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Can You Put Chains on a Subaru Outback?

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Can You Put Chains on a Subaru Outback?

The Subaru Outback is known for its rugged reliability and impressive all-wheel-drive capabilities. It’s designed to handle a variety of terrains and conditions. But what about when you need extra traction, like in heavy snow or ice?

This is where tire chains come into play. Tire chains provide additional grip for your Subaru Outback’s tires, making driving safer in certain weather conditions.

In this article, we will cover everything you need to know about using the various chains on the Subaru Outback and how to install them.

Why Might You Need Chains for a Subaru Outback?

While the Subaru Outback’s all-wheel-drive system performs admirably in many winter conditions, there may be instances where you’d want that added assurance tire chains can provide. This could include heavy snowfall, icy roads, or regulations requiring vehicles to have chains in certain conditions or roads.

Subaru’s Stance on Using Tire Chains

So, what does Subaru say about using tire chains on the Outback?

Can I use snow chains on Subaru Outback?

As per the manufacturer’s recommendations, Subaru often advises against the use of snow chains on their Outbacks.

The primary reason is most of their models’ limited clearance between the tire and the vehicle. Using chains can damage the vehicle if there’s not enough space.

Subaru's Stance on Using Tire Chains

Different Types of Tire Chains and Their Compatibility with Subaru Outback

Not all tire chains are equal, and some are better suited to certain vehicles than others.

Can you put cable chains on a Subaru Outback?

Cable chains are typically more compact, making them a possible option for vehicles with limited clearance, like the Outback.

However, whether they are suitable or not can depend on the specific model and year of your Outback. Always consult your owner’s manual or contact Subaru directly to be sure.

How to Properly Install Tire Chains on a Subaru Outback

  1. Park on a flat, safe surface and engage the parking brake.
  2. Lay out chains flat, remove twists, and inspect for broken links.
  3. Position chains over the tire centered over the tread.
  4. Connect chains on the inner side of the tire first.
  5. Bring chains over the tire and connect on the outer side.
  6. Double-check chains’ positioning and tightness.
  7. Drive a short distance (~100 feet), then recheck and retighten chains if necessary.

Remember, this process may vary slightly depending on your specific chains and Subaru Outback model. Always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for the chains and your vehicle.

If you have verified that you can safely use a certain type of tire chain on your Outback, it’s important to know how to install them properly.

Incorrectly installed chains can be ineffective, cause damage to the vehicle, or even lead to an accident. Safety precautions should always be taken while installing and driving with tire chains.

Alternatives to Using Chains on a Subaru Outback

In situations where chains are not recommended, there are alternatives. One common alternative is using winter or snow tires. These tires are made with a special rubber compound and tread design to improve grip in cold, snowy, or icy conditions.

It’s important to understand the differences between these and regular tires and when it might be more appropriate to use them.

Considerations When Using Chains on a Subaru Outback

While using tire chains can significantly improve traction on icy or snowy roads, there are certain things you need to consider. Firstly, you should only install them when necessary because driving with chains on clear roads can damage both the chains and the roadway.

It’s also important to keep your speed down when using chains. High speeds can cause the chains to break, possibly damaging the vehicle and leading to a dangerous situation.

How to Choose the Right Tire Chains

When choosing chains, look for a set that fits your tires correctly. The size and type of your tires can be found on the sidewall. Once you have this information, you can use it to find a set of chains that will fit properly.

Remember that poor-fitting chains can come loose and damage your vehicle. Make sure to check the chains’ tension and adjust them if necessary after driving a short distance.

Can you put cable chains on a Subaru Outback? – Continued

cable chains

As discussed earlier, cable chains might be an option for your Subaru Outback due to their compact nature.

However, they should only be used if there is enough clearance. Cable chains are typically low-profile and offer less damage risk to your car’s body and mechanics. They’re also often easier to install than traditional chains.

Regardless, it’s crucial to consult your owner’s manual or Subaru’s customer service before making a decision.

Use of Snow Tires as an Alternative

Snow tires, a more suitable option for some drivers, offer enhanced performance in snowy and icy conditions without the need to install and remove chains. They have special tread patterns and are made from rubber compounds that stay flexible in cold weather, providing better grip and control.

While snow tires are an added expense, they can be a worthwhile investment if you frequently drive in winter conditions.

In conclusion, while the use of chains on a Subaru Outback can be tricky due to clearance issues, there may be situations where they’re needed or required by law. Following the manufacturer’s guidelines and local laws is incredibly important. Consider alternatives like snow tires for winter driving.

And most importantly, always prioritize safety, no matter what decision you make.

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