Ah, what a glorious time of year for those of us who love a
winter wonderland. If you're itching to get out on the slopes, it
definitely pays to make sure your car is geared up for snowy road
The most important things between you and the road are your
tyres. Before heading up the mountain, we'd recommend popping into
your local Bob Jane T-Marts so our team can check your tyre health,
wheel alignment and your car's battery. We also recommend having
your brakes, engine and windscreen checked pre-snow trip.
When driving, use the gears instead of your brakes to slow down,
and make sure you watch for icy patches on the road, especially on
bridges and winding stretches where ice may have formed. Take care
to drive smoothly, with no sudden stops, starts or turns.
You should always carry snow chains with you when driving in
snow-affected areas. With the exception of 4WD vehicles,
authorities require snow chains to be fitted to all cars when
conditions demand. That said, the RMS (Roads and
Maritime Services) still recommends 4WD owners to carry chains,
since any vehicle's traction is greatly improved by them on ice and
Most importantly, make sure the snow chains are the correct size
for your tyres and do not travel faster than 40km/h once they've
been fitted. There'd be nothing worse than getting to the
checkpoint and having to fork out a fortune for new chains. Even
more horrible would be having to drive home!
Quick tip: fitting snow chains to your
You only have to fit chains to two driving wheels:
- For front-wheel drive vehicles, fit to front wheels;
- For rear-wheel drive vehicles, fit to rear wheels; and
- For four-wheel drive vehicles, if using chains, fit to front
It's always safest to pull off to the left of the road and use a
chain fitting bay. All snow chains can be fitted without the need
to lift the vehicle, so never use a jack. In icy conditions, your
car might slide off it.
Make sure the inner and outer hooks of the snow chains are
securely fastened, and tie the loose ends of the chains down to
prevent damage to mudguards. Tyres must be in good condition with
more than 3mm tread for chains to work effectively. Once you've got
them on, drive forwards and backwards a couple of metres to ensure
your snow chains are still on tight.
Quick tip for Victorians: Before you take off, check Vic Roads
traffic website for road conditions.
Black ice can form overnight and is often undetected, especially
on winding roads that see little to no sunlight.
Extreme caution is required if you come across black ice, it is
essential you remain calm, minimise or avoid using your brakes and
accelerator, and limit the amount of turns.
Check traffic apps or websites prior to departing on your
journey to areas that may be affected by black ice.
For normal and light snow conditions, ensure your tyre pressures
are maintained in accordance with your tyre placard or adjusted for
the load you're carrying for snow chains to work effectively.
For heavy snow, it is recommended you loweryour tyre pressure to
assist you in getting traction. However, running tyres at too low a
pressure can cause a tyre to break the bead seal, which may result
in a deflated tyre.
Now you've got that mastered, make sure you have fun at the