Putting Cables on Your Subaru: A Comprehensive Guide to Safe Winter Driving

Winter driving can be a nerve-wracking experience, especially if you find yourself navigating snowy or icy roads. But luckily, with the right preparations, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable driving experience, even in challenging weather conditions. One crucial aspect of winter driving preparation is the installation of cables or tire chains on your Subaru. In this guide, we’ll show you everything you need to know about putting cables on a Subaru, from the different types available to best practices for use and storage.

Safety Precautions to Consider Before Starting

Before you start putting cables on your Subaru, it’s important to take some safety precautions to prevent injuries or accidents. Start by finding a safe and flat location to work on your car, such as a covered garage or a flat driveway. Make sure your vehicle is parked securely and is in park with the emergency brake engaged. Also, ensure that the cables you are using are appropriate for your Subaru’s model and tire size.

Different Types of Cables Available for Subarus

Subarus typically require a specific type of cable, referred to as class S cables. These cables are designed to fit onto the tires of modern cars with limited clearance, including Subarus. When selecting cables for your Subaru, choose a set that meets both your tire size and the class S requirements. The most common types of cables available for Subarus are ladder-type and diamond-pattern cables. Ladder-type cables are the most common and feature steel crossbars that run in a ladder-like configuration across the tire tread. Diamond-pattern cables, on the other hand, feature steel crossbars arranged in a diamond pattern for increased traction.

See also  Are There Any Reliable Subaru Years?

Steps on How to Put Cables on a Subaru

Now that you have your cables and have taken safety precautions, it’s time to install the cables on your Subaru. Follow these steps to put cables on your Subaru:

  1. Remove your cables from their storage bag and lay them out flat on the ground.
  2. Place the first cable over the top of your tire and make sure the crossbars are facing down towards the road.
  3. Drape the cable evenly over the tire and make sure the crossbars are centered over the tire tread.
  4. Take the cable’s open end and pull it towards the inside of the tire.
  5. Connect the cable’s hook into the holding bracket on the inside of your tire.
  6. Move to the other side of the vehicle and repeat these steps on the other tire.

Best Practices for Storing and Caring for Cables

When not in use, cables should be stored in a cool, dry place to prevent rust and wear. Avoid storing cables in direct sunlight or near chemicals, such as oil or lubricants. You should also avoid driving on bare pavement or at high speeds with cables installed to prevent excessive wear. After use, be sure to remove the cables and clean them with warm water to prevent rust or corrosion.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Putting on Cables

Putting cables on your Subaru can be an easy process, but it’s important to avoid common mistakes that can be dangerous or cause damage to your car or the cables themselves. Some common mistakes to avoid include installing cables on the wrong tire size, installing cables too tightly or loosely, and driving on pavement with the cables installed.

See also  Is VW Glacier White Same as Subaru Glacier White?

Tips for Practicing and Gaining Confidence in Using Cables

If you’re new to putting cables on your Subaru, it can be helpful to practice before you need to use them in inclement weather. Consider practicing on a dry and flat surface in a safe location, such as a parking lot or empty field. This way, you can gain confidence in the process without the pressure of being on the side of a snowy road.


Q: Can I use tire chains instead of cables?
A: Some Subarus can accommodate tire chains, but be sure to check your manual or with a Subaru dealer before purchasing them.

Q: How fast can I drive with cables installed?
A: You should not drive faster than 30 miles per hour with cables installed.

Q: Do I need to install cables on all four tires?
A: It’s generally recommended to install cables on all four tires, but check your manual before doing so.

With this comprehensive guide, putting cables on your Subaru is a straightforward and safe process. Just be sure to take the appropriate safety precautions, choose the right type of cable, and practice before you need to use them in snowy or icy conditions. By doing so, you can ensure that you’re prepared for anything that winter weather throws your way.

Avatar photo

Alton Brobst

As a longtime Subaru enthusiast, Alton brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to our blog. From his early days of tinkering with engines to his current role as a certified Subaru technician, Alton has seen it all when it comes to Subarus. When he's not working on cars, he enjoys hiking and exploring the great outdoors.

Recommended Articles