tire chains 1For those heading to the mountains or areas with plenty of snow, you will most likely require tire chains or cables. With a bit of practice, tire chains can be installed in 5-10 minutes. And with chains you can navigate winter's most inclement roads.

Purchasing Tire Chains

Before you head to the store, be sure that you have the exact tire size that is on your vehicle.

      • Example: typical tire size 1999 Honda CRV - 205/70-15
      • The number relays tire width and other information required to fit tire chains. If you’re interested, see the Tire Rack’s blog for a complete interpretation of tire size information.

Installing Chains

    • Read the instructions that come with the tire chains or cables.

woman looking wheelDo not deflate tires, install chains and the re-inflate the tires – this practice is extremely dangerous and could be fatal.

A trial install BEFORE you get to the snow is a must:

      • otherwise you may find out the chains don't fit, you're missing parts or simply can’t figure out how these work.
      • OR that you require tools, and than the tools that you require can be added to your winter emergency kit.

On the Road

Put tire chains on before you need them; in other words, if you even think the thought that you need chains:
    • Tire chains go on the drive tires – front-wheel drive, the chains go on the front wheels, rear-wheel drive, the chains go on the rear tires.
    • Park in a safe place away from traffic. At the base of many hills, there are chain up areas – watch for the signs.
    • Wear gloves to protect your hands and warm, ole’ clothes because you will most likely get dirty.
    • When installing the bungee chord hooks, come up from behind or underneath, so that the point of the hook doesn’t rub into the sidewall of the tire, and by hooking from underneath and behind there is little chance that the bungee hooks will come off.
    • After installing the chains, move the vehicle forward one vehicle length and check chains – re-tighten if required.

When Driving

    • Do not exceed 50km/hr.
    • Do not spin the tires.
    • Allow 6-8 seconds following distance, and brake early.
    • If the chains come loose, stop immediately and fix.


This blog is only a general guide to installing tire chains. See some of the following videos for a more comprehensive understanding of mounting tire chains:

8 Steps to Installing Winter Tire Chains Tire Chains - Simple Installation How to Fit Snow Chains on Car Tyres

pdfChain_Up_Suggestions.pdf    pdfInstallation_of_Tire_Chains_Commercial.pdf


Quote from Taariq Hassan on Boardworld's YouTube page:

"car in ditchactually in reality it can be tricky to actually do this fitting of ladder or diamond pattern chains esp. if you decide to fit them once you are in wet , snowy, icy and slushy conditions. When you are face down in icy mud and freezing wet slush trying to get the clasp to connect behind the tyre / wheel rim and you can 't see it you will be happy you watched every snow chain installation video there possibly is on you tube !"