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2004 Outback Wagon, 2.5, 4EAT, All weather package.
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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.
 

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2004 Outback Wagon, 2.5, 4EAT, All weather package.
Joined
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1,036 Posts
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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