About Cable Chains?
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This is a discussion on About Cable Chains? within the Suspension & Wheels forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; Hey sorry for sounding like a complete retard, but I was going to the mountains this weekend and was wondering ...

  1. #1
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    About Cable Chains?

    Hey sorry for sounding like a complete retard, but I was going to the mountains this weekend and was wondering if
    I needed some cable chains? I currently have summer tires on and the only reason why I was thinking of buying the
    cables was for an emergency if a snowstorm would occur.

    Can someone give me feedback on this please? =]] I just want to know if it would even be necessary to get these
    cable chains. I drive a 2011 WRX.

    Thanks again!!

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    \_(ツ)_/ Rambo's Avatar
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    First, read your owner's manual, it explicitly covers the use of chains. According to the manual for my 2003, you may use chains on the front wheels ONLY, and you must not exceed 19mph. Yours will probably say something similar, but please double check.

    However, the general rule of Subaru AWD is: "All for one, and one for all." Whatever you do to one wheel, do to all of them. It's for this reason that most everyone on here who experiences snow and colder climates buys a set of "snow wheels" to swap on in the winter, because crawling over a pass and getting out to mess with chains is a pain.

    Now for a quick trip like yours, I can understand why you wouldn't want that expense, so yes, chains on the frontare ok, but should avoided if at all possible.

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    Last edited by Rambo; 12-29-2011 at 07:32 PM.
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    Registered User Acrdys's Avatar
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    Have the chains for all four tires just in case. Main roads are usually pretty well plowed the day after a snowstorm. I get away with all season tires not sure about summer tires.

    [edit]
    My uncle usually pays a plower to plow the road leading to his house.
    Last edited by Acrdys; 12-29-2011 at 07:36 PM.
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    \_(ツ)_/ Rambo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Acrdys View Post
    Have the chains for all four tires just in case. Main roads are usually pretty well plowed the day after a snowstorm. I get away with all season tires not sure about summer tires.
    Be careful about that, though. The manual specifically warns about damage to the LSD with chains on the rear. The best thing is to avoid the use of chains altogether, but if you must, they should be on the front, but only when absolutely required, and for as little as possible.
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    Registered User Acrdys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rambo View Post
    Be careful about that, though. The manual specifically warns about damage to the LSD with chains on the rear. The best thing is to avoid the use of chains altogether, but if you must, they should be on the front, but only when absolutely required, and for as little as possible.
    X.X that's good to know. It's real odd though. Whenever I travel there's a little check point that requires chains unless I have snow tires. The road ends up being free of snow 'til I get to the road towards the resort. *shrug

    Just to confirm. Chains on the front and none on the rear? I'm usually not worried but I'm no longer on all season tires.
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    I looked over the manual and it just says something about subaru does not recommend
    using chains at all, since low profile chains are needed and regular chains cannot have
    enough clearance to be used. It also says that you should just switch over to winter tires,
    but I am only staying there for around 2 days.

    I ended up not getting chains/cables because they did not have any that fitted my size.
    Oh well I won't be going crazy fast anyways since traffic will be intense haha =] I should be
    fine. Thanks again for the inputs!

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    Registered User jgardiner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rambo View Post
    Be careful about that, though. The manual specifically warns about damage to the LSD with chains on the rear. The best thing is to avoid the use of chains altogether, but if you must, they should be on the front, but only when absolutely required, and for as little as possible.
    The OP's 2011 WRX does not have an LSD, so there is no reason that he couldn't put chains on the rear.

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    \_(ツ)_/ Rambo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jgardiner View Post
    The OP's 2011 WRX does not have an LSD, so there is no reason that he couldn't put chains on the rear.
    Huh, it appears you're right. All 2008+ USDM cars have an open rear diff, although they kept the LSD in osther markets. Anyways, the owner's manual is the final word. The OP could call the dealer too,to see what they recommend.

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    I'd avoid putting any kind of chains or cables on your car, if possible. They tend to break, and then they will damage your car. A set of snow tires is a small price to pay compared to the cost of damaging your brand new paint job.

    Driving with cables or chains is a major PITA, also. You really do have to keep it below 20 in a car like the wrx, or the cables will start slapping against the wheel well.

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    Registered User Acrdys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nibbles View Post
    I looked over the manual and it just says something about subaru does not recommend
    using chains at all, since low profile chains are needed and regular chains cannot have
    enough clearance to be used. It also says that you should just switch over to winter tires,
    but I am only staying there for around 2 days.

    I ended up not getting chains/cables because they did not have any that fitted my size.
    Oh well I won't be going crazy fast anyways since traffic will be intense haha =] I should be
    fine. Thanks again for the inputs!
    Have fun out there and happy new years! Sadly no snow for me when I go up to sonora tommorow :'(
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    Registered User thebanker's Avatar
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    I have a 2013 WRX and I have the same question as OP. What brand of chains are best, should I do front, or rear, or all 4?

    Thanks in advance, new Subie owner and I'm trying to learn all I can. Please don't say "get snow tires" because obviously that's best, but at the moment I can't bear the expense of a set of steelies with snow tires on them.
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    \_(ツ)_/ Rambo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thebanker View Post
    I have a 2013 WRX and I have the same question as OP. What brand of chains are best, should I do front, or rear, or all 4?

    Thanks in advance, new Subie owner and I'm trying to learn all I can. Please don't say "get snow tires" because obviously that's best, but at the moment I can't bear the expense of a set of steelies with snow tires on them.
    What does the manual say? As far as brand, I use Les Schwab (Popular tire supplier in the NW) brand chains on my other car (not a Subaru), but I don't have to consider low profile tires and the tight wheel clearances.
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  15. #14
    Registered User thebanker's Avatar
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    I will double check the manual.
    - mikey

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    Re: About Cable Chains?

    I'm from the same area you are man(Irvine).
    You're right, a set of snow tires would be wasted down here.... so I compromised and got "High performance" All Season tires. Took my family from the beach to Big Bear and back, all in 1 day.

    Posted from a fone.

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