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How to choose snow chains

In a cold and wintry period like this, you often come across snow on the asphalt and you have to be prepared. In this guide you will discover how to choose snow chains.

We already talked a few days ago about the probability of encountering snow on the asphalt. In fact, a few weeks ago we published this guide on how to drive in snow, we recommend you take a look at it. Now, however, among the precautions that exist, when it comes to driving in the snow you must have snow chains. But not just any snow chains, you can’t just take the first ones that come along. You must choose very specific chains, which adapt to the type of tyre. Let’s see together how to choose snow chains!

How to choose snow chains

When to mount them | How to choose snow chains

Although winter tires and snow chains are the same according to the Highway Code, their use is very different. Snow chains should only be fitted in case of snow exceeds 10 cm on the plain. However, if you find yourself going uphill, perhaps at the exit of a ramp, their use will be necessary even with just 5 cm of snow. In any case, you must always be ready to mount them, specifically be prepared so as not to end up in bad situations. Because it is precisely when the car slips and the temperature is at 0° or below that things become more difficult and you have to stop to fit them, better to do it in a easily accessible area. And one last thing, don’t do it with gloves because it’s impossible.

How to choose snow chains

When to choose them | How to choose snow chains

When it is very cold, your hands will suffer and freeze. So you need to be well prepared, precise and quick in doing so. In most cases it is enough to mount the chains on the traction wheelsbut if your car is one four-wheel drive, then you will have to install them on all wheels. So being prepared and ready is even more important, but so is choosing and purchasing them. First make sure the chains are compatible with your wheelsyou need to know the tire size and bulk. If for the second problem chains with links of reduced thickness help, for the first only the registration document. If it says “non-chainable tyres” and your car is fitted with those, then you will not be in compliance with the Code.

How to choose snow chains

Which ones to choose | How to choose snow chains

Once you have mounted them, make sure that they do not collide with the mechanical parts connected to the wheel and with the bodywork parts around it. To choose snow chains you need to make sure they are the right model for tyres, obviously looking among a variety of models with different characteristics. Those who will use them for a long time will do better to choose those with diamond-shaped links 10/12 mm, while for those who will use them for a short time, the 9 mm ones will be sufficient. The discriminating factor is both the thickness of the shirt and the price, in fact the most resistant ones are also the most expensive ones, as well as the thinner ones. The cheapest ones are the most generic ones.

How to choose snow chains

The types on the market | How to choose snow chains

There are various types of chains available in the market, namely there are 4 types and vary based on the geometry of the links. They differ in intended use, ease of assembly and price. This mostly determines from mesh sizes and the thickness of the chain. In fact, ultra-thin chains with a thickness of 7 mm have slightly higher prices because they are more resistant and can also be mounted on tires that cannot normally be fitted with chains. There are the ladder chains, which are the most difficult to assemble because it is necessary to move the car back and forth during assembly and cost 30 euros. Then there are the catene to Y which are the most widespread and the cheapest, suitable for sporadic and non-daily use and are always around 30 euros. We have the rhombus chains which can also be used on icy surfaces, but driving at moderate speed. These always start from 30 euros, but can also go up to 100 euro. Finally the spider chainssuitable for those who live in places where snow is always present and can also be mounted on non-chainable tyres, but they cost between 150 and 500 euros.

How to choose snow chains

Useful tips

Before embarking on a trip, do a general test with chains. Read the instructions and do some assembly tests, so as not to find yourself in difficulty when you necessarily have to assemble them. Take it as training before you find yourself in the real situation. You can also do it without having to wait for snow, strong winds or heavy rain. Remember that when you fit the chains, you cannot exceed 50 km/h. Mount them in a safe place, outside the road and possibly with the car on level ground and wearing the high visibility jacket. Drive calmly, smoothly, without accelerating or braking sharply.

We hope this guide has been useful to you! Continue to follow us on for other guides from the world of motors and much more.