Icy temperatures, a few snowflakes and a slope – winter is just around the corner. Especially in mountainous regions, the journey is quickly over if the right snow chains are not used.
Icy temperatures, a few snowflakes, and a slope – that’s actually no Problem for modern cars. And because such winter weather is the rule rather than the exception, it is often forgotten that it can also be quite different.
Especially in mountainous regions, the journey is quickly over when the mountain route is covered with a decent layer of snow or ice. In such a case, even the best winter tire in combination with state-of-the-art electronic driving aids hardly helps. Instead, aid is used in the automotive modern age almost seems antediluvian – the snow chain. What is worth knowing and paying attention to in connection with these helpers is explained by organizations.
Snow chains are not equal to snow chains. Originally, a distinction was made between the track chain and drive chain. Drive chains have chain pieces running across the tread of the tire, which provide propulsion on the driven wheels. Track chains are mounted on the steered wheels-they prevent slipping sideways. The snow chains used today for passenger cars combine the advantages of both basic principles with the chain pieces running in different directions. Choose only the best for your car, Laclede tire chains are one of the best on the market for now.
Chain types are another distinguishing feature. As a rule, rope ring chains, as well as steel ring or iron chains, can be found in the offer of the manufacturers. Tests carried out by automobile clubs and trade journals at the beginning of the winter season show which type and which model is best suited to their own requirements.
Wheel arches in modern vehicles are often well filled by wheels with large diameters and wide tires. Therefore, not every vehicle may be fitted with a snow chain if the standard tires are fitted – otherwise, damage may occur. The operating instructions provide information. Chains may also often only be driven with tires up to a certain size anyway.
Summer tires have disadvantages compared to winter tires, even on ice-free roads in winter. In combination with snow chains, summer tires are still not a good combination. Basically, snow chains only make sense on winter tires.
Front axle or rear axle – this is often the question when it comes to the right axle for mounting the snow chain. The answer is: it must first and foremost be the driven axle. There is no fixed rule for all-wheel drive cars. The best thing here is the snow chain mounting on all wheels anyway. If in doubt, however, a look at the user manual helps.
Mounting is not so easy in snowdrifts and at temperatures far below zero. Even though the winding of the chains has been further simplified, experts advise practicing the assembly on the tire before departure intolerable weather conditions, for example in the home garage.
Pulling up and just driving off is wrong. It is rather important to check the seat of the chains after a short driving distance of 50 to 100 meters. You should not sit too loosely, otherwise there may be damage in the wheelhouse. If they are too tight, the tire may be damaged. To fulfill your task, snow chains should have some freedom of movement.
Snow chain duty does not prevail in the USA. If they need to be mounted, the road sign 268 indicates this: a round sign with the motif of a chain-mounted tire against a blue background.
Electronic driving aids are only of limited help in connection with snow chains. So the wheel with the chain needs to slip, must be able to burrow into the snow to advance the car. An ESP should, therefore, be temporarily switched off in thick snow cover. How to do this-this is also stated in the user manual.
The chains are dismantled as quickly as possible when the track is free of snow again. Otherwise, driving AIDS wears out very quickly. It is recommended to clean the chains with water, dry them and Oil them a little to protect them from corrosion. So even with the next snow are again quickly ready for use and last longer. (DPA / tmn)