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2018 Outback Touring
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I will be driving in ice and snow on curvy roads and would love the wisdom of the group before I embark:

QUESTIONS:

1) Any idea what "temporary use" means when it comes to using paddles for slowing down? (see excerpt from owners manual below.)

You accelerate to get out of manual mode, when using Paddles while in Drive, right?

2) Can you switch to M while driving or do you have to be stopped to switch between M and D?

3) X-mode - I read in another post that disabling X-mode if in deep snow or stuck will help. Is this accurate?

4) If I'm driving in Manual mode, do the same speeds apply for shifting as with a manual car? I assume so but thought I'd ask.

Thank you very much. Lots of questions I didn't find answers to in the manual.

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The Subaru Owners Manual says:

Temporary use: Even when the selector is in the “D” (Drive) position, you can temporarily shift the gear by pulling the “+” or “–” paddle shift control switch. The transmission will automatically switch back to Normal Mode.

• When the selector lever is in Manual Mode, shift to the next higher gear by pulling the “+” paddle shift control switch on the steering wheel. Pull the “–” paddle shift control switch to shift into the next lower gear.
 

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1) Temporary use means while you are in [D]rive, you can hit the paddles and do the gear stuff. If you don't change the gearing much after that, it'll go back to Drive.

2) You can switch between M and D whenever you want. If I happened to do the temporary shifting, I sometimes even quickly switch D --> M --> D to return it back to D faster than just waiting for it to do so, but that's just me. The computer will protect the car anyway, so you shouldn't be too afraid of testing any of these out.

3) Hopefully someone adds on to this, but X-mode should help as it optimizes torque and assumes that there is trouble to be had. Gen6 has a special x-mode for snow, which is a modification of the x-mode we, gen5, have. So my answer to you is a solid "maybe".

4) From my experience, the "gears" seem to be consistent for the speeds you use them in. While the computer won't shift up when accelerating hard, it will shift down if you are too slow for the gear (e.g. <18 mph or so in 3rd gear). Again, the computer will protect itself so feel free to test my words without too much worry.
 

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Something I found in X-mode, if in a nasty situation of really slippery stuff (mud, snow) or in rocky areas, turn off Vehicle Dynamic Control. For some reason you'll get even more "umph" in X-mode this way.

But, keep in mind that X-mode turns off when you get above 25mph (40km/h).

From the Manual:
Creating an adequate driving wheel slip by deactivating the Vehicle Dynamics Control system temporarily may help to escape from the following situations. Use the Vehicle Dynamics Control OFF switch as necessary. . a standing start on a steeply sloping road with a snowy, gravel-covered, or otherwise slippery surface . extrication of the vehicle when its wheels are stuck in mud or deep snow.

So... the order of operation if you're in really nasty stuff:
Turn off VDC. If that doesn't work, turn on X-mode. If that doesn't work... shovel, winch, tow truck, etc.
 

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I believe X-mode on with VDC off is pretty close to X-mode 2. The order I go is slightly different from @Guzz42 : X-mode on, then VDC off, then dig. I've never had to try the combo of X-mode with VDC off, but I have been in a couple situations where turning X-mode on did help get things moving.
 

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You can disable/workaround the "temporary use" feature of manual shifting by moving the gear lever left over to M. Then it will (pretty much, more or less) stay in whatever "gear" you put it in with the paddles.
 

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I believe X-mode on with VDC off is pretty close to X-mode 2. The order I go is slightly different from @Guzz42 : X-mode on, then VDC off, then dig. I've never had to try the combo of X-mode with VDC off, but I have been in a couple situations where turning X-mode on did help get things moving.
Maybe for 2020+ Gen 6, X-mode 2, they changed things up to make it more intuitive this way. I don't know.

I just know that in my 2019 Gen 5, I've had to turn off the VDC first, then try X-mode to get out some situations. Just turning on X-mode with VDC on didn't help as much.
 

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One of the good things about the Subaru is that being AWD when you downshift for engine braking downhill it's not just doing front or rear wheels, plus it still has active stability control etc.
 
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