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Tire Chains are too long?

Jul 3rd 2024

Shortening and adjusting tire chains involves a few steps. Here’s a general guide on how to do it:

Tools Needed:

  • Pliers
  • Chain cutter or bolt cutters (if needed)
  • Gloves (optional, for protection)

Steps to Shorten Tire Chains:

  1. Fit the Chains:
    • Lay the tire chains flat on the ground.
    • Drape the chains over the tire, ensuring they are centered and evenly distributed.
  2. Check for Excess Length:
    • Once the chains are properly positioned on the tire, check for any excess length that extends beyond what is needed.
  3. Remove Excess Links:
    • Use pliers to open the connecting links (also known as quick links or C-hooks) if your chains have them.
    • If the chains are too long, you may need to remove a few links to achieve the correct fit. Use a chain cutter or bolt cutters to cut the excess links.
  4. Reconnect the Chains:
    • After removing the excess links, reconnect the chains using the pliers to close the connecting links securely.
    • Ensure that the chains are snug but not overly tight. They should fit securely around the tire without slipping.
  5. Adjust for Tightness:
    • Drive a short distance to allow the chains to settle. Then, stop and recheck the fit. If necessary, adjust the tension by moving the connecting links.
  6. Use Tensioners (Optional):
    • For a more secure fit, you can use chain tensioners or bungee cords to keep the chains tight around the tire.


  • Always refer to the manufacturer's instructions specific to your tire chains for best results.
  • Ensure that the chains are installed evenly to avoid any imbalance while driving.
  • Regularly check the tension and condition of the chains during use, especially after driving for a short distance.

By following these steps, you should be able to shorten and adjust your tire chains properly for a secure fit.