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2014 Forester CVT
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35 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello... or, rather, howdy, ya'll.

We bought a new Forester in Florida in October. Turns out, for various reasons (some of them unpleasant) we need to drive up to see family in Colorado. We'll be leaving late this week.

We are anticipating driving through some rather unpleasant weather at times, though we'll be avoiding everything we can and taking our time. Also, fwiw, we're both from WY/CO, so we're comfortable in this arena, and have our winter emergency driving kit basically ready to go. I'm more concerned about other technical advice you may have with the Foz. Foz also has the all-weather package, including heated seats, mirrors, and wiper blades.

But since we're taking a tropically comfortable new Foz into the frozen tundra up North, I'm wondering if you have any tips or advice for winterizing the car in advance. Anything we can/should do at the shop? Different oil, different washer fluid, etc?
 

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Premium Member
2019 Crosstrek 2018 Forester XT
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15,022 Posts
Nothing. Make sure your fluids are ares up to the top..Take an extra bottle of oil..check during the trip.

I would like you to have a full size spare tire. Thats my big thing on a trip. Have fun.
 

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2013 forester 2.5X automatic
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808 Posts
You don't need to do anything special, just the normal checks for any trip, fluid levels and tire pressures, the car will be fine, get yourself a good snow brush and ice scraper, blanket, some water and energy bars and enjoy your road trip!:woohoo:
 

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2000 Impreza, 2003 Bugeye Sport, 2010 Base, 2014 Base, 2015 Premium, 2017 Limited, 2020 Touring
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1,020 Posts
I think you will be OK.
 

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2014 Forester CVT
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35 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Cheers, everybody - thanks so much. Reassuring!! I really appreciate it.

I'll try to send some nice shots of Flonnie breaking through a snow drift or two if we get up into the hills.
 

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2019 Crosstrek 2018 Forester XT
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15,022 Posts
One other thing...put a few extra pounds in your vehicle bc you will be getting into the cold.
 

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2014 2.5 i premium cvt
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11 Posts
Hello, I am living up in Saskatchewan Canada, this is the first winter with my 2014 Forester. This thing is a tank, have had no issues with getting going, that being said stopping is still based on the tires you have and your skill. have done nothing special for the winter other put on wither tires and plug it in on cold nights, still starts fine at -30c with original oil when I can't plug it in. the only thing I had to get use to was the stabilization system, first one I have had with it, the display in the center lights up to tell it has activated, I found this a little distracting at night.
 

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2002 Outback H6 4EAT
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1,062 Posts
Make sure your windshield washer fluid is rated to not freeze. Other than that, it'll be fine.
 

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2014 Forester XT Touring CVT
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12,775 Posts
Also worth remembering that the windshield wiper de-icers only turn on when you turn on the "de-icing system" using the rear defrost button... which controls the heated mirrors, wipers, and rear window.
 

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2015 Highlander AWD XLE 6AT
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4,255 Posts
...Different oil, different washer fluid...
Some FMY2011+ Foresters with the non-turbo 2.5 engine (the "FB25") have turned out to be engine oil burners. For example, mine consumes more than I'd like when cruzin' out on the open roads, but little when drivin' around town.

I'd strongly recommend checking the cold engine oil level every 500 - 1K miles to see how you're doing, and perhaps even carry a spare one- or two qts. of 0W-20 engine oil.

Our local cheap-o windshield washer fluid tends to refreeze on the windshield in the winter. It's fine for warm-weather use, but I now use Prestone w/w fluid in the winter.

Moving from warmer- to colder ambient temperatures will lower the air pressure in your car tires, and mechanical tire pressure gauges may not be accurate at higher elevations. So, check the tires when they're cold (i.e., in the morning, after sitting outside all night), and maybe add a couple of extra pounds.

Finally, high-elevation "regular" gas in CO and WY is typically 85 AKI, but Subaru recommends using 87 AKI minimum, which is mid-grade in the Rockies.

HTH, and safe travels!
juim / crewzer
 

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2013 VW CC Sport 6MT
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171 Posts
+1 for low temp washer fluid & 89 octane.

In hot temps or high altitude, you can feel / hear the difference between octane ratings. Plus, if the sprayers freeze, that will suck for several reasons.


Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App
 

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MY07 Forester 2.0X, 2.5XT 5M, 4EAT
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335 Posts
torch + high vis jacket/vest
jump leads if you want to be a gentlemen!
 

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2014 Forester Automatic
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1 Posts
I would suggest investing in some winter windshield wipers. The factory installed wipers did not work very well for me and iced up a lot while driving in the first snow storm 2 days ago that dropped 12 inches of relatively dry snow. This severely impacted my visibility during the daylight hours. Not fun :censored:

My 2014 Forester has the winter defroster package. Rear window defroster, heated seats, and side mirror heaters all work great. By pushing the button for REAR defroster turns on rear window defroster, side mirror defrosters, and front windshield defroster. That one switch is suppose to turn on everything. Not to sure about the front windshield defroster gets turned on.

Its possible the defroster switched off after 15 minutes while driving in the snow storm. :confused:

I found out after the snow storm that I can go into the setting screen and change the rear window defroster setting that defaults to turn off in 15 minutes to continuous. If set to continuous for a snow storm, just remember to turn it off or it "may" drain the battery.
 

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2014 Forester 2.5i 6 spd
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433 Posts
I normally carry the following all the time: a couple of 1 foot long pieces of 2x4 as jack supports, a 6 foot strap and 2 clevises (Yeah, Subaru has that neat towing widget, how are you going to attach anything to it?) in addition to tool kit, flashlight & such.

For winter I add: ice scraper/snow brush, 30 foot length of 12,500 lb test rope, snatch block, come along, S class chains and a couple of heavy duty steel loops. Flares if I remember them.

Uh, catskills, the defroster for the front windshield is part of your heating/AC controls. In the base model, it's selected by the knob on the far left by turning it clockwise to the defroster setting.
 

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2014 Forester CVT
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35 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Just wanted to say thanks to everybody's very thoughtful comments in this thread. It's all helped significantly, and gave us a good plan to prep for the trip itself in terms of safety and gear needed. Couldn't get wipers or tires/chains (as though we thought we needed them) but this advice was all exceptionally helpful.

For what it's worth - the trip out was intense, thanks to that massive storm that came through. We drove through the rainy parts in order to avoid the icy parts, which were terrifying. The rain wasn't much better, but the Forester was terrific throughout. We started in 85º sun, and proceeded through virtually every weather type available on the way.

Unfortunately, we did get to test out its ice driving capabilities. We went a good 300 miles out of the direct path to skirt this storm's southernly edge and keep out of the frozen northern half, and travelled west ultimately to Amarillo TX where we then headed north. All was fine (considering 2 days of cold monsoon driving - still better than ice) until Amarillo, where we drove into an ice storm that did push my nerves to the limit. Had what we could to be prepared, and we did damn well, all things considering. Only thing I wish I could have had with me in those conditions would have been tire chains, but we just never thought we'd actually need them.

The Foz was amazing. It far outperformed the SUVs we saw sliding around (the trucks in Amarillo fared better). Part of it may be the rarity of such severe ice hitting the Texas panhandle, but sooooo many of those drivers were just putting lives at risk. It made me appreciate the Forester even more: while I was white-knuckling it at 15-20 mph, we never had anything that suggested we'd get stranded or stuck - far better than the Hummers we saw slide off into the fences.

Again, thanks so much, I really appreciate your time. We're doing good, loving the vehicle, and (not really) looking forward to the return trip to Florida.
 

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2019 Crosstrek 2018 Forester XT
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15,022 Posts
Glad you made it OK.

Thanks for getting back
 
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