Every season I see the same people struggling with chains. Since most vehicles are now at least front-wheel drive, it’s easy!!!! Install your own tire chains with this easy guide or let the pros do it and pay $30.00!
Applies to ladder style chains (cable or link).
The following is not the instructions provided by chain manufacturers, but I know from years of experience that the following is the best method for front wheel drive or when using the front wheel as the chained wheels on all-wheel or 4 – wheel drive.
Park car on level ground.
Turn steering wheel to full left lock
Drapes chains OVER the left front tire such that the ends of the chains, at the back of the tire, just touch the pavement. If you have chains with adjustable straps, you want the NON-STRAP end, to be touching the pavement at the back of the tire.
Get in the car and prepare to go in reverse. Grasp the steering to prevent the steering wheel from self-straightening as you back up. Back up a very small amount (1/4th to 1/3rd of a revolution of car tires.) Since you are holding the steering wheel steady, the vehicle should describe a shallow “c” shape as you go back. DON’T LET THE FRONT WHEELS SELF-STRAIGHTEN!
Shift into park.
Get out and you will notice that because the tire on the driver side is “winged out”. It is easy to reach to the inside of the tire to grasp the ends of the chains and affix the connection device. YOU MUST AFFIX the inside first. Then affix the outside connection device. Do the driver’s side first so as to get a sense of how far the vehicle must move to affect a ¼th to 1/3rd tire rotation. You can see this when doing the left side, but not the right (passenger) side.
Turn the steering wheel to full right lock and repeat the entire procedure for the right front tire.
After both chains are installed, drive the vehicle back and forth in a straight line a few feet and then re-tighten them to get the cable chains to encircle the tire more tightly.
If you hear the chains slap against the inside of the wheel wells after they have been tightly adjusted as you drive, use rubber bungee cords or rubber chain tighteners, etc. to increase the tightness of the fit. ~ ">Ron