Driving through deep snow? - Subaru Forester Owners Forum
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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-05-2011, 06:18 PM Thread Starter
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Driving through deep snow?

I had a situation during the blizzard last week where I couldn't pickup my friend from work due to the unplowed roadways during the storm. I'm running stock geolanders and there was about 18in of snow on the ground and still coming down hard when I attempted the trip...half the Forester made it into the road and that's as far as I got.

So I was wondering is there anything available to purchase that would of allowed me to go through freshly fallen, non hard packed deep snow? Would something like this do the trick? Home - Flex Trax GoClaws, SnoClaws, SnoBootz, Inventor Tony Bright or would winter tires be better? Reason I'm thinking snow cables/chains/belts/socks whatever over winter tire is 1. cheaper and 2. It makes the tire more tracker like which should do better in deep snow, but I'm no expert so I'm asking for your expertise.

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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-05-2011, 06:45 PM
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Get some winter tires with good bite to them!

I was doing ok with the last storm we had in NJ. 2+ feet, I did ok for a bit turned off VDC to get out of the driveway! Use this trick wisely as VDC did save my bacon but knowing when to turn it off can be a key thing that you do. VDC will detect slip and break the wheel. The stock tires are not what is up. Sadly I just got the winterforce tires on recomendations form guys here. So far I love them, but the snow is now gone I did test it in about a foot of hard packed snow and it drove over it like it was nothing. Hope this weekend we get some more fresh stuff does not look like it will be two feet, but I will keep you informed.

I did take the subie to upsate NY high peaks area around Lake Placid, it did ok but would slip once in a while. The stocks are not too bad but 2 feet you are asking for trouble.

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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-05-2011, 07:44 PM
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new tires most deff. my foz made it through a snow drift that was over my fog lights and 1/8th of a mile long. my dads tundra had trouble with it(bald tires). me no prob. i actually pulled a camry out of it. what were they thinking?

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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-05-2011, 08:03 PM
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Consider that you would have to stop and put these snow chains/cables/socks/belts on if you got stuck or think you might get stuck, then take them off possibly not knowing what conditions lie ahead, since they are not designed to be driven at normal speeds on normal roads. Or would you like to drive like you would normally would on roads snowy or cleared knowing your dedicated snow tires will get you through those conditions within reason, without stopping to put on these contraptions?

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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-05-2011, 08:06 PM
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Originally Posted by JASONDHSD View Post
I had a situation during the blizzard last week where I couldn't pickup my friend from work due to the unplowed roadways during the storm. I'm running stock geolanders and there was about 18in of snow on the ground and still coming down hard when I attempted the trip...half the Forester made it into the road and that's as far as I got.
Unless your tires are bald you didn't use enough gas. I regularly drive through more snow than that. If you stop you are done.
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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-05-2011, 08:26 PM
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The Case for Snow Tires
and always a good reminder of what's to come and one of many peoples account of what they got through with snow tires!The Official 2010 Snowcopalypse Thread (merged)

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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-05-2011, 10:11 PM Thread Starter
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Unless your tires are bald you didn't use enough gas. I regularly drive through more snow than that. If you stop you are done.
Well can't exactly blow through red lights and stop signs. Anyway I was just spinning and spinning, but I wasn't flooring it.

My thoughts on getting something that straps onto the wheel opposed to a winter tire is because I live mainly in a flat area by the shore, and while it gets cold it doesn't get extreme very often. Average winter temps range between 20F - 40F. The only time I would actually need to have a winter tire is those rare times I need to go out before the plows come by and putting cables or chains on isn't that big of a deal. Another concern I have is cost, winter tires are going to cost $600 - $700 with steel wheels. How many seasons does that last and since the majority of the time the road ways are free of snow does driving winter tires on dry pavement make the wear even worse?

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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-05-2011, 10:20 PM
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My car is lowered and I can make it through snow up to my hood (2+ feet).

Get new tires and you'll be a happy driver
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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-05-2011, 10:24 PM
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Temperature and wetness of the snow can make a big difference. It is one thing to drive through nice fluffy powder and quite another to attempt heavy snow with the consistency of mashed potatoes. Wet snow can turn to ice the moment you drive on to it. If it is deep, your car can ride up on it (bottom out) and all four wheels can lose traction.
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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-06-2011, 12:19 AM
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Well can't exactly blow through red lights and stop signs. Anyway I was just spinning and spinning, but I wasn't flooring it.

My thoughts on getting something that straps onto the wheel opposed to a winter tire is because I live mainly in a flat area by the shore, and while it gets cold it doesn't get extreme very often. Average winter temps range between 20F - 40F. The only time I would actually need to have a winter tire is those rare times I need to go out before the plows come by and putting cables or chains on isn't that big of a deal. Another concern I have is cost, winter tires are going to cost $600 - $700 with steel wheels. How many seasons does that last and since the majority of the time the road ways are free of snow does driving winter tires on dry pavement make the wear even worse?
You can either bolt up the snows when needed or stay home. I run all season Tiger Paws and I don't have any traction issues unless I hammer down. I probably get alot more snow than you do too. Dedicated snows are in order for next year because I have my eye on some 16" Outback alloys for summer use.
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post #11 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-06-2011, 12:49 AM
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I'd say that some people are WAY over-estimating the stock Geolanders greatly. They suck, HORRIBLY in snow and cold conditions. I've never been so disappointed (and embarrassed) in my life that my Geolanders couldn't get me through 10 inches of snow, yet the FWD Civic Tony was driving with better all-season tires got through it almost easily. I had to use a snow shovel a few times. Embarrassing, and sadly, it's on video.

I went to a much better tire (BFGoodrich Traction T/A All-Season) after that, and they were a HUGE improvement for all-season tires. They still slipped a bit, but the improvement for snow/winter traction was night and day over the Geolanders, regardless if it was the heavy wet snow or the dry fluffy stuff.

Now that I've gone through those all-seasons, I upgraded to the BFGoodrich All-Terrain tires, and to be honest, these are a night/day difference over the BFG all-seasons I had prior. It almost feels like a snow tire and grips amazingly well. Went off-road recently with a very good amount of snow on the ground (I'd say about 8-inches or so of semi-heavy snow.....almost the same stuff that confused the Geolanders) and it just drove through like butter. I was amazed.

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post #12 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-06-2011, 03:32 AM
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What Blue Fox said.

With stock tires you will be lucky to consistantl;y drive around in much more then 8-10 inches of snow.

I seriously doubt if you can drive around consistently (up hills etc) with even 18 inches of snow with the best tires available.

I'm an old hand at driving through snow with 4WD trucks more capable than the forester. 2ft was the upper limit on those. I would love to see someone in a Forrester drive around in a full 2 ft. of snow.

The key is to be able to drive like 20 miles from point A to tB with a full 2 feet on the road. I'm not believing it.

Be careful what you wish for.
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post #13 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-06-2011, 05:51 AM
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well as a fellow Ocean County resident I can say that I was out driving around on Monday and Tuesday in my '09 with no problems. I have what I feel is a really good set of all seasons on (bridgestone 960AS pole positions) and they worked beautifully during the storm. Last year when we got destroyed by snow the stock Geolanders absolutely SUCKED in the snow. I'd say get good tires. What part of Ocean County are you in?

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post #14 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-06-2011, 06:04 AM
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If you are going to drive in the snow regularly, then get dedicated snow tires. Pick up a set of rims, either steel or alloys, here from a member selling them and have snows mounted and change them seasonally. That's what I do, but I travel upstate NY, NE and NW Pa a lot. 4 years ago I bought a set of XT rims and mounted Winterforce tires on them. I can tell you they are pretty unstoppable even in this recent blizzard, even before the roads were unplowed. But noisy on dry interstate roads.

But if this is FLUKE, and most of your winter is on dry, plowed roads, stick with an All Season tire, no need for a 2nd set or rims and someplace to store them. Just wait an extra few hours or day for the snow plow. Your Subaru will get you further than a normal vehicle, but will be hampered by tire traction under worse conditions.

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post #15 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-06-2011, 06:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulkley View Post
Temperature and wetness of the snow can make a big difference. It is one thing to drive through nice fluffy powder and quite another to attempt heavy snow with the consistency of mashed potatoes. Wet snow can turn to ice the moment you drive on to it. If it is deep, your car can ride up on it (bottom out) and all four wheels can lose traction.
+1
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