NAPA Auto Parts Sterling, VA
45449 Severn Way
Sterling,  VA  20166-8918
(703) 378-6666
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Car & Truck Tire Chains

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What are Snow Chains

Winter driving creates a dangerous combination of tough terrain and adverse weather conditions. Fortunately, The NAPA Network is always here to get you out of a sticky, or should we say slick, situation. When it comes to freezing rain and blizzard conditions, there is nothing better than a set of snow chains or ice chains for tires to avoid skidding, sliding or getting stuck in a snowbank.

A snow tire chain is a net of metal links that encircle your wheel. This wrapping of heavy steel generates extra grip for when the snow gets deep. Tire snow chains come in a wide range of sizes to fit nearly any tire from standard trucks to heavy-duty recreational vehicles. The most important factor is to ensure there is proper clearance for you tire snow chains to fit around the wheel without damaging the undercarriage or brakes on your sedan, SUV or pickup. Expert Tip: Fully turn the wheel of your vehicle to each side and make sure no components are rubbing or grinding. If clearance is tight, consider purchasing snow cables for tires, which often have a lower profile.

If you have a set of snow or ice chains for tires installed on your vehicle, you must stay below 30 miles per hour when driving. You should also make sure that you are familiar with the safety regulations in your region regarding the use of chained tires for ice. While legal in all 50 states, different laws regulate chain usage. Most tire chain laws are designed to protect the roadways from damage caused by using chains when there is too little snow coverage. Learn more about when to use tire chains or how to install snow chains on your vehicle.

If you turn onto a road that's clearly plowed and salted, pull over and remove the snow chains. After removing, inspect them for any breaks or corrosion before storing. A good spray with WD-40 helps guarantee they are ready for next season.

Types of Snow Chains

Almost always sold in pairs, snow chains for car tires come in two main styles: ladder and diamond. While most models of alloy steel tire chains come in silver, there are some all-black options. The best tire chains for snow incorporate a simple security cable braced to the interior circumference of the tire. Don't check out before adding a multi-arm, rubber tire chain tightener to your shopping cart or go for this line of diamond pattern tire chains with an automatic tightening device.

Deluxe models offer tire cables in a Z pattern (or diagonal pattern) with a complex security chain. A tire cable, compared to a tire chain, is made of a steel cable encased in an alloy. Although car or truck tire chains are typically more durable, they are also bulkier and heavier. Snow cables are lighter weight and easier to install plus are less likely to damage your vehicle if one of the cables breaks. Snow cables don't have the same speed limitations as tire chains, but tire chains are engineered to last longer than one season of heavy snow and constant driving.

NAPAOnline carries a robust line of tire chain parts, including cross chains with end hooks or with an H pattern from well-known brands like Peerless. Also, don't overlook NAPA's large selection of tire chain fasteners, including over-center latches, side chain fasteners and speed hooks. We also carry single replacement end lap repair links and self-closing cross chain repair links. Lastly, no tire chain digital product catalog is complete without welded side chains suitable for everything from domestic passenger vehicles to light work trucks and even tractors. NAPA is the go-to source for fleet management and recreational fun. We not only carry tire chains for trucks, cars, SUVs and vans, but tire chains for farm equipment and off-road powersport vehicles such as ATVs as well.

Snow Chain Alternatives

If putting on and taking off snow tire chains seems like too much hassle, but you want to stay prepared for if your vehicle gets stuck on the side of the road, our experts recommend the Trac-Grabber vehicle recovery device. Once installed, apply just enough power for the wheels to spin to the point where the Trac-Grabbers engage. Then with a little more power, they lift the vehicle and provide enough tire rotation to move your vehicle back to stable terrain. Also, you can check out our selection of SuperSox tire covers, which utilize tough urethane pads with metal spikes for 40 percent more traction on snow and ice.