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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently bought a 2013 Outback with only 38,000 miles on it. Almost brand new. I live in an area where it snows, and I don't really know how my OB will handle in the snow around here until I try it. I don't have much experience with 4-wheel drive. My questions are:

1. Although the manual says not to use chains, I see on the web that low-profile cable chains are available and claimed to work. Is this reliable info?

2. If I do use chains, do I only need one pair? And, if so, should they go on the front or real axle?

3. Will use of chains damage the car in any way?

4. What do I need to know that I don't know to ask about?

Thanks

wevets
 

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2016 3.6 Limited with ES
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Peerless/Z Chain is the site where you want to go. You DO NOT want chains on your car but instead cables. Cables meet state requirements where chains are required. Chains will eat up your tire well and anything insde the tire well. Never put on chains - cables only.

Cables must be S Class. S Class are very thin so they don't mess up the car and they will fit without any problems.

You only put them on the front tires and never the rear.
 

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USe the search function in the forums for lots of info. However!

#1 Make sure all 4 tires are the same tire with similar wear. Two different tires or two worn tires will result in poor snow performance. That and its a big no no for any Full time AWD vehicle all 4 tires must be the same model and similar wear etc.

#2 Carry chains/cables front tires only and know that you will probably NEVER use them EVER

Subarus with quality allseason rubber or snows are nearly unstopable. Roads will be completely shut down with stranded rescue vehicles before the Subaru starts having problems.

Last of all know when to turn off traction control and when to turn it on. Plowing your way out of snowed in parking lots, residential streets etc its “off” once your on plowed roads moving it goes back “on”
 

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2018 Outback 2.5i Limited Eyesight - Remote Start - Auto Dimming In/Outside Mirrors
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I stress the part about only if you have to!

I have only put cables on a subaru one time. And it was to climb up and out of a Iced over driveway. As soon as I was on the street they came off.

One other regular poster had one experience in Yosemite where they were mandatory again I recall he had never run cables before or after that one odd event.

All my yrs in the Sierras even on closed roads I found cables were not needed.

Ice storm east coast? Stay home Subarus arent Zambonies.
 

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I recently bought a 2013 Outback with only 38,000 miles on it. Almost brand new. I live in an area where it snows, and I don't really know how my OB will handle in the snow around here until I try it. I don't have much experience with 4-wheel drive. My questions are:

1. Although the manual says not to use chains, I see on the web that low-profile cable chains are available and claimed to work. Is this reliable info?

2. If I do use chains, do I only need one pair? And, if so, should they go on the front or real axle?

3. Will use of chains damage the car in any way?

4. What do I need to know that I don't know to ask about?

Thanks

wevets
How is the tire tread?

My '13 OB went out in the 'hood about a month after I got it. Approx 12" snow, enough to shut down the city. I tossed a shovel in the back, grabbed a cup of coffee, then drove around the neighborhood to see how well it would do. If I got stuck, I had a shovel.

I didn't need the shovel. The OB, on stock all-season tires, was outstanding. I was driving around the 4wd pickups that were hauling snow throwers. I was really, really, happy with it.

Unless you get into ice or some really severe conditions, you might not need chains.

Read the manual section that explains when, how, and why to turn off the traction control. Other than that, drive carefully and you'll be fine.
 

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2018 Outback 3.6R
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Get the class S cable to meet road/legal requirements if you have to have them in your vehicle in order to go forward. Again though, only put them on the front and only if you have to.

For my 2018 Outback Limited 225/60 18's I ended up with:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000HZFDQ4/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o09_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1


You can use the guide with your tire size accordingly:

Snow Chains for Tires, Best Tire Chains, Truck Tire Chains
theoak, have you tried putting SZ429 on your tires yet?
 

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2018 Outback 2.5i Limited Eyesight - Remote Start - Auto Dimming In/Outside Mirrors
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Just in my garage. I have not driven with them. Fit fine enough. Everything seemed clear and did not give the suggestion that it would rub on anything.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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2010 White cvt 2.5 Limited with moonroof
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You'll find that with decent tire thread + awd + common sense is key to get to a destination safely. I agree with other members regarding the use of cables: only use it if you have to. Cable set is a cheap investment. I'd like the assurance that I have it when I really need it. I do not want to buy a set the last minute because the cost is at least double, that is if you can find the correct size.
I'm no expert driving in the snow/ice, but base on my experience: Practice on how to install/uninstall in a safe place. Watch your speed(with or without the cable) when driving coz your stopping distance is longer and handling is way different than a dry pavement. If you end up using one, adhere with the mfr's instructions/ speed limitation. A damaged cable can do HUGE damage on your ride. Some folks think they're driving a tank with 4wd/awd..ugh! Don't be that person, please. Be careful with black ice encounter.... most especially driving around areas you're not familiar with.
Hey -if you have the extra $, you can always buy a set of snow tires. Enjoy your new ride!
 

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2018 Outback 2.5i Limited Eyesight - Remote Start - Auto Dimming In/Outside Mirrors
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Whenever I get a new car (well at least new to me) I always get "chains" (same with jumper cables - other than, don't have to get a new set there). Once I was lucky and the car I had and the new car got away with the same set. In my younger years and experiences with snow have taught me to have them handy. Mind you, I was NOT in an AWD back then.

As stated, drive with your head on your shoulders. If you leave your brain at the side of the road ... that is where you will end up.

Otherwise, my experience has taught me that it is pretty tough to get an AWD stuck in the snow.
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Tire Change Questions

All,

Thanks for all the good advice. I got a set of SZ343 Super Z cables, the size recommend for my size tires. I especially appreciated the advice about disabling the traction control if in a tight space like a snow-covered parking lot. I wouldn't have thought of that. Armed with all the advice, it's good to have the chains, but I hope I never need them.

wevets
 

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Chains /cables if suitable should be used only when get into trouble ie stuck in a snow drift / berm (ie descending icy slopes etc ) and fitted to front wheels as recommended on AWDs. (for steering / braking reasons)

There are limitations to using chains /cables - if not fitted / tightened properly can damage car and tyres and lightweight chains / cables aren't designed heavy enough for long continuous periods of use.
There are also speed limitations with their use is 25/30mph.

What is best is to go into winter with tyres in good condition / good tread or run winter tyres on another set of rims depending on severity of winter / terrain /slopes and carry chain / cables if suitable as a backup for when getting into trouble.

Been doing this for past 25 years with the 6 Subarus I've had. Fitting winter tyres and carrying chains.
Have had to use chains twice because mountain roading authorities here made it compulsory to fit them in certain conditions.
I've never had to use chains I have for previous and present Outbacks.

Awd will get you up hill /slope but the quality / amount of tread / type of tyres make the difference descending safely. Compared to driving on the flat, and for brakes / steering to work. Carry chains / cables if suitable, as a backup.
 

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2018 OB 2.5 Premium. 225/65-17
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I just tried on Super Z6 low clearance chains from peerless yesterday on my 2018 Outback (2.5 premium with 225/65-17). They did not work at all. The inside linkage area of the cables was up agains the strut mount, and would scrape on it if I tried driving. Not sure what to try now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks to all for the advice. I bought a set of SZ343 chains through an Amazon retailer for about $51 which I'll keep in the car just to be safe. Hope I don't actually need them.
 

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Had the same strut mount interference problem with SCC diagonal style chains on a 2006 Civic despite trying many sizes. The problem is that with only 6 attachment points per side the center of the side cable runs closer to the axle, touching the mount.

I had success with "ladder" style cables where the gripping cables go straight across the tread and the side cables run higher on the sidewalls. They're also cheaper but work fine for me in the Sierra where one occasionally (but rarely) is required to mount them on AWD vehicles.
 

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I just tried on Super Z6 low clearance chains from peerless yesterday on my 2018 Outback (2.5 premium with 225/65-17). They did not work at all. The inside linkage area of the cables was up agains the strut mount, and would scrape on it if I tried driving. Not sure what to try now.
I wonder if they will work on a 2018 touring 2.5i with 18" 225/60/18 . I show the sz429 is supposed to fit .
 

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2018 Outback 2.5i Limited Eyesight - Remote Start - Auto Dimming In/Outside Mirrors
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Add me to the 429 list (225/60/18). Putting them on the garage they seemed fine enough and did not give the appearance that they would rub on anything. There seemed to be enough clearance. Moving I am sure will be a bit of a different story but fingers crossed they will still be fine. There is a bit of a trick if you follow the instructions though and it appears you can put them on "inside out" which would have some parts stick out more.

I have them just to be legal though. Fingers crossed I won't need them. Regardless though, a lot of folks seemed pleased with the 429 and 225/60/18 combination.

I have heard of folks with the 225/60/18 getting one size smaller (I forget the size number), but then I have heard a lot of those same folks complaining of how snug it was to get on and some could not even get them on.

Edit:

Ok ... so I have already replied to this thread in the past ... who knew ;)
 
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