FAQ on snow chains and snow socks
If you have any questions about snow chains and snow socks that are not entirely clear or covered on the product pages of our website then hopefully, you will find the answers here. We hope that the answers given to the questions below will give you the information you need.
Please do not hesitate to telephone us on 01732 884408 or send us an email to email@example.com if there is any aspect that we haven’t covered. Please be aware that laws & regulations regarding snow chain use can change at any time. Therefore although the answers are correct, as we understand them to be at the time of writing it is advisable to check with the Tourist office for the countries that you intend visiting.
How to set up and fit Konig K-Summit snow chain to the wheel of a car. It’s important to carry out the adjustment procedure before you travel.
Useful tips from snowchains.co.uk “Use the K-Summit manual supplied with the chains as a guide to how many yellow elements to remove. Once the number of yellow elements has been removed from each of the chains, test fit the chain to the wheel as shown in the video, and if the chain is to small for the wheel, remove further yellow elements until the optimum size has been reached. In certain circumstances, usually when the fitting the chain to a winter tyre (M + S) it may be necessary to remove one or two of the grey elements to reach the required size to fit the wheel.”
As long as there is reasonable clearance above the tyre and the wheel arch, you shouldn’t have any problems at all. In cases where there isn’t enough clearance, it is best to jack the car up slightly, on firm ground, so that the body work is raised slightly.
For rear wheel drive cars in particular, we strongly recommend fitting a second pair of snow chains to the front wheels, which will greatly assist in maintaining control of the steering and braking on snow and ice.
Many 4wd vehicle manufacturers and motoring organisations stipulate that snow chains should be fitted on all four wheels.
1. Before using snow chains make sure that the vehicle’s tyre size is listed on the snow chain label.
2. Always carefully read and understand any information relating to the use of snow chains in the vehicle’s Owners Manual.
3. Make a test mounting in dry comfortable conditions prior to using in earnest, in order to check that they fit properly on the tyres and to practice fitting them. Konig K-Summit snow chains will need to be pre-adjusted to the tyre size (a simple once only operation) before fitting is possible. Always make sure that no part of the snow chain is twisted. Should this be the case simply remove the snow chain and un-twist.
4. Always fit snow chains to the driving wheels. If the vehicle is rear wheel drive it can be a great advantage to have them fitted to all four wheels.
5. Unless specified to the contrary by the vehicle manufacturer, 4 wheel drive vehicles should have chains fitted to all four wheels.
6. Do not exceed 30 mph when snow chains are fitted.
7. When fitting, try to fit them in a safe place, well away from the carriageway and if possible on a level surface. Always wear an approved reflective waistcoat for safety. This is mandatory in some countries.
8. After initial fitting drive a few metres, stop and check the snow chains for correct adjustment and positioning, in case it is necessary to re adjust or improve upon the positioning.
9. Drive smoothly and try to change gear as little as possible. Always avoid cornering at excessive speed, dangerous overtaking, sudden acceleration and sharp braking and skidding. Never spin the wheels, since this will seriously reduce the life of your snow chains!
14. After use wash your snow chains with warm soapy water and dry before storage. Always store in a dry environment.
Trucks & buses
1. Tyre information relates to standard tyres and not retreads and duel wheels with non-standard distances between the wheels. In such cases suitability cannot be guaranteed.
2. The vehicle manufacturers recommendations as to the fitment of snow chains should always be followed.
3. Always practice before fitting snow chains and make sure that no part of the chain is twisted. Should this be the case simply remove the snow chain and un-twist.
4. Never exceed 30 mph with snow chains fitted.
5. On mountain roads, particularly when travelling downhill, an additional pair of chains should be fitted to the vehicle’s steering axle. Chains must be fitted on the drive axle and on the penultimate axle of the trailer.
6. To obtain maximum service life the snow chains should be regularly turned over (reversed) so both sides of the chain pattern come into contact with the road surface. Do not use the snow chains if any of the chain link have worn to a level of more than 40%
7. Always remove snow chains if damaged.
8. Never drive on snow free or ice-free roads.
Always drive as smoothly as possible. Never over 30 mph. Avoid taking bends at excessive speed, harsh acceleration and harsh braking. Unless using snow chains that have automatic tensioning, it is necessary to stop after a couple of revolutions to adjust the tension. Remove the chains, as soon as possible, to avoid premature wear. Periodically inspect the links for signs of wear. In the event of any defect or breakage, stop immediately and remove the chains.
To keep snow chains in good condition after use, wash them under warm running water and allow them to dry, before placing them back into their pack. Always store your snow chains in a warm dry environment.
I am going on a ski drive holiday.
Is it compulsory to carry snow chains, even if there isn’t any snow on the road?
If you are driving to a European mountainous region, or Scandinavia, in winter, it is compulsory to carry approved snow chains in your vehicle. It is taken very seriously and non compliance can result in extremely heavy fines. Importantly, if a vehicle is involved in an accident or you block the highway, when it is considered that snow chains should be used, it is automatically deemed the fault of the driver without the chains, regardless of circumstances!
Since with the Konig K-Summit snow chains all fitting is done from the front face of the wheel and tyre there is no need to put your hand over the top.
Such a statement is quite common and in a very few cases it may well be correct. The most usual area of concern is around the rear of the tyre. However, in the majority of cases Weissenfels snow chains do not present a problem, since the car chains take up a maximum projection of 9 mm at any one point. In cases where there is less than 10 mm clearance the only snow chains that should be used are the Clack & Go “Sette” or Konig CK-7 or K-Summit models.
Whenever possible make a test mounting in a dry place prior to use. Follow the fitting instructions and make certain that they are correctly fitted. Feel with your hand behind the wheel making sure that there is nothing that can cause an obstruction.
It is much easier to fit snow chains if you have previously practised at home than doing it for the very first time in a blizzard!
Each set of snow chains are designed to fit an extensive selection of tyre sizes; so, in many cases, it is quite possible that they will fit. If they don’t, Snowchains Europroducts offer an Exchange Service, whereby you can part exchange your old chains towards the cost of some new ones.
Which are the countries that snow chains are mandatory to be carried and used, when dictated by road signs or prevailing weather conditions?
In addition to the snow chain requirements it is also mandatory, in most countries, to carry and wear a reflective jacket as well as have a warning triangle in the car.
*Please see further notes at bottom of page
Denmark *Not compulsory but recommended
Information source: The AA
Please note that in any country, including UK, snow chains may only be used where there is sufficient snow covering to avoid any possibility of damaging the road surface.
You should only use snow chains when there is a blanket of snow on the road. Often there will be a sign directing you to fit chains. On roads that are free from snow, you must remove the chains to avoid any damage to the car. Always pick a safe place to fit and remove chains, preferably on level ground.
Many countries now legislate that an approved reflective waistcoat is worn whilst fitting snow chains.
As long as the snow chains are fitted correctly, as per the fitting instructions, and used in snow, it is most unlikely that the chains will mark the wheels or cause any damage to the tyres. The Clack & Go Pro-Tech is fitted with composite alloy wheel protectors and the Konig K-Summit have no connection with the wheel.
* Special rules that apply to motorists in Germany
If during the winter months a vehicle becomes stuck because the tyres are unsuitable, drivers are liable to an on the spot fine in Germany. If the vehicle causes an obstruction the fine may be doubled. The fine may not refer specifically to the fitment of ‘incorrect’ tyres though but relate instead to the fact that the vehicle could not make normal progress in inclement conditions!
The German law requiring ‘appropriate tyres’ is national legislation only. The UK Department for Transport have confirmed that International conventions permit vehicles to circulate in international traffic as long as they satisfy general technical requirements which as far as tyres are concerned mean only “pneumatic tyres ensuring good adhesion, even in the wet”.
So as far as the law is concerned your normal tyres that meet UK regulations will be OK for a winter trip to Germany though you must take measures to ensure that you can make normal progress in inclement conditions.
In practice this means carrying snow chains and using them whenever conditions or local signs require. (Source The AA)
The Austrian Road System
In winter, from December to March, drivers must reckon with snow on all Austrian roads; this applies above all to mountain roads at higher altitudes. Thus, when driving in winter, winter tires are absolutely essential. When driving in precipitous terrain, snow chains must be used. (Source Austrian Tourist Board)