Snow chains are a simple solution when it comes to maintaining our mobility in the event of a specific snowfall. However, the chains need to be properly installed to be safe. A process in which learning to mount such chains properly is vital to our safety.
In a country where snow is not common, snow chains are a suitable solution to get out of a heavy snowfall on time or to circulate safer when a cold front moves where we drive. However, this easy solution has the drawback of requiring a precise installation, so that we can take advantage of the security that these devices offer us. A process for which we are going to give you the necessary guidance so that you make the most of the best snow chains you can find. A basic process that should always be complemented with what the manufacturer indicates in the instructions for the specific product that we have purchased.
Metallic snow chains
Metallic snow chains are the cheapest and most traditional on the market. Some chains that, in return, have the most complicated assembly process of all those that we are going to analyze. The first thing we should do is extend the chain to verify that it has not been wrapped in any element. Next, we will stretch the steel cable and we will pass it behind the wheel until we hook the mechanism, the carabiner, which keeps the chain in place.
Once this element is mounted, we just have to continue mounting the rest of the chain above the tire tread. A process in which we will have to move the vehicle slightly forward, to cover the part of the tire that is resting on the ground. With all the elements in place, it is time to make the corresponding connections between the hooks and the tensioners. Some models are color-coded for mounting, making it easy to identify where each connection goes. Finally, once everything is assembled, it only remains to advance about 100 meters with the vehicle to verify that the tension is correct and we will be able to circulate with confidence.
Textile snow chains
From the most difficult to the simplest. Although textile snow chains are more expensive, they have the advantage of being simple to assemble and that it will not take you more than 10 minutes. The process begins with the unfolding of the cover, to verify that we are mounting it in the correct direction of the vehicle’s rolling. Once unrolled, we start by placing it from the top of the tire, stretching it downwards, trying to completely cover the entire exposed tread.
Once in place, all you have to do is release the handbrake to allow the vehicle to move a little and expose the area of the wheel on the ground. Now we can complete the assembly, covering the rest of the tire and adjusting the position on its flanks. By the way, as long as the sides are well covered, you don’t have to worry about the fit or centering of the cover, as the cover will end up correctly in place.
Once we finish using the chains, the disassembly process is as simple as the assembly one. We just have to remove the wheel covers, pulling from the rear of the tire towards the front, letting the cover slide by itself and out of its location.
Along with the fabric ones, these chains are also the easiest to assemble. Something that helps its design in the form of a claw, so to speak, which is located in the central part of the tire and that is “hugging” the tread until it is in place. A process that makes assembly very easy, given that being self-supporting chains, we only have to tighten the product on the rim, using the nut included for this purpose, so that the chain is mounted on the tread.
However, on some models we may have to pass the strips through the band and move the car slightly to achieve the proper fit, depending on its characteristics. This is necessary in the models that cover the entire band, while it is not necessary in the X models, which include four support zones that are properly mounted on the wheel. In case of doubts, the instructions will always be our best help.
In addition to the above, these chains are more resistant to conventional passage on ground without snow, so that we can speed up the little snowy terrain a little more in case we have thicker snow areas in front of the vehicle. Something we cannot do with other chains, especially textiles. An important question considering the cost of this type of chain.
To finish this article and take better care of your chains, we are going to see some aspects that should not be forgotten. One of them is to always check the correct installation of the chains. We have already said it before but it does not hurt to repeat it, because your safety and the durability of these chains depend on this correct installation.
Another important point is to remove the chains on time. Once the snow disappears or there are hardly any remains, it is important to remove the chains, both to avoid damaging them and so that the tires do not suffer. Let’s think that the tires are designed to roll on asphalt and the use of chains is an extraordinary performance, which goes beyond its original approach.
Finally, once we have arrived home, it is advisable to wash the chains and let them dry. Let’s think that this asphalt has surely been treated with salt, which combined with other pollutants can end up damaging the resistance and durability of the chains. Something that also happens with humidity, so drying is key to keeping them in good condition.