What type of snow chains to buy?: guide to choosing the right ones

What type of snow chains to buy?: guide to choosing the right ones

In many corners of Spain, there are times when the Snow chains They are essential, but most drivers don’t know what to do with them. The 67% of motorists, according to data from the RACE, does not know how to place the chains in your vehicle.

A worrying fact, especially these days when the storms ‘Fien’ and ‘Gerard’ have caused heavy snowfall, river overflows and wind gusts of more than 80 km/h, and have left many areas isolated.

What happens if they don’t wear chains?

The The law does not require you to wear chains. in the trunk, but if a road sign or an agent require its use, we will have to put them on the wheels or otherwise stop the car or turn around.

Violating this rule entails a penalty of 200 euros. Although the worst thing is not that, but the risk involved in crossing a snowy road without this element. Only vehicles equipped with winter tires with M+S identification is it so exempt to wear snow chains.

When to install the chains?

The chains must be installed before the mantle is excessively high, but always after that him asphalt has been dyed white. do it before degrades the accessory and can damage the tire and suspensions.

exist various types of models clearly differentiated, which should be known before carrying them for a good handful of winters. They must always be placed on the drive wheels.

Are the chains for the snow of lifetimewhich give the invention its name, because, literally, they are chains that they wrap around the wheel of the car. are the most difficult to assemble and that is its main drawback. it suits practice dry to have a habit when the storm arrives, and always with gloves to protect the hands from the cold.

After checking that the chains are not tangled, the first step is unfasten the rigid ring and then insert one end behind the wheel. Then, the two ends are taken and it is verified that the chain It has not been caught by the wheel. Next, you have to close the inner ring above the wheel and make sure that it is centered behind the tire.

The last step is to close the outer ring, center the chain assembly over the tread area and the sides of the tire and tighten the tensioner well. Finally, the excess of the chain must be hooked so that it does not remain hanging.

Despite the inconvenience of placing this type of chains, the positive part is that they are the safest and also the most durable. There are usually two designs, transversal and diamond, and its price is affordable, between 20 and 30 euros per pair.

cloth chains

are perhaps the More popularsince they take up little space, they are easy to assemble and not excessively expensive. Against them they have that they are not designed for very long distances and that they deteriorate more easily than the metallic ones. They should be washed after each use and hit the exact size. They barely interfere with driving and can be found from 30 euros.

Composite strings and other alternatives

The so-called compound chains are essentially like the previous ones, but the cover is not made of cloth, but of a network of plastic cables covered with textile material. The result is a type of Snow chains anything else resistant and also a little more expensive (between 70 and 95 euros). The assembly is similar, but requires more tension to adjust it to the tire.

There are also other hybrid solutionssuch as chains that are assembled in parts, are already actually composed by chains or by plastic parts (usually TPU, thermoplastic polyurethane).

These are three or four pieces of a certain width that are placed on the rubber and they are hooked with cable ties or webbing across the rim. For this reason, they are not suitable for wheels with hubcaps. They cost between 50 and 70 euros.

semi-automatic chains

Also Known As spikes-spider, are made up of a fixed part that is always anchored to the rim and a removable part that fits with a simple click. Its great advantage is the ease of assembly, but it has two things against it: the much space it takes up in the trunk and, above all, its price.

they cost between 200 and 600 euros, almost 10 times more than any other model. They are usually used in places where snow is very frequent and their use is little less than daily during the winter.

in spray

The spray is the most cheap and fast but also the less reliable. It is used to get out of trouble if the storm is weak or for very specific circumstances, such as taking the vehicle out of a garage with an icy ramp, but it would not prevent a fine on the road. The so-called liquid chains consist of a spray that is sprayed on the drive wheels and let it act for a few minutes.

Allows us drive a few kilometers while the applied fluid stays in the tire, but then it has to be refilled. It’s just one point solution for very urgent cases. Its price is around seven euros.

Practical tips

  • Once the model has been chosen, it is convenient to practice its mounting, with the aim that the first time is not in a storm of cold and snow. Mounting the chains is not difficult, but it works better with a little practice.
  • When the time comes, we will have to look for a secluded spot on the road, put up the emergency triangles and place them, helped with gloves and (highly recommended) a blanket to support the knees on the ground.
  • Once running, it is recommended do not drive at more than 50 km/h, without braking and accelerating, with the highest gear possible and at a low level of revolutions. After all, it is about getting out of trouble, getting home as soon as possible and forgetting the storm.


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