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2018 Forester Premium 2.5 CVT
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Discussion Starter #1
The first accumulating snow fall of the year came last weekend and I was excited to finally get to test my 2018 Foresters all wheel drive. It worked better than expected and I was delighted. Then I discovered how the ABS system works on fresh snow. I came to an intersection and applied the brakes. My Forester didn't seem to want to stop. I was very worried, because there was a car preparing to turn in front of me. The ABS prevented the wheels from locking up and I continued into the intersection with my hand pressed firmly on the car horn. I finally came to a stop just passed the middle of the intersection and I didn't have an accident. Unfortunately, the intersection was red light photo enforced so I expect to see a ticket in the mail any day now. I have read on a closed thread that many others have had bad experiences like mine. The solutions offered range from snow tires to disable the ABS system at the fuse box. I don't like the ABS system and I wish it was optional. I might just pull the fuse and see how it effects fresh snow braking. :frown2:
 

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disabling the abs will improve the fresh snow braking...but not the manoeuvrability of the car...
the thing is if there is snow the best is having snow tires you are much safer than with a disabled ABS.
not snow very often around or not enought to justify a dedicated snow tire?... you can go 4 seasons like I do : goodyear vector 4 seasons gen 2 and keep them all year round...in my case they are way better than the stock tires whatever the weather condition is.
but if you bought an AWD thinking you would get away with summer tires in all conditions you made a big mistake... any FWD with snow tires would have made you safer in the condition you describe.
ABS system is good with the correct tires it does not modify the law of physics though
 

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AWD is just that all wheel drive not stop. Stopping distance is drastically lengthened on snow or ice. Disabling the ABS is not the answer and anyone who says disable the ABS is not giving good advise. Especially to someone who doesn't know how to drive in winter conditions.
 

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2014 Forester 2.5i CVT
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Just to pile on ... ABS doesn't inherently decrease stopping distance in low-traction conditions. What it does is replace the driver pumping the brake pedal with an automated version of same. So if you disabled the ABS, you likely still won't stop in less distance, no matter how good you are.

The secret to stopping before you hit something in low-traction conditions is to drive slower and begin stopping sooner. ABS or not.
 

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2012 Forester X Auto
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@tuggle -
Just to add to the echo - Yep.
AWD helps you get going in a reduced traction environment, but does nothing for braking.
Had you disabled the ABS, you would have likely stopped even further through the intersection than you did, but likely you would have been doing it sideways.
You don't stop faster when you are sliding on the snow, but you are totally out of control when doing it (and it's likely you were actually on some ice).
As it was, the car stopped you as quick as was possible for the conditions you were in..
ABS works, and yours worked as intended - you stopped straight rather than hitting a curb or a parked car while doing it.

The first thing I do on a new Subaru is to get rid of the stock Bridgestone tires, which truly suck in reduced traction conditions, IMHO.
In good condition, Discount Tire gave me a generous trade in value for a set of much better all seasons.

I drive in snow and mud a lot, and decent tires make a great difference.
Practice stopping in a snowed in parking lot - but be prepared to double the distance it usually takes, because that's what it takes to stop in snow.

BTW - I like your pic of Steve McQueen.
 

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Using ABS is the slowest way to stop in the snow. You do not need to disable it, just dont ACTIVATE it when stopping in snow.

Go practice somewhere to get used to where the ABS threshold is. Then the next time is snowing, test the current conditions as you begin to drive by braking hard in a safe place. With your skills learned from practice you will have just evaluated the current conditions to know how hard you can stop that day.

Living in CO for years now, I have learned snow does not respond the same under the tires every time. Each storm is different, conditions are different everyday, good news is the supercomputer between your ears is more than capable of handling it with a little practice. Good Luck!
 

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2017 Forester 2.5i CVT
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AWD is just that all wheel drive not stop. Stopping distance is drastically lengthened on snow or ice. Disabling the ABS is not the answer and anyone who says disable the ABS is not giving good advise. Especially to someone who doesn't know how to drive in winter conditions.
heh but we do have all wheel stop... then again all cars do even the rwd/fwd ones.


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Using ABS is the slowest way to stop in the snow. You do not need to disable it, just dont ACTIVATE it when stopping in snow.
That old saying, "the softer the surface, the softer the brake should be applied" is true, and you are right - If you don't hit the brakes hard enough to engage ABS, you can stop quicker in snow.... but on a surface like snow, that distance is a LOT longer whether ABS is engaged or not compared to dry pavement.

Like you said (and me too) practice is a good thing, especially if you are not used to driving in snow, and for some reason people in 4WD and AWD vehicles seem to think they are immune from losing control... they aren't... especially when braking as there is no advantage.
During an early season snow, I lose count of the 4X4 trucks rolled over in the ditch on the side of the freeway.

The OP was actually pretty lucky. The car could have easily been totaled.
 

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actually i've heard of tests on snow with ****** summer tires and the braking distance was shorter with ABS off as it allowed to block the wheels therefore pushing snow in front and using this to slow down instead o rolling on it and no stopping at all.
but the manoeuvrability was absolutly zero...
but I agree: expecting a car to behave well on snow with inadequate tyres is just a very bad idea.
 

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I also have a 2018, getting the car moving forward is not an issue at all... stopping is another matter. After the first snowfall, I promptly went out and bought some lower end 4 season tires, yes I know not as good as dedicated snows but tons of sipping and the price was $600 installed so a relatively cheap experiment. I have to say, getting going, still not an issue, stopping has become much better to the point of about half the stopping distance (on snow/ice) of the Yoko G91s the car came with.
 

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I have been using snow tires since my purchase of the XTP. Funny I never used snows in the past on my front wheel drive vehicles I buy an AWD vehicle and I started using them. I do use them on my wife's Avalon.

I think when I have to replace the tires I will try the Michelin CrossClimate tires for both vehicles rather than having to switch out wheels and tires every winter.
 

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I would have bought cross climates if they were available, maybe after next season as I think the current tires will be good until then. This being my first actual new car, once I found the stopping distance with oem tires wasn't that good I couldn't justify not spending a few bucks to avoid plowing into someone from behind with my new car... I'd feel pretty foolish :)
 

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actually according to various reviews, the crossclimate are good except for cornering on snow above 30km/h (worth having this in mind if you decide to go crosscilmate), the goodyear vector 4 seasons Gen2 get a much better review on that respect but are slightly noisier and slightly below in dry/summer capability... but according to my experience they are so much better than the yoko G91F that came with my forester that even under the rain you have the feeling that there is so much grip you could take a U turn whaterver the speed without any sliding (just a feeling but the fact is: the loss of adherence is pushed pretty far) ... in short it is in every aspect way better than the yoko.
the new crossclimate is sensed to do better on snow but on my firends car they did just desintegrate in 3000km... replacement under waranty is on the way.
 

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Installed Blizzaks on both my 2015 FXT and my Focus RS. Regarding the RS on Blizzaks, the car is arguably most fun to drive on snow and ice, compared to any other situation, regardless of tire installed. Biggest problem is roundabouts. To maximize fun, you need both lanes. the left lane for the front tires, the right lane for rear tires.*††

*For the PC police; only take advantage of the weather/terrain when other vehicles are NOT present.
††Drive however you want when traveling in 'Mexico'.
 

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I live in California and not in the mountain areas. My 15 Forester came with Yokohama’s that were a joke as far as traction was concerned.

I replaced them with Continental truecontact all seasons and haven’t looked back. As for an all season tire they are rated very highly. When I did get into a light snow fall I had no issues.

I agree with others here that if you are going to be driving in snow all the time in the winter get a dedicated set of snow tires.
 

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@tuggle -
Just to add to the echo - Yep.


The first thing I do on a new Subaru is to get rid of the stock Bridgestone tires, which truly suck in reduced traction conditions, IMHO.
In good condition, Discount Tire gave me a generous trade in value for a set of much better all seasons.

I
Goodyear would only give me 45 per tire brand new on trade, even if I bought 700 worth of tires , balancing, etc from them....is discount tire more generous?
 

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@wgilbert - $45 per tire doesn't sound too bad, considering that regardless of condition they have to sell the tires as used.

I can't tell you how generous a shop in Georgia might be, but it never hurts to shop around.

What I like about Discount is that you get free flat fixes, free rotations and balance for the life of the tires and you can get that same service in any state where they are doing business. Out West, they are everywhere I go, so that makes it a no brainer for me. It may be different for you.

The other plus is their hazard warranty, which isn't all that expensive, and gets you a replacement when the tire can't be repaired.
I've saved a lot of money over the years, as out here, nails seem to grow out of the ground and attack sidewalls at every opportunity...

You might want to check out Falken tires... I've had good luck with my last 5 sets on 4 different vehicles.
They perform well and can be had at a good price.
 

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I don't like the ABS system and I wish it was optional. I might just pull the fuse and see how it effects fresh snow braking. :frown2:
Don't disable it. Rather be more careful in snowy conditions.

Anti-lock brakes don't help you to stop more quickly. They let you steer while braking. But they tend to lengthen the distance. As opposed to locking up the wheels, which neither let you stop quickly or steer.

If you engaged the ABS, you were driving too fast and stopped too hard for the conditions.

It's your responsibility to know the limits of your tires. The stock ones are lousy like most stock tires. AWD masks that while you accelerate but can lead to false confidence, which I'm guessing happened to you. Just watch the ditch during a heavy snowstorm and you'll see plenty of trucks and AWD vehicles whose drivers were overconfident. AWD/4WD doesn't help you stop.

Snow tires help stopping distance significantly.
 

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ABS is mandated on new US vehicles since 2013, but most new cars have had them long before that. I don't think I've owned a car without them for 20 years. But they're definitely getting better. I anticipate the first snow after I buy a car. I find an empty back street or parking lot where I can slam on the brakes from about 15 mph to see how ABS responds.

I was an expert brake pumper, learning to drive in the Lake Erie snow belt in the 70's. Now I'm in favor of ABS. ABS increases stopping distance in some snow conditions, but not significantly. Control while stopping is an enormous improvement.

If you drifted into an intersection, it wasn't the fault of ABS. You were going too fast for conditions & would have slid into the intersection either way. As others pointed out, without ABS you would have slid with no directional control.

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