Snow chains not required/recommended on Outback?

15,685

Asked by Oct 27, 2015 at 08:19 AM about the 2010 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited

Question type: General

I've noticed that the owner's manual specifically states that you cannot put
snow chains on the Outback, so,   how bad is this car in the snow with all
season tires.   If you're on a road trip,  it doesn't make sense to carry an extra
set of winter tires along just to switch them out if you encounter snow?     
Finally,  have any of you experienced driving the CVT transmission in snow?  
How well does that work?

6 Answers

83,295

They make special snow traction devices for subarus, they are called traction spyders, they are expensive, there was a vid on you tube about them. I have been told that if it is really slick the tranny can overheat and burn up, but I have never seen this nor had any experience with a CVT myself

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
3,260

Hi Mark, The CVT doesn't "know" anything, except equal rolling radii protects the center and rear AWD diffs from overheating. So just don't mix different HEIGHTS front/rear. Newer OBs like yours suffer from spongy 17" tires, so you'll be "stuck" with even spongier, overly heavy, squirmy winter tires if you go that route. If your winter surfaces frequently involve driving on ice or deep snow then you will benefit from the so-called studless ice and snow recs from The TireRack et al. If you simply want low temperature high speed performance with only occasional deep snow or pure ice I'd get a quieter, better winter tire like the Mich X-Ice3 (pretty quiet!), or the new Conti SI that looks great for the money. Graspics and Alimax are louder. Blizzaks and Pilots $$$. If you have the optional 18" wheels you have many more high performance options, allowing high speed touring on nicer days without hurting your ears. I fear blowig your head up b telling you that you can mix brands front-to-back, so long as you keep the slightly TALLER ones (whether different brands or simply more tread) up front so that squeeze down (60F/40R weight distribution, remember?) to match the rears. Then the CVT is stupidly happy. And don't bother with the stupid "starting in 2" mode on ice if you have a gentle foot. It's just a computer alogorithm, unlike the previous discrete multi-gear autoboxes.

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.
15,685

TheSubaruGuruBoston, thank you. I actually live in Los Angeles, so, aside from trips to the mountains and other locale with snow, we don't have any local problems in SoCal. I do travel to Michigan, but, have not had any reason to bring my Subaru there. Who knows? But, your suggestions are very appreciated. I was surprised that in the owners manual it specifically says that chains are not recommended, but, a couple of people told me that these cars are so good in the snow that they show up pretty much everything else.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
3,260

LA? Then just use decent All Season Tires that are on the aggressive side of the summer-winter continuum. TireRack's surveys can be helpful here. Problem is lots of UHP tires don't come in the new OB's stupid tall and soft sizes.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
40,715

If you do not have cables or chains of some type the California Highway Patrol will not let you go to certain snowy areas, all wheel drive, 4wd or not.

6 out of 6 people think this is helpful.
70

While the 2006 Outback manual (p. 8-11) says there is insufficient clearance for chains with P225/55R17 tires, it goes on to say that when required (the Sierra in severe conditions) to mount Type S (low profile) "chains" (more likely the cable type) on the front wheels. When selecting chains be sure to check for potential interference with suspension components such as strut mounts.

7 out of 7 people think this is helpful.

Your Answer

Add photo

Related Questions

Outback

Looking for a Used Outback in your area?

CarGurus has 26,614 nationwide Outback listings starting at $500.

ZIP:

Search Subaru Outback Questions

UK Questions

Are you a UK consumer? CarGurus now has a discussion forum in the UK.

Subaru Outback Experts

#1 Markw1952
Markw1952
Reputation 5,270
#2 TheSubaruGuruBoston
TheSubaruGuruBoston
Reputation 1,590
#3 FordNut
FordNut
Reputation 1,490
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Subaru Forester
302 Great Deals out of 21,958 listings starting at $1,290
Used Subaru Impreza
169 Great Deals out of 11,163 listings starting at $1,899
Used Subaru Legacy
212 Great Deals out of 15,231 listings starting at $950
Used Honda CR-V
881 Great Deals out of 63,754 listings starting at $1,100
Used Toyota RAV4
747 Great Deals out of 55,166 listings starting at $2,488
Used Toyota 4Runner
378 Great Deals out of 20,766 listings starting at $2,495
Used Toyota Highlander
577 Great Deals out of 22,628 listings starting at $2,944
Used Toyota Tacoma
727 Great Deals out of 31,913 listings starting at $2,750
Used Jeep Grand Cherokee
934 Great Deals out of 66,508 listings starting at $300
Used Honda Accord
984 Great Deals out of 75,076 listings starting at $899
Used Subaru Impreza WRX
48 Great Deals out of 1,140 listings starting at $1,500
Used Honda Pilot
507 Great Deals out of 18,416 listings starting at $950
Used Toyota Camry
1,215 Great Deals out of 96,011 listings starting at $1,250

Used Cars For Sale

2017 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited For Sale
7,037 listings starting at $30,750
2016 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited For Sale
12 Great Deals out of 301 listings starting at $26,488
2015 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited For Sale
25 Great Deals out of 412 listings starting at $17,999
2014 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited For Sale
17 Great Deals out of 474 listings starting at $13,615
2013 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited For Sale
8 Great Deals out of 367 listings starting at $10,995