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Can Tire Chains Be Used on All 4 Wheels


I am surprised that no one has asked this question nor have I seen it addressed. Why do I not see a recommendation from your company or Thule that chains should be installed on all four wheels?inch It has always been highly recommended that you install snow tires on all 4 wheels particularly front wheel drive cars due to difference in adhesion between snow tires and summer/all season causing unstable car control. Many will recommend see Tire Rack tech articles putting new tires on the rear of front wheel drive cars for increased car control. I do understand that most companies put a 30 MPH speed restriction when using their chains. Presumable you put chains on because your tires had little adhesion for the conditions snow/ice. Driving up a hill would not be an issue, but unless you live in the location where your father walked to school, uphill, both ways, then I submit trying to maintain control of your vehicle going down a winding mountain road would be very tenuous at best especially once you applied the brake. Ground looping comes to mind. Your thoughts?


Expert Reply:

The linked article on tire chains does address the question of on which tires to place snow chains. This really has to do with whether the vehicle is front-wheel-drive, rear-wheel-drive or 4-wheel drive. Drive wheels are always the priority but chains on all fours tires means more consistent steering and braking, as well as acceleration.

In general, all 4 wheels can be chained to provide extra stability as long as the vehicle's owner manual does not specifically prohibit this due to clearance issues within the wheel wells or around the brake components. A review of your car's owner's manual is always the best starting point when considering use of tire chains. Many passenger cars require use of low-profile S Class chains. Some can use chains only on specific tire sizes and some only on one axle or the other.

Tire chains vary in their construction, method of installation, type of tensioning and in their intended use - some are suitable for both on-road and off-road use while others are limited to just on-road applications. In general chains that are easier to install will actually have a chance of being used and actually help you. Chains that are tough to install will tend to stay in the trunk. I suggest you invest in chains that provide assisted or automatic tensioning.

The linked page will show you all four stock tire sizes offered on the 2010 Accord. Just click on your tire size to see the options. Let's say you have 225/50-17 size tires on your Accord. In this size I recommend the Thule # TH00023100. These offer automatic tensioning and carry a 5-year warranty.

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