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Discussion Starter #1
Hi.I love my new Forester 2020 Sport!
We'll be going to Mammoth in the snow twice a month this winter. I know the owners manual says no chains. I'm going to need to carry the cable chains.
Can anyone recommend the exact manufacturer. model number and size of what would work? And won't void my warranty and will clear the wheel wells.
Are the tires that it came equipped all weather tires? I'm thinking about buying snow tires for the winter months.
How good is the Forester in heavy snow with the equipped tires. (Not snow tires) I've seen youtube vids but they seem to have snow tires. It's seems to have no problems!
Any advice is appreciated.
Thanks,
Ron
 

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2018 2.0 FXT-Touring CVT
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Welcome to the forums.

I live in a snowy region, and a set of snows makes the Forester practically unstoppable in anything below 12" of snow. I've driven through more, but I don't recommend it, especially driving up to Mammoth.
 

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2015 Forester CVT
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Hi.I love my new Forester 2020 Sport!
We'll be going to Mammoth in the snow twice a month this winter. I know the owners manual says no chains. I'm going to need to carry the cable chains.
Can anyone recommend the exact manufacturer. model number and size of what would work? And won't void my warranty and will clear the wheel wells.
Are the tires that it came equipped all weather tires? I'm thinking about buying snow tires for the winter months.
How good is the Forester in heavy snow with the equipped tires. (Not snow tires) I've seen youtube vids but they seem to have snow tires. It's seems to have no problems!
Any advice is appreciated.
Thanks,
Ron
If you are driving "up" to Mammoth only twice a month a set of dedicated snow tires and wheels is probably not worth it. 395 and the road to mammoth are plowed for visitors fairly often so traction devices aren't usually needed and all season tires usually work OK; USUALLY. Traction devices are essential to get through a tough spot or out of trouble, so important to have with you. I've been held up in traffic in snow in Oregon but once clear of the jam I was safely passing lots of cars and going through 6 inches of snow around Cave Junction easily with some fairly mediocre Bridgestones that were still better than the OEM tires.

The new generation of all weather tires seems to be very popular in Europe. Saw them on lots of cars in Germany, Czec Republic, Romania and Austria this summer.

GD
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hi. Thanks for all the great advice.
Does anyone specifically have a 2020 Sport and been in snow with the OEM tires that came with it? I know the season has just started..
Mammoth is really good at keeping the roads plowed. But many times I've woken up with 6 inches of snow in the unplowed condo parking lot. I previously owned a Blazer with 4x4 hi and lo and it was no problem getting out. I imagine the Xmode should do the job..
There's a great Mammoth group on FB and they say they just wave the Subarus through going up 395.
First trip is first week of Jan. Possibly local sooner here in SoCal. I'll let you know how it goes.
Thanks again,
Ron
 

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2019 Forester Sport Rubber band
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@Ronpedley I have no ideas on chains but a few explanations on where chains are required in Cali. On most roads the CHP has discretion. You are required to carry chains in snowy conditions. They don't have to fit but you have to have them for inspection. I have driven from Sacramento to Tahoe/Truckee hundreds of times in my life and been asked to show proof exactly one time. Having to chain up a FWD vehicle is very rare. I've been required twice to chain up my FWD truck. Both times they closed the road before I could chain up and occurred decades ago. More recently the CHP will close the road before they will require chains on FWD.

National parks are a whole different animal. Forrest Rangers rule and are not shy about requiring chains on FWD vehicles. It's chain up or go home. Carry something that safely fits and you'll have everybody covered.
 

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FYI, xmode can't be activated if speed is above 12 MPH. Once activated, xmode will turn off if speed reaches 25 MPH. IMO, it's not really useful on traveled roads.
 

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2019 Forester Touring
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Check out Super Z6 cable chains at Peerlesschain.com. They had some that fit on my old 2009 Forester. I got them when I lived in northern Utah for emergency situations. Tried them driving around the block, but never actually had to use them.
 

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2012 Forester X Auto
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I just took my MY12 through 14"+ of snow with no problems.
I'm running Faulken Pro G4 A/S which work well on snow, mud and are reasonably quiet on the highway.
I also carry cable "chains "but I've never had to use them and I drive through a LOT of snow.
With a decent set of all season radials, you won't need the cable either, but you should carry them, even though they will never need to be installed.
There are lots of online retailers - Look for the best price.
 

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2018 2.0 FXT-Touring CVT
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Hi. Thanks for all the great advice.
Does anyone specifically have a 2020 Sport and been in snow with the OEM tires that came with it? I know the season has just started..
Mammoth is really good at keeping the roads plowed. But many times I've woken up with 6 inches of snow in the unplowed condo parking lot. I previously owned a Blazer with 4x4 hi and lo and it was no problem getting out. I imagine the Xmode should do the job..
There's a great Mammoth group on FB and they say they just wave the Subarus through going up 395.
First trip is first week of Jan. Possibly local sooner here in SoCal. I'll let you know how it goes.
Thanks again,
Ron
OEM work ok early on if you manage your speed correctly.
 

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2018 Forester Manual
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You can use the cable style "chains". They should be able to clear the strut towers, I've seen people claiming it works no problems on reddit.
 

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I live in Mammoth, have a 2019 Forester. The stock tires are crap in snow, and we spend a lot of time in R1/2 chain control (snow tires required) that it makes no sense for me not to have dedicated snow tires. That being said, if you're only coming here occasionally, it might not be worth it for you. Just be aware that CHP normally don't check whether you do have chains on you, or have winter tires, but if they do check, they will enforce the rules (and turn you around, or cite you). And if you are driving in snow conditions without the required equipment, and get in an accident, you will definitely be cited, and may have to fight your insurance company.

As far as chains go, I also didn't want to void any warranties or have issues with possible damage (even though I know people who have cable chains), and wanted to be compliant with the "carry chains" requirement in case anyone got zealous about checking, so I got some autosocks. They are CA-approved traction devices, as low profile as you can get, and supposedly easy to install (caveat: I haven't had to use them ever, Forester+snow tires is a great combination)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks MammothClimber.
Lots of times I’ve had to show CHP my chains in my 4x4 blazer with all terrain tires. But never had to use them. The tires that came with my 2020 are rated mud and snow. I wonder if they’re new for 2020 and different than your 2019. They look like regular tires to me. Doesn’t seem like anyone here has had a 2020 Sport with the OEM tires in the snow yet? I’m not sure if it’s practical to buy snow tires for winter and store the others in my garage. Without the expense of a second set of wheels/rims. I’m thinking about doing that.
I’ll probably go with the cables this year. Practice putting them on and see how it goes. Thanks for all the great advice!
Ron
 

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2019 Crosstrek 2018 XT
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I started on a relatively steep hill with 8" of fresh snow with my new tires. Unless you frequently travel in deep snow..wait to se how good/bad the tires are. Instead of getting dedicated snows I willj replace tires earlier.
 

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2016 Forester 2.5i (Base) CVT
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The big question...1 or 2 sets?
Manual says 1 set for the front if I'm not mistaking.

Sent from my LM-Q710.FG using Tapatalk
 

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The big question...1 or 2 sets?
Manual says 1 set for the front if I'm not mistaking.

Sent from my LM-Q710.FG using Tapatalk
AWD car? Might want two. But, I don't use them, and I've driven in some deep deep snow. It really depends on what type of snow it is and how fast one is traveling.
 

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I have a 2019 Forester and did a lot of research on low profile chains that would fit this vehicle. I bought a set of Glacier 1038's. Just for the front of the car - you shouldn't need them on both front and back if only using for short period of times. Fortunately, I haven't had to use them yet but am required to carry them where I live in Oregon and may need them eventually when going over the Cascades. You'll also want to get a "Glacier chains rubber adjuster" which allows you to tension the chains more easily.

I have Michelin X-Ice Xi3 studless winter tires on the car that allows me to not need chains in most conditions. The car handles extremely well with these tires and I recommend them for anyone that lives in a climate with cold winters. They are rated to last 40,000 miles. I purchased the tires at Discount Tire and had them mounted on a separate pair of steel wheels. For anyone that gets a separate pair of wheels and has trouble with third party brand tire pressure monitoring system sensors in the wheels - my installer was able to make it work by using the profile for a 2017 Subaru Impreza. Now that the generation of the Forester has been out for a while, this may not be an issue anymore.
 

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I have a 2019 Forester and did a lot of research on low profile chains that would fit this vehicle. I bought a set of Glacier 1038's. Just for the front of the car - you shouldn't need them on both front and back if only using for short period of times. Fortunately, I haven't had to use them yet but am required to carry them where I live in Oregon and may need them eventually when going over the Cascades. You'll also want to get a "Glacier chains rubber adjuster" which allows you to tension the chains more easily.

I have Michelin X-Ice Xi3 studless winter tires on the car that allows me to not need chains in most conditions. The car handles extremely well with these tires and I recommend them for anyone that lives in a climate with cold winters. They are rated to last 40,000 miles. I purchased the tires at Discount Tire and had them mounted on a separate pair of steel wheels. For anyone that gets a separate pair of wheels and has trouble with third party brand tire pressure monitoring system sensors in the wheels - my installer was able to make it work by using the profile for a 2017 Subaru Impreza. Now that the generation of the Forester has been out for a while, this may not be an issue anymore.
I have a set of winter tires in steelies as well but without the TPMS modules. Not having them isn;t a big deal so far.
 

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Regarding Autosock and California:
"California has approved the AutoSock as an alternative traction device to chains except if/when DOT determines that chains are required and no other traction device will suffice."
This can be interpreted as: When chains are required -> chains are required! and no other traction device will suffice.
Also might be open for interpretation by the inspector as these probably are not very common and some might not be familiar with them.
Too bad, they look good and convenient.
 
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