Winter preparation is critical to your success as a driver in the snow and ice season. The first order of business is to make sure your tires are up to the task. In the worst conditions, tire chains offer the greatest protection against skidding, slipping and getting stuck in deep snow. If you only have two chains, be sure to put them on the drive wheels, but putting the chains on all four tires will give you the best results. Quality chains on all tires improve steering, braking and acceleration. The wheels are less likely to slip and spin when you go up steep hills on fresh snow or ice.
It is possible, though, that your vehicle manual recommends against using chains on either the front or rear tires due to clearance issues with the wheel wells or compatibility with brake components. Specific vehicles may have different requirements and call for a certain type of chains. Other things to keep in mind: chains should not be used with snow tires and that a match of chains and tires is essential. Also, for best results it is critical to buy chains from a reputable manufacturer such as Quality Chain Corp.
How To Put on Tire Chains in 5 Easy Steps
Another necessity with snow chains is proper installation. Incorrectly installed chains will result in them shifting off the tire or even coming off completely. They could also cause damage to your vehicle. Follow these steps for installation:
- Park on a flat surface away from traffic
- Lay out the chains and remove twists or kinks
- Drape them over the tire with hooks away from the rubber
- Connect the inside hooks first and then the outside hooks
- Take a short test drive and make adjustments
You want the chains to be as snug as possible and free of any extra slack. Since installation can be tricky, it is a good idea to practice putting them on and off before you really need them.
Get a Free Battery Test Before Heading up the Snowy Mountains From AutoZone
Of course, winter preparation involves more than just getting your tire system down pat. Free battery testing and charging is something you will want to do prior to the winter driving season. Battery testing is accurate and reliable at America’s number #1 battery destination. A charge will only take about thirty minutes. If your battery is shot, you can always buy a new one from a massive inventory of quality batteries.
Wiper blades are also critical for safe winter driving. Be sure to check the wear on your blades and replace them with winter blades if needed. Windshield washer fluid should be topped off. Also make sure the fluid can handle super low temperatures, otherwise it could freeze the lines and not work when you need it most. Do the same with your antifreeze. Finally, be sure you have a window scraper in the car and that you at least carry a small emergency kit in case you get stranded in a snowdrift. Prepare for winter with quality products that keep you safe and warm.