For those who live in regions or areas that are highly prone to severe winter months or extremely cold weather conditions, you understand the importance of maintaining a solid grip on the road when operating your vehicle.
Traditional tires do not come with enough grip on them to take on very Icey road or wet road conditions which is why you need to enhance yours with some sort of reinforcement that will allow you to maintain a solid grip on the road when driving on extremely treacherous roadways.
One of the best ways to do this is by installing tire chains on your vehicle, tire chains are wheel coverings that people place on their vehicles to reduce the possibility of slippage when driving.
Tire chains come in several different formats, types, sizes, and fits which makes it easy for you to find the perfect set to install on your vehicle regardless of what your needs are. in some cities, snow tire chains are required during the wintertime for safety reasons.
The main determining factor that will decide which snow tire chains are right for you is the size of your vehicle. For trucks and SUVs, snow tire chains will be significantly heavier and larger due to the size of the vehicle you’re driving.
In essence, snow tire chains are coverings that are placed on the wheels of your vehicle which add an extra level of traction when trying to traverse snowy conditions.
Snow tire chains allow for free rotation of your wheels while also preventing skidding on the road during snowy conditions. When purchasing snow tire chains, you need to know what to look for so that you can ensure the best possible functionality at all times.
Most snow tire chains are very easy to install and remove which makes them a viable option for those that have little to no automotive experience.
If you live in an area where snow is common, you will need to install snow tire chains on your vehicle to prevent any unnecessary accidents while driving.
Below, we’re going to give you all of the critical information that you need to know in regards to snow tire chains so that you can maintain a solid grip on the road at all times. Not sure which tires to buy? Check out our guide on buying the best tires here.
Our Top Tire Chain Recommendations
There are a lot of different options that you can choose from when installing snow tire chains on your vehicle, because of this, you need to know which tire chains are best suited for your specific vehicle type before purchasing them so that you will be able to traverse snowy roads without any issues. Also, if you are in need of mods, I suggest checking out the best ones for Tundra right here.
All of the snow tire chains that we list below will be rated for different vehicle types so take the weight and steering configuration of your vehicle into consideration before finalizing your purchase.
#1 Security Chain Company SZ143 Super Z6 Cable Tire Chain
The Security Chain Company SZ143 Super Z6 Cable Tire Chain was designed for heavy vehicles such as SUVs, pickup trucks, and premium model cars. These tire chains are very easy to install and don’t require that you move your vehicle to install them correctly.
These snow tire chains have great compatibility with anti-lock brake systems, traction control systems, and all-wheel drive trains. Before installing these snow tire chains on your vehicle, you need to read the application guide under the technical specifications section to see the entire details required to install them successfully.
These snow tire chains are designed with an integrated rubber tightener which means that you won’t have to worry about stopping to retighten them after installation. You will also find that these snow tire chains are compatible with electronically monitored control systems.
#2 Grizzlar GTN-524 Garden Tractor/Snowblower Net/Diamond Style Alloy Tire Chains
The Grizzlar GTN-524 Garden Tractor/Snowblower Net/Diamond Style Alloy Tire Chains come with a net style design which provides superior traction for your vehicle on all road conditions.
These tire snow chains will fit 15×5.00-6 tires which makes them rates for heavy vehicles, you will also find that these snow tire chains are made from manganese steel which helps to add a layer of durability to the chains overall.
These snow tire chains provide much more road contact for your vehicle when compared to other ladder style snow tire chains, these snow tire chains are perfect for tires that have very aggressive tread pattern.
The TerraGrips Tire Chains utilize an easy no-tool installation procedure in addition to coming with plated steel components that are rust-resistant. These snow tire chains are made in the US and you need to look at the sizing information guide on the left of the tire before ordering them.
These tire chains are not recommended for R1 or R4 size tires, you will find that the rubber material composition of these snow chain tires provides enhanced durability and helps to prevent any unnecessary wear on your tires due to the steel chains.
These snow chain tires will provide your vehicle with improved traction in all sorts of weather conditions such as mulch, gravel, mud, snow, and more.
These snow tire chains come with rubber slats which help to increase the grip of your tires while also protecting the driving surface against damage.
#4 Security Chain Company ZT729 Super Z LT Light Truck and SUV Tire Traction Chain
The Security Chain Company ZT729 Super Z LT Light Truck and SUV Tire Traction Chain is very easy to install when compared to other tire chains currently for sale on the market.
These tire chains come with a built-in rubber tensioner which means that you never have to worry about retightening your chains after the installation process is complete.
These snow tire chains, in particular, provide better comprehensive traction and performance than the traditional tire chain options you will find on the market due to their design.
These snow tires are also rated for higher durability than other tire chains on the market, they are compatible with anti-lock brake systems, traction control enabled vehicles, all-wheel drive trains, and electronically monitored control systems.
These snow tire chains have a very low potential for damaging your vehicle body even when exposed to consistent use and rough conditions over prolonged periods of time.
These snow tires meet all S.A.E class “S” standards which means that they are great for vehicles with limited clearance. These snow tire chains come in a wide range of different configurations and models which makes it easy for you to find the right fit for your vehicle regardless of the type.
The KONIG XB-16 245 Snow Chains come with a tensioning snow chain that must be tightened manually. They come with a 16mm inside and on-the-tread clearance in addition to being certified for the following fits: -Norm 5117, UNI 11313, O-Norm 5119 and TUV.
These snow tire chains fit a wide range of different tire models and sizes which makes them perfect for virtually anyone.
#6 Security Chain Company SC1042 Radial Chain Cable Traction Tire Chain
The Security Chain Company SC1042 Radial Chain Cable Traction Tire Chain is considered to be a radial chain cable traction tire chain and it weighs a total of 6.5lbs. The dimensions of these snow tires are 14 x 7.9 x 4.6 inches which makes them perfect for heavier vehicles and large tires.
These tire snow chains have been proven to be effective as they have been tested in various environments including Switzerland and Alaska. They are also made from recyclable material in addition to being waterproof. You should not use tire tensioners with these snow chains.
All of the above snow tire chain recommendations will be optimal for all sorts of different vehicles before you make your purchase decision, you need to know exactly what configuration your vehicle requires to ensure that you get the best fit.
How do I know what size tire chains to buy?
When you’re trying to find the right snow tire chains to install on your vehicle, there are several different factors that you need to consider.
To ensure that you make the right decision, we’re going to go over all of the critical aspects, features, and elements that you need to take into consideration so that you can maintain a tight grip on the road regardless of what conditions may exist.
Take a look at all of the factors you need to consider when choosing the right snow tire chains:
- The first thing that you’ll want to do is look at the sidewall of your tires, by doing this you will be able to locate a set of numbers and letters.
- Once you find the first three numbers in the set, you will see a letter following them such P. The three numbers grouped to represent the width of the tires in millimeters.
- Next, you will want to locate the two numbers after the dash and before the R, these numbers are indicators of the ratio of the width to height of your tires.
- Now you need to know to find the two numbers that come directly after the R which is what represents the size of your tires.
- You should write down the three numbers and separate them by slashes or dashes, it should look something like 85R.
- Take the notes you’ve written down to your local auto shop or automotive part store so that they will be able to give you the right size tire chains for your specific vehicle.
By following all of the above steps, you will be able to find the right size snow tire chains for your vehicle in no time. Every vehicle requires a different size tire chain due to their weight and overall steering configuration; this is why you want to take the specific measurements of your existing wheels before buying them.
Do I need to put snow tire chains on all 4 tires?
One of the biggest misconceptions you’ll encounter about snow tire chains is that they must go on all 4 tires at all times. While this is true for some vehicle types, it’s not true for all vehicles as your drive train will determine where you place your snow tire chains.
For vehicle owners that have a front-wheel-drive drivetrain, you only need to put tire snow chains on the front tires of your vehicle.
For those vehicle owners with a rear-wheel-drive vehicle, you only need to install the tire snow chains on the rear tires of your vehicle. If you want maximum traction while on the road, you should consider installing snow tire chains on all four tires of your vehicle.
How to install snow tire chains on a vehicle
Once you’ve found the right snow tire chains, you need to install them on your vehicle, and to do so you need to follow very precise steps and methods. Below, we’re going to give you a step-by-step guide on how to install snow tire chains on your vehicle to ensure maximum traction control at all times no matter how treacherous the road conditions are.
The installation process of snow tire chains
- To begin installing your snow tire chains you need to put your vehicle in the park and engage the parking brake.
- Once the parking brake has been engaged, you need to lay the chains flat on the ground while making sure that they are not twisted in any way.
- Place the chains over the tire you’re installing it on while remembering to hold up the top part so that it has an even fit on both sides.
- Reach behind every one of your tires and fasten the speed hooks also known as a “J hook” through the third link from the end portion of the chain. After that’s complete, pull the slack in the line towards the outside of your vehicle.
- Place your vehicle in drive and engage the gas to enact a forward motion for a few feet and then fasten the remaining portion of the chain.
- Continue driving your vehicle forward about 50-100ft then step out of the vehicle and retighten the chains.
- Secure the extra links on the chain with zip ties or remove them using bolt cutters.
These are all of the steps that you need to take when installing snow tire chains on your vehicle. When it’s time to remove the chains, you simply need to reverse the steps you’ve taken to install them.
How to find the best snow tire chains for your vehicle
As you know by now, there are several different factors and elements which go into choosing the right snow tire chains for your vehicle. However, you still may need more information as it relates to determining the factors that matter most when choosing the perfect set of snow tires for your vehicle in particular.
Take a look below to see what steps you need to follow when choosing the right snow tire chains for your vehicle regardless of its size or configuration.
Snow tire chains come in different sizes according to the specific size of your wheels, you always need to purchase snow tire chains that are compatible with the existing size of your vehicle tires to ensure that you will be able to sustain optimal functionality at all times. Make sure that you check your desired snow chain size’s compatibility with your existing tire size before purchasing them.
As a safety precaution, it’s recommended that you never go over the allotted speed rating of your chosen snow tire chains. Most of the snow tire chains available on the market are rated for 30mph or less which means that you should not go faster than 30mph when driving your vehicle with snow tire chains on them.
Snow tire chains were designed for standard tires that need more traction on slippery, wet, and Icey roads. If you have chosen to install snow tires on your vehicle, you don’t want to add snow tire chains onto them as this will negative friction when traveling on slippery surfaces.
FAQ’s About Tire Chains
You should only use snow tire chains when you’re going to be driving over extremely Icey road surfaces. Using snow tire chains on bare pavement can and will result in severe damage to your tires over time.
The average cost of snow tire chains will vary depending on the type of vehicle that you own however you will commonly pay anywhere between $40-$100 for a high-quality set of snow tire chains.
Snow tire chains are illegal in the following states: Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Arizona, Alabama, Alaska, and Colorado.
Use all of the information we’ve included in this article to help you decide on which set of snow tire chains are best for your vehicle. As long as you take into consideration the size and type of your vehicle, you will be able to find the perfect set of chains in no time so that you maintain a solid grip on the road at all times.