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Discussion Starter #1
Bought a Forester-X automatic last week. My first Subaru and my first AWD vehicle. Trade-in was my 1994 Acura Integra ... it felt like I was trading-in a family member. The Integra was a great car, but it seemed to be getting closer to the ground; harder and harder for this 6'1" 60+ driver to get in and out with each passing year!

Noticed a couple of interesting points in the owner's manual:

1. For starting on a very slippery surface, Subaru recommends 2nd gear, not 1st. I've always started on a snow/ice surface in 1st gear. The manual says the same thing in 2 different places, so I'll believe Subaru, since they know the Forester much better than I do. Is this because of the AWD?

2. This point pertains to automatic 2006 Foresters without Vehicle Dynamics Control. The AWD does not like the 2006 compact spare (a definite step in the WRONG direction by Subaru, IMHO). It recommends that a fuse be installed in the empty FWD fuse slot, causing the Forester to behave like a front-wheel-drive vehicle. Of course, you then have to remember to remove the fuse to regain AWD capability. It says to install a "spare" fuse and doesn't specify the AMPS. By the way, what is Vehicle Dynamics Control?

With those 2 points out of the way, I'll get to the good stuff. GREAT vehicle! Really enjoy it. Sure, it doesn't hug the road like a little Integra, but few cars do. I'm very pleased to have joined the Subaru ranks. Had been looking at the totally redesigned 2006 RAV4, but they're relatively scarce, and Toyota is quite proud of them ... not much of a di$count at all.

Marty
Amarillo, Texas
 

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#8 Post ho
1999 Subaru Forester
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2,441 Posts
Howday!

and welcome to the forum

If your talking about the doughnut for a spare tire, there, if I remember, there is enough room for a full size spare that you could use instead
 

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Administrator
2018 2.5i Premium CVT
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Hi, Marty, and welcome. This is a great place. No mocking here--everybody is treated with respect. Ask a question and you'll most likely get good answers.

A couple of suggestions to start off:

- Click the User CP link at the top of any page and fill in your profile and your signature. Be sure to describe your Forester in the signature--year, type, transmission, etc. This will cause all your vital info to automatically appear with every post, which will help the rest of us do the best job of targetting our responses to your needs.

- Get familiar with the Search facility. This forum is still relatively young, but we've already accumulated quite a bit of useful info here that answers many of the most common questions.

As to your question #1: First gear puts max power into the wheels at starting speeds and can cause them to spin on snow or ice. Second is gentler. In general, when driving on snow or ice it's good to be in a bit higher gear than you might usually be, as this helps avoid the sudden changes that can spell trouble under these conditions. Snow and ice don't like sudden changes--acceleration, braking, steering. Gentle is the word. Doesn't have anything to do with AWD.

My Forester is MT, so I can't help with question #2. But I'm sure glad that my 2003 has a full size spare.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the welcome!

SenorSubie, thanks for the welcome ...

Noticed you have over 850 posts since January 2006! :biggrin: That's great!

I've just started browsing posts in several areas; there's some pretty helpful stuff.

Don't know if I'll bother getting a full size spare or not. Compared to fumbling around changing the tire, having to install a FWD fuse probably adds only 1 minute to the job.

According to the manual, a tire very low in air pressure could also start the AWD light flashing, just like the doughnut spare. Looks like I have a lot to learn about AWD.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the info

Hello bbottomley,

Thanks for the info about the gentler 2nd gear. Apparently, I've been lucky using 1st gear ... not necessarily smart :)
 

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2004 Forester XT Premium 4EAT
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Marty said:
2. This point pertains to automatic 2006 Foresters without Vehicle Dynamics Control. The AWD does not like the 2006 compact spare (a definite step in the WRONG direction by Subaru, IMHO). It recommends that a fuse be installed in the empty FWD fuse slot, causing the Forester to behave like a front-wheel-drive vehicle. Of course, you then have to remember to remove the fuse to regain AWD capability. It says to install a "spare" fuse and doesn't specify the AMPS. By the way, what is Vehicle Dynamics Control?
You need a fuse with a 15 amp rating. By the way, none of the Forester models available in the US have the VDC (only one of the Outback models does, IIRC), but here is a short description from cars101.com:
VDC system is the top of the line system used on certain models and is also the name of an Outback Limited model. New is 2001. VDC is Vehicle Dynamics Control
VDC is composed of 2 main systems: VTD plus VDC full time 4 wheel traction and engine management.
VDC is traction control that senses vehicle direction and uses brake, throttle and engine management to help maintain stability.
The components of the VDC system are:
all wheel drive using the VTD system (see above).
When the wheels are spinning without traction or the vehicle is not going in the direction it is being steered, the VDC system kicks in.
Direction: uses brakes to slow down wheels to reduce spin and help control vehicle direction.
Skidding: yaw and steering wheel sensors use brakes to slow down spinning wheels and re-direct power to the wheel(s) with the best traction to re-gain control.
Engine power use engine output to slow spinning by reducing spark to cylinders to cut back power and help re-gain control.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the answer

Hello pleiad7,

Thanks for the fuse rating and all the info about Vehicle Dynamics Control. I thought VDC might be something like stability control and/or traction control, but I really wasn't sure.

It's too bad that a Forester with VDC isn't available in the US. I almost bought a RAV4 (glad I didn't) because it has both stability and traction control.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks, sirwilliam ... definitely and interesting forum for newbies like me.
 

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2004 FXT '05 6mt r180 Carbonetics 1.5w lsd
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Welcome, Marty.

Just wait 'til you start modding....
 

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scarred from battle
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Marty - welcome!

For your VDC concerns - first, given your location - i don't think you'll be seeing all that much snow/ice, etc. The VDC works like almost any other traction control system - it's used, in conjuction with the AWD, to selectively brake or apply throttle to one corner (or multiple wheels), in order to keep the car on track.

I've had the pleasure of driving an outback w/ the 3.0L H6 and VDC through a heavy snowstorm. (about 6" of thick stuff with another 2-3" of light powder on top.) It is better for keeping the car feeling secure and in straight line in those conditions - however, it mostly meant that I could drive like more of a nut than usual, and get away with it. Same road, same conditions in my 98 forester, and although I had to be more careful, I still got from A->B very easily.

If you exercise the normal caution that driving in inclement weather requires, and have good tires on your Forester, the AWD will most certainly do the trick. I would hope it'll be night-and-day better than the 'Teg was when it gets nasty outside. In the least, it'll be a LOT easier to get into, and appreciably safer, should something go wrong. (Love older acuras, but vehicle safety has come a long way in the past 10 years, and the forester is one of the safest on the road)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
frogmonk, foresterxguy, dlroto, SKSTI ... thanks for the welcomes!
---------------------------------------------------------------
blitzoid ... thanks for the reassurance that the Forester is a winner even without traction/stability control.

Years ago, I lived in Rhode Island, and was told that Sube's were the ONLY vehicles to drive in New England. This was long before the term "SUV" even existed! I spent a few snowy nights trapped in my office when my Datsun B210 couldn't make it up the hill. (yes ... a B210!)

I fully agree with you about exercising normal caution. ALL owners manuals clearly indicate that electronic assists do NOT eliminate the need for caution and common sense.

We do get snow in Amarillo, since we're at about 3600' elevation. A big accumulation is not too common, but it does happen. A few years back, my Integra was totally bottomed out in 7" or 8" of snow. It cornered like it was on rails, but it was NOT a snow car.

And ... my back is already feeling better getting in and out of the Forester. The Integra was murder on my aging bones!
 

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Hi Marty, seems we are both sort of new on this board. I purchased my X2500 with manual cog box early in February.

Being Canada & that I have to get up an illegal road due to steepness, turns to tight, & such ----- well if we get any snow, which is not uncommon in in this Spring weather, I need traction. So I swamped my all-season tyres for a set of snow tyres. That should get me up & down, which can be twitchy, throughout the years.

Traded in a '90 Mazda 2600 4X4 on the Forester. Seems strange to drive with a front wheel drive let alone an all wheel drive, the comfort of the Forester, the heating, let alone all the buttons & what nots to do this or that even though I have read over the Owners manual once & gone back to read a few others parts.

In heart I am a motorcycle nut with three sportbikes that I use most of the riding weather, bar going to the gun range twice a week & that is every week of the year. Oh yes I am 75+ yrs of age & have been driving since '46 & the same with m/cing which includes 42 yrs of darn tough competition riding.
 

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scarred from battle
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Marty - I'm surprised you guys see that much snow... guess it's my yankee prejudices about the weather. I'm a New Yorker, through and through. Must admit I haven't made it to your part of texas. My girlfriend is a dallas gal, and i've seen houston and el campo (she has family in both) but in terms of geography and weather, they're night-and-day from your neck of the woods, i would imagine.

Also - the datsun - that's just awesome. More power to ya!

While I don't think it's necessary just yet - read up about the stock tires. They're not fanastic when the weather gets bad, so you may want to invest in some better all seasons when the colder temps return later this year. Sort of depends on your driving habits though. The AWD system will overcome a crappy tire, to a point, but with great tires, it's substantially better.

I drove my WRX through a very nasty pennsylvania winter in 2002 (we had a few 16" snowstorms and lots of smaller ones too) with about 4/32" of tread on so-so all season tires. It did just fine, but once I bought new tires, mid-winter, the difference was immediately noticable.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Welcome to the forum!

Hey Smitty,

Gee, this is my first chance to welcome someone who's even newer to the forum than I am! I'm an old pro, since I joined on the 19th ... you're just a newbie that joined on the 20th! Welcome!

Sounds like you stay pretty active for 75+. My older brother just turned 76 this month. He lives in Massachusetts so he's pretty familiar with nasty weather, but he became a "snow bird" a few years ago. He and his wife now duck the cold weather and spend winters in Florida. Yes, it's tough duty, but someone has to do it!

Where in Canada do you live? I lived in Toledo, Ohio in the 70's and visited several cities in Ontario. The company I worked for has a plant in Guelph and I was there quite a bit on business trips.

Enjoy your Forester!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
blitzoid,

You're right about Texas geography and weather. My son used to live in Houston and now he and his wife live in Dallas. Might as well be in another state ... totally diffferent climate!

I was born out on Long Island, and lived there until I was 13. Still have a ton of relatives in New York. Where in NY do you live? Can't be NYC, didn't think anyone owned cars there!

When I buy a new car, I routinely visit the nearest Discount Tire store and buy road hazard certificates. Includes free rotation and balancing, free flat repair, and if a tire can't be fixed (like a nail in the sidewall) a free new tire. I asked them about the Yoko Geo's and was told they're so-so. Not a bad tire, but not a great tire.

Hey, for a New Yorker you've got some class, since you're dating a Dallas girl!
 

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scarred from battle
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Marty said:
Hey, for a New Yorker you've got some class, since you're dating a Dallas girl!
Yeah, she's a keeper. :Banane01: Although I'd like to think i had some class prior to meeting her. But then, NYC's just a huge cesspoll anyways, so probably not. :p

And actually, i do live in the city proper. There are a few of us NYC folk on the board. Even worse, I live in Manhattan.

I mostly keep the SF around to gp to/from the GF's place, since she lives/works in NJ at the moment, although all of that is going to change in the next two months. We're moving in together, and we'll be selling our cars. So I lose an excuse to turn a wrench on the weekends, at least for a while, but I gain $$$ from not having to garage and insure. I've sort of always been a car person. I think I'm going to go through withdrawal without having a car to mod. :wink:

Know anyone who wants a 99 passat or a 98 SF?
 
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