Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

3 Essential Things to Know About Snow Tires and Snow Chains

Snow Tires and Snow Chains

Snow tires are made to grip on wet, snowy roads. Snow tires are also made of higher quality than regular all-season tires. Snow chains go over the tires of the vehicle to provide more traction while driving through snow and ice. Snow chains are sold in pairs, and must match the tire diameter and tread width.

When to Use Snow Chains

Snow chains should be used when there is a good layer of ice or compact snow on the road. If there is not enough snow or ice, snow chains can damage the road or vehicle. If your vehicle is front wheel drive, the snow chains should be placed on the front wheels. If the vehicle is rear wheel drive, the chains should be on the rear wheels. If the vehicle is four wheel drive, snow chains should be placed on all four wheels.

When to Use Snow Tires

Snow tires are best used in places when the yearly snowfall is around 350 inches. Even if you do not get 350 inches of snow a year, if you get some snow, rainfall, and ice in the winter time, having snow tires will make your driving experience safer and more enjoyable. They help with emergency stopping even on dry pavement. Edmunds.com recommends purchasing snow tires if the temperature drops below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. This is because the rubber on winter tires is designed to stay pliable at cold temperatures.

Classes of Snow Chains

The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) has three classes of snow chains based on the clearance of the vehicle. Class S has a minimum tread-face clearance of 1.46 inches, and a minimum side-wall clearance of .59 inches. Class U has a minimum tread-face clearance of 1.97 inches, and a minimum side-wall clearance of .91 inches. Class W has a minimum tread-face clearance of 2.50 inches, and a minimum side-wall clearance of 1.50 inches. Consult the owner’s manual for the correct type of snow chains for the make and model of your vehicle.

Snow tires can make winter driving safer and easier, but you still need to take care while driving on snowy, wet roads. Snow chains can be used in certain cases where the snow and ice is really compact.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

P0222 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle/Pedal Position Switch/Sensor B Circuit Low Input
P0222 code definition Throttle/Pedal Position Switch/Sensor B Circuit Low Input What the P0222...
How to Transfer a Car Title in Idaho
In order to prove ownership of a car, you must have the title. However, when a car is sold, given away or inherited, the title needs...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...


Related questions

Q: If Im planning to go to the snow what are some key things I should do to my car?

Hi there. Before going on the trip, the car should have snow tires or chains to eliminate any possibilities of your car sliding. Also, the vehicle should have fluids specialized for the cold temperatures that will be encountered. If any...

Q: What tires should I use for winter driving?

If you live in an area where snow in the wintertime is not just a possibility, but a certainty, then you need to make sure your car is prepared. Winter car prep is vital, but you also need to pay...

Q: How do I read tires for information?

Reading the tires on your truck is important. It helps you understand what conditions are needed to get the most out of your tires and operate your vehicle safely. To read the tires. The size of the tire will...