Your Subaru is the best choice you can make when it comes to “what to drive in the snow”. All-Wheel Drive is a superior method of traction and there is no better example of this than driving the Subie up the pass to go skiing or snow boarding. We get a lot of questions about tires and chains so I thought I would provide some tips.
The best scenario in my opinion is a set of stud less snow/ice tires followed up with a set of tire chains in the cargo area as a backup if your Subaru will allow for chains, (you need to reference your owners manual for that information) and not all Subaru’s will accept a set of chains. The next best choice is just a good set of all season radial tires with the tire chain back up. I don’t like studded snow tires on the Subaru very much as the aggressive nature of the studded tire has the potential to damage the All-Wheel Drive system and why take that chance if there are other choices out there. Next the studded tires are never as good the second and third season while the stud less tire seems to hold up very well. Lastly the studded tire takes a toll on the roads.
A good set of chains may never have to come out of the box in your Subaru but sometimes you may be required to have them in your car by the Department of transportation. And is a great, cheap piece of mind to have in the back of the car. If you have never put chains on before try them out before you head off on your ski trip. Or at least verify three times that they are the right size. And than once more for good measure.
Always carry a tire pressure gauge in your Subaru. The first thing you want to consider is that deflating the tire a couple of pounds in each tire can help out with traction. The less air the tire has in it the greater the road resistance is thus increasing traction, so if you normally keep the tires inflated to 32 cold PSI (pounds per square inch) try deflating them to 28 PSI. Just remember to re inflate them after the trip is over or you may be wondering why your fuel economy is lower than normal.
We have a lot of snow on the slopes this year and a good time should be had by all.
Just remember to be safe when driving and keep your Subaru in tip top shape and it will take you too and more importantly back from the slopes this year.
Follow up to an older article:
Most newer Subaru models just dont have the room for chains, as we have made the braking systems larger the wheel size has increased to allow for clearance, this also increased the size of the tire.
The chains in some cases will clear the wheel well but could hit the strut assembly, which would cause the chain to then come loose this is exceptionally true in the rear. The brake line could be torn off, the abs sensor wiring could be torn out, the chain could hit the body of the car, the chain could do more damage than I can describe if it was to come loose or partially broken.
As to the issue of a one time use, while I understand its not popular to buy Snow tires, if chains are not an option what choice do you really have?
Here is a link to a product that may help.
Here is a great Video that helps demonstrate how much even an AWD Subaru can benefit from Snow tires over just all season.