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Anyone out there have good things to say about driving your WRX in the snow. Here in California, the people that control the roads during snowy conditions, AKA CalTrans, are pretty picky about who they will let by at the snow control. I would like to know if anyone had problems with CalTrans not letting them by in their REX. My WRX came equipped with Bridgestone tires that are mud and snow capable. M+S on the side. And since it is AWD they shouldn't have a problem. Some people go up to the snow in Ford Explorers with passenger tires and they let them by. Just wondering if I should buy cables for all four corners for my Rex.
Kurlee Daddee
(THE ORIGINAL)
 

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Snow drivin'

Hey hey hey!

Here in Portland, we're @ 1.5 hours from Mt. Hood, U.S.'s only year-round skiing/snowboarding (to mah knowledge). And being an avid snowboarder, there's nothing I like more than driving up there just after a big snow dump.

All AWD Subies' should be renamed "Snowbies" 'cause they stick like glue in the white stuff.

No chains, neither.

In fact the second-to-last time I went up I was following a Ford Exploder. Not very close with plenty of time to stop if necessary. Going around a left-hand sweeper, the Ford went a little wide to clear another SUV that had spun into the snow bank. As the turn straightend, the Ford spun 180 degrees, drivers' eyes big as saucers. He continued in that fashion for about 3 seconds before squirting off to the oncoming lane, between two cars headed in the oposite direction, coming to a crunching rest in the snow bank. Didn't look bad so I just kept going.

Didn't even feel whatever he hit.

Also drove a vastly over-loaded Forester to Anchorage, AK last winter in Jan. Never even spun a tire in 5.5 days of balls-out rally fun on deserted highways.

I will not own any other car.

-Trev
 

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Tires matter alot. If you have some nice all-seasons (read: Michelin Pilot Sport A/S) or snow tires, you're all set in your AWD in snow. I did a winter driving course up in Northern New Hampshire in January with my Bridgestone RE950 (All seasons).

Oh my, I slid around quite alot and eventually drove myself into a ditch during class. I also tried another WRX with a set of snow tires. The WRX with the snow tires gripped real well. Alot better than my car. :eek: (I am basing this on icy skid pad runs with both cars)

However, since you're in Cali. I doubt you'd want snow tires on your subie. Moral of the story is that AWD is very nice, alot better than FWD or RWD, but it's still as good as the tires that keeps you on the road. (well... driver too ;) )

Just be careful in the snow!

take care,

- Alex
 

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And I read that Subaru said chains are a no-no. Might want to read up in the manual to double check.
 

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You can push snow with your bumper with these cars. I have no problem getting around in the snow. I got the factory wheels that came with the car, the Bridgestone Potenzas. No problems at all. Best car I've had for snow.
 

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heck I'm on Kumho 712 in a Chicago winter and had no problems what so ever. I made it around better them folks with snow tires on their FWD/RWD cars.
 

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Since those who replied are not in California, I'll join in. :) My comments are based on using the standard tires (M+S), not some good snow tires.

First, i.m.h.o., while the wrx seem to handle much better than my 1995 impreza L (also awd, also stock tires), both seem to handle about the same in snow. I've driven my 95 in snow both in Washington state and North Cal. Driven my 2002 in snow in North Cal only. I think they handle pretty well.

Anyone out there have good things to say about driving your WRX in the snow. Here in California, the people that control the roads during snowy conditions, AKA CalTrans, are pretty picky about who they will let by at the snow control. I would like to know if anyone had problems with CalTrans not letting them by in their REX.
As you may know, CalTrans determines the road condition, and groups them into 3. I found that in most cases, it's condition 1, which requires fwd & rwd to put on chains, but not awd with at least an M+S. So, in general, you should be ok.

With that said, I must say that you have to be aware that traction is significantly reduced, so be careful. Braking is obviously compromised (since awd doesn't help in braking), so pretend that you have tiny, crappy brakes when driving in snow. Some CalTrans check point personnels didn't believe that my 1995 L coupe was awd, but that was many years ago. Last snow season, when I took my 2002, they didn't give me any problems; one of the ski resort agents asked me whether it was awd or not though.

Just wondering if I should buy cables for all four corners for my Rex.
Unless you come to condition 3, it should not be necessary. The manual says to put it on the front wheels, if required. So, don't buy an extra pair for the rear. I bought a pair just in case, but it's just one of those things you don't expect to use, and just there in case you get trapped and have no other choice.

Enjoy your car, and be safe
 

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Slippery when white

I opted for the dealer installed BBS RK's 17" with Pirelli P7000 Sports tires. Yes they let me keep the stock rims and tires as I paid $1700 for the upgrade.

Let me say this. The Pirelli's SUCK in the snow. The first night we had snow after I bought the REX last year, I went for a test drive. I expected a lot more grip. I had a '92 Legacy Wagon with 4 Blizzak's on which was absolutely UNSTOPPABLE so I figured the REX would be at least half as good with the all-seasons on it. NO WAY. It would go instantly into ABS with the slightest brake force, it would go straight through corners even at 10 mph. Acceleration was OK but that was it. No way was I going to get through a winter on the Pirelli's. Since the Stock wheelset was reserved for my wife's '01 Legacy as summer tires, I went to tirerack and ordered some snow tires on steel wheels. I figured $700 now could save me $$$$$$ later in repair/hospital bills. Worth it? Absolutely!
 

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Back from the dead!

Yeah, there's a BIG difference between Blizzaks and P7000s! LOL No substitute for real snows - even cheap ones are a huge improvement over RE92s. Much bigger over P7000s.

One Question though: why didn't you just put snows on your 16s?

$1700 for the Subaru 17s and keeping your 16s is a killer deal BTW.

C
 

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i had the dunlop SP Sports last winter, and betty ATE SNOW FOR BREAKFAST.

really, she did.

this car is so well balanced and powered for slippery driving, it's FUN. i went out in two snowstorms last year, and the roads were empty. my roomates wouldn't come with me, but i love snow driving so i went alone.

[Ralphy]weeeeeeeeeeee![/Ralphy]

dR
 

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17 RK's & 16 Stock's

Yeah I thought it was a good deal too. I bought two cars from the same salesman one year apart so it was his way of showing gratitude. I am saving the stock WRX 16" wheels and tires to put on my wife's Legacy. It currently has steel 15" wheels which will receive snows once the WRX 16's are on it for the summer. So we will have two sets of tires for each car. Snows on steel for the summer and All Seasons on aluminum for the summer. Actually, the stock hubcaps on the Legacy look very similar to the stock WRX wheels ;)
 

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yes I agree AWD helps alot in the snow, but the car's suspension and the stock 16'' tires still make for a pushy car.
Good news is that when the front starts to push, a tap on the brakes brings the front right back in.
This works faster than waiting after lifting on the gas, and it also works in the rain and dry.
 

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Another reason that tires are an importaint choice:

It's all-wheel *drive*, not all-wheel *stop*, or all-wheel *turn*. ;)

Consider where you are, and how much/what type of snow you see. Tires with alot of sipes are great for slushy conditions. Tires with a deep tread are good for deep snow. Different patterns of tread do different things for traction. Just remember that winter tires are generally ALOT softer than summer ones, but this generally helps them to have a much lower "glass over" point than all-seasons.

Also, if possable, take a winter safety corse. I went to the same one as xstar last year, and let me tell you, it was worth every penny and more. 2 words: throttle steer. :D Tim's driving school has some incredible instructors. They'll teach you about weight transfer, to anticipate what the car will do rather than react to it, and to not overdrive the car/tires/your skill for the conditions. If you live in NE, I would HIGHLY reccomend the O'Neil winter safety corse.
 

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I may get snow tires or new all season tires. So far, my experience with the stock SBRP205/55R16 89V Bridgestone Potenza RE92 All-Season Mud and Snow Tires has not been that favorable. Twice, on WET roads, while coming to a stop in traffic, the ABS was activated...:confused: Is this a sign of things to come? I used to have a set of Dunlop A2 205/50 R15s on an older, front wheel drive GSR and never experinced the ABS coming on sooo easily. I hope that these tires are better in the snow than they are on wet pavement. Anybody else experince the poor wet performance of the Bridgestones??? :(
 

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For a hair-raising ride, try a set of Toyo Proxes T1-S's in the white stuff. Its like you have four big teflon balls rather than tires. My Integra would hardly move on flat surfaces, hills...heh I think not. I got caught out once. Had to park it and call for a ride. Silly grip on dry tarmac, but anything else those tires were evil.
 

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DIRSGT: I've found RE92's to be just short of useless in winter conditions. Almost any tire can be used in winter conditions as long as you don't "overdrive" them, but I find that the RE92's are unforgiving as soon as they loose traction. They also seem to loose their predictibility when it's particularly slippery out.

I'm goint to try out some Green Diamond Alpins this year, and I have a friend this is trying out the Icelanders. I'll let everyone know how they perform, and what the wear is like when I get them in and put a few miles on them.

I'll also be reporting how they perform on the lake this year. :)
 

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DIRSGT said:
I may get snow tires or new all season tires. So far, my experience with the stock SBRP205/55R16 89V Bridgestone Potenza RE92 All-Season Mud and Snow Tires has not been that favorable. Twice, on WET roads, while coming to a stop in traffic, the ABS was activated
Fwiw, Sport Compact Car once mentioned how "jumpy" the ABS in the MY2002 WRX is. Given that, the RE92s may not be the sole cause of the ABS kicking in.
 

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I used to live in Fairbanks, AK. Every winter it was like Subie world. Every where you looked - it was like an invasion. What most people did was have studs installed. So If I were you go get your sorry bridgestones studded and then buy some real tires for when the weather gets nice.
 

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You can't stud a used tire and you can't stud new RE92s. You could try getting them siped though. They're worse in the snow than in the wet.

I find the WRX to be the best snow car I've ever driven. It can be a bit hard to get the fronts to bite without snow tires, but a little brake to pull it in followed by the gas to get the back end out puts you into a beautifully controllable drift, steering the car with the throttle. If you over do it and start really sliding, you can just get it more sideways and gas it to pull yourself back on line. AWD may not help you stop, but it certainly does help in the turns - if you know how to apply it properly.

If you don't know how to do this, a course is as excellent idea.
 

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And you can do this continuously the whole way through to widen or tighten the radius(modulating brake/throttle)....ie left foot braking:D
 
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