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2013 Outback 3.6r
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Discussion Starter #1
My wife and I purchased 2013 Subaru outback in California and are getting ready to move to Minnesota is there anything special that we need to do to winterize it?:)
 

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Somebody Else's XT
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14,443 Posts
Consider a block heater and winter wipers. Subaru already did everything else for you. These are great cold weather cars.

Some folks like remote starters, but they can punch a big hole in your MPG averages in trade for the convenience. A block heater is much cheaper to operate for the same net benefit.
 

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2013 2.5i Premium 6mt, Twilight Blue
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If you don't already have one, you should also invest in a decent first-aid/roadside emergency kit. You'll be much more likely to get stuck on the side of the road in bad weather conditions in MN.

Also, if you like keeping your car looking new - put on a good layer of wax to give at least some protection from salt and road grit. When/if you have the chance, hose off the salt; otherwise it will speed up corosion.
 

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2013 Outback 3.6r
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3 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the response are block heaters easy to install? I do have the defrosting wipers but is that enough?
 

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2004 Outback Wagon, 2.5, 4EAT, All weather package.
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1,036 Posts
Make sure you have factory undercoating and it is will in tact, there are no holes, etc. The factory undercoating is still holding up pretty well on my '04, but I still get it oil coated ever year. Yes, OIL coated. Oil is the water's natural enemy and will prevent the water from accumulating with the salt and causing rust. Oil coating is still very big in Canada but not so much in the US for environmental concerns. Having owned some rusty cars in my day, I will never drive a car in the winter again that hasn't been oil coated, even if it is relatively new. Some might say it is overkill, I say an ounce of prevention now goes a long way to avoiding major headaches down the road, especially if you plan on keeping this car for 8-10 years or more.

I would suggest picking up some silicone grease and wiping around the door seals with it. This will help the doors resist the urge to freeze shut.

RainX orange deicer washer fluid is amazing. I suggest you stock up.

AVOID RainX Latitude Wiper Blades. Exorbitantly overpriced garbage. I've had good luck in the past with Anco Contour wiper blades, but YMMV.
 

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Somebody Else's XT
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Make sure you have factory undercoating and it is will in tact, there are no holes, etc. The factory undercoating is still holding up pretty well on my '04, but I still get it oil coated ever year. Yes, OIL coated. Oil is the water's natural enemy and will prevent the water from accumulating with the salt and causing rust. Oil coating is still very big in Canada but not so much in the US for environmental concerns. Having owned some rusty cars in my day, I will never drive a car in the winter again that hasn't been oil coated, even if it is relatively new. Some might say it is overkill, I say an ounce of prevention now goes a long way to avoiding major headaches down the road, especially if you plan on keeping this car for 8-10 years or more.

I would suggest picking up some silicone grease and wiping around the door seals with it. This will help the doors resist the urge to freeze shut.

RainX orange deicer washer fluid is amazing. I suggest you stock up.

AVOID RainX Latitude Wiper Blades. Exorbitantly overpriced garbage. I've had good luck in the past with Anco Contour wiper blades, but YMMV.
I agree with the oil coating for salty spots. On the other hand if it's just plain cold, salt won't do much and they won't use it. To the OP- look up average winter temps. If it's 15°F or less, they're not gonna mess with salt.

Good call on the silicone- though I have not found it necessary on newer cars, because the silicone mold release compound from the factory is still there. After 2-3 years it'll need another wipe of it for sure.

I haven't seen that orange washer for anything close to a reasonable price. I feel bad enough paying $1.25/gal for the no-name blue stuff. Much more than that and I wind up making my own.
 

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2004 Outback Wagon, 2.5, 4EAT, All weather package.
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I agree with the oil coating for salty spots. On the other hand if it's just plain cold, salt won't do much and they won't use it. To the OP- look up average winter temps. If it's 15°F or less, they're not gonna mess with salt.

Good call on the silicone- though I have not found it necessary on newer cars, because the silicone mold release compound from the factory is still there. After 2-3 years it'll need another wipe of it for sure.

I haven't seen that orange washer for anything close to a reasonable price. I feel bad enough paying $1.25/gal for the no-name blue stuff. Much more than that and I wind up making my own.
It really depends on the area. Around where I live when it gets really cold out they use the liquid magnesium chloride "brine", which is much more corrosive than standard sodium chloride. Calcium chloride is still corrosive as well. Now I know in certain areas instead of salting they will just use cinders, gravel and sand. This is **** on the paint but is better for the body to avoid rust. I use the example of oil coating because a friend of mine in Kitchener ON gave me the idea. His mother's car is a '96 Monte Carlo with 200,000 miles plus on it, owned since new. It has also been oil coated every year since new, and underneath if you rub away the oil there is not a spec of rust. It has gotten to the point that the chemicals we use on the road are so corrosive I see cars less than 10 years old with huge rust holes in them. My next door neighbor's '04 Durango already has noticeable rust peaking out from the rear wheel wells. To me that is scary!

I think I usually see the RainX stuff for around ~2 for $5 at Walmart, that is where I usually purchase it. More expensive than the blue but I don't use enough of it for it to really bother me.
 

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2012 Outback 2.5 i Premium
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474 Posts
You'll be good to go for the most part but you'll want a few essentials. An emergency kit is a must. Make sure you have a decent ice scraper with a brush to get snow off the hood and roof.

If you'll be able to park it overnight in a garage you won't really need the engine block heater unless your garage is detached and isn't insulated. Also don't warm up your car inside said garage even with the door open. The fumes aren't good for you or your family.

When I go out for a drive in the cold, I make sure I have a warm enough jacket and pair of gloves just in case the car dies and it needs to be pushed. It's no fun pushing a freezing vehicle with your bare hands.

Other than that you don't need too much else. Some people pack blankets and other survival gear but if you don't live in a rural area you won't need it.
 

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Car: 2008 Tribeca, 2010 LGT, Sold: 2005 XT Limited
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Skip the block heater and make sure your new house has a garage. You'll thank me later :)
 

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2013 2.5i Outback Limited w/ moonroof
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Skip the block heater and make sure your new house has a garage. You'll thank me later :)
x2 - If you have a garage, the Block Heater may not be neccessary. My garage typically stays around 40-45 degrees F even when it's colder then 20 degrees F out. Car warms up no problem each morning.
 

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When we dip in to the negative range, it still is above freezing in my garage. Coldest I've seen is -14F. I believe things were starting to freeze (water only) but nothing was complete frozen. No insulation in the garage anywhere other than between it and the house. It is attached, which is key.
 

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2013 2.5i Premium 6mt, Twilight Blue
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I agree with the oil coating for salty spots. On the other hand if it's just plain cold, salt won't do much and they won't use it. To the OP- look up average winter temps. If it's 15°F or less, they're not gonna mess with salt.
Please call New Jersey and let them know this. They dump piles of salt on the roads even when there is no precipitation in the forecast. :11:
 

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Somebody Else's XT
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It's not (often) that cold in NJ. Not that it needs to be, the place is simply beyond help in so many other ways...

I have to drive across NJ twice tomorrow. Hopefully they'll build a bridge from the PA state line to the CT state line within my lifetime...
 

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I would have the windshield treated with Aquapel, it surpasses any other treatment and addition to rain-x orange in reservior,you will notice that its harder for ice/snow to stick and excellent with rain. When it rains here it just beads off and lasts months where as treating with rain-x washes off with every time you wash the vehicle. Also like the others suggest good high qaulity wipers and good waxing also if not already consider going to a all-season m/s tire. Also depending on the age of the battery probably need to change over to a north vs south for cold cranking amp.
 

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'03 Outback H6-3.0 Black Granite Pearl, base model with cold weather package and cloth seats.
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And check/set your tire pressures in the actual cold environment you will be driving in.
 

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2011 Outback 3.6 Premium
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Consider a set of winter tires & wheels. A block heater & battery heater is great if your car is left outside overnight. Use straight winter formula washer fluid.
 

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2018, Outback Touring 3.6
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I live here in MN, and we moved up here a couple of years ago and like I have stated in other threads, brand new to subaru's and learning on the fly.

You won't need a block heater unless your leaving it outside (which you need to re-evaluate and get a garage) or your moving to N Minnesota, basically S Canada. I'm talking Duluth, International Falls, etc. are and then you probably need to get your head examined!!! :> If you'll be in the metro area (Twin Cities) you'll be fine with no block heater.

MN knows how to handle snow and ice and cold, so they do put the brine on, not sure exactly how it affects the vehicles, but seems to work well with clearing snow/ice. Because of that, if your in the metro area, I wouldn't say you need snow tires, if your in "outstate" everywhere besides the Metro, snow tires would be helpful.

This is a huge subaru area, one of the reasons we got ours, is because almost every car we see on the road is a subaru. Plus, when we got 16in of snow a month ago, the only cars that were driving through it were subarus.

I do agree that having a car kit is very smart, especially, if your driving outstate. Emergency blanket, water, jumpers, flashlight, batteries, etc.

Hope you enjoy it, we have, the spring/summer and fall are great! Can't wait to go camping this spring and take the canoe up to the BWCA this summer/fall in the OB.
 
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