Why does the rear end slide in the snow and no other time?

Asked by Dec 01, 2010 at 11:05 AM about the 2002 Subaru Outback Limited

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Rear end wants to come around in even the slightest snow. Even at like 20mph. What could cause this? It has good tires.

4 Answers

45

Its a basic answer. Snow's molecular properties are varied many different directions Depending on the snows condition. It the Snow is whet, Its molecules are more malleable hence why it is the ideal snow for snowmen and snowball fights. When Snow is "dry" its molecular setup is more structured so it doesn't want to change. So when driving over snow the snow is like a layer of separate concrete in between your tires and the asphalt, and since snow is slippery, the car isn't moving always, sometimes it is but mostly it is the snow that is moving on the asphalt that makes you back end slip out because you front wheels have control, you back wheels are just sitting their. All of this is why trucks but chains on their wheels. Since a metal chain's molecular setup is more solid than snow, the chain can break through the snow and give you more traction because you are touch the actual asphalt instead of the slippery, no friction snow. So Over all the basic answer would be snow doesn't give on as much friction as asphalt.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
5,695

to be honest that guys answer was not basic at all and really is not the problem, the reason your geting the rear end wandering on you is because while you have 4wd there is still more weight at the fron of the car than the back and that is what gives the car better traction up front, now it may be worse if you have an automatic transmission because Subaru automatics instead of having a split of torque 50 percent to the front and 50 percent to the rear wheels like Subaru's manual transmissions, the auto's use a 90 percent front 10 percent rear torque split causeing it to drive more like a FWD car than a full time AWD car. My suggestion in either case is to get some good all season or snow tire if you have only a highway tire on now, and don't get on the gas too much and make sure your E-brake is not locking at all.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
135

As Nick previously answered the automatic Outbacks are even more apt to slide its rear on corners when driving in the snow. I did notice this occurance happening to me in my previous truck a 97 Toyota Tacoma 4x4 and to counteract this problem I added weights in the back of the Tacoma, as with the Outback I just placed an 80lb. bag of sand on the cargo area and it seem to help providing you are not driving the car like a rally race, and yeah a good set of snows like General Altimax Artic which I am currently using helps.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
815

I agree with jtablan I also have the General Altimax Artic tires I live in New England and we get a lot of snow these tires are great

Your Answer

Add photo

Related Questions

  • Taking Subaru out of AWD with fuse added 18 answers

    I just purchased a 97 Outback AWD. It was shaking at low speeds at turning. Brought to a mechanic and he mentioned the fuse thing. He put a fuse in the FWD slot under the hood. The shaking went away...

    Subaru Outback

    -

    Maintenance & Repair

  • 2008 outback WAGON 20 answers

    66.700 MILES on it. Told by trusted mechanic that head gasket is going/gone but dealership needs to do repair.Going tomorrow to dealership Also needs axle replacement and might as well get timing be...

    2008 Subaru Outback 2.5 i Limited

    -

    Maintenance & Repair

  • Should I replace the timing belt, pulleys and water pump 18 answers

    I just bought a 2008 Subaru Outback 2.5i (non-turbo) automatic with some minor front end damage I am repairing. It has 89,600 miles. The front end of the car is all open currently and I am replacing...

    2008 Subaru Outback 2.5 i

    -

    Maintenance & Repair

  • Timing Belt Maintenance 43 answers

    I have read a lot of comments that the timing belt should be changed on a Subaru as an important maintenance priority to prevent possible damage to the engine. I bought my Subaru with almost 90k miles...

    2008 Subaru Outback Basic

    -

    Maintenance & Repair

  • Can I use my 225/60R16 snow tires / rims on my 2013 Outback that comes with 225/60R17? 8 answers

    I am purchasing a new Subaru outback. I want to use the snow tires and rims from my current outback on the new one. However, the new outback come standard with 225/60R17. Will my smaller rim/tir...

    2013 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium

    -

    General

Outback

Looking for a Used Outback in your area?

CarGurus has 30,505 nationwide Outback listings starting at $2,000.

ZIP:

Search Subaru Outback Questions

Subaru Outback Experts

#1 Markw1952
Markw1952
Reputation 4,640
#2 FordNut
FordNut
Reputation 1,480
#3 TheSubaruGuruBoston
TheSubaruGuruBoston
Reputation 1,340
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Subaru Forester
359 Great Deals out of 19,907 listings starting at $1,200
Used Subaru Legacy
226 Great Deals out of 17,193 listings starting at $1,200
Used Subaru Impreza
194 Great Deals out of 6,826 listings starting at $1,200
Used Honda CR-V
1,306 Great Deals out of 75,455 listings starting at $1,995
Used Toyota RAV4
1,099 Great Deals out of 53,307 listings starting at $1,588
Used Toyota 4Runner
381 Great Deals out of 19,763 listings starting at $1,987
Used Toyota Highlander
634 Great Deals out of 27,845 listings starting at $2,988
Used Toyota Tacoma
740 Great Deals out of 32,548 listings starting at $1,900
Used Jeep Grand Cherokee
1,083 Great Deals out of 69,712 listings starting at $495
Used Honda Accord
1,205 Great Deals out of 77,327 listings starting at $700
Used Subaru Impreza WRX
47 Great Deals out of 1,242 listings starting at $1,999
Used Toyota Camry
1,431 Great Deals out of 99,709 listings starting at $700
Used Ford Escape
1,700 Great Deals out of 85,765 listings starting at $1,350

Used Cars For Sale

2017 Subaru Outback For Sale
20,956 listings starting at $23,920
2016 Subaru Outback For Sale
30 Great Deals out of 804 listings starting at $22,461
2015 Subaru Outback For Sale
91 Great Deals out of 1,437 listings starting at $15,995
2014 Subaru Outback For Sale
83 Great Deals out of 1,716 listings starting at $10,495
2013 Subaru Outback For Sale
46 Great Deals out of 1,183 listings starting at $9,753