How to Install Tire Chains

Aquiline Tire Chain Installation Instructions

Aquiline Tire Chains provide traction solutions in the most demanding conditions for truck, tractor, grader and loader applications. They also have a special procedure for installation. Please click here to download Aquiline’s step by step instructions or call us at 1-866-437-5883 and one of our in-house tire chain experts will be glad to talk you through it!

Installing chains for severe weather conditions.

Installing today's snow chains is a fairly simple procedure, but it's a good idea to practice a little. Be sure to do a dry run before the weather gets bad so that you will understand how the chains fit on the tires.

If you have never driven on tire chains before and you can find softer ground, such as a dirt road, a test drive with chains installed can prepare you for the differences chains make on your car. Chains on the back wheels will limit your steering somewhat, while chains on the front wheels can cause your car's rear-end to react irregularly.

Snow Chain Guidelines

  • Do not exceed 30 mph when driving on chains.
  • Remove chains as soon as possible once you are on bare road.
  • Do not spin wheels when accelerating or lock wheels when braking.
  • Install snow chains on the drive axle. For 4WD or AWD, refer to the vehicles owners manual for instructions.
  • Do not use your chains for other purposes, such as towing or lifting.
  • Avoid hitting curbs or parking lot speed bumps.

Which chain size do you need for your vehicle?

The easiest way to determine which size chains you need is to look at your tires. Whether you’re looking for chains for a car, truck, tractor, ATV, or whatever, every tire should be stamped with its size on the sidewall. To purchase the correct size, chains should have matching specifications to the tire.

For the size 255/70R15 the numbers refer to;

  • 255 - The overall height of the tire when mounted and inflated.
  • 70 - The overall width of the tire when mounted and inflated.
  • 15 - The diameter of the wheel this tire will mount to.
  • The “R” denotes that the tire is a radial.

The wrong size chains can and will damage the sidewalls of your tires.

This could cause a blow out of the tire and be instrumental in an accident. At the very least, it can cause frustration and inconvenience. Avoid renting chains as usually these are a one size fits all type of chain. As with having the wrong size, these too can cause damage to your tires.

Many low-profile cars do not have the clearance for chains between the fender and the tire itself.

Before purchasing any chains, be sure your car and tires can accommodate them. Also, check with your local officials to make sure that chains are allowed in your area, some municipalities require the use of snow tires instead of chains. Please refer to our article regarding state tire chain laws.

Tire Chain FAQ's

What are tire chains?

Sounds like an obvious question but it's one we get asked. Tire chains are lengths of either cable or chain links that fit around a vehicle's tire to give it extra traction when driving through snow and ice. Sometimes tensioners are used to keep the chains firmly on the tires, these usually take the form of star-shaped rubber bungy style, or some chains come with tightening cams on the chains themselves that pull the chain tight once on the tire.

Can you give me advice on how to put on tire chains?

Our install page here: Installing Tire Chains gives advice and tips on how to install your chains, and most of our chain pages have an instructional how-to video at the bottom of the page as well, but if you can't see what you need then visit our youtube channel page for more instructional videos.

What size tire chains do I need?

Our helpful guide on our install page here: How to size chains gives you instructions on how to find the right chain to fit your tire. If you are looking for a chain to fit your ATV then contact us at (866) 437-5883. Because of the wide range of styles and sizes of ATV tires, it is best you talk to one of our experts to ensure you are getting the right chain that will fit your tire and not fall between the lugs or sit too loose on the tire.

What advice can you give for driving in snow?

See our page here: Driving in the snow for information about how to drive safer in snow and ice.

Where to buy snow chains

We ship internationally to most places, and shipping in the US is free, but if you are in the vicinity of Cedar Rapids, Iowa you can come by and purchase from our warehouse based at Cedar Rapids Tire.

How much are snow chains?

That pretty much depends on the vehicle you are driving and the style of chain you are looking for. Cable-based chains are usually cheaper than the heavier, and as a result stronger, linked chains. Chains designed for use on cars are also far cheaper than the large bulky chains used for tractors, graders, and other similar-sized vehicles.