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Discussion Starter #1
I know I'll never use them, but I have to carry chains in California. I going to buy SCC Super Z 6 chains. My question is; Subaru recommends using chains on the front axle only. Does it make sense to have and use chains on all 4 wheels, or is 25 miles at 25 mph ok to have different tire diameters with the awd? 2012 Limited CVT. From what I can find, I should use SZ139. Does anyone actually have experience with this chain. I've seen reviews that say SCC's size charrts are
incorrect.
Joe
 

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Discussion Starter #5
CA DMV recommends all four if possible. Failing that, chain the front wheels unless the OEM suggests otherwise.

Subaru says put them on the rear. You do what you think is right.


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Actually for 2012 Subaru says "traction device of S class can be used on front axle only". My question is about the effect on the differentials with traction devices on only 1 axle.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Actually I typed that too fast. DMV/DOT says put them on the rear. Subie says Front. Both have implications.


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California DMV says rear of what the manufacturer says. My question isn't about front or rear it's about front or both. Maybe no one has ever put chains on a Subaru, but if you have please share your results.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
California DMV says rear of what the manufacturer says. My question isn't about front or rear it's about front or both. Maybe no one has ever put chains on a Subaru, but if you have please share your results.
I typed too fast too. DMV says rear OR what the manufacturer says.
 

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California DMV says rear of what the manufacturer says. My question isn't about front or rear it's about front or both. Maybe no one has ever put chains on a Subaru, but if you have please share your results.
I bought a set so they're "in the car" but I expect to never need them. In CA, CHP will close the road if conditions require chains on 4WD. The exception is in a national park, like Yosemite, where CHP doesn't have jurisdiction. That's the only place I've ever seen chains required on 4WD and it was only for about an hour.
 

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I know I'll never use them, but I have to carry chains in California. I going to buy SCC Super Z 6 chains. My question is; Subaru recommends using chains on the front axle only. Does it make sense to have and use chains on all 4 wheels, or is 25 miles at 25 mph ok to have different tire diameters with the awd? 2012 Limited CVT. From what I can find, I should use SZ139. Does anyone actually have experience with this chain. I've seen reviews that say SCC's size charrts are
incorrect.
Joe
Joe
#1 - Front wheels ONLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
25mph is probably too fast for all cars with chains!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

#2 DO NOT CHAIN UP ALL 4!!!

First off the road conditions that will force the Subaru to chain up will be so slick that any tire size difference caused by a cable which by the way - does not happen - is negated by the simple fact that the road surface is so slick that any tire with enough load on it to cause harm to the drive system will simply slide over the slick road surface anyway.

Due to the tight clearance on the Subaru I would never drive faster than 15-20mph and I would rubber strap the **** out of the cables to keep them as tight as possible.

NEVER!!!! Put cables on your subaru unless the chain monkey's actually stop you and tell you to chain up!

Yes good All season tires + the Subaru AWD system is that good and your safer without cables vs having them. Chains and cables pose a whole new set of risks to a vehicle especially with tight clearance and drivers who do not install them tight and drive too fast.
 

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In 35 years living in CA with frequent trips to Mammoth, I have never used them on 4WD. Yes, the law is that you have to "carry chains" but you can carry "any chains" as Chips don't study the size of the chains that you are carrying. Better yet, get an empty box with chains markings outside and put any chains (not tire chains) from Walmart inside to duplicate the weight. Shake the box, if Chips are checking ...There are loopholes everywhere nowadays - not only in our tax system...LOL
 

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In 35 years living in CA with frequent trips to Mammoth, I have never used them on 4WD. Yes, the law is that you have to "carry chains" but you can carry "any chains" as Chips don't study the size of the chains that you are carrying. Better yet, get an empty box with chains markings outside and put any chains (not tire chains) from Walmart inside to duplicate the weight. Shake the box, if Chips are checking ...There are loopholes everywhere nowadays - not only in our tax system...LOL
I had my old chain bag never opened from when I bought it back in 2001 for my last subaru in the car last week for the turkey trip. As I said never opened still zip tied shut with the original tie from the store. LOL

If we make a winter trip to Yosemite for the full moon snow shoe hike I will actually get a set of cables that fit. But for normal CA sierra highways I've never in all the years of horrible storms dropping feet and feet of snow have had my subaru stopped nor been told to chain up.
The only time I had doubts was new years back in like 07 when we never left the lodge 170mph winds at the ridge and 80+ at the lodge. We finally bailed out wasn't going to stick around in the dark no heat lodge for another day to see if a slope would open up for skiiing. We drove out in the legacy GT zero cars on the road 2ft of snow in the parking lot - crossed a flooded stream washing over the road and headed back to SF. We found out that Highway 80 was actually closed during that time we left which explained no cars never had a single issue on the stock tires. Friends who left the following day actually turned around and went back to their cabin after 4hrs trying to get home.

After that trip I had no doubt the subaru will go places far beyond your level of interest in braving terrible conditions. The OB is even more capable due to the added ride height. Traction in the Sierras is rarely the issue with the Subarus - getting hit by dumb ass tail gaters in big pickups and SUV's is your number one threat! LOL
 

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Subiesailor.
I have bad memories of that I-80... got stuck near Truckee there (driving westound) for almost 6 hours in a heavy snow storm after skiing in Sqaw. Those access roads to Tahoe are almost bumper-to-bumper 24/7 in winter nowadays...keep dreaming about those deserted roadways around Lake Louis in Alberta or Mt. Tremblant in Quebec...
 

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Section 8-11 of my 2013 Subaru Outback owner’s manual states that “Tire chains cannot be used on your vehicle because of the lack of clearance between the tires and vehicle body” This seems strange, because the Outback is substantially raised up on its suspension, and visually looks to have plenty of room to accommodate tire chains.

Subaru has been the official ski car of the US Ski Team, so I would doubt they would select a vehicle that did not take chains?
 

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Section 8-11 of my 2013 Subaru Outback owner’s manual states that “Tire chains cannot be used on your vehicle because of the lack of clearance between the tires and vehicle body” This seems strange, because the Outback is substantially raised up on its suspension, and visually looks to have plenty of room to accommodate tire chains.

Subaru has been the official ski car of the US Ski Team, so I would doubt they would select a vehicle that did not take chains?
Chains no

Cables yes - game on words really but actually its correct no WAY chains will go on the Subaru. But cables in a pinch will work if you keep speeds down.
 

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Regarding the size question, I have a 13 OB 3.6R with 225/60 R17 tires, and I wanted chains to carry that fit the car. SCC's web site has two charts with different recommendations, so I wrote to the company to ask for the correct size. Here's their answer:

we made a fitment change on your tire size over the summer and haven’t replace our last year’s version with our current one. We found that SZ343 was the better of the 2 for your tire size

This is for the Sure Grip tire "chains" (actually cables), that are recommended by my dealer. Got them for a good price on Amazon.
 
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