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Old 09-24-2013, 12:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 2014 forester tire "chains"

when I bought my 2014 forester I was told that chains and stuff like that would void the warranty on the vehicle.
he mentioned a product I had never heard before.
so if I travel to a place that legally requires chains what would I use ?
also was the dealer telling the truth ?

I do not want to use chains but I want to know what I could use if I had to go over the pass in a storm and the law was requiring chains.
I live near San Francisco so snow tires etc are OUT of the question.

this may be a one day a year need.
this is the real world and I am sure many subaru owners would come across this situation eventually

Last edited by captainmike; 09-24-2013 at 01:21 PM.
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Old 09-24-2013, 12:40 PM   #2 (permalink)
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when I bought my 2014 forester I was told that chains and stuff like that would void the warranty on the vehicle.
If its not in the manual it didn't happen.
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Old 09-24-2013, 12:44 PM   #3 (permalink)
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If its not in the manual it didn't happen.
If I don't see it I may have just missed it. can't take a chance on that.
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Old 09-24-2013, 12:51 PM   #4 (permalink)
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It tells you in your owners manual that you can't use them, and that's because of space issues. I had the same question myself because of the area I live in. If you want to use chains I image you would have to have a smaller tire and other things might come into play as well.
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Old 09-24-2013, 01:06 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Y not just put studded snow tires u will be ok and will not void ur warranty

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Old 09-24-2013, 01:18 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I live near san francisco that is not an option but if I take a trip to nevada I might need something to get over the pass

so I am looking to find out what will satisify Subaru and the Law


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Y not just put studded snow tires u will be ok and will not void ur warranty

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Old 09-24-2013, 01:19 PM   #7 (permalink)
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It tells you in your owners manual that you can't use them, and that's because of space issues. I had the same question myself because of the area I live in. If you want to use chains I image you would have to have a smaller tire and other things might come into play as well.
I don't WANT to use chains but the law may require then to get over the pass so I need to know what will satisify Subaru and the Law
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Old 09-24-2013, 01:25 PM   #8 (permalink)
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You may not be able to use conventional chains, but you can use cable chains (excuse me, traction cables). These might not be as effective as reinforced tire chains, but they meet the requirements for chains and are effective.

They've been in use for decades in europe and my older son used them on his Honda and found they worked great and that was only 2 wheel drive.

I don't want to violate any forum rules about approved vendors.....tirechainsrequired may be of help in your search. Front & rear would run about $65 US plus freight.

Last edited by wr moore; 09-24-2013 at 01:37 PM.
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Old 09-24-2013, 01:30 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I looked in the manual:

Tire chains cannot be used on your
vehicle because of the lack of
clearance between the tires and
vehicle body.

When tire chains cannot be used, use
of another type of traction device (such
as spring chains) may be acceptable if
use on your vehicle is recommended
by the device manufacturer, taking into
account tire size and road conditions.

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Old 09-24-2013, 01:32 PM   #10 (permalink)
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further info on this topic:

Your Subaru, Snow Tires and Chains Explained :

key part is the follow up at the end of the article

Last edited by captainmike; 09-24-2013 at 01:44 PM.
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Old 09-24-2013, 01:54 PM   #11 (permalink)
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as a note to all from the manual:

Make certain that any traction device
you use is an SAE class S device, and
use it on the front wheels only. Always
use the utmost care when driving with
a traction device. Overconfidence be-
cause you are using a traction device
could easily lead to a serious accident.
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Old 09-24-2013, 02:03 PM   #12 (permalink)
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BTW, I had a set of tire chains that fit on my '87 Legacy wagon (manually engaged rear wheels and there wasn't a f/r differential) and they certainly didn't damage anything. I believe I only used them on the rears, as there were clearance issues on the front. The traction cables avoid the clearance issues.

Believe 'class S' means traction cables. The front wheel only thing may be aimed at the CVT and other systems that use a managed clutch to determine and deliver the torque split.

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Old 09-24-2013, 04:22 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Here's a link to various "Class S" traction products.

Click on the product name (left column) for additional info. For example, the SZ143 Super Z-6 is spec'd to fit 225/60R17 tires.

HTH,
Jim / crewzer
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Old 09-24-2013, 06:23 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Unfortunately in CA. we have these laws.....Highway Patrol will require chains.. doesn't matter if you have studded snow tires.. you aren't getting past the chain control area without those chains on! Best is to carry chains and not put them on, if you talk nicely to the Highway Patrol.. but it's not likely.

Best to go early before they close it down.. or a day later. CHECK WEATHER REPORT!

In Oregon they will let AWD Subarus through without.
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Old 09-24-2013, 07:46 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Unfortunately in CA. we have these laws.....Highway Patrol will require chains.. doesn't matter if you have studded snow tires.. you aren't getting past the chain control area without those chains on! Best is to carry chains and not put them on, if you talk nicely to the Highway Patrol.. but it's not likely.

Best to go early before they close it down.. or a day later. CHECK WEATHER REPORT!

In Oregon they will let AWD Subarus through without.
I live in California where there is LOTs of snow. I have a separate set of studless snow (Severe Winter - the snowflake and mountain symbol on the sidewall) tires mounted on other wheels and use them during times when snow may be on the roads. California allows AWD cars with severe winter tires to pass most all chain checkpoints, including 80 and 50. It is in the law. I have never, in over 13 years here, had to mount the cable chains that I carry in bad conditions, just in case.

I used to compete in pro FIA winter rallys. At that time, I used four studded snow tires. Years later, living here, I contacted The Tire Rack for multi-row studded tires, of which there were very few available. The tech suggested studdless. I protested. He said that most midwest ice races were run on studless tires. I tried them, and have never looked back. They work great! They do wear fairly fast because of the sipes and special rubber, and on the ones I use, the snow/ice function is not as effective at 50% wear, so they become summer tires.
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