How to put snow socks on your car?

Comment mettre des chaussettes de neige ?

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Get ready to conquer the snowy mountains this winter by properly equipping your car. If you’ve heard of snow socks but don’t know what they’re for or how to use them, don’t worry, we’re here to dispel your doubts and discuss alternative solutions such as snow tires and snow chains.

Snow socks are textile alternatives to traditional metal chains. They attach to your car’s tires and offer perfect grip on snowy or icy roads. Not only are they simpler to install than metal chains, they’re also quieter, more economical and more environmentally friendly.

This article will guide you through the installation of your snow socks and give you tips on how to maximize their performance. Discover the advantages and disadvantages of the different models of snow socks. You’ll see that mastering them is child’s play!

Preparations before installation

Before installing your snow socks, a few precautions are necessary to ensure a smooth installation.

How to choose the right size of snow socks?

It’s essential that your snow socks fit your tires precisely to maximize grip. The necessary dimensions are visible on the sidewall of your tires, indicated by a code such as 205/55 R16.

This code indicates the tire width in millimeters, the aspect ratio in percent and the rim diameter in inches. Make sure the snow socks you choose are compatible with these dimensions.

You’ll find these dimensions in your car’s manual, on the sock manufacturer’s website or via a specific online search tool.

How to check the condition of a car’s tires?

Snow socks can’t compensate for tires in poor condition. That’s why it’s essential to check the condition of your tires before putting on the socks.

Check the groove depth of your tires, which should be at least 1.6 mm, the legal limit. Using a built-in wear indicator or a 25-cent coin can help you measure this depth.

It’s also important to check and adjust tire pressure according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, using a digital pressure gauge or portable compressor. Finally, don’t forget to inspect the whole tire for cracks, dents or signs of excessive wear.

Suitable location and safety conditions

Choose an appropriate and safe place to install your snow socks. Choose flat ground, away from traffic lanes, in a designated area, such as a fenced-in area.

Avoid high-risk areas such as slopes, sharp bends or places exposed to traffic. Respect the Highway Code by activating your hazard warning lights, wearing a safety vest, displaying a warning triangle and keeping out of the way of traffic.

Make sure the engine is switched off, the handbrake is applied and the keys are removed from the vehicle.

How to install snow socks?

Once you’ve chosen the right sock size for your tires, checked their condition and found a suitable place for installation, follow these four easy steps to fit your vehicle with snow socks.

1. Open the packaging and prepare the snow socks

Carefully open the packaging and remove the snow socks. Unfold them completely and identify the colored indicators that mark the direction of installation.

For example, Michelin Easy Grip socks have blue stripes for the front and red stripes for the rear.

Install the socks on your vehicle’s drive wheels: at the front for front-wheel drive, at the rear for rear-wheel drive, or on all wheels for all-wheel drive.

2. Positioning snow socks on tires

Place a sock on the tire, looping the elastic behind it. Make sure the colored markings correspond to the tire’s direction of rotation.

For example, orient the blue stripes towards the top and front of the tire.

Gently slide the sock over the tire without stretching it. Repeat for the second sock on the other drive wheel.

3. Adjusting the snow socks around the tire

Start the engine and move the vehicle forward slightly, just enough to expose the underside of the tires. Then switch off the engine and get out of the vehicle. Carefully place the sock around the tire, covering the entire tread.

Do the same with the second sock. For some models, such as Polar socks, you can use a manual tensioning tool to facilitate adjustment.

4. Final adjustments and checks

Drive the vehicle a short distance, about 50 meters, to ensure that the socks are correctly positioned on the tires. Then check that they fit snugly and do not rub against any part of the bodywork or braking system. Adjust if necessary, by pulling on the socks or using the tensioning tool.

Your vehicle is now equipped with snow socks, ready to tackle snow-covered roads in complete safety.

Practical tips for optimum use

Once you’ve installed your snow socks and are ready to hit the road, it’s essential to take certain precautions to ensure your safety and preserve the condition of your socks.

Driving and speed limits with snow socks

Unlike winter tires, snow socks do not allow you to maintain a normal speed on dry roads.

It is advisable not to exceed 50 km/h when using them, although some manufacturers may recommend a slightly lower speed. Always check the instructions for use of your socks for the maximum speed allowed.

You should also adapt your driving to weather conditions. Maneuvers such as heavy acceleration, hard braking and sharp turns should be avoided to prevent damage to your socks. Anticipate obstacles and keep a safe distance from other road users.

Care and storage after use

After each use, it’s essential to look after your snow socks properly to prolong their life. Shake off excess snow, then hand-wash with warm water and a little soap.

Dry naturally, away from heat and sunlight. Keep them in their original packaging and place them in your vehicle so they’re always at your disposal.

Avoid using them on dry roads, as they can quickly become damaged.

When to replace snow socks?

As reusable products, snow socks do not last indefinitely and should be replaced as soon as they show signs of wear such as holes, tears, pulled threads or when the elastics start to sag.

If you encounter extreme snow conditions, it may be wise to consider more robust solutions such as snow chains.

In general, socks are recommended for snow depths greater than 3 cm. For snow depths below 3 cm, winter tires or all-season tires are preferable.

In this article, you’ve learned how to quickly install snow socks in a few easy steps. You’ve also explored the steps to follow before, during and after using snow socks.

Finally, you’ve examined the strengths and limitations of the various snow sock models. These practical, economical and environmentally-friendly devices ensure your safety on snowy and icy roads, and are an excellent alternative to traditional metal chains.

Compatible with different types of vehicle and tires, snow socks are easy to install and store. So don’t wait any longer, adopt snow socks to make the most of your winter escapades in the mountains!