Different Types of Tire Chains

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Better tire chain traction means a rougher ride. Learn about different kinds of snow tire chains in this free winter weather driving video from a master mechanic.

Part of the Video Series: How to Install Tire Chains
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Video Transcript

Hello, in this segment we're going to cover automotive chains, the different styles and their appropriate uses. Basically we have two different style chains and there's a lot of different variations out on the market of these chains, but its just basically two different styles that are most commonly referred to as automotive chains and that be in the cable chain and in the standard chain and then you got various combinations of mixtures of both. And the basic difference is the standard chain is made of as you can see all made of chain, its much heavier built a lot of times you'll have a welded on portion through the center links of a hardened material to give a better bite into ice and it also gives a longer lasting because its a hardened material. Generally its just got a much more aggressive bite to it a lot better traction capabilities, but its also much bigger, much heavier and as you can see in size and design that this wrap around your tire is going to give you a much rougher ride if you're on a smooth surface then for say the cable chain next to it. And these are commonly used mostly on trucks and automotive as well. If you live in a situation where you're going to be driving in the snow and bad weather eight or nine months out of the year on unpaved roads, unmaintained roads, then these are definitely a better fit for you. The actual chains themselves will last longer and give you more mileage and a lot more aggressive bite. But for people for temporary driving uses like cars, that's where the cable chains come in. They're a much lighter design, they don't add as much size requirements as far as extra clearance in the wheel wells and because of their design of cables versus chains, they're much smoother and much quieter. So it gives you a lot better ride quality than the chains would. But it suffers a little bit in the traction capabilities. This particular cable chain here is one of the high quality ones which gives you the ability to replace individual links. Most of the cable chains aren't designed that way. And basically its all just put together with aircraft grade cable which you see on the actual traction links that wrap around the tire. These are sections of spring which is a hardened material. So its a real hard just cutup sections of spring put on there and that will give a better bite into ice and snow and because its hardened, it will last longer than wearing on the cable. And so those are the basic two types of chains that are available and out on the market for the automotive systems and they both have their pros and cons and we'll get more in detail into that, I just wanted to get you familiarized with them before we start our training session. Please watch our next session, we'll cover the safety.

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