Snow chains for your car that you can easily build at home… made entirely from zip ties.
In this article:
Snow Chains Made From Zip Ties
Best DIY Snow Chains for Tires
Usually made from steel, snow chains are attached to car tires to provide maximum traction in the snow, making the process of driving less of a headache. While every resident that lives in a snow-filled community probably has at least one set of snow chains, that doesn’t mean that it’s not a good idea to know how to build your own snow chains and how to put on snow chains in case of an emergency.
But you might be surprised that you can make your own chains…with just zip ties. Not meant as a replacement for actual snow chains, but these DIY-models from Instructables’ user movemaine, can provide some quick traction in an emergency.
What You Need
For One Tire
- six 36 in. zip ties
- 24 12 in. zip ties
- 6 in. snow
Before You Start
Make sure to check how many openings your rims have. One “snow chain” will go through each opening, so if you have six openings, you’ll need six chains.
If you have more or fewer openings, simply adjust the number of zip ties you use, but the process will be identical for all types of rims.
1. Tying the Zip Ties
Start by tying a small zip tie to the long zip tie (which we’ll call the chain) about 6 to 8 inches away from the head. Tighten the small zip tie as hard as possible without damaging it.
Add a second small zip tie about an inch away from the first small zip tie. Continue this pattern until you’ve got six small zip ties attached to your chain.
2. Trim the Zip Ties
Using a pair of scissors, trim the small zip ties to about 1/4 of an inch in size. You would not want some excess zip ties to be stuck and in the way of making driving complicated.
3. Repeat Steps
Repeat these steps over to complete as many snow chains as needed. Do this on all others and make sure every zip tie is trimmed properly.
4. Attach to Tires
Once all your chains are finished, it’s time to attach them to your tires.
As a tip, turn your wheel all the way to the right. This will make the entire process much easier.
Now insert your chain through any of the openings of the rim, with the head in first, and then pull it around the other side of the tire, back to the front. Pull the chain towards the end of the opening that it would naturally slide over to help prevent it from moving around.
5. Tighten the Zip Ties
Connect the zip tie and tighten it, all while keeping the smaller zips (which is the grip) on the tread of the tire. Once they’re set, tighten the chain as best as you can.
6. Repeat the Process
Repeat this process for all the openings on the tire. Around 5 to 6 zip ties will work for each tire of your vehicle.
They will stay on your tire when driving with snow chains through snow and ice, but they will likely break off if you drive for a long period of time on concrete alone.
Go ahead and watch the video provided by Jason Day and see how the zip tie snow chains are being used in a 6-inches of snow field:
Winter comes and goes, but there are many places across the world that have snow all year ’round, leaving many with no choice but to stock up on tools that make life easier in the snow and ice. One such winter accessory that many people heavily rely on to literally get through snowstorms are snow chains.
While they provide traction, these snow chains are by no means a permanent solution to driving on snow. So make sure that this coming winter season you are all set for your gear and for your own safety!
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on January 18, 2016, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.
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