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Subaru Legacy Owners Manual: Operation during cold weather

Subaru Legacy Owners Manual / Driving tips / Winter driving / Operation during cold weather

Carry some emergency equipment, such as a window scraper, a bag of sand, flares, a small shovel and jumper cables.

Check the battery and cables. Cold temperatures reduce battery capacity.

The battery must be in good condition to provide enough power for cold winter starts.

It normally takes longer to start the engine in very cold weather conditions. Use an engine oil of a proper grade and viscosity for cold weather. Using heavy summer oil will make it harder to start the engine.

Keep the door locks from freezing by squirting them with deicer or glycerin.

Forcing a frozen door open may damage or separate the rubber weather strips around the door. If the door is frozen, use hot water to melt the ice, and afterwards thoroughly wipe the water away.

Use a windshield washer fluid that contains an antifreeze solution. Do not use engine antifreeze or other substitutes because they may damage the paint of the vehicle.

SUBARU Windshield Washer Fluid contains 58.5% methyl alcohol and 41.5% surfactant, by volume. Its freezing temperature varies according to how much it is diluted, as indicated in the following table.

Operation during cold weather

In order to prevent freezing of washer fluid, check the freezing temperatures in the table above when adjusting the fluid concentration to the outside temperature.

If you fill the reservoir tank with a fluid with a different concentration from the one used previously, purge the old fluid from the piping between the reservoir tank and washer nozzles by operating the washer for a certain period of time. Otherwise, if the concentration of the fluid remaining in the piping is too low for the outside temperature, it may freeze and block the nozzles.

CAUTION
  •  Adjust the washer fluid concentration appropriately for the outside temperature. If the concentration is inappropriate, sprayed washer fluid may freeze on the windshield and obstruct your view, and the fluid may freeze in the reservoir tank.
  •  State or local regulations on volatile organic compounds may restrict the use of methanol, a common windshield washer antifreeze additive. Washer fluids containing non-methanol antifreeze agents should be used only if they provide cold weather protection without damaging your vehicle's paint, wiper blades or washer system.

Before driving your vehicle

Before entering the vehicle, remove any snow or ice from your shoes because that could make the pedals slippery and driving dangerous.

While warming up the vehicle before driving, check that the accelerator pedal, brake pedal, and all other controls operate smoothly.

Clear away ice and snow that has accumulated under the fenders to avoid making steering difficult. During severe winter driving, stop when and where it is safe to do so and check under the fenders periodically.

Parking in cold weather

WARNING Snow can trap dangerous exhaust gases under your vehicle. Keep snow clear of the exhaust pipe and from around your vehicle if you park the vehicle in snow with the engine running.

 

CAUTION
  •  Do not use the parking brake when parking for long periods in cold weather since it could freeze in that position.
  •  When the vehicle is parked in snow or when it snows, raise the wiper blades off the glass to prevent damage to them.
  •  Under either of the following conditions, icing may develop on the brake system, which could cause poor braking action.
  •  When the vehicle has been left parked after use on roads heavily covered with snow
  • When the vehicle has been left parked during a snowstorm

Check for snow or ice buildup on the suspension, disc brakes and brake hoses underneath the vehicle.

If there is caked snow or ice, remove it, being careful not to damage the disc brakes and brake hoses and ABS harness.

When parking for long periods in cold weather, you should observe the following tips.

  1.  For MT models, place the shift lever in the "1" or "R" position. For CVT models, place the select lever in the "P" position.
  2.  Use tire stops under the tires to prevent the vehicle from moving.

Refueling in cold weather

To help prevent moisture from forming in the fuel system and the risk of its freezing, use of an antifreeze additive in the fuel tank is recommended during cold weather.

Use only additives that are specifically designed for this purpose. When an antifreeze additive is used, its effect lasts longer if the tank is refilled whenever the fuel level reaches half empty.

If your SUBARU is not going to be used for an extended period, it is best to have the fuel tank filled to capacity.

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