Ultimate Guide: How to Safely Put Snow Chains on Your Subaru Forester

If you’re a Subaru Forester owner living in an area with harsh winter weather, you know how important it is to have the right equipment to handle snowy and icy roads. One essential piece of gear is a set of snow chains, which can vastly improve your vehicle’s traction and stability on slippery roads.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about putting chains on your Subaru Forester, including the different types of chains available, how to choose the right chains for your needs, and step-by-step instructions for installation and safe use.

Types of Snow Chains for Subaru Forester

Before you purchase snow chains, it’s important to understand the different types available and their specific benefits. Here are three of the most common types of snow chains for Subaru Foresters:

Traditional Tire Chains

Traditional tire chains are the most common and affordable option. They consist of a series of interlocking links that wrap around the tire’s tread. These chains are best for occasional use and are easy to install and remove.

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Cable Chains

Cable chains are made of steel cable instead of traditional metal chains. They offer a smoother ride than traditional chains and are less likely to scratch or damage your vehicle’s wheels. Cable chains are best for moderate use.

Automatic Chains

Automatic chains are an innovative option that automatically deploys chains as needed when you engage them from the comfort of your vehicle. They are a bit more expensive but offer the most convenience and are great for frequent use.

Choosing the Right Snow Chains for Your Subaru Forester

Once you’ve selected the type of chains that work best for your needs, you’ll need to choose the right size. Look for chains that are specifically designed to fit the tires on your Forester. Your owner’s manual, tire sidewall markings, or a quick online search can provide you with the size information you’ll need.

You may also want to consider buying chains that are rated for severe winter driving conditions. Check for chains that have met the industry-standard SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) Class S requirements.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Snow Chain Installation

  1. Start by parking your Subaru Forester on a level surface and engaging your emergency brake.
  2. Lay out the snow chains on the ground and ensure they are untangled and ready to install.
  3. Identify the tire you’ll be installing the chains on, and lay the chains across the tread.
  4. Hook the top portion of the chain over the tire’s sidewalls, making sure the hooks are on the outer side of the tire.
  5. Work your way around the tire, pulling the chains around the circumference of the tire and connecting any remaining hooks or clasps.
  6. Once the chain is in place, drive your vehicle forward a few feet and ensure the chains stay securely in place. If necessary, stop and adjust the chains as needed.
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Safety Tips for Driving with Snow Chains on Your Subaru Forester

While installing snow chains can be a lifesaver in tough winter conditions, it’s important to take safety precautions to ensure your chains don’t cause any issues while driving. Here are a few tips:

  • Never exceed 30 mph when driving with chains on your tires
  • Avoid driving on dry pavement as much as possible, as this can cause damage to your tires and chains
  • Accelerate and brake slowly and gently to avoid any sudden movements that could cause the chains to slip or break
  • Remove the chains as soon as you no longer need them


How do I remove snow chains from my Subaru Forester?

Make sure you’re parked on a level surface, engage your emergency brake, and then release the chains from the inside of the tire. Pull the chain towards the outside of the tire to unhook it, and then remove it. Repeat this on the other side of the tire.

Can I use snow chains on all four tires of my Subaru Forester?

Yes, it’s recommended that you use snow chains on all four tires for optimal traction and stability.

What if I’m unsure of which type of chains to purchase?

Consult with a trusted mechanic or tire specialist to help you choose the best type of snow chains for your driving needs.

With this guide, you’re now a pro at installing snow chains on your Subaru Forester. Stay safe on the road this winter!

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Davis Bellew

As a Subaru owner and enthusiast, Davis has a deep understanding of the needs and concerns of Subaru drivers. He specializes in writing informative and engaging content about Subaru maintenance and repair, and his articles are always well-researched and easy to understand. When he's not writing, he enjoys hiking and photography.

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