Do You Need Chains On All 4 Tires? A Step-by-step Guide On Chains

By David Barlow
Last updated: Nov 27, 2022
Do You Need Chains On All 4 Tires

There is no need to debate about how beneficial chains are to increasing your vehicle’s ability to hold on to snow conditions or icy conditions.

If you are unknown to this problem, our detailed article is ready for you to dig in. Let’s get started.

What Is A Tire Chain? Why Is It Necessary? 

A tire chain is a product used frequently to secure your wheel and keep your car grip tightly and drive on the right track. Particularly, it allows for better control by digging the wheel deep into the snow or the ice.

Driving in ice-covered slippery, and snowy conditions without losing balance is more easy-breathing than you imagine. If you have not gone through this situation, you will never know how overwhelming it is. You might have got stuck in a blizzard, caused an accident, or worse. 

The manufacturers consider this thing carefully; that’s why these chains were born to prevent you from falling into all the dangerous potential on your journey. The only downside here is that chains are likely to slow down your maximum speed to 30 mph

Yet, they work best in winter weather conditions when the roads are fully covered with ice or snow. For this reason, the answer to the question: “Do you need snow chains on all 4 tires?” is yes.

It is also up to the law of chain requirement in your state to decide which type of chains you can use on your vehicles, like the snow tire chains, wheel chains, or fixed class. 

The reason is that the tire chain can damage the normal path unintentionally. So, remember to learn about all the legal requirements of any country you aim to travel through regarding vehicles. 

Do You Need Chains On All 4 Tires? 

To be more specific, the governments in some states promulgate laws of fitting snow tire chains on all four tires to survive the harsh winter with heavy snow. You will be fined if you do not use any fetter to increase traction in snow. 

Of course, some other states do not have this requirement, and you do not really need them when you already have snow tread tires to drive in light snowy weather.

It will be best to install the fetters on all the tires, as it ensures your security on any road. Balance and extra traction are also maintained while driving, thanks to this installation as well. 

As mentioned above, you do not know when you come the wrong way to a snowy mountain and lack a one set of chains. It must be harder to get out of tight corners smoothly in case you are not an experienced driver and lose balance. 

Let’s take a real example: Running chains on the front pair of tires will challenge you during braking. Meanwhile, you will find it difficult to drive your car in the right direction in case you only install the fetter on the rear tires. It goes the same with lacking one chain in any wheel. 

How To Install Tire Chain?

How To Install Tire Chain

In order to install a tire chain, you need to follow these steps! (rest assured that they are effortless enough for any driver to learn). 

First, let’s park your car in a proper area and apply the handbrake. Lay the chain flat so that it does not get twisted at last. You have to thread the chain over the wheel, then grab both ends and pull them up over the top of the tire to keep the cable in the right place. 

In turn, connect each link together to create the diamond shapes in the chain. Remember to keep it even on both sides of your tire by holding the top. Next, tighten the speed hooks behind each tire over the third link. Now you can pull the leash towards the outside of the car. 

Keep tieing up the rest of the chain after moving your vehicle forward for 50 to 100 feet, and pull it as tight as you can. If the chain has excess links, you should tie it with zip ties or use a bolt cutter to cut it away. 

How to Install Quick-Fit Chains

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I Need 2 Or 4 Snow Fetters?

Despite money-saving, you should not install only two fetters on your vehicle tires. Four is always the best number to ensure your safety, keep the car balanced and produce additional vehicle traction on snowy paths. 

Which Tires Do You Put Chains On For 4 Wheel Drive?

This answer can vary because it depends on the type of vehicle you are owning. 

For example, the tire chain has to go on the front tire of front-wheel drive vehicles, while the rear tire chain is for the rear-wheel-drive vehicle in case of limited clearance at the front drive wheels. However, it generally fits well with the front wheels. 

For further information and advice, you can ask your fetter manufacturers or experts before buying to install the proper tire chain for your 4-wheel drive vehicle. 

Do All-terrain Tires Need Fetters?

It is not necessary to install fetters on all-terrain tires, especially when you only drive on a normal and dry road. You might suffer from tire damage and even cause road damage. 

Do Chains Go On The Front Or Back Of 4 Wheel Drive?

In the previous question, it is up to the type of your vehicle to install tire chains on the front or back drive wheels. Any wheel side is acceptable, but almost all manufacturers highly recommend fitting fetters on both pairs of tires.


Generally, using chains can be compulsory or optional, but you should consider your driving and safety conditions before deciding. We hope that you have gained some useful information after reading our blog! Stay tuned for the next blog

David Barlow

Automotive Experts at World Tire Review

Hi everyone, I’m David (Tireguy). I believe that finding tires can lead to a lot of confusion and frustration for almost every driver. That’s why I would like to bring my experiences and knowledges to develop World Tire Review blog, it will give people a deeper understanding of what choosing the right tire is really like!