How Do You Put Chains on Your Tires? We've Got You Covered
We're expecting a big snow fall this weekend up in the mountains so it's about that time of year to start thinking about putting chains on your tires.
Growing up in Southern California my entire life, the idea of putting chains on tires is completely foreign to me.
Surprisingly a few people I spoke with here in the Tri-Cities said they're unaware of how to do so either.
The biggest challenge will probably be trying to put them on while it's freezing and snowing and with ice on the ground, so we asked a few people what they would do and got some advice from an expert.
"What you can do is you can stop and ask somebody for help for help before you get to where you need them," said Haily Stout of Kennewick.
"My son advice to me is you stop someone and pay them to do it for you," said Bonnie Howard of Kennewick.
What if you're standing in snow on Snoqualmie Pass?
Or the foot and half of snow expected in the Cascades Passes?
Or the two feet of snow expected on Mount Rainer this weekend and there's not another car in sight?
"You're going to want to know this time of year because it's required to go over in certain vehicles," said Aaron Maki of Pasco.
So, here's a lesson on how, courtesy of Perfection Tire's Kim Palmer.
"The first thing you you want to do is lay your chains down on the ground and then you're going to drive your vehicle onto the chains a short distance and when you stop, the first thing you is reach inside the tire and hook the insides," said Palmer.
Palmer tell us once you clip the inside of the chains, you then go ahead and clip the outside.
The next very important step is making sure everything is as tight as possible and secure.
Then, you want to drive about 20 feet, get out and re-tighten.
The very last step is putting on the chain tighteners and again, make sure those are secure as well.
"The importance of chains is actually when there's snow build up and you need the extra traction that you won't get out of any studded tire, the metal against the road contact is really what you need when those conditions persist," said Palmer.
The Washington State Department of Transportation has made some recent improvements to help solve chain-issues for trucks by nearly doubling the length and width of the westbound chain-up area on the I-90.
There will also be overhead message signs to help guide trucks into the area to improve safety.
Prices for chains range from $30-$150, depending on the size needed for your vehicle.
So if you're unsure, make yourself familiar, this kid has the right idea for when he gets a license.
"By asking my dad to help me put on the chain tires so that he can teach me how to put them on myself," said 13-year-old Ismael Garcia.
Make sure you buy your chains ahead of time, Palmer tells us that if you wait until you get into the snow the prices can nearly triple because sellers know people will be forced to buy them.
It's something you may have to practice a few times to make sure you get it right.
Other options include tire socks, which are a little easier to use, but they may not fit every car.