Do Tire Chains Work? (Deep Snow, Black Ice + Do They Ruin Your Tires)

When driving during winter, drivers need to be more cautious and use tires with enough grip to properly handle snow-covered roads.

Tire chains are some of the tools that most drivers use when driving through snowstorms or icy and hazardous roads. But, do these chains work? Here’s what I discovered.

Do Tire Chains Work?

Tire chains do work as they help drivers get through roads covered in dense snow and are considered to provide better handling in these conditions. This is made possible as chains are able to dig into the snow and provide better traction. When combining these factors, tire chains do indeed work.

For more information about how tire chains work, how you should use them, and whether they cause any damages, read on!

How Do Tire Chains Work?

Tire chains work because of traction and the wheel spin. When added to the tire, the chain wraps around the tread to prevent it from slipping.

These chains help the tires get a better grip on ice and snow-covered roads, providing more traction and control for the driver. Apart from gaining traction, the chains prevent wheel spin.

Keep in mind that manufacturers design different chain sizes for particular tire sizes; therefore, when buying tire chains, you need to get the right size to avoid damaging your tires.

In addition, the state laws also come with restrictions such as the speed to use when driving on these tire chains.

Do Tire Chains Work In Deep Snow?

Do Tire Chains Work In Deep Snow?

Yes, tire chains are specifically designed to work in areas where the road is covered with dense layers of snow and ice.

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If you need to travel to the snowy alps or mountainous areas, these tires work by helping the tires navigate through the ice-covered roads.

They provide the necessary grip and traction for the tires so that you don’t lose control of the vehicle.

Compared to standard winter and studded tires, tire chains are much better suited for deep snow areas; therefore, you can buy some for your car before you travel.

Do Tire Chains Work In Black Ice?

During winter, the road sometimes forms black ice, which is a thin coat of highly transparent ice that blends with the road pavement, making it impossible to see.

When black ice forms, the road becomes pretty dangerous because your ability to see and drive clearly has been reduced.

Keep in mind that driving on black ice is not the same as driving on snow-covered roads; therefore, even if you add tire chains, your tires will not have any traction.

Because of this reduced traction, tire chains are not very helpful on black ice.

Do Tire Chains Ruin Your Tires?

Do Tire Chains Ruin Your Tires?

Typically, tire chains shouldn’t ruin your tires unless placed incorrectly or not meant for the particular tire size.

When buying them, remember that these chains are exclusively meant for snow or ice-covered roads. Therefore, if you use them on dry pavements, your tires will get damaged more quickly.

Do You Have To Put Tire Chains On All Four Tires?

If your car is a front-wheel drive, you must install the chains on the front tires; however, the chain should be placed in the rear axle if it’s a rear-wheel drive. Car manuals have instructions on which axle should have the tire chains.

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However, it’s advisable to put the tire chains on all four tires for the best results. This helps in boosting tire traction and balance.

If you add the chains only to the rear tires, the steering ability of the car will be affected, and if you add them to the front tires only, the back of your vehicle may become unpredictable when braking or driving.

To learn more about tires chains, you can also read our posts on wherther or not snow tires help on ice, what are tire socks, if tire chains work on ice, and if winter tires can be used in summer.


Tire chains are essential when driving through snow-covered roads. Unlike typical winter or studded tires, they provide more grip on the road during winter.

When shopping for tire chains, it’s advisable to get four for all your tires in the correct sizes to prevent tire and road damage.

In all states, there are laws that govern the use of tire chains to reduce road damage when misused; therefore, before installing some on your vehicle, ensure that they are legally allowed.

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