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How to Fit Tire Chains That are Too Large

by Sam Grover

A snowy day can be made that much worse if your tire chains look like they're too large for your tires. Happily, the reality is that this is only a matter of appearance. Tire chains are adjustable, and if they are too big when you first put them on all you need to to is tighten them to make them snug. This will make it safer to drive on the snow and ice by giving your tires more grip and better traction, keeping you from sliding down hills or spinning out when going around corners.

Drive over your chains while they are flat on the ground, then bring the chain around the tire as you usually do. If it is too big, you will have a lot of slack.

Hook the "C" link into the chain on the inner side of the tire.

Attach the bow lever to the link opposite it.

Pull back the bow lever. The opposing force from the attached C link will tighten the chain. Ensure that it is tight enough by trying to put your hand between the chain an the tire. If it is not tight enough, move the C link one or two links down, the bow link one or two links down, or both. By overlapping the excess chain you will make it fit your tire.

Warnings

  • Check your vehicle's manual before buying chains to see if they can be used on your car.
  • Don't deflate your tires to install or adjust chains.

About the Author

Sam Grover began writing in 2005, also having worked as a behavior therapist and teacher. His work has appeared in New Zealand publications "Critic" and "Logic," where he covered political and educational issues. Grover graduated from the University of Otago with a Bachelor of Arts in history.

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