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Hello everybody,
Could somebody please advise whether regular snow driving tire chains or cables are suitable for '13 OB. I went to the auto parts store and its sales rep told me that I have to use some special spider snow links which are being bolted on the wheel hubs - $460 for a pair :gasp:. Was this guy just BSing me or there is a truth in his words? Could somebody please clarify what kind of tire chains or cables is suitable for driving '13 OB on the snow.
 

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Check your manual. Can't use chains I believe. If you're gonna use chains on an outback might as well have purchased an Arctic Cat.
 

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We have a 2001 OB and carry a set of chains to be in compliance with the law. We live in snow country and hae never used them. They are still in the original package unopened. Buying a 2013 in the next few days and we will transfer the same package to the new car.
 

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How are the 2013 stock all-season continentals in snow? I live in Northern California and ski up in Tahoe. Yesterday at a chain check on 80 near Donner, CHP let me through without chains. First time driving in snow like that so I was going WAY slow. Should I worry that I don't have winter tires, or will the stock all-seasons be just fine for moderate chain-required passes?
 

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How are the 2013 stock all-season continentals in snow? I live in Northern California and ski up in Tahoe. Yesterday at a chain check on 80 near Donner, CHP let me through without chains. First time driving in snow like that so I was going WAY slow. Should I worry that I don't have winter tires, or will the stock all-seasons be just fine for moderate chain-required passes?
Welcome, Another new face in River City.:29: You will get a lot of opinions and recomendations on the stock Conti's so be ready.;) We go up regularly(50+80) and have had no issues with them wet or dry.

See if you can find a used set somewhere and throw them in the back when you make a run. They don't have to fit. CHP will close the road before requiring all wheel drive to chain up. In 40 years of Sierra travel I've yet to be asked to show proof, but I still always carry a set.

Check out here: http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/104-gen-4-2010-present/49265-cables-z6-needed-can-i-use-cheap-ones.html
and here: http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/104-gen-4-2010-present/29068-best-chains-ob.html
 

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Yes you can use cable chains. The manual for 2001 said you could not use "chains" either. However low profile cables will work. We have a set from out 2001 outback that we had to use once. Yep even AWD does not help you when there is an ice sheet when you have a home in the mountains---all 4 wheels spinning and the car came sliding down the hill... came within inches of hitting a tree very scary!

Even though the wheel and the tire size is diffrent on our new 2013 from the 2001 the size is listed on the package is as one that will fit. They were found on line and were about 80 bucks.. take only about a minuite to put on if you pratice.

Only needed once... but as far as I am concerend, they paid for themselves that day.
 

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I was asked once to show I had chains. This was with a 4x4 truck on I5 near Dunsmuir. Those without were turned back. Because of this I at least carry a set in the Subaru. Better to have then be turned around just once. I got a set of the Z6, I figured might as well get a set that fits just in case. Over the life of the car, relatively inexpensive.
 

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How are the 2013 stock all-season continentals in snow? I live in Northern California and ski up in Tahoe. Yesterday at a chain check on 80 near Donner, CHP let me through without chains. First time driving in snow like that so I was going WAY slow. Should I worry that I don't have winter tires, or will the stock all-seasons be just fine for moderate chain-required passes?
Been doing the Tahoe storm chasing ski runs since I was old enough to ski.

Your stock continentals are fine not fantastic - not terrible just fine. If you have 30,000 miles on them you won't like driving on them during a big dump in Tahoe especially dropping down into Truckee off the pass. Down hill is where you find your traction issues not up hill with the subaru.

Your too focused on your tires and need to focus on what the road conditions and car is telling you. If the car is sliding here and there you need to slow things up if the car is not sliding around then you need to drive at a speed that gives you plenty of stopping room. When it comes to Tahoe that stopping room includes the dumb a s s SUV or pick up truck driver riding your tail ie meaning you need even more space between you and the car in front of you or that idiot behind you is going to try and mate with your OB the second traffic comes to a stop.

Cables for the OB front tires only - You will NEVER EVER open the package for Tahoe trips!

Your number one threat driving to and from Tahoe are the other drivers and tailgaters. No traffic your subaru is about as close to having a personal dog sled as most people ever get.
 

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I was asked once to show I had chains. This was with a 4x4 truck on I5 near Dunsmuir. Those without were turned back. Because of this I at least carry a set in the Subaru. Better to have then be turned around just once. I got a set of the Z6, I figured might as well get a set that fits just in case. Over the life of the car, relatively inexpensive.
Same here - pickups even with 4x4 and good tires both have the ability to run chains and in many cases need them simply because they handle so poor on slick surfaces. In my case I was actually behind several Subarus which were not stopped or asked to see chains however our 4x4 pickup was not only stopped but we were told to chain up.

#1 Vehicle size and weight
#2 Vehicles poor weight distribution and handling on slick road surfaces
Means yes they might even ask you to chain up even with a 4x4 truck
 

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In 40 years of Sierra travel I've yet to be asked to show proof, but I still always carry a set.
They're apparently a bit more particular a bit further south near Mammoth; got chain checked heading up in a Range Rover.

Thanks for the links, btw.
 

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They're apparently a bit more particular a bit further south near Mammoth; got chain checked heading up in a Range Rover.

Thanks for the links, btw.
Chain checks may have a lot to do with traffic volume. 395 traffic can wait a bit while CHP checks to see if you have chains in the cargo area, I80 not likely.
OTH, I have seen chain checks for big rig truckers on I80, just east of Auburn (Applegate I think) and at the Truckee scales.
 

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Thanks for all the info guys (and potential ladies). I am a VERY inexperienced snow driver but have been obsessively watching videos, reading articles and forums about proper snow-driving. You never really now how you'll handle the snowy roads until you're finally on them!

Anyways based on the information here, I think I'll go ahead and pick up some cheap low-profile cables for the front wheels just in case I ever find myself in a situation where I need them. I don't expect to get too crazy with my Tahoe ski trips chasing POW days. I probably only have this season and next season left of weekly ski trips before (hopefully) medical school consumes my life. If I ever end up anywhere with intense snow, I'll invest in some winter tires.

OBnube, any chance you're the white 2013 3.6 SAP that drives around the UCD med center sometimes? I couldn't help but to ogle at one that drove past me while I was walking the other day at work. :drool:
 

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.....OBnube, any chance you're the white 2013 3.6 SAP that drives around the UCD med center sometimes? I couldn't help but to ogle at one that drove past me while I was walking the other day at work. :drool:
No, I cheaped out and got the 2.5.;) I'm more a downtown/midtown guy although I have been known to frequent Luigi's just up Stockton Blvd a bit.:29: Right now I'm running with the extended Loadwarrior basket.
 

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Thanks for all the info guys (and potential ladies). I am a VERY inexperienced snow driver but have been obsessively watching videos, reading articles and forums about proper snow-driving. You never really now how you'll handle the snowy roads until you're finally on them!

Anyways based on the information here, I think I'll go ahead and pick up some cheap low-profile cables for the front wheels just in case I ever find myself in a situation where I need them. I don't expect to get too crazy with my Tahoe ski trips chasing POW days. I probably only have this season and next season left of weekly ski trips before (hopefully) medical school consumes my life. If I ever end up anywhere with intense snow, I'll invest in some winter tires.

OBnube, any chance you're the white 2013 3.6 SAP that drives around the UCD med center sometimes? I couldn't help but to ogle at one that drove past me while I was walking the other day at work. :drool:
Biggest issue with any vehicle is your stopping distance other than that the OB will go through just about anything your crazy enough to tackle most people never even come close to finding the limits of what they will handle regarding bad snow storms. Big one rolling in tomorrow could set all time snow records for Shasta and Tahoe areas possibly farther south but sounds like its staying north for the most part.
 

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...all you need I a good set of snow tires.
 

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For California snow trips LOL nope thats like buying a Ford F350 to tow your moped down to the moped shop two blocks from the house. WAY over kill
The statement is true. IF you have a good set of snow tires, you don't have much need for chains with a AWD car with VSC. He didn't say run them all the time, he said they make chains unnecessary.
 

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We have family in Medford headed to SF Bay Area this weekend. They are keeping close eye on this one. My brother is doing some B&B time up in Shasta starting Friday so he's keeping a very close eye on it. I just sent him a list of items he needs to take and shared them with his wife given he sort of blew it off. Not to mention the car he's taking is not exactly ideal in any manner for whats headed in their direction. Toyota Matrix LOL - he's going to hate strapping the cables on that thing.

Family in Medford run decent Snow flake rated all seasons on their Highlander and live close enough to the CA/Oregon pass they simply head back home if the pass is messed up. Once over the pass into CA they have only run into one case in the past 10yrs where Shasta area was shut down due to excessive snow. Though this storm has the makings to be a shut down type storm up in the Shasta County area on I5
 
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