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2017 Forester Touring CVT
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Discussion Starter #1
Over 30 years I've driven on soft and deep Hatteras sand many times (gotten stuck a couple times) in several different vehicles - Nissan Frontier, Dodge Dakota, Toyota Tacoma, and one or two others. All but one with manual trans (got stuck in that one) but none with lift kits or special tires - most were M/S rated all-season or ATs - same tires I use year around. More important than the tire type/tread is to reduce pressure to 18-20 PSI so your vehicle kind of "floats" on the sand.

MY QUESTION and seeking advice... anyone have experience with a Forester with CVT (I just got one) in those conditions? I see very few AWD vehicles on the sand and most locals say stick with a conventional 4x4.
 

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2015 2.5i Premium CVT
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256 Posts
The only real reason to stick with "real" four wheel drive would really only apply to 4WD that has lockers. Other than that, the wheels will spin just as freely so no real advantage. Maybe the greater ground clearance and tire size of most 4x4s I suppose.

The only potential problem with a CVT would be that it might be a little more likely to overheat and go into limp mode. I haven't had that happen, but I haven't gone through a lot of deep, soft sand. Some, but not enough to truly see if I could get the CVT too hot.
 

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2015 subaru
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10 Posts
On a hot day with the stock tires, you can easily get the CVT hot enough to trip the transmission temp light.
 

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2015 2.5i Premium CVT
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256 Posts
On a hot day with the stock tires, you can easily get the CVT hot enough to trip the transmission temp light.
So getting around to installing the transmission cooler I have sitting in my garage will be a good idea.
 

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2015 2.5i Premium CVT
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256 Posts
I believe it does. But why bypass it? Wouldn't it be better to use both, stock and add on?
 

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2017 Forester XT Touring
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1 Posts
I recently went offroading in Death Valley, and I just put the transmission in manual mode, rather than let the CVT be confused the entire time whenever the wheels slipped.
 

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2016 Forester XT Premium automatic
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1,072 Posts
I remember reading about a young fellow that was running his new 2.5i in sandy conditions in
the hot S Cal. climate,seemed he was also climbing some hills. He overheated his trans and had
to wait awhile to let the cvt cool down. I believe its not a good idea to run in deep type sand for
longer periods of time with the CVT because in stock form our cars are just not meant for that kind of driving.
On the other hand, I would say for short durations of time and driving normally it would be ok to use
the CVT without risk of damage. ed
 

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1999 Forester S Turbo 5MT
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Compared with the older Foresters with 5MT or 4EAT, this is a bit sad really. The newer model is showing its limits and the more I read about them the less I would be inclined to buy a new one were I in the market. It seems the Foz has gone from being a cleverly designed estate car with an excellent AWD system and the ground clearance to make it the leader in its class both on and off road. It appears it's mostly just another 'Mom mobile" (also referred to as a Chelsea tractor in the UK) with very limited off road possibilities, maybe just the paddock at the horse trials. There are already plenty of these so called "Soft Roaders" but as they outsell anything Subaru have come up with it's inevitable that with the guiding hand and financial input/control(?) now that Toyota is onboard, the marque shall lose its identity and become a part of the homogeneous morass of dull cars with high ground clearance that serve little purpose than to annoy saloon/sedan drivers trying to exit junctions and car park spaces:crying:
 

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I believe it does. But why bypass it? Wouldn't it be better to use both, stock and add on?
Not really. One reason the ATF goes through the radiator is to initially warm it up for really cold starts. The effect is that if the car is working hard, say on sand, the radiator gets very hot and passes this heat into the ATF.
 

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2015 Forester XT Premium CVT
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141 Posts
Last year, we went overlanding in the XT in Azna Borrego. We took a nice 6 hour drive through nothing but desert sand and I never had any issues. We didn't go through anything super deep (less than a foot deep) and I'm on geolander all terrains. Can't really air down much on 18" wheels but I still dropped it down to 20 psi.
 

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2016 Forester XT Premium automatic
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1,072 Posts
Last year, we went overlanding in the XT in Azna Borrego. We took a nice 6 hour drive through nothing but desert sand and I never had any issues. We didn't go through anything super deep (less than a foot deep) and I'm on geolander all terrains. Can't really air down much on 18" wheels but I still dropped it down to 20 psi.
I can see you doing that,hopefully you kept the speeds down and used the manual function
on the trans. and had a light load of stuff in the car.And used good common sense. ed
 

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2015 Forester XT Premium CVT
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141 Posts
I can see you doing that,hopefully you kept the speeds down and used the manual function
on the trans. and had a light load of stuff in the car.And used good common sense. ed
Here's a vid of my buddy in his range rover. I was filming him from my XT.
We had already unloaded our gear at our campsite but we had a little fun on some straightaways. It's not the first time I've taken her offroad.


 

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2016 Forester Diesel Lineartronic
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18 Posts
I have been in Morocco last January, and I coud tell you that Forester SJ diesel lineatronic is better than I though before to have it driving on sand. I will let you some videos when my account will be greater...



However, I need to know how we can disconnect VDC control in roder to avoid that system brake permanently to preserv stability, because that is a problem in sand conditions. I will look for information in the forum... if you know a sollution, I will thanks!
 

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2017 Forester Touring 2.5i - ES/NAV/RB - 225/65 17 Yokohama GO15, Primitive Skid Plate Method racing
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265 Posts
Not sure there is a way to disable/override the VDC controls on the newer Subaru's as you wish
 

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2015 Forester XT Premium CVT
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2008 LL Bean (4EAT)
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The only real reason to stick with "real" four wheel drive would really only apply to 4WD that has lockers. Other than that, the wheels will spin just as freely so no real advantage...
I think the old 4EAT became like a locker in 2. In 2, the AWD was split 50-50. I wonder if the CVT is or can be selected to be 50-50.
 

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2015 2.5i Premium CVT
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I don't mean the center differential. That's pretty close to 50/50 in most of them, and the SJs with X-Mode turned on lock up even tighter than the models without.
I mean the front and rear differentials. The ones that keep one wheel on the same axle from spinning while the other is on solid ground.
 
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