Even though some people don’t believe it, it does snow in Flagstaff, AZ. In fact, we average approximately 101 inches of snow each winter. When it snows, keeping your car’s traction on the road is crucial to you and your passengers’ safety. There are times when chains will be required to drive in certain parts of Northern Arizona, but you shouldn’t put them on just because the weather forecasts icy precipitation. Rather, follow these tips from Heath’s Auto Service.
Follow the Authorities
The highway patrol will tell you when chains are required, as will the Arizona Department of Transportation or ADOT. If you plan to travel to areas where drivers have been asked to put chains on their tires in the past, check with the Arizona Department of Public Safety to see if there is a current chain requirement. You can also obtain information about road conditions on the ADOT website, which should include chain requirements.
Check the Weather
Before you head out on your excursion, check the weather, too. This is a good way to determine whether ice or snow will even be an issue during your drive. If inclement weather is in the forecast, put your chains in your trunk just in case you need them. If the weather looks to be really bad, stay home. Don’t risk going out into a snowstorm and getting stuck. The results are dangerous at best and could be deadly at worst.
Check Your Vehicle
Is your vehicle capable of wearing snow chains? In most cases, you can find a set of chains that will fit your tires, but some vehicles do not allow enough space between the tire and the wheel well for them to fit. If your vehicle cannot wear snow chains, then you won’t be able to put them on your car. In this case, again, don’t head out if the weather or road conditions suggest the possibility of required snow chains.
Finally, inclement weather alone does not mean you should put snow chains on your car. Chains are only helpful if there is an ice or snow layer on the road that has not been cleared. If you use snow chains while you drive on a cleared or salted road, you’ll damage your tires. So, to answer the title question, you should only put chains on your car tires when there is ice or snow on the road that has not been salted.
If you’re uncertain your car can wear snow chains, bring it into Heath’s Auto Service in Flagstaff, AZ. We can assess the space between your tires and wheel wells. Call us at 928-233-9335 for an appointment.