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Snow Tires VS Snow Chains, What is Best for You?

on December 8, 2020
Snow Tires VS Snow CHains - Snow Tires VS Snow Chains, What is Best for You?

Snow Tires VS Snow Chains, What is Best for You?

on December 8, 2020

With winter weather heavily approaching, it might be a good idea to put some thought into how you are going to handle the impending threat of snow.  

Should you do your best to drive with caution to how slick the roads are, or should you not leave your house until Spring? 

Let’s be honest, one of the options is easy in theory, but hard when executing, and the other is virtually impossible! You are a busy person that can’t just drop everything when the weather throws a curveball at you. 

What are some other options that you have? I mean, a winter driving safety tip would be to look into snow tires or snow chains. However, how beneficial can those really be? 

Snow Tires 

When it comes to snow tires or winter tires, there are two different types. There are studded snow tires and non-studded snow tires.  

Studded snow tires have metal studs that are attached to the tire, which help to dig deep into the snow. It should be mentioned that these tires are extremely damaging to the roads, so they should only be used when they are needed. 

Non-studded snow tires don’t have metal studs but tend to have a type of ribbing that will allow for traction that is easier to drive in slick conditions with. Thankfully these are great on dry pavement, so they should be good year-round unless there is an issue.  

While there are two different types of snow tires, they are built to handle the same amount of snow and ice. What are the pros and cons of having snow tires compared to having snow chains? 

Pros 

Snow tires are good when it comes to traction, and the non-studded ones are good for the dry road as well. This means the non-studded tires can be used all year round without the need to change them out for regular tires.  

They are good for bad road conditions and cold weather. These tires will be easy to have traction and will give you an easier time when it comes to icy roads, especially with black ice. 

Cons 

They tend to be on the more expensive side when it comes to traction devices. Not only in the traditional way either. You would need to pay for the tire, and then fork over more money to get them professionally installed and removed.  

They tend not to provide the traction required in deep snow, which can be an issue for some people. They also wear out quicker when they are driven on dry pavement.  

It is also worth mentioning that even though studded tires might be the option you want to choose, it might not be the option you CAN choose. Some states may have made it illegal for you to use studded snow tires. 

If they are legal, it might only be during certain times of the year. The rest of the year might have then banned.  

Snow Chains for Tires 

Snow chains are easily recognizable with just a glance. Car tire chains are chains that are placed around the tires of your vehicle that are supposed to help with keeping your vehicle safe to drive in the winter.  

There are a wide variety of benefits and drawbacks when it comes to tire chains. Let’s go through some of them and see which would be best for you.  

Pros 

One of the pros of having snow and ice chains is that they are very easy to install. The chains go on the tires that are indicated in your wheel train. If your car is rear-wheel drive, the chains should go on the back wheels. If your car is a front-wheel drive, they should do on the front.  

Installation is as easy as wrapping the chains and connecting the two ends. You don’t need any special tools in order to have the chains on your tires.  

The chains are also inexpensive. When looking at the price of the chains, in comparison to what they are used for and what they can do, it is easy to see that they are worth the price.  

They also give traction to your car in places that snow tires, both studded and non-studded, cannot. Chains are especially good at giving traction with ice patches, packed snow, and deep snow pockets.  

This means that in any situation you are in when it comes to snowy roads, you will be prepared. When the temperature drops, and you find yourself facing ice, that is covered as well! 

Cons 

When it comes to chains on your tires, a winter driving tip would be to not keep them on when snow is not on the ground. In some places, doing so is illegal and is a punishable offense.  

You will need to keep up on the weather and take off the chains when they are not necessary to have on. This is because driving with chains on your tires when not necessary can cause damage to the roadway. 

You might not want to drive high speeds when you have these chains on. The chains need a little bit of time to sink into the snow to prevent slipping and sliding.  

One Size DOES NOT Fit All! 

Remember, everyone’s car is different, and preferences when driving differ from person to person.  

Do you think you can handle taking chains on and off as needed? If not then the chain method might not be for you.  

Are studded snow tires legal in your area at any point during the year? This is a big decision making question that has to be researched in order to be found out.  

There are many different things that could happen when it comes to the decision making factor of putting any kind of traction device on your car. While it might take a little while for you to make that decision, know that it will be beneficial in the coming winter months.  

Author: Brooke Lazar

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