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2011 Tacoma TRD Sport Double Cab Long Box
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Discussion Starter #1
With September just around the corner, those of us who live in places that get snow will be seeing it before too long, and that begs the question: What do you do to your Outback just before the snow starts falling?

Typically, it will be the following:
  • Change over to my General Altimax Arctic snows (mounted on their own aluminum rims).
  • Remove roofrack crossbars (makes clearing snow off the roof easier, and I'll never use them in the winter anyway)
  • Change oil to Mobil1 0w-30 Synthetic, Also change filter (I run synthetic in the winter only, because the 0w-30 flows better when cold and the extra mileage I can get out of that change prevents me from having to do it again until spring)
  • Change coolant (I do this yearly, about every 18k. Maybe a bit excessive, but it can't hurt and it's cheap to do.)
  • Make sure I've got a snow brush/ice scraper in the car...also make sure I still have a sweatshirt or two, flashlight, jumper cables, tow strap, etc. in the car (I never really take this stuff out in the summer, but I just double check)
  • Change to winter floor mats (presently I have a somewhat beat up set of OEM floor mats that I use for winter, but I may buy all-weather ones this year).
  • Change washer fluid over to a winter blend (the bug washer stuff I use in the summer is only good to +32°F)--After emptying the reservoir, I run both washers until the winter stuff comes out as well so the lines don't freeze.
  • Wash car very well and wax it
  • Touch up the numerous nicks, chips, etc. that have accumulated over the summer (Hey, it's a 2004 and I take it some places that I probably shouldn't)

This year, I'm adding at least changing the front brake pads to that--they're pretty worn and I don't want to be doing it in the cold. Maybe a transmission fluid change as well.

That's all I've got for now--What do all of you do?
 

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2011 Outback 3.6 Premium
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721 Posts
Nothing, except to put on winter tires & wheels.

I run winter-rated washer fluid year-around. The 5w30 oil works great year-around. "Winter" supplies remain in the car year-around.
 

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2011 Outback 2.5i Premium, CVT, Steel Silver, all-weather package. Upgrades: Tweeter kit, BlueConnect, media hub, remote start, Curt 2" receiver hitch.
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1,127 Posts
Also make sure you use a recovery strap, and not a tow strap. Recovery straps have a little stretch to them, so you can tug harder on them, and the car/truck doing the pulling is more likely to keep its traction.

It doesn't snow all that much here, although we did get over 70 inches two years ago. Essentially nobody uses splinter tires around here except for me. I have a set minted on steel rims that I bought when I purchased the Outback. Never had a need for them last year, but sometimes we do get up into PA or Michigan during the winter.
 

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2002 Outback Wagon 2.5L Auto Weather Package
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First sign of a proper freeze or snow, on go the studs. Most of the other stuff is still in the car. Might add some kind of shovel this year. Still have to go round up the water container.

Oh, and I start listening to the weather band more.
 

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Nothing, my Outback is ready to go spring/summer/winter/fall. After driving for years in Alaska with studded tires, the last few years I decided to just leave the all seasons on the car. If you pay attention to the road conditions, AWD will get you around just fine. Just remember AWD doesnt help you stop :p

My car has a engine block heater, 100w Oil pan heater and 75 watt battery pad heater and then a trickle charger so once it gets below freezing the car gets plugged in and cycles on for 4 hours, off for 2. My landlord pays for the electric here, so I figure might as well keep the engine happy.

Run 10w-40 Mobil High Mileage year round.
 

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If I could find a trustworthy place to install a remote engine starter with a half a mile range other than Best Buy, I'd get one in a heartbeat. And, of course, winter tires come mid-October.
 

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'14 3.6R Outback
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2,345 Posts
[*]Remove roofrack crossbars (makes clearing snow off the roof easier, and I'll never use them in the winter anyway)
Silly. :p

Winter is when you put the roof rack on!
 

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2013 2.5i Limited, Special Appearance Package, Brilliant Brown Pearl, Saddle Brown Leather, HK Audio, Moonroof, Navigation
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214 Posts
I put my all weather mats in, make sure I have a few blankets, gloves, hat, a flask of cinnamon Schnapps, and a few granola bars in case I get stranded in bad weather.
 

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2011 Outback Limited 2.5i/2018 Crosstrek limited
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2011 Tacoma TRD Sport Double Cab Long Box
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Discussion Starter #10
Nothing, my Outback is ready to go spring/summer/winter/fall. After driving for years in Alaska with studded tires, the last few years I decided to just leave the all seasons on the car. If you pay attention to the road conditions, AWD will get you around just fine. Just remember AWD doesnt help you stop :p
I ran studs on FWD cars, but since I just ran all seasons last year on my Outback and did fine I think studs are a little excessive for it. Plus, it sounds like newer snows can even outperform studded tires in many conditions.

The only reason I bought snows this year is because I'll probably be driving home late some nights and they will certainly help on unplowed roads. I found with the all seasons I could always go, but stopping could be a little scary even if I slowed down far in advance. Plus, these all seasons wouldn't have been good enough for another winter. Of course, now that I dropped ~$700 on tires and rims we will probably have one of those winters with almost no snow! :D

I must say, I'm anxious to try out these Arctics...they look pretty mean!


 

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2012 Outback 2.5 i Premium
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474 Posts
I remove my iPod in favor of a USB thumb drive and throw my ice scraper in the back.
 

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2001 H6 OBW
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I second the "winter kit." Here are things I pack in my car year round because you never know when you're going to get stranded in the winter or be invited to a picnic.


With items that will fit, I attempt to make use of the wasted space around my spare tire. (there is a lot of extra space around mine)



I also do a few maintenance things before it gets too cold. Things like change the oil, and check fluids. And my wife's favorite: get a subaru with remote start :).
 

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2011 Outback Limited 2.5i/2018 Crosstrek limited
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I second the "winter kit." Here are things I pack in my car year round because you never know when you're going to get stranded in the winter or be invited to a picnic.


With items that will fit, I attempt to make use of the wasted space around my spare tire. (there is a lot of extra space around mine)



I also do a few maintenance things before it gets too cold. Things like change the oil, and check fluids. And my wife's favorite: get a subaru with remote start :).
...and I do carry extra gear on highway trips in the winter. Most of the stuff on your list...boots, toque, foldable shovel, candles...etc. Winters here can be really nasty at times.
 

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2002 Outback Wagon 2.5L Auto Weather Package
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Is every 3rd Subaru owner a lush? Alcohol does not help you when its cold.
 

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2013 2.5i Limited, Special Appearance Package, Brilliant Brown Pearl, Saddle Brown Leather, HK Audio, Moonroof, Navigation
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Is every 3rd Subaru owner a lush? Alcohol does not help you when its cold.
Alcohol doesnt help one when its warm.....either :D
 

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2011 Outback Limited 2.5i/2018 Crosstrek limited
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'05 2.5i H4 4-Speed Auto w/Sportshift
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I use dry gas regularly throughout the winter in all my vehicles, always have. I make sure to buy a case of Isopropyl Alcohol as opposed to Methanol which ages rubber components. Yes, the Isopropyl is sometimes about twice the price, however it does not harm any components, unlike its cousin, Methanol.

I used to add one bottle at every fill-up below zero degrees (F). After a lot of experimenting, I have found that a bottle (a pint), can last me at least six fill-ups, I don't even measure, I just dump about several tablespoons of the stuff in before adding the gas to the tank.

My brother-in-law was totally against the stuff. That is until his wife was stuck with her car not able to start at 30 below and I happened to come by. I put two containers of the stuff in, tried to start it, let it sit about fifteen minutes tried to start it again and it started right up. Guess who started using the stuff religiously AFTER THAT?
LOL

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Oh, I forgot -
I also install four studded snow tires on all my vehicles, even the Outback. When there is sleet, freezing rain and roads the condition of skating-rinks, nothing but chains or studs will work. Other people without studs are stopped-dead on the interstate and their vehicles are literally sliding SIDEWAYS, the way the road slopes!:gasp:

I have even seen State Police cars at a complete standstill and sliding sideways!:eek: Meanwhile, I am driving comfortably by them all at about 20 - 25 MPH and I am able to stop within a reasonable distance due to the studs - frequently checking my braking and adjusting my speed accordingly!:cool:

We don't get many days like that, however, if it lets me drive even one or two days out of the entire winter where I would otherwise have to stay home and perhaps cancel an appointment, then, for me, the four tires being studded is fully worth it! My snow tires go four to five years, putting them on around November and removing them around May.

If the cost per tire of studding is $20. then that costs me only twenty to twenty five dollars per winter to have that insurance for all four tires!

Those people who laugh at me because they don't think we need studs here, let's just wait for the 'perfect' day and I will call you and we can meet out on some stretch of "ice-skating rink road" and we'll see who makes it up the 2% grade without sliding sideways off the road and stuck (up to the frame) in a ditch!:D Hey, if you have a chain, I can always pull you out then (for only $30)!:)

My brother-in-law (the same one that would not use dry gas) would always say that four wheel drive is no better than two wheel drive (front or back). After several incidents when I had a 4X4 truck and he had a 2X4 truck and I crawled right up his steep driveway but he had to park at the bottom, he finally relented and started buying 4X4 pickup trucks! Funny how that works, isn't it?

Here, testimonials on people who discovered dry gas and realized immediately what they had been missing:
http://www.goldeagle.com/brands/heet/testimonials.aspx
 

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2012 Subaru Outback 3.6r, 1998 subaru impreza 2.5rs
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Just swap out to the Kumho winters. That's it. I'm thinking of adding a survival kit, but haven't had the time to do it properly yet.
 

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'07 OBXT Ltd. 5EAT, Charcoal Gray; '70 Chevy K10 4X4, 396c.i., lifted; '63 Pontiac Tempest, 326c.i.
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I've combined a bunch of things for my year-around survival kit. My car is being used by a family member right now so I won't be able to name even 1/3 of the stuff in this kit. But I'll try to name some of the stuff that hasn't been mentioned above, as well as some of the necessities...

1. Headlamp (LED, $20 at REI)
2. Parachute Cord (Army-Navy store, high tensile strength, I took survival courses and there are a ton of uses for string. Watch Bear Grylls sometime :)
3. Ummm...forgot the name..Moon Blanket? Made for conserving heat when used, looks like pliable aluminum, really shiny
4. Lighter
5. Flare and reflective road stand
6. First aid kit
7. Tow Strap (10K tow capacity, bought for $15 at Harbor FRIGHT)
8. Large blanket.
9. Bottles of water and energy bars. Changed every 2 months.
10. Leatherman
11. Compass/Map

I'm probably forgetting a few things, but these are the things that never leave the car. I bought a small, heavy duty duffel bag (it's a hardware bag, if I'm not mistaken) that carries everything except for the food and blanket.

One last note, I've had all sorts of snow tires in heavy, deep snow. Blizzaks are the best in every way, including ice, when compared to studded or non-studded snows. Plus they don't tear up the road when you hit a dry patch or a cleared road.
 
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