Recognize any of the vehicles shown below?
Most vehicles manufactured since the late 1980’s will have special clearance requirements. This includes cars, pick-ups and SUVs. Don’t be fooled by the appearance of the tire positioning on your vehicle. Most clearance issues are hidden from view as they are behind the tire near brakes, suspension parts, strut housings, splash guards and fuel and brake lines.
Check your owner’s manual: Most vehicle manufacturers make a statement regarding clearance issues related to their vehicles. This information is located in the owner’s manual under chains, traction devices, tires or a similar heading. It is important to select a traction product that is compatible with the minimum class assigned to your vehicle. If you can’t locate the clearance requirements of your vehicle, contact the manufacturer.
Vehicle manufacturers sometimes refer to the type of traction product to be used. This reference is based on the original tire and wheel size shown in your owner’s manual. Using a different size tire may affect the chain’s ability to operate properly.
Traction products not only have to fit the tire, but they must also fit within the space provided around the tires.
Some owner’s manuals state that certain tire sizes do not provide enough clearance to accomodate winter traction products. Frequently, car manufacturers make these statements because a vehicle has less clearance available than Class “S requires. The fact is, many of these vehicles can use one of our winter traction products. Trying to measure the nearest obstruction under your vehicle could prove tricky. To insure that you have adequate clearance to operate any traction device they must be pre-fitted and driven a short distance. Start slowly, if you hear any contact (a ticking sound), stop and remove the chains immediately. Regardless of the type of traction product you use, do not exceed 30 mph.