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2010 XS Premium
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Hi guys,

I'm taking delivery of a new Forester XS Premium in early March, and me and the wife may be driving down to the NSW Snowfields (I'm in Sydney).

I was hoping you guys could help me with what I may need to add to the car (if at all) or what I need to be wary of when driving down to the snow in a Forester? I've never been, so I'm pretty noob at this.

I believe we won't be staying in Jindabyne, but in the actual mountain villages. How does the car perform in those temperatures? (I realise it doesn't get very cold here in Aus, but I want to cover my bases.

Any help would be appreciated!

Dan
 

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2018 ForesterXT Touring..
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Welcome to the Subaru family:Banane14:. As I'm a Canadian, I am not familiar with Australia. Subarus preform well in snow and cold weather. When driving in winter conditions just take it easy and the Forester will get you there and back without much difficulties:woohoo:.
 

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G'Day & Welcome Dan

Yes, the Foz will perform very well in the snow. You don't need to add anything as such but I would always carry a shovel, snatch strap and rated shackles (make sure they fit your recovery points). The roads are well patrolled so you won't really need survival gear.

I usually run firm rather than soft tyre pressure, say 38-42 PSI, as we're usually driving on slush rather than snow. As R Jake 11 says, take it easy and be gentle on the brakes if you expect slippery conditions, especially on bends (in case of black ice). Decelerate into corners and gently accelerate out. Leave at least 4 or 5 car lengths behind the vehicle in front of you.

Lift your wipers off the glass when parked otherwise the rubber can get stuck to the glass.

And - be very wary of police between here and the snow fields!! :icon_wink:
 

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Thanks for the welcome! :)

Kevin, with the tyre pressures, would you still use that psi on stock tyres? And is that pressure okay for the drive down the highways? I take it that the higher pressure helps the tyres grip the road/dirt underneath better?
 

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Dan when you take delivery of your Forester have a good read of the manual, it has sections dedicated to snow driving. One thing that comes to mind was to not put the hand break on, there is a risk of it freezing closed I assume? In an AT this would be fine as leaving it in park would be fine but in an MT is just leaving it in gear suitable enough? I guess it would all depend on whether you were parked at a steep angle and whether the risk of the hand break freezing was less than the risk of rolling away :shrug:

Oh and may I suggest perhaps a unique sticker on the car or something colourful in the window, when I went up last season every man and his dog had a silver My10 Forester with roof racks :icon_eek:
 

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Car is pretty right to go as is - dont assume the worst will happen, but plan for it anyway. They dont need anti-freeze as the glycol coolant mix is good down to -30 I think.

Small shovel a good idea, as are diamond chains - they go on the front wheels in a Forester, but you are unlikely to need them if the road is well cleared. Small tarp, gloves, torch etc also helpful.
Also a proper window ice- scraper very helpful.
A good long rope in case (or better to have a snatch as Kevin said)

You will have more effective forward/backward traction, but not really any better braking and the same lateral grip as anything else, so dont drive like you can't fall off the road. 9/10 cars I see go off in the snow are 4WD-ers who think they have more grip round corners.
 

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Thanks for the welcome! :)

Kevin, with the tyre pressures, would you still use that psi on stock tyres? And is that pressure okay for the drive down the highways? I take it that the higher pressure helps the tyres grip the road/dirt underneath better?
Yes, yes & yes. It may be a little harsh on the highway (but more fuel efficient). You could air-up when you get to Jindabyne.
 

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One thing that comes to mind was to not put the hand break on, there is a risk of it freezing closed I assume?
Yes, that too is correct (and I forgot that important point re handbrake)

Also, once my car has been parked in the ski areas all day and it gets cold, the remote key fails to deactivate the alarm which is a real PIA so I manually lock the car. Not sure what will happen with later models?
 

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Leave at least 4 or 5 car lengths behind the vehicle in front of you.
That would be dangerous tailgating at highway speeds, especially in poor conditions. 5 Forester lengths is a bit over 22 metres, and you'd cover that distance in just 1 second at 80 km/h.

We have an Aussie on NZ TV ads telling us that "Only a fewl breaks the two second rewl." That's two seconds in good conditions. Do you mean 4 or 5 seconds? That would allow a safety margin for wet (but probably not icy) roads.
 

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You don't get black ice on roads in Sydney, huh? :shake: You'd (not) see black ice long before you had to slow down for snow on the road, which means you'd very likely be travelling faster than 80 km/h when you hit it.

Did you try working out what speed your recommended distance is? For it to take 4-5 seconds it's just 16 km/h.

IS THAT WHAT YOU MEANT KEVIN?

Perhaps you'd care to give speed independent advice, huh? :chair:

Keep following distances up in icy conditions.
 

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Ice scraper is a good idea... be sure to check your tire pressures once you arrive in the colder temperatures though, but then you'll need to do the same thing once you return to warmer temps to avoid over-inflation.
You might have an issue with your washer fluid in the colder temps, and all of the other suggestions above are great. To give yourself a feel for how the car reacts in the snow, try doing a panic stop at slow speed if you get a traffic-free section of snow-covered road. You can judge how well your tires work in the snow this way, as well as how the car will react in the conditions that day.
 

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You don't get black ice on roads in Sydney, huh?
No, but we do in the Blue Mtns and the Snowy regions down south. And - if you're driving at 80 kph in those conditions then you're an idiot. I have Vetab accreditation for "Drive and Recover a 4wd" which includes tests on driving in "our" snow regions; I am also a driver instructor in our local Subie Club - and I have been driving in our ski fields in winter for 34 years. I've never made a mistake on the winter roads but I've recovered many vehicles that have not been driven with proper care in those conditions.

The question was in relation to the roads in our ski fields and I responded accordingly; given that the traffic is usually heavy and travelling quite slowly when conditions dictate.
 

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Do you realise you are now effectively saying that if anyone drives faster than 16 km/h on roads that may have ice then they're an idiot. Get real. The snow itself is only part of the journey; "driving down to the snow". I do not believe the question was just about driving in snow. You've got to get there first (trip time and safety). To do so, non-idiots regularly do travel fast on roads in cold conditions. (The air temperature doesn't have to be sub-zero for black ice to be present or form.)

given that the traffic is usually heavy and travelling quite slowly when conditions dictate.
I'll accept this as a reasonable qualification on your advice, although with your credentials (dude!) you could do a whole lot better. Perhaps you thought it was implicit in what you first said. It wasn't. And I note that if that traffic speeds up the advice would clearly be foolhardy for anything faster than a good jogging pace, and seriously dangerous for higher speeds.
 

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Ice scraper is a good idea... be sure to check your tire pressures once you arrive in the colder temperatures though, but then you'll need to do the same thing once you return to warmer temps to avoid over-inflation.
You might have an issue with your washer fluid in the colder temps, and all of the other suggestions above are great. To give yourself a feel for how the car reacts in the snow, try doing a panic stop at slow speed if you get a traffic-free section of snow-covered road. You can judge how well your tires work in the snow this way, as well as how the car will react in the conditions that day.
Definitely try some evasive maneuvers such as a panic stop on a safe stretch of road or snow covered parking lot, just make sure you have room to correct.

I also agree that your windshield washer fluid may not be up to the task, I hope some of your countrymen speak up on this issue for you're safety.

Cheers
 

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Our conditions do not usually warrant anything extra in the washer fluid unless staying there for an extended period - it doesn't get anywhere near as cold nor do we get as much snow as, say, in the Rockies (I wish we did!). In fact you often won't even see snow until you get within a few kilometres of the ski resorts.
 

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Resorts in Vic will usually warn of ice on road either at base of mountain or at entry point..

Tip: if parallel parking, back in.

Agree, a small shovel is essential.

If you have a GPS, take the coords of your parking spot. Don't laugh: cars do get buried from time to time*.

In Vic chains are mandatory (for good reason) and I hear that's being considered in NSW.

* edit: well not buried exactly but covered enuff to make recognition difficult.
 
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