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Old 11-17-2013, 02:14 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 2014 Forester on ice

Hello...new to the forum.
Last night we were exposed to our first icy highway with the unit... a very white-knuckle experience. For the duration of the drive, the rear end of the vehicle seemed to be wanting to break free. Scared the crap out of me. I wouldn't have thought the front and rear would be fighting each other so much, and yet though the drive the computer never kicked in to take control. Any thoughts?
Thanks in advance.
PS Factory Bridgestone all seasons.
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Old 11-17-2013, 02:23 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I have the 18" bridgestones as well and think they are doing great considering the icey highway.

All cars are struggling, you have too high of expectations for factory rubber.

VDC will wait until its beneficial to make adjustments. You don't want it acting at high speeds, the driver must do the work.
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Old 11-17-2013, 02:48 PM   #3 (permalink)
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OEM tires are junk. Not safely suitable for snow, much less ice.
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Old 11-17-2013, 02:51 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The VDC doesn't do anything if the rear-end "wants" to break free. It intervenes if the rear-end does break free.
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Old 11-17-2013, 02:59 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Here we go again... thread #78,526,602 blaming the AWD system for the shortcomings of crappy all-season tires.
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Old 11-17-2013, 03:10 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Proper tires definitely would help.

Nothing is going to be confidence inspiring on ICE... unless you have studded tires.

This is the tirerack.com survey from owners of the Bridgestone Dueler H/L that come on the 2014 XT.

212 by jasplund91, on Flickr

http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.....0XT%20Premium

If anyone wants to tell me those tires are good, I still will not believe you.
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Old 11-17-2013, 03:56 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks for the quick feedback folks.
Realizing that there are limits regarding all seasons tires on ice, it did seem though that the these limits were being stretched as a result of the AWD even more so than a result of the ice? It was like there were extreme wind gusts, when in actuality the wind was almost non-existent. (It has me thinking that fwd might be a better option on extreme ice?...)
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Old 11-17-2013, 04:05 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Perhaps you're just not used to RWD input. My previous car was a Honda Pilot and most of its issues when loosening up on the highway was front drive understeering it only put power to the rear if you tromped on it. The Forester lets way more power to the rear than most typical AWD systems. This is why they are known for winter performance and handling, but they need to be mated to good rubber thats for certain.
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Old 11-17-2013, 04:18 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Burwood69 View Post
Perhaps you're just not used to RWD input. My previous car was a Honda Pilot and most of its issues when loosening up on the highway was front drive understeering it only put power to the rear if you tromped on it. The Forester lets way more power to the rear than most typical AWD systems. This is why they are known for winter performance and handling, but they need to be mated to good rubber thats for certain.
Have been driving a rear wheel drive for the past 8 winters. Prior to that, fwd for 20 years. Prior to last winter I picked up an awd Cadillac. This experience was different from what I've become accustomed to for sure...
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Old 11-17-2013, 04:31 PM   #10 (permalink)
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One other thought... the performance had be checking the tires to determine that there was not an install issue. It seems that the factory all seasons are not considered uni-directional. However, the direction of the treads on one side are perhaps understandably the opposite of the direction of the treads on the other side. Am I correct to assume that this is a non-factor?
thx
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Old 11-17-2013, 05:26 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Ive noticed that with mine on several different road surfaces, not just ice, and like everyone else I blame it on the tires. Not impressed with them. Find myself looking at the trees to see if its blowing, even on a lot of the paved roads here. (Our roads are really bad) When it does actually break free the VDC and AWD does a great job though, much better than on the Chevy I replaced.
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Old 11-17-2013, 06:10 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pleiad7 View Post
Here we go again... thread #78,526,602 blaming the AWD system for the shortcomings of crappy all-season tires.
So I am suppose to go out and spend more than $600 for tires on a leased vehicle? Ah, don't think so.

Definetly not blaming the AWD system because we haven't had any snow or ice here yet in NW Jersey, but I am sure it's coming.

Should I blame Subaru for putting the crappy Yokahama Geolander 91's on their vehicles that sell for almost $200 each on Tire Rack. Don't understand why this tire is that expensive if it's garbage, and the ratings say they are terrible in wintery conditions.

Can't really blame Subaru though, their objective is to keep the price of the vehicle as low as possible to attract more buyers.

Also in my many years of driving, I have never ever seen a studless snow tire or any tire have good traction on icy roads. Not snow covered road, but actual black ice. Studded tires help a lot, but for real traction you need old fashioned tire chains which are now outlawed in many states.
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Old 11-17-2013, 06:16 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Part of the floatiness / movement that feels like the wind is blowing you around is probably due to the relatively light vehicle weight.
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Old 11-17-2013, 07:00 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Thanks for the feedback. Re vehicle weight, I'm not sure that is a factor as the Forester is aprox 300 kg more than the CTS awd that I am currently acustomed to. Less aerodynamic, but heavier (and we were only travelling approx 60km/hr with no wind.)
I'll ask the TireRack folk for their thought re the "reverse" treads.
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Old 11-17-2013, 10:23 PM   #15 (permalink)
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+1 on buying snow tires.
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