Most modern Subaru vehicles cannot have tire chains installed. Which creates a lot of confusion when you see signs like these on the road. The hang up always seems to be that you bought your Subaru because it was All Wheel Drive and because it’s All Wheel Drive you never thought you would need to buy snow tires. In reality it is your best bet if you travel over the mountain passes in Washington State.
The following are signs or notices you’ll see as you venture up the mountain passes in the Winter months.
It seems every year as we ease or sometimes crash into the Winter driving season the question about putting chains on your Subaru always seems to come up. I am going to try and clarify once again for Subaru owners in Washington State. If you live in another state and are reading this you will need to check with the DOT (Department of Transportation) in the state where you reside to see if whats true in Washington is the same there.
I will start with the confusion WSDOT creates, so much so that I often wonder if they are confused themselves.. In Washington State if you own a Subaru with All Wheel Drive, you are exempt from the chains required rule under certain circumstances which I will discuss below.
Here is a the crucial snip it from the WSDOT website:
Four-wheel/all-wheel drive vehicles are exempt from chain requirements when all wheels are in gear and are equipped with approved traction devices, provided that tire chains for at least one set of drive tires are carried in the vehicle. See WAC 204-24-050.” https://www.wsdot.com/winter/traction.htm
So what does that mean? If you have an All Wheel Drive Subaru and we already know that chains actually cannot be installed on most Subaru models, it means if you have approved traction devices your Subaru is exempt from the requirement provided you have a set of chains you cant possibly install in the cargo area. Now to try and better understand that requirement please see below.
Use of tire chains or other traction devices.
Then you must read
If you have a tire that meets the criteria such as a Snow tire with the snowflake on the sidewall or the designation M&S (Mud and Snow) and an approved traction device such as the Auto Sock in the cargo area this (according to WSDOT) meets the requirement as far as we can tell.
Here is a link to AutoSock on Amazon
Thanks for Reading
Helping you with your Subaru