Driving is often more challenging in the winter, especially in the coldest and hilly regions. Snow chains, which we will explain later, can be a crucial ally in these situations.
Rain, frost, and snow are all hazardous driving conditions that put our safety at risk during the winter. However, because life continues, we cannot remain imprisoned. As a result, we must exercise utmost caution and use specific equipment to drive more safely.
Among these necessary tools in the winter are winter tires and snow chains. The simplest option is to use chains, which are always handy to have in the trunk of our cars no matter where in Spain we reside because we are never protected from erratic snowfall.
The drive axle must permanently be mounted using chains.
However, it is necessary for regions with frequent snowfalls, particularly in the highlands, to get through the winter. In the following lines, we’ll go through the various varieties of snow chains now available on the market.
Types of car snow chains
Each of them has benefits and drawbacks because we have them in a variety of materials and price ranges:
Snow sprays don’t work very well.
We are referring to a spray that temporarily increases traction on the tire tread. It is only a last resort and should only be used in emergencies when driving with chains is required. It should cost around 6 dollars.
The majority of chains are made of metal.
They are the “classic” chains, and all the devices we examine bear their name. These metal link chains provide an extremely intriguing quality-to-price ratio.
They typically cost between 20 and 50 dollars and are notable for their dependability and safety, but they can be challenging to mount on a wheel. Additionally, they produce vibrations when driving and are noisy.
They can potentially harm tires and suspension if used in bad snow conditions. Additionally, ineffectual while in use is ESP and ABS. Although they are more expensive than manual tensioning, they are available with automatic tensioning.
Chains made of textiles are less durable.
They are a cloth covering that adds more traction by covering the tire tread. Although they are relatively lightweight and simple to attach, it is crucial to follow the manufacturer’s speed recommendations to prevent premature wear and tear.
They allow the usage of ABS and ESP and don’t harm the rim, two of their benefits. Their cost is roughly between 30 and 100 dollars.
Composite or net chains
Very efficient but more expensive net or composite chains.
These resemble the cloth versions, but instead of a belt, there is a system of coated plastic cables. Though they must be tightened to fit the tire, they are straightforward to install.
Because they are more expensive (between 70 and 95 dollars) and durable, they are suggested for frequent usage. Their benefits include quiet operation, robustness, and stability control compatibility.
Permanent chains that operate semi-automatically are mounted to the rim.
This kind of chain is fixed to a cage attached to the rim permanently and taken out as needed. They are sturdy, relatively quick to install, and efficient in thick snow or ice.
On the other hand, they are suggested for low-profile tires and range in price from 200 to 600 dollars.
TPU chains offer a perfect balance between price and quality.
Due to its great value for money, this sort of chain, a recent creation, is starting to establish a reputation for itself in the market. The TPU soles, made of hardened rubber with steel tread and lugs for added traction, are a series of three or four independent bands for each wheel.
They can only be used on alloy wheels because most sheet metal rims make it impossible to transmit the strap appropriately from one side to the other, even though they are globally adjustable via adjustable-size straps. Typically, they start at 40 dollars.
When, when, and how to attach snow chains to a vehicle
Depending on the features of our car, we must know where to place our snow chains once we have them:
- Vehicles with front-wheel drive: only the two front wheels chains need to be mounted.
- Vehicles with rear-wheel drive: in this instance, we’ll mount them to the rear axle’s wheels.
- Four-wheel drive cars: Since all four wheels are drive wheels, we have no alternative but to pay twice and attach the chains to each one. If only two chains are available, they will be stuck on the front of the steering wheels.
Additionally, to avoid damaging the chains, tires, rims, or even the suspension, chains should only be installed when the road is covered with snow or ice. These four crucial pointers must be followed for the operation:
- On the street, park in a secure location.
- Activate the emergency lighting
- Before leaving the station, put on a reflective vest.
Use emergency triangles or V16 warning lights to indicate where you are if you are off the road.