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2014 Forester 2.0 XT Automatic
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello
I am new proud owner of a 2014 Forester 2.0XT and look forward to participating in this forum.
I have some questions regarding tire chains, since I will be traveling to Mammoth CA. this winter, where you can be directed to put them on even with all wheel drive
I selected cable chains: SZ139 by SCC since I read clearance can be an issue.

Security Chain Company Super Z6, SZ139, Cable Chain for Passenger Cars, Pickups & SUVs - Set of 2 : Amazon.com : Automotive Security Chain Company Super Z6, SZ139, Cable Chain for Passenger Cars, Pickups & SUVs - Set of 2 : Amazon.com : Automotive

Will these chains have any clearance problems that anyone is aware of? Will they work without damage to the car or rims?

With one set should they be installed on the front or rear tires?

Does anyone have a different recommendation for other cable chains that fit the stock Bridgestone all weather tires P225/55R18 ?
 

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2015 Forester I-Premium 6MT
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2,362 Posts
you can only drive about 20-25 with chains on

maybe get some winter tires instead?

chains are a great emergency device but not suitable for extended use
(at least ones you use on cars)
 

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2009 2.5xt 6 Speed Swap version 8 6 speed sti trans with r180
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4,150 Posts
CA makes you have chains no matter what in certain areas. Doesn't matter if you have snow tires or 4 wheel drive or anything. The cables should clear unless you've "stanced" your vehicle or something similar. They don't stick up very far at all. Chains would probably clear as well but their pretty annoying to deal with. I've got a set of those Z chains for my old VW and they're easy to use.
CA Chain Regs
 

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2014 Impreza Premium 2.0 AT w/ Manual Mode
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267 Posts
According to the owners manual you can't use them, at least for the base which I'm sure is the same for you. Read through and see what you find, if you wanna run them you'll probably have to downsize your set up though...
 

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Smooshed FOTY 2011
2005 Lifted 2.5 XT 5-Speed MT Dual-Range
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5,732 Posts
Just get some snow socks and be done with it. They're far superior to chains and have better grip. No clearance issues either.
 

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2009 2.5xt 6 Speed Swap version 8 6 speed sti trans with r180
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4,150 Posts
I wouldn't want to run them either for fear of tearing up the awd system. You definitely wouldn't need them with snow tires. I've been driving up and down hills in 2 foot of snow and the foz doesn't care one wit about the snow in the way. If you did though the cables only sit a half inch off the tire surface so it should fit.
 

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2011 2.5X Premium, AWP 5MT
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566 Posts
CA makes you have chains no matter what in certain areas. Doesn't matter if you have snow tires or 4 wheel drive or anything. The cables should clear unless you've "stanced" your vehicle or something similar. They don't stick up very far at all. Chains would probably clear as well but their pretty annoying to deal with. I've got a set of those Z chains for my old VW and they're easy to use.
CA Chain Regs
Yep to that. My previous vehicle was a '99 Dodge Ram 4X4 and I used it many, many times in pretty bad storms but was never once asked to put the chains on. I was asked many times if I was CARRYING chains, though. Once or twice I had to actually show them the chains.

• All vehicles, including four wheel or all wheel drive vehicles
must carry chains upon entering a chain control area.

I have a set of SZ cables that I carry in my Forester so that when they ask to see them I can show that I have them. I doubt I'll ever have to actually use them.
 

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1998 Maxima auto
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256 Posts
Just get some snow socks and be done with it. They're far superior to chains and have better grip. No clearance issues either.
I read on the "all wheel drive auto" site that a similar product to this was approved for truckers in Colorado
Traction Device Alternative For Subaru? :

Even though I only drive I-25 in the winter, I see trucks all the time violating the chain warning. One company in particular delivers packages in brown trucks, but their tandem trailers seem to lack chains.

I had cheap Wal*Mart chains for my Tacoma and did not like them at all. When I get a new vehicle I will look into getting one of these sock devices in addition to snow tires.
 

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09 Forester Limited
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183 Posts
I have never been asked to put chains on the Subie but if you go into a Natl Park. You can be required to carry chains even when there is no snow. There was a ranger at Yosemite that would give you an expensive ticket for not carrying chains but you could buy a set from his buddy for a few hundred bucks and save the cost of the ticket.
My nephew has a Lexus SUV with cheap all season tires. He has never been asked for chains and he is a serious snowboarder.
 

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2014 Forester Limited CVT
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47 Posts
I selected cable chains: SZ139 by SCC since I read clearance can be an issue.

Security Chain Company Super Z6, SZ139, Cable Chain for Passenger Cars, Pickups & SUVs - Set of 2 : Amazon.com : Automotive Security Chain Company Super Z6, SZ139, Cable Chain for Passenger Cars, Pickups & SUVs - Set of 2 : Amazon.com : Automotive
I bought a set of these for my wife's '14 Limited. Curious whether you've had to use them yet?
 

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2014 Forester XT Touring CVT
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430 Posts
OP what did you end up getting? Looking to travel up to Big Bear this weekend and now that there is parcipitation in the forecast so I would like to be prepared.
 

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2014 Forester XT Touring CVT
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430 Posts
I called the dealer and spoke with a tech. He said that they strongly recommend against chain use. If you really have to, he recommended going with the cable option and to make sure it was SAE Class S rated for clearence.

Found a set of SZ339 Super Z cable traction devices that fit the bill. Going to pick up a set just in case for the trip up this weekend.

http://www.scc-chain.com/tire-chain-finder/traction-product-choices/super-z/

 

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2019 Crosstrek 2018 Forester XT
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He wasn't really interested..he never came back.
 

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2005 forester XT 5 speed
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70 Posts
curious, how many and which tires needs to be chained?
 

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I've been driving on mtns in the winter for about 7 years now and the CA rules haven't really changed.

I've talked to chain control numerous times and here are the official guidelines:

Chain Requirements:

R1: Chains, traction devices or snow tires are required on the drive axle of all vehicles except four wheel/ all wheel drive vehicles.
R2: Chains or traction devices are required on all vehicles except four wheel/ all wheel drive vehicles with snow-tread tires on all four wheels.
(NOTE: Four wheel/all wheel drive vehicles must carry traction devices in chain control areas.)
R3: Chains or traction devices are required on all vehicles, no exceptions.


Generally speaking in CA, Caltrans will shutdown the major highway before R3 conditions. I've driven in R2 with snow tires no problem and also been stopped by CHP and was told that I should have a set of chains in the car because technically they can ticket you for not having them and I have been told to just have a set in my subie even though I'm on winter tires (some will actually look for the snowflake symbol)

On the flip side, I've towed out my share of SUVs and cars that were stuck in some snow with winter tires and its worked out just fine!
 

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2014 Forester XT Touring CVT
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curious, how many and which tires needs to be chained?
If the vehicle is AWD, technically, you want them all chained up. If the vehicle is 4WD, you want to chain up the primary drive wheels.

Generally speaking in CA, Caltrans will shutdown the major highway before R3 conditions. I've driven in R2 with snow tires no problem and also been stopped by CHP and was told that I should have a set of chains in the car because technically they can ticket you for not having them and I have been told to just have a set in my subie even though I'm on winter tires (some will actually look for the snowflake symbol)

On the flip side, I've towed out my share of SUVs and cars that were stuck in some snow with winter tires and its worked out just fine!
Agreed. This is why I at least what a pair of chains to avoid any greif from CHP as well as possibly get myself out of a sticky situation.
 

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2018 Forester XT Touring CVT
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1,008 Posts
Interesting I've been going up to the mountains in CA all my life and with the last 3 Subaru's I've had I've never been asked to see if I had chains. Almost everytime I've been just waved on through the checkpoints even with only all seasons on.

That said I definitely wouldn't recommend driving in any kind of snow with just the OEM all seasons on the 2014 XT as they are beyond horrible. I almost slid backwards off a mountain with them recently when none of them could get traction going up a steep incline in just an inch of snow. Might have had an icey layer on the pavement, but never again will I trust my life with those OEM all seasons.

It's too bad that Subaru didn't put at least some more capable all seasons on it, but I have an extra set of wheels with dedicated snow tires that I swap on any time there's a chance of the roads being snowy or icy. Kind of pricey, but I'd definitely recommend going this route if you plan on going to the snow a few times a year. If you only go on rare occasions then maybe you could get away with the cable chains or sock things somebody was talking about, but I'd worry about warranty issues if it damages the drivetrain.
 

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2014 Forester XT Touring CVT
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Not sure if anybody knows that Thule has chains that don't go around the back of the tire at all. Originally developed for Italian sports cars apparently. Snow Chains - Thule
Have you seen the price of them?

What tires did you end up going with? I have considered getting a set of extra 5x100 wheels for going to play in the snow as well.
 

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2014 Forester XT Touring CVT
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OP what did you end up getting? Looking to travel up to Big Bear this weekend and now that there is parcipitation in the forecast so I would like to be prepared.
Maybe I'll see you there B-)
Looking to try to go up this weekend myself - testing out the first "real" winter conditions since I got the car. I've only tested the OEM Duelers in snow once in late December - and even then, it was the morning after when most of the snow was cleared from the roads (R1 conditions) and the temperatures were warming up. They performed just fine.

I have debated on whether to pull the trigger on an extra set of wheels/winter tires *this* season, but given how our drought is going, I'll probably wait until next winter - if we have one.

I have a set of the exact same Z chains - just for the CHP requirement when they check for possession of chains. If it comes to the point where I'd have to use them, I'd rather turn around instead.
 
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