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Socalmountains.com :: Forums :: GENERAL DISCUSSION
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All whell drive vehicles

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Socalsnowman
Sat Dec 01 2018, 08:35AM Email Thread Print View

Socalman
Registered Member #228
Joined: Sun Dec 17 2006, 07:41AM
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Posts: 3228
My wife just recently purchased a Subaru Forrester which has AWD. I am just wondering what experience folks have had with AWD in the area. How do AWD vehicles stand with the various chain conditions?

Would the Forrester be better in snow/ice or should I bring my Expedition and chain up? I have no problem putting on chains, I've done it countless times since I was 15.
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MrOwl
Sat Dec 01 2018, 09:30AM

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Joined: Sun Oct 23 2016, 01:54PM
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Socalman, we have a Forester and an Outback. We carried chains in the Forester to get through chain control but have always been waived through, R3 would require chains so you will want to carry them. Make sure you get class "S" or smaller for clearances as Subaru suggests no chains, but if traction devices needed use class "s". If you have good tires you will find getting around pretty easy but don't get crazy just because you have AWD. I tried to break loose but car corrects itself pretty well but push a turn at too fast a speed and you will have some fun. I usually give a car a good test to see how it will react.

Back in the day we had the 4WD Expedition.

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MrOwl
Sat Dec 01 2018, 09:31AM

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Here in Idaho they have no chain controls for passenger vehicles they put up suggestion signs when roads get icy.

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NShore.Allen
Sat Dec 01 2018, 12:42PM

wanna be UTH
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R2 allows AWD with the M/S tires (which you probably have on the Subaru). Your Subaru will perform very well in R2 conditions.. but always use caution.

Your Subaru with good mud-snow tires should have no problem with the typical winter weather in Big Bear. Only once in 8 years did I experience an R3 chains on all vehicles.. therefore get the appropriate traction devices for the Subaru just in case.

A smile is a curve that can set things a lot of things straight
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Tlingit
Sat Dec 01 2018, 07:39PM

Kaagwaantaan Tlingit
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Wife has a crosstrek. Question, Do you mount the chains (cables) on the front or rear of an AWD?

Be kind, everyone you meet is fighting a battle you don't understand.
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Polar Orbit
Sat Dec 01 2018, 08:39PM
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Joined: Thu Mar 16 2017, 06:32PM
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Chains on the front give you steering and braking. On the rear gives you better acceleration. I'll let you decide.
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RH_Runner
Sun Dec 02 2018, 07:00AM
Registered Member #13942
Joined: Mon Feb 06 2017, 03:26AM
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Polar Orbit wrote ...

Chains on the front give you steering and braking. On the rear gives you better acceleration. I'll let you decide.


I would always recommend reading the owners manual. Since living up here since 1964, and owning 7 Jeeps, I decided two years ago that I needed to add a pair of cables to my newer Jeep Cherokee. Knowing everything about chaining up, I decided that I needed traction and put them on the rear. After having them rip the wiring harness off the car, thus disabling the electronic 4 wheel drive, and a $500.00 repair, I did consult the owners manual as my wife had originally suggested. Of course, it indicated NEVER to put chains/cables on the rear tires and only on the front.

Go figure!

I started out with nothing and I still have most of it!
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Charles
Sun Dec 02 2018, 08:06AM
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Joined: Mon Sep 14 2015, 09:06AM
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Posts: 3
A good friend, who was the one who convinced us to get our Outback, has been driving up weekends for years and recalls a few times of trouble in icy conditions. I think ice is where any 4wd could use chains.

I got a set of cable chains that I now carry along with a shovel, tow strap, tarp, and old snow clothes hoping to be properly prepared for unexpected conditions.
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Socalsnowman
Mon Dec 03 2018, 07:31AM

Socalman
Registered Member #228
Joined: Sun Dec 17 2006, 07:41AM
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Thanks for the answers. Sounds like under MOST Big Bear winters we should be fine. I will read the owners manual!

I suppose I should get some cables to keep in the Forrester. I have not been a fan of them.

I always used chains until I bought my Expedition. The owners manual said cables so that is what I bought. It took very little time until the weight of that Expedition, combined with some bare areas on the road, and cables were breaking. I went to some auto supply store and inquired about a cable repair kit. I can't remember who it was I spoke to but he said he had been driving an Expedition for years and used regular chains. So for the past 13 years I have regular chains.
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Jellylorum
Mon Dec 03 2018, 01:13PM

Registered Member #2069
Joined: Mon Feb 08 2010, 05:57PM
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Posts: 455
Follow your owner's manual. My understanding is many vehicles with ABS can't use chains, it messes with it or tends to damage it (my 4Runner).

My Juke has the option for variable AWD drive OR Full Time AWD. I understand if you have ONLY variable AWD, you may be best off with cables on all four wheels. The computer that controls the variable systems become confused if you have cables on only one axle. Check with your mechanic to see if this is an issue for your vehicle.
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