The snow is very beautiful, less when you get caught on the road and you do not have chains.
It seemed that the time was not going to arrive but at last, it snows in Spain. And of course, it is just now, when there are still hours to start the Constitution Bridge when many drivers wonder how and where to buy snow chains for the car, just in case.
Do not worry, when you finish reading this practical you will be an expert. Promised!
First, buy just the size you need
You can buy snow chains in Carrefour, in specialized stores such as Midas or Norauto, and there are even snow chains in Decathlon.
Wherever you go, the key to not err in the purchase and take home what your car needs is the measure. On the side of the tire, you will find a series of numbers and letters that indicate the size of your tire.
In the upper image, 205 is the width of the tire in mm and 55, the ratio height/width in percent. The letter ‘R’ shows that it is a radial type cover and the number 16 is the diameter of the tires in inches.
For this tire, you will have to buy some chains suitable for 205/55 R16. On the outside of the chains, the list of measures for which they are homologated appears.
In the market you will find four types of snow chains :
1.Metallic snow chains. It is the best-known option. As its name suggests, it is a series of chains of steel links that interlock either transversely or making rhombuses. They are relatively easy to place, in the following video you can see how to place the chains in two minutes. But when driving they are somewhat annoying because they transmit many vibrations.
2.Textile snow chains. These are much easier to place, but also much less resistant so they are only recommended for occasional use or for those trips in which you do not know for sure if you will need them.
Badly named chains are a canvas cover that surrounds the tread and rim.
3.Mixed or compound snow chains. They are a mixture of the two previous types: they look like a sheath but instead of a cloth they have a net. Its installation is simpler than the metal ones but its durability is similar. Does it hit? Which are more expensive.
4.Semi-automatic snow chains. They are an option recommended only for intensive use because they are formed by a fixed part that is always installed on the rim and another mobile part that is assembled and disassembled according to the conditions of the asphalt.
How much do snow chains cost?
The price of the snow chains depends, first of the type of chains that you have chosen and, second of where you are going to buy them.
To give you an approximate idea we are going to give you the average price of the four previous classes. But if you have time, it is no good that you do a small market study because the prices vary from one store to another.
The cheapest snow chains are the metallic ones. Its price is around $50.
The textile chains are somewhat more expensive and tend to be around $70. A little less than the hybrids: the Michelin Easy Grips that are the best-known cost between $90 and $100).
The most expensive snow chains are the semi-automatic chains, which can cost $800.
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Types of snow chains
Metallic snow chains
Textile snow chains
Where the snow chains are placed
Whatever you choose, it is essential that you remember that the snow chains are placed on the drive shaft. That is if you drive a car with the front-wheel-drive you will have to put them on the front axle; if yours is traction, the chains will go on the back wheels. In the case of 4×4 vehicles, you have two options: either put four chains or install two on the driving wheels and guidelines.
The definitive question: what snow chains to choose?
Metal and textile chains are the most used. The first because they are the best known and give an excellent result; the second because they are installed in a moment.
If we had to advise one or the other, the key question rather than how much you can spend is how much are you going to use?
For a sporadic use, the textile covers give good results. But you will not be able to use them more than two or three times as they deteriorate right away. My advice is that you opt for metal ones. They are cheaper and although the big problem is that they are more difficult to put on, it will be enough for you to rehearse two or three times before leaving home. The advantage is that you can use them as many times as you want so they are a long-term investment.