What size tire chains do I need? This is the most common question people ask to make their vehicles safer and secure during winter. In this article, we will try to find the answer to this very important question.
Driving on snowy roads meandering through the mountains is a wonderful experience. However, you need specialized equipment to remain safe and sound when roads get covered in ice and snow. Regular car tires are highly prone to slip and cause lots of accidents during winter each year. That is where tire chains can come to your rescue. They enable you to drive safely in the harshest of conditions by providing your tires with a lot of traction.
You would install the chains around the drive wheels of your vehicle. They allow the tires to stick firmly to the road surface by wrapping around them. Tire chains dig deep into ice and snow, ensuring more stability and traction. As a result, there are fewer chances for your car slipping. You won’t find it difficult to drive on difficult roads as well as deep snow with them besides keeping yourself and your loved ones safe.
Read More: 10 Best Car Batteries for Cold Weather
However, it is a rather tricky process to find the right tire chain for your car. You need to buy those that fit perfectly with your tires. Not many people know how to size tire chains for their vehicles as well. But – you need to worry. We are going to mention a few things that will help you determine what size and type of tire chains you need.
Why Do You Need Tire chains in Winter?
It is better to go over the biggest benefits of tire chains before picking the right ones for your car. First and foremost, they provide a lot of traction and thus, safety on a wet or icy road. Compared to ordinary winter tires, they offer more stability while driving your car. They minimize slipping and sliding on icy and snowy roads, allowing you to reach your destination safely.
You would thank tire chains for providing extra stability and traction, especially on turns. Curves can become pretty dangerous and difficult to maneuver when there are ice and snow on the road. Tire chains allow you to easily get in and out of the curves as they dig deep into the road. They also allow you to drive at higher speeds without causing an accident. It is not recommended to drive recklessly or very fast on snowy roads of course. However, you may have to drive very slowly to prevent any mishaps without tire chains.
You may already know that the weather can change very quickly during winter. You may be driving casually on a sunny afternoon one moment but caught in a severe blizzard the next moment. Therefore, you must always have tire chains in your car to handle such situations.
Roles and Regulations regarding Tire Chains
You should not use tire chains frequently. They do provide traction and safety by digging deep into snowy roads. But – they also exert extra pressure on your tires as well as on the road. This will not only cause damage to your tires but will also create potholes on the road. Therefore, you should only use them during harsh weather conditions.
Regulations regarding the use of tire chains vary from state to state. Weather conditions are different in every state and thus, they have different laws for tires chains as well. Using tire chains is mandatory under certain road conditions or at certain times in most states. You must check the laws in your state. However, you would mostly use the chain in winters only.
You may also face punishment or penalties in some states if you fail to use or carry tire chains in your car. Therefore, you must be familiar with the laws of your state or that of any other state you may consider visiting.
What Size Tire Chains Do I Need?
Many people have no idea how to figure out the size of tire chains. It is simpler than you may imagine. You just need to know the size of your tires. Each tire has a number and letter combination on its sidewall. This combination indicates the tire size.
You may find P in front of the first three numbers in the combination. The letter P and numbers stand for Passenger Tire and the width of the tire in millimeters. After the three numbers is a slash followed by another two numbers. There is also a letter R at the end of these numbers. R represents the width to height ratio of the tire. A two-digit number comes after the letter R which stands for the diameter of the wheel. Here is a common example of the combination: P200/80R16.
Write down this number and show it to a local tire dealer. He will give you the tire chain in the right size. You can also compare the measurement of tires with the size of the tire chain if you are buying the latter online. You must make sure the chains fit perfectly to your car’s tires. They would only cause damage to the road and the tires if they are too tight or loose.
What Type of Tire Chains to Buy for Your Car?
You can pick from two types of traction devices for your tires that are tire chains and tire cables. The choice depends on your driving style and the prevailing weather conditions.
· Tire Chains
Most people normally choose tire or snow chains as their main winter traction device. They create a sort of mesh around tires as they consist of metal chain links. They offer added stability and safety on snow roads by digging deep into them. Tire chains are highly durable and reliable. They do not corrode and last longer than tire cables.
· Tire Cables
Tire cables are only suitable for not so harsh weather. Similarly, you must use them occasionally because they offer less stability and traction compared to tire chains. The cover tires in a sort of webbing created by pieces of steel cable. These cables provide a low-profile besides a better grip on the road.
Now, you know what size tire chains do I need, you must also consider other factors such as their installation, application, and pattern, etc. Keeping it short, you must use tire chains while driving on snowy roads in winter. They don only keep you safe on difficult roads but can also become a difference between life and death.