Tire Chain Use Care & Inspection
THE EXACT TIRE SIZE FOR YOUR TIRE
This is the series of numbers and letters printed on the side of every tire.On most modern tires, the tire size will look like this: P205/70R14.This example indicates that the tire is 205mm wide, has an aspect ratio of 70% and is mounted on a wheel whose diameter is 14 inches. All of these numbers are critical in helping you to find the traction products that will fit your tire.
SPECIAL NOTE: It is always necessary to test the snow chains on your tire before you actually use them. Every tire manufacturer has it's own manufacturing process for the same tire size. This could make the dimensions of tires vary as much as 7% from one manufacturer to another.
WHICH TIRES TO CHAIN UP
The vehicles drive tires are the tires on which tire chains should be installed. On vehicles with front-wheel drive this would be the two front tires and on vehicles with rear wheel drive this would be the rear tires. If you're not sure which type of drive system you have, check the vehicle owner's manual. If you have a four-wheel drive or all-wheel drive vehicle and only intend to chain up two tires, always check the owner's manual for advice on which axle to chain up. To stay on safe side and retain as much of the normal handling characteristics of your 4WD/ AWD/4MATIC as possible, install traction devices on all tires.
Under normal driving conditions, a vehicle has about the same amount of traction at each wheel, creating a feeling of "normal" control during braking, acceleration and cornering. Under snow and ice conditions this balance is destroyed. If snow chains are installed only on the front tires, the rear of the vehicle can swing during braking and driving. If snow chains are only installed on the rear tires, the steering ability of the vehicle is limited. To get this balance back, the vehicle should be completely equipped with snow chains. Remember that traction devices are sold in pairs. Therefore, if you want to cover both axles (all four tires) on the vehicle, you must purchase two pairs.
FOR CARS ANTI-LOCK BRAKES (ABS)
Many people think that ABS systems are an alternative to traction devices, but it's not. ABS is a great advantage in helping drivers maintain vehicle control, but it's only purpose is to "manage" the vehicle's available traction more efficiently than a conventional braking system. When snow chains are mounted correctly, stopping traction for the ABS system to manage is actually increased .
FOR FOUR-WHEEL DRIVE VEHICLES
Four-wheel drive vehicles definitely need to use snow chains to maintain control. Although four-wheel drive or all-wheel drive vehicles have a greater ability to go than vehicles with a conventional drive system, they do not have a greater ability to stop under winter driving conditions.
Emergency chains are designed for emergency use only! Emergency chains are not designed for any continuous driving. Another restriction of use is that these types of products can only be used with slotted wheels. In addition, we always recommend the use of at least one pair per drive tire, mounted opposite of each other. The purpose of these devices is only to get the vehicle UN-stuck from a parking lot, driveway, side street, etc. Emergency chains should be removed before continuous driving.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TRACTION ON SNOW AND ICE
With some vehicles, it is possible, to slow down and get by when driving on fresh snow, even without the aid of a winter traction device. However, packed snow or ice is a different situation. Under those conditions all vehicles are either parked, safely equipped with a traction device or out of control.
WINTER WEATHER DRIVING TIPS
*Before hitting the road, know the current road conditions and the weather for the areas that you will be traveling.
*Be prepared for changing conditions during your trip. Keep an emergency winter driving kit in your car consisting of blankets, water, high energy snacks, highway warning devices, a flashlight and fresh batteries.
*Be aware of potentially dangerous icy areas such as shady spots and bridges and overpasses. Slow down in these areas as ice is sometimes invisible.
*Always keep your car's windows, mirrors and lights clear of snow and ice.
*Keep a safe distance behind other vehicles, especially plows and sanding trucks. Remember that stopping distances are doubled or tripled on snow or ice. Never pass a snowplow or sanding truck as they throw gravel that could damage your vehicle.
*Do not leave your vehicle parked along the roadside where it could hit by other vehicles or snowplows when snow accumulates and covers your vehicle from view. This is more likely to happen with a lighter colored vehicle.
DRIVING SPEED FOR TYPICAL SNOW CHAIN INSTALLATION
When you have installed snow chain on your passenger car, you will wonder what speed you can safely drive under normal conditions(i.e., snow or ice covered road). The common knowledge states that you can drive at 30mph if you don't have car tire chain tensioner installed, and if you want drive round 50mph you will have to have chain tensioner installed, for truck the speed should be 20mph(no truck tire chain tensioner) and 40mph(with truck tire chain tensioner.).