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Old 11-24-2008, 01:44 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Chains for 2009 Forester XT?

Hi, I live in Seattle area and I am going to drive to Stevens Pass from time to time. Although the car is AWD with M+S (traction) tires, I consider buying snow chains for my new 2009 Forester XT, just in case the road gets really bad/icy, etc. The thing is that user's manual says that chains cannot be used on tires 225/55/R17 (that I have) because of clearance issues.

I am not sure if user manual writers considered low clearance tires such as SCC Super Z6 or SCC Shur Grip Z.

Have anybody tried putting on chains on 2009 Forester XT?

Thanks,
Michael
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Old 11-24-2008, 01:48 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Nice looking product.
I went with 215/60R16 for winters on my FXT. This actually gives me slightly more clearance.
Are you using Geolanders during the winter?
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Old 11-24-2008, 01:49 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by michaelk View Post
Hi, I live in Seattle area and I am going to drive to Stevens Pass from time to time. Although the car is AWD with M+S (traction) tires, I consider buying snow chains for my new 2009 Forester XT, just in case the road gets really bad/icy, etc. The thing is that user's manual says that chains cannot be used on tires 225/55/R17 (that I have) because of clearance issues.

I am not sure if user manual writers considered low clearance tires such as SCC Super Z6 or SCC Shur Grip Z.

Have anybody tried putting on chains on 2009 Forester XT?

Thanks,
Michael
I know little of the 2009 model but as it been said for earlier models here with the standard tires atleast the chains should be on the front. I don't think that was any help but I just had to say something.
PS: The roads must either be very very bad or your tires are bad for winter driving. I don't think many here ever put chains on the fozz even if they own chains.
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Old 11-24-2008, 02:09 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Well, I am going to use standard Geolandar G95A during the winter, I am not sure how really good/bad they are but they have M+T mark. For the chains I would just feel more confident :) if I have them with me and even never put on.

That's why I am wondering if anybody used low profile or any other chains on the Forester with tires that user's manual explicitly prohibits chains for (in particular for 225/55/R17).

Thanks,
Michael

Last edited by michaelk; 11-24-2008 at 02:10 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 11-24-2008, 02:10 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Stevens Pass isn't that bad. I'd stick with stock. Snow tires would be better, but you are already doing pretty well with the AWD.
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Old 11-24-2008, 09:09 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The manual (in Canada anyway) says that you can not use chains on the 09. No ifs ands or buts. I too looked at them as I use mine on logging roads in BC and chains would be very handy but the risk is not worth it in my thoughts anyway.

And with all the driving I have done on interior public roads/mountain passes of BC (north of Stevens Pass), I have never needed chains. Even with 2 wd/Fwd vehicles.

If you do use chains, be careful of any warranty issues.
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Old 11-25-2008, 07:01 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Here's official response from Subaru. Surprisingly, they mention SCC.

We have been informed that there are traction devices that may fit Subaru vehicles where we have recommended against the use of conventional tire chains. If you use the tire chains detailed below, you would need to install them on the front wheels only. As also detailed below, we do not endorse this product, but have not heard any complaints from over a thousand owners who have used them.
We have been made aware of a tire chain (traction device) company's claim that its devices are suitable for vehicles where we have recommended against the use of conventional tire chains. The company is:
Security Chain Company (SCC)
A Division of Burns Brothers, Inc.
Portland, OR
The company's Internet address is: scc-chain.com. This Internet site gives local retail sources for the products. The model recommended by SCC for Subaru is SHUR GRIP Z. There are different sizes based on tire size.
SUBARU OF AMERICA cannot endorse these or any other traction devices. However, we can inform any owners who request information on traction devices of this company's claim that its products are available and suitable for Subaru vehicles. Customers must take the initiative and responsibility for securing the products and satisfying themselves that it is safe to use them on their vehicles.
Thank you for taking the time to contact us, and I hope that this information is helpful in your decision-making. If you have any other questions, do not hesitate to reply to this email!
Best wishes,
Kerry Ann Miller
Subaru Customer/Dealer Services
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Old 12-24-2008, 03:44 PM   #8 (permalink)
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hi,
i am a new owner of a 2009 forester xt MT and am slightly anxious about damaging the car in any way. is there anyone out there that has any experience with the scc super z6 chains? i hate to admit it but i don't want to be the first and would like to hear directly from one of the "thousands" of commenters that the subaru person speaks of.
amar.
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Old 12-24-2008, 04:08 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelk View Post
Hi, I live in Seattle area and I am going to drive to Stevens Pass from time to time. Although the car is AWD with M+S (traction) tires, I consider buying snow chains for my new 2009 Forester XT, just in case the road gets really bad/icy, etc. The thing is that user's manual says that chains cannot be used on tires 225/55/R17 (that I have) because of clearance issues.

I am not sure if user manual writers considered low clearance tires such as SCC Super Z6 or SCC Shur Grip Z.

Have anybody tried putting on chains on 2009 Forester XT?

Thanks,
Michael
I saw this product on another board and thought it may be a alternative:

Dealer Accessories Direct, Inc for safer driving in snow

These are their claims:

AutoSock is a high technology textile cover which is a quick and easy solution for better grip
when surprised by winter conditions. The product is tested and approved by international research institutions and leading car manufacturers.

The AutoSock is a newly developed tire cover, aimed at increasing tire-to-road friction when driving cars on icy or snowy roads:
  • Perfect temporary winter aid for vehicles.
  • Easy to mount and dismount even in cold and difficult weather.
  • Comfortable while driving - maximum speed 30 miles per hour.
  • Does not cause noise or vibrations.
  • Lightweight and easy to store.
  • Self-centering.
  • Reusable and machine washable.
  • Environmental and recyclable.
  • No damage to alloy wheels.
  • Approved by TÜV and GS.
  • Fits almost all passenger cars.
  • Approved by leading car manufacturers.
  • Works on all vehicles with low clearance between the tire and the body, as
well as with all electronic safety systems (ESP, ABS).
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Old 12-27-2008, 04:09 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blacktiger View Post
I saw this product on another board and thought it may be a alternative:

Dealer Accessories Direct, Inc for safer driving in snow
Has anyone tried these things. They look great.
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Old 12-28-2008, 08:07 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Chains, cable chains, fabric tire covers are all gonna get trashed on the highway. The max speed on that fabric cover was 30mph. They are not made for highway use and look like they are intended for an emergency 'when suprised by winter driving conditions'. These SCC Super Z6 or SCC Shur Grip Z that you posted are cables and I doubt would even last a few trips up the mountian.

With the 3 feet of snow here I have seen many people driving around with different set ups. The other day I saw a Fozzie with chains all around. Any chains you find that would fit the Fozz would probably be pretty weak and would last a short time. I see people drive by and can hear the chains/cables coming apart and thrashing around inside the wheel well.
If you now that your goning to be driving in snow/ice your best bet is to stick with a good set of snow tires. I have Blizzaks on my stock 17" wheels and have had no problems getting around. And right now its melting and the asphalt is exposed again which is then wet and will freeze with a layer of ice. I wouldn't want to have to take chains off and on every time the conditions change. It's gonna snow later in the week so I know I'm ready. Iv'e been happy with both Subies and the studdless snow tires mounted on them.
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Old 12-28-2008, 10:19 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Yeah, that's all well and good. Most everybody says that chains (cables) aren't necessary on a Subaru. I agree. A good set of dedicated studded winter tires with AWD is great and just about will take you anywhere under any conditions.

However, I've heard several stories (one from a good friend of mine, so I know it's true), that under certain conditions, a LEO will either require you to install chains --AWD or not-- or show that you have them with you in the car in the correct size.

I know this scenario is rare but I'm planning on doing extensive winter traveling in the mountainous west (WA, OR, CA, NV, UT, etc.) and I've heard varying reports of this happening. Since most of this driving won't be in the mountains and will be on bare highway, I don't want to run dedicated winter tires.

In a recent post on another forum, a guy in an Audi quattro got turned back because he had no chains at all even though he had winter traction tires with the snowflake symbol. It was snowing hard in the Sierras and they were just about ready to close the road down but were letting only chained vehicles proceed. He didn't think it was that bad but the LEO told him "no exceptions" ...ALL vehicles must have chains.

So, I want to carry a set of cables with me just in case. I'd really like them to fit so that's why I'm asking anybody who has used the SCC Super Z6 to report here so that I know that I'm not spending $80 when I could get away with $30 for a cheap set of cables that don't fit but I can still show a LEO in case conditions dictate a checkpoint.

Anybody?
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Old 12-28-2008, 06:16 PM   #13 (permalink)
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If you use Geocrappies in the winter (snow/ice) you are asking for trouble. Period.

Save the money from chains and get snow tires on rims. If there is more ice than snow..get studded.

Its that simple.

ps. Kicking myself for not getting studded tires. Damn it.
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Old 12-28-2008, 06:18 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by subieoutlaw View Post
If you use Geocrappies in the winter (snow/ice) you are asking for trouble. Period.

Save the money from chains and get snow tires on rims. If there is more ice than snow..get studded.

Its that simple.

ps. Kicking myself for not getting studded tires. Damn it.

I fully agree but unlike you I bought studded tires
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Old 12-28-2008, 06:52 PM   #15 (permalink)
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If you use Geocrappies in the winter (snow/ice) you are asking for trouble. Period.
just bought an 09 forester before all these winter storms in seattle. we had almost two weeks of snow/ice (probably 18 inches of snow or more). i've been driving a lot in this weather with the stock geolander tires and have not had one issue. not sure why so many here think they're so bad. from deep snow, to packed snow, to ice they've (and the AWD) performed great.
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