All Wheel Drive Auto: Independent Seattle Subaru Service


Subaru Service Seattle: Winterize Your Subaru

Now is the time, not the day of, or the day before your next trip up the mountains or over the hill and through the woods to Grandmothers house, or the day after your news station is predicting a huge storm event, to make sure your Suby is ready for the worst Mother Nature can throw at it.

Here are some items that should be serviced, or inspected, as well as a suggested few items for the cargo area.

First of all, as winter approaches its important to remember to not let the fuel tank  run lower than ¼ of a tank, the extra fuel in the tank aids in rear traction, and the less air in the tank, the less moisture and the more stable the fuel will be on those cold morning start ups.  Next if we experience any severe weather, knocking out power to gas stations you’ll want a full tank!

  • Carry a tire pressure gauge, be ready in case you encounter snow, a good way to increase traction is to lower the tire pressure a few pounds in each tire, maintaining even pressure at all 4 tires.  The tires should have a good inspection, if you run all season tires rather than a set of winter tires you really want tread depth above 4/32 or the tire may struggle to displace snow.  Know that during cold weather it’s very possible to see the Low Tire Pressure light come on if your Subaru is equipped with the TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System)
  • Start out winter with Fresh oil.  The cold of winter can be very hard on your engines oil, the single easiest way to combat this is have an oil change done even if it’s a little early at the start of winter.  If you are close to any Scheduled Maintenance such as a 30k service, do it early! Having fresh transmission fluid is a great idea in colder temperatures.
  • Inspect or have inspected your belts and hoses, cold weather is very hard on rubber.
  • Know where the freeze protection of your coolant is at; if it’s been more than 2 years since the coolant has been changed consider changing it now.
  • Have your battery tested, and the connections cleaned, the fact that the battery still starts the car does not mean it will once the temperature drops.  Batteries should be tested at extremes with a load tester at least twice a year.
  • Replace your wiper blades; being able to see in the rain or snow is pretty important. If they Streak or chatter they won’t get better on their own.  Make sure you have ample freeze protection in the windshield washer tank as well.
  • Check all of you external lights, being seen by others on the road is part of defensive driving.
  • Consult the owner’s manual regarding the use of chains for your model Subaru, if its advised for your car, buy a set if you don’t plan on running traction type tires, or buy them anyways just in case.  If you live in Washington State and have a Subaru model that can’t use standard cable chains, consider this option from Auto Sock.

Aside from the cars factory tool kit, you should carry a flashlight, water, jumper cables and a few basic tools.  You can elaborate on this as much as you want to.

Lastly, Please Stay Safe Out There!




2 Responses

  1. Hi Justin, Thanks for your advice! I am a first time Subaru owner, buying a 2015 XV Crosstrek in Aug ’15. I travel to from San Francisco to the Sierra Nevadas to a small CA. community just South of Bear Valley on Hwy 4. The elevation is about 5,000 ft., so there is ice and snow this time of year. Ive read what is written in my car’s manual re tire chains, and have also read your comments re chains. Searching, I found a type of chain made by peerless chain called super Z6 which apparently uses only 1/4 inch space in inner side wall may meet the requirements for my Crosstrek. Have you heard of this low profile cable/chain, and if so, what are your thoughts. Here is a link to the peerless site: Anyway, I need chains in CA to travel in snow country, so I bought a pair today. Hopefully they will remain in my trunk, but will try them out prior to needing them listening for any noise. I did write peerless for input, asking if they had cables/traction devices made for my yr. Crosstrek, and should hear back in a few days. Thanks for the good you have given Subaru owners!

    1. Hello Terry,

      I Do not have nay experience with that on the CrossTrek as of yet. I will try and add it to my list and I thank you for pointing them out. I do also doubt they will ever come out of the cargo area for you..



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