Let’s be honest, when it snows in the UK, everything grinds to a halt. School and work is cancelled, public transport isn’t running and pretty much all aspects of our infrastructure is unable to cope the minute that the first few flakes start to fall. Panic ensues.
However, YOU can be a shining beacon of hope and stability in these dark and wintery times, powering through the snow drifts to save the day. How, you ask? Well, snow chains of course!
At Opies, we believe that being prepared for winter is an important part of ensuring the weather doesn’t keep you from your important day to day activities. We stock a huge range of snow chains, designed for an array of vehicles and applications. You will find compatible tyre sizes in the “specifications” tab of each listing – simply match your current tire size to the relevant set of chains.
Snow chains are actually compulsory in some parts of Europe depending on local conditions. However, you can only use chains where the road is protected by snow and ice and may have to buy new wheels or tyres too, as chains can’t be fitted where there is insufficient clearance between the tyre and the wheel arch/vehicle suspension. Not a problem for those of you with 4×4 vehicles and the off road nuts among us! Naturally, these would cause issues if fitted to your slammed Honda Civic, as clearance is an important part of making sure your chains are going to be correct for your current set up. In fact, having a second set of wheels that are set up specifically and ready to go for winter conditions is commonplace in Scotland and other remote areas that get the heaviest snowfall.
Ensuring optimum performance and road handling on snow covered roads, quick and easy to fit or remove and specifically designed for short periods of driving at low speeds – it’s a doddle to make your vehicle snow ready, and an affordable way of avoiding any prangs or scrapes that can result from losing control of your car in the snow. and you won’t break the bank or your Christmas present fund – prices start from just £27.09! Have a look below for some advice on the use of chains and what you can expect once they’ve been fitted.
When should I use chains?
Only consider using snow chains where the road surface is covered in a protective layer of compacted snow or Ice. This is advice directly from the AA, who, as you can imagine, have a great deal of experience in this area! If you have fitted chains, stop and remove them as soon as you reach a gritted/cleared road – choose a safe place, preferably on level ground and consider wearing a reflective jacket for improved visibility.
One pair or two?
The minimum is one pair on the driven wheels but two pairs are better, particularly if you’re spending a lot of time driving in conditions where chains are required.
- A front wheel drive car with chains only on the front wheels will have a tendency to oversteer.
- A rear wheel drive car with chains only on the rear will tend to understeer.
- A four wheel drive vehicle should have chains fitter to all four wheels.
Driving with chains on
Generally, traction control/anti-skid should be turned off when using snow chains. Check the vehicle handbook and the instructions for the chains as advice can vary from product to product.
Snow chains will not keep you from getting into difficulty if you drive too fast in icy or snowy conditions. Drive gently with chains fitted – keep speed down (generally, you should not exceed 30mph), slow down for bends and avoid harsh acceleration and braking.
All in all, snow chains represent great value for money when used correctly – especially when you use the discount code OPIEBLOG to get an additional 10% off your order. Of course, we’re not saying that you’ll be able to drive up Mount Everest once you’ve got a set of Michelin S11’s fitted, but they’ll give you the confidence to get out and about on your errands in most conditions. Just don’t let your boss know – you’ll be expected to make it into work, snow storm or not!
As ever, we’re on the phones and email Monday to Friday 8:30 – 5:30, so feel free to give us a call if you need any advice.
Keep those wheels turning, whatever the weather!