install and remove, and can be used on bare pavement for extra traction. However, they won’t grip as well as chains.

How To Unpack & Open Your Chains

If your chains come in a plastic box, open it and take out the first chain. Holding the yellow and blue ends in your left and right hands, untangle the chains so they don’t hang looped or twisted over each other. The metal hooks along the yellow and blue sections should be facing away from you so they won’t damage your tires.

Next, wrap each chain around the front or rear tires of your vehicle. You’ll need to use a bit of imagination to get the chains in place; they can be quite stiff at times, but the most important thing is that you have a good feel for where to put them.

Once the chains are in place, you can move on to connecting the cables. The chains will likely need to be tightened, so if you have an adjustable system that you can use or a self-tightening ratchet, you can use them to help pull your chains into place. Some snow chains even have a built-in tensioning system that you can use to help get them snug.

How To Connect Your Chains

Once you’ve centered the chains behind your wheels, connect them by pulling both yellow cable ends into the blue section, then pulling both of the chains over the top of your tire. Some snow chains have a self-tightening mechanism you can use, but if not, it’s a good idea to roll your car forward onto the chains and gently tighten them with a ratchet or tool until they’re in place.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *