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2014 Forester
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
2014 Forester got stuck in just a few inches of snow. Front wheels were spinning, but back wheels not moving, even though there was good traction under the back. All season Michelin tires - good tread. Anything obvious i should check? Never had any trouble in the snow before.

19 19 Touring, 17TrgXT CVT
632 Posts
Have you checked your tires air pressure - if too high you will have less surface contact for traction.

Also, you mentioned you checked your tires for wear. On my 17 XT Touring with Duelers I have two tread wear indicators - snow platform (winter wear) indicators at 5/32nds (outer grooves with small ribs on them) & main wear indicators at 2/32nds, (smooth, cross all four grooves, and are aligned with the tread wear indicator triangles on the sidewalls). Perhaps your Michelins have worn down to the winter wear indicators.

This doesn't explain why the front tires spin and the rears are not moving but i would still check the above.

2008 LL Bean (4EAT)
5,090 Posts
... This doesn't explain why the front tires spin and the rears are not moving...
Something is wrong, or Subaru's AWD has changed.

On my 2008 with 4EAT, I stop at the base of a hill covered with 4 inches of snow. I put the transmission in 2nd, which does two things:
a. It makes it start off in 2nd instead of 1st.
b. It splits the power to 50-50 front and rear.

Flooring the accelerator pedal in 2nd produces reduced power.
The 50/50 lockup means all the wheels turn.

The result is that the 2008 Forester steadily and quickly moves up the snow covered hill. With all season tires.

I would hope this should always be normal Forester behavior, regardless of year.

I don't know how to use traction control. Would it do something better than that?

2015 2015 2.5i Touring CVT
118 Posts
When I got my 2015 Forester, I was bewildered by all the different, let's call them traction controls, and so I read the manual and typed up a sheet of instructions which I put in the glove box so I can review it before setting out on the first snowy roads each year. I have cut and pasted it here for others to use.

If anyone sees that I misunderstand any part of this, please point that out and thanks.

For very slippery road surfaces at very low speeds.
Engage only when speed below 12 mph.
A buzzer will sound twice if X-Mode is turned on at speeds exceeding 12 mph and X-Mode will not activate.
When engaged, the level-vehicle dash icon will illuminate.
When speed exceeds 25 mph, buzzer will sound and X-Mode will deactivate.

Hill-Descent Control.
Maintains a consistent speed driving downhill and increases hill-climbing ability.
It is in standby mode when X-Mode is activated and speed is under 12 mph.
Will operate when vehicle speed is under 12 mph and accelerator ratio is 10%.
Braking will seem different; harder than usual.
Vehicle-on-slope dash icon will illuminate when hill-descent control is in standby mode and flashes when it is operative.
Hill-descent control turns off when speed reaches 18 mph.
Hill-descent control will be temporarily disabled if used continuously for long periods (because brakes will overheat).

Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC)
Helps prevent unstable vehicle motion such as skidding, using control of brakes and throttle.
Skidding-vehicle icon will illuminate when engaged.
Steering wheel may shake; noise may emanate from the engine compartment; brake pedal may jolt.
Turn VDC off to -
Facilitate a standing start on a steeply sloping road with a slippery surface.
Extract the vehicle when stuck in deep snow/mud.

Shift lever “L” position
Means manual mode.
For engine braking when descending long hills.

Hill Start Assist System (HSAS)
Vehicle stopped on a hill with the brake pedal depressed.
HSAS will temporarily maintain braking for approximately 2 seconds after brake pedal is released.
It is possible to manually deactivate HSAS (See 7-46 of Owner’s Manual).

2016 Forester
898 Posts
Interesting, please keep us updated.

I remember reading another case where the clutch pack sending power to the rear were damaged by improper towing/transport, however the speed sensor is before the clutch pack so the TCU thinks power were being sent back even though clutch pack wasn't engaging. Hope yours isn't this bad though.

2008 Subaru
124 Posts
Just chiming in here: OP's '14 2.5i does not have X-mode, that was reserved for the XT's, IIRC. Perhaps the touring, too. They added X-mode to all models in MY2015.

In any case, during normal driving the torque split F/R is closer to 90/10, and the computer controlled CD should have noticed slip and locked up providing closer to 50/50 torque split to get you moving. It sounds like yours never locked up.
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