How to Put on a Snow Chain

How to Put on a Snow Chain
Snow chains can be a difference-maker when you are trying to drive through snowy conditions. They greatly improve a vehicle's traction in the show, including handling and braking. They're also much cheaper than studded snow tires and won't wear out as quickly, allowing you to use them for several seasons. Snow chains might make for a noisier and bumpier ride, but they're usually easy to install on your tires.
 

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Snow chain
 
Step 1
Lay the chain out flat so that you can see its design, then hang it over the top of your tire, making sure the keyhole latch attachments are positioned on the rear-facing side of the tire and that the lever lock is located on the outer sidewall of the tire. Adjust the cross-members of the chain so that they run straight across your tire's tread. Doing so will avoid a tire puncture or other damage.
Step 2
Roll your vehicle forward about one foot or until the keyhole latch is positioned at or near the top of the tire. This will make it easier for you to work on the keyhole latch. The snow chain may slip off the tire in some parts, but if it does you can simply put it back on the tire.
Step 3
Pull the end of the chain cables on either side of the inner tire so that they meet. The keyhole latch will be on one end, with two knobs on the other. Connect the latch with the knobs, using whichever knob creates the tightest hold.
Step 4
Start attaching the cables on the outer side of the tire. You will do this using an end with knobs and another with a lever lock. First check to make sure all the cross-member chains are still positioned correctly across your tire treads, then pull the knobs and the lever lock together similar to how the keyhole latch was attached. Attach the tightest knob possible, then pull the lever on the lever lock back towards the tire. The lever will turn a full 180 degrees and your snow chain will be installed on your tire.
Step 5
Repeat this process for all four tires.
 

Tips & Warnings

 
Make sure there are no broken or damaged links in your chain before installation.
 
Make sure you purchase snow chains that are sized to fit your tires. Visit with a tire specialist to get the proper model.

Article Written By Jonathan Croswell

Jonathan Croswell has spent more than five years writing and editing for a number of newspapers and online publications, including the "Omaha World-Herald" and "New York Newsday." Croswell received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Nebraska and is currently pursuing a Master's of Health and Exercise Science at Portland State University.

Join 3 million outdoor enthusiasts like you


Find trails by activity, accessibility and more


Save your favorite trails and create a wishlist


Share tips and review your favorite trails


Add your best trail photos