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2010 Forester
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174 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Has anybody tried to increase their MPG in the summer by using the jumper fuse to force the Subie into front wheel drive mode for an extended period of time? Does this also disable stability control and traction control?
 

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2000 2 Outbacks 1Man , 1 Auto
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312 Posts
That's totally destroying the reason for having the car in the first place!. Buy a 2 wheel drive!.
 

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2008 LL Bean (4EAT)
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4,909 Posts
Has anybody tried to increase their MPG in the summer by using the jumper fuse to force the Subie into front wheel drive mode for an extended period of time?...
As I understand it, inserting the fuse completes a circuit that provides continuous power to a solenoid that disengages the transfer clutch from sending power to the rear. The solenoid is not designed for "continuous duty", so running in FWD cannot be done forever without damaging the solenoid.

Here is a thread on that:
AT Forester - FWD mode FTW?
 

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2005 FXT
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37 Posts
Also keep in mind that most of the *lost* efficiency in AWD is turning friction plus added weight. Find a site that lists vehicle weights from before Subaru went completely AWD. I had a 1995 Legacy that was FWD only. I think it was about 300 pounds less than the AWD version. That's two passengers you drag around all the time whether it is snowy or not. Plus the diffs, drive-shafts & half-shafts all still under the car. If you force the center diff in FWD mode, you still have all that weight & all the shafts are still turning creating friction (from the force of the road, not the engine). I would bet FWD would make something very close to zero MPG improvement.... Your driving behavior is the best MPG you'll get and it's free.
 

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Also, the forester is not much fun as FWD. The open front diff makes it tug and spin tires and generally is terrifying in anything other than perfect conditions (I got stuck driving in the rain in FWD, lift off oversteer+power on understeer, spinning a single tire on every intersection etc)
 

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2010 Forester
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174 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Let's see, in no particular order:
*Unlike many of the new CUVs & SUVs out there, the rear top of the Forester is not aggresively tapered down. This allows for more storage in the rear and better visibility.
*Ease of maintenance: large engine compartment, dipstick on front diff, drain plug on tranny, etc.
*Spare tire is inside the vehicle -most other SUVs this size have the spare on the back or underneath
*Solid tight feeling when driving
*Comfortable seats for extended driving
*Large sunroof
*Double-wishbone rear suspension improves sq. ft. of the rear cargo floor

Don't get me wrong, I also like the AWD system but it's not the only reason why I bought the vehicle. There's more to the Forester than just the AWD system. Plus, I would like to be able to decide what mode I operate in versus Subaru always deciding what is best.

I would also add the boxer engine to the above list but I'm still undecided there because of the history with the head gaskets on the NA engines.
 

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2010 Forester
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174 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Whaa? Not exactly.

I test drove the Element along with about 8 other SUVs. I'll concede that the Element has lots of storage room in the rear. However, the visibility is not as good as the Forester. Even though though the glass area is large, the part you can see through is restricted by the rear roof pillars. Also, the transverse mounted engine is a tighter fit in the engine bay and is less accessible accessible for maintenance. In addition, even though the spare tire mounts internally, there is not enough space to accomodate a full size spare.

On the comfort/convenience side of things, have you sat in the front seat of an Element? The headrests are jacked forward so much that my neck became uncomfortable after about 10 minutes of driving. In addition, I'm partial to leather which the Element does not offer. I travel with a dog a lot and cloth seats are like a lint brush. Finally, I don't see an option for a sunroof on the Element, even a standard size one.

Finally, on the Element vs. Subaru 4WD system, the Element uses a system called "Realtime 4WD". It's always engaged but it's a passive system that is only reactive to slippage. I experienced this when I test drove it in snow. That is, it's normally front wheel drive and only transfers power to the rear wheels once the front wheels have spun quite a bit. The viscious coupling in the center diff. takes a long time to lock up. Like I noted earlier, I like the Subaru AWD system but I would like it even better if it had an option to selectively disable it at the hubs when it's not desired. Since that option is not available, I was curious if there was a benefit of disabling it via the electronic clutch in the tranny.
 

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2008 2008 2.5i-2018 XT
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Like I noted earlier, I like the Subaru AWD system but I would like it even better if it had an option to selectively disable it at the hubs when it's not desired. Since that option is not available, I was curious if there was a benefit of disabling it via the electronic clutch in the tranny.
Again there is no benefit by disabling it at the hub or the tranny as the entire gear train is turning anyways-engaged or disengaged. (No savings in gas)
 

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2008 LL Bean (4EAT)
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... on the Element vs. Subaru 4WD system, the Element uses a system called "Realtime 4WD". It's always engaged but it's a passive system that is only reactive to slippage. I experienced this when I test drove it in snow. That is, it's normally front wheel drive and only transfers power to the rear wheels once the front wheels have spun quite a bit....
And that endangered two friends of mine. They had taken the Element far out onto a back road in the Big Bend desert in Texas. While traversing a sandy place in the road, the Realtime 4WD spun the front wheels deep into the sand before the rear wheels began to help, then car dug itself down until the bottom was on the sand, and they were stuck. They eventually got free by using a shovel and a plywood board that had been used to double-deck the rear of the cargo area.

The Element's passive AWD (FWD with delayed kick-in of RWD), and the poor ground clearance, could have proved fatal to them.
 

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2010 Forester
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174 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Yep -the "Realtime 4WD" is crap. Honda also has the better VTM4 system on their Pilots and Ridgelines. It is similar to Subaru's AWD in that the vehicle proactively starts off in 4WD. But the Pilot and Ridegline are fairly large vehicles compared to the Forester.
 

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2009 2.5X Limited 4EAT
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389 Posts
throwin this in...

We definitely all tend to tweak and mod this and that, effectively tinker different aspects of our vehicles.

However, the Subie AWD system, IMHO, is the gold and glory of the car (yes, lots of other great features too).

Although as a car enthusiast one might want to manipulate certain features, cutting the AWD on the Subie is tantamount to driving on the freeway in an airplane. :crazy:

I decree that no Subie shall ever be rendered 2WD for any reason, barring an emergency issue of course. To willingly render a Subie 2WD would be sacrilege, heresy, and criminal. The individual responsible shall be revoked of his/her Subie privileges and forever remanded to a "real-time 4wd" vehicle. :icon_eek:

I jest. But speaking of "real-time 4wd," I had to post the following vid. I love the first two minutes. "real-time 4wd" is like the buzzing of flies to me!

 

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2002 Impreza TS Manual Transmission
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1 Posts
Has anybody tried to increase their MPG in the summer by using the jumper fuse to force the Subie into front wheel drive mode for an extended period of time? Does this also disable stability control and traction control?
I did this a while back and forgot the FWD fuse was there... I kept getting constantly 21, 22 mpg.. but the performance suffered...that's when I starting searching why was my car not going so fast anymore, and I found the FWD there. After removing it, now I get 16.7mpg. and 17mph. I discovered this by accident
 
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