How to Install ATV Tire Chains

How to Install ATV Tire Chains

Installing chains to your ATV tires is pretty cool, though tricky as well. Many are reluctant to install ATV tire chains because they do not know how to and are afraid they might mess up. But if you know the right steps, installing ATV tire chains can be a piece of cake for you.

In this blog post, we will discuss how to install ATV tire chains with ease. Beginners will totally benefit from it, while those who have already installed ATV tire chains will learn some new tricks and tips to help you install chains quicker on your next attempt.

Required Tools

To install ATV tire chains, you will need:

  • Pliers or wrench
  • Shackles
  • Valve tool

Right-Sized Chains

It is very important to get the right-sized chains for your ATV tires. There are various sizes of chains so you must know which sized chains you need. Generally, you shouldn’t have any issues finding the right-sized chain in the market. However, it can be necessary occasionally to modify the chain to get the right size. You can find the size of your ATV tires marked on the side of the tire.

ATV tire Chains

Adequate Space Between Tires

Not all ATVs are built for installing chains in the tires. While some models have enough space between the tires to fit chains, others do not. Notably, the front wheels have tiny space for chains to be fitted.

Therefore, it is vital to ensure that your ATV has enough space for the wheels to spin freely when the chains are fitted.

Tip- Generally, a minimum space of two inches is recommended between the tires.

Park Your ATV and Deflate the Tires

Park your ATV on flat ground, like your garage or concrete driveway. It is preferable if the surface is clean and smooth to work on. Thus, you will not have to worry about any dirt hindering or messing up your work.

After parking in a suitable spot, slightly deflate the tires. This helps in achieving a good fit for the chains on the tires as you can inflate the tires again after installing the chains. You may use a valve tool to speed up the process. Most ATV chains are strong enough to handle the inflation of the tires.

Caution- if you are not sure that you’ll be able to keep track of how tight the chains are, it’s better to skip this step of deflating the tires, as you may damage the tires or break the chain.

Install the Chains

  • Lay the chains flat in front of the ATV for the front tires and behind the ATV for the rear tires and remove any tangles or twists. Make sure that the studs on the chains are facing upwards.
  • Depending on the model of the chain, there are two boomer fasteners on opposite sides of the chain or one boomer fastener and a C-hook. Place the curve of the boomer fastener so that it is facing the direction of the tire. This ensures that the chains don’t come off when driving through thick mud or snow. You can use shackles to prevent the chains from coming off.
  • After that, manually lift the chains up and over the tire. The chains need to be in the center of the tire so raise the chain sideways so that an equal amount of chain is dropped on either side. Make sure that the studs are facing outwards, or they would blow up the tire.
  • Then, move the ATV by releasing the brakes so that the tire presses on the chain. For installing on the rear tires, move the ATV forward, and vice versa. Continue moving the ATV until fifteen inches of chains lay behind the tire.
  • Connect the side chain fasteners. Ensure that both the inner and outer chains are the same length, or the chain will be tighter on one side. Start with the inside fastener and tighten the chain as you fasten it. Then fasten the outside chain, while making sure that there are no tangles.
  • Reinflate the tires to maintain the right tightness of the chains. Keep track of the air in the tire using a pressure gauge. If you had tightened the chain while fastening it, then don’t over-inflate the tire as it could break the chains and the tire might explode with brute force.


You can now test your installation by driving slowly. Make sure that the chains never hinder the ride and are smooth. If you find any loose ends, fasten them to prevent the chain from getting stuck in the tire.

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