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So, I recently posted about a first drive experience in a very light amount of snow, which was not that great. Today, we have a blizzard and currently 6-7" of fresh, virgin snow in the neighborhood--I was the first car on it. I figured I needed to see what the vehicle would do in real snow. My route was of course, not over 20mph, but it was up and down hills and around a few corners. I will say the Ascent did better this time than last, but I did notice a few "snow traits" I thought I would share. To set the stage, I had the graphic up that shows wheel slippage. Overall, the car did well. It did seem like the rpm's were continually high (21-2400) when moving along. I think this is just the CVT, but still a different sensation than a traditional transmission that will take some getting used to-- kind of gave the car a feeling of slipping wheels, I think due to increased RPM noise. First instinct was to lift, but then momentum was lost. As I said, I think it's a quirk of a CVT at lower speeds---you just have to learn it and accept it. The graphic did not show any slippage nor did traction control turn on. There was minimal plowing in the corners unless I induced it and overall it tracked well through the corners., which is good. If the car stepped out of line, it came back under control pretty quickly with a lift of the throttle. Stopping was to be as expected. I played with Xmode and I could tell a difference when starting. I had one situation where after sitting a stop sign for 30 or so seconds and a very slight uphill, the car wouldn't get traction with easy throttle. The traction control system kicked in and the graphic turned to yellow. After turning on Xmode, traction control came on for a quick second, but it did claw itself to move.

Overall, I'll admit, it's a pretty stable vehicle in the snow and the stories of it being a really good snow car are probably warranted.....I'm still not sure it's as good as my traditional 4x4 SUV, but it's good. Definitely a better experience than my first snow drive. I'd give it about a 7.5-8/10. Probably better with snow tires. I'll actually feel ok about a family member driving it in inclement weather.

I am gonna miss drifting the awd S60 in the snow rally style....don't see the Ascent liking that much........ BTW, can you turn off traction control? Asking for a friend.
 

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Most japanese cars use a special solution and treatment on the metals of the vehicle but you're still gonna have to take it to a car wash with an underbody wash monthly. I grew up in New England and the salt damage was ridiculous. I lived in alaska for many years and cars up there last so much longer because they don't salt the roads (although I do hear that Anchorage has started but I'm not sure about that).

Living in the deep south, I miss snow, but I do not miss my vehicles being destroyed by salt
 

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You can't fully disable traction control. It eventually kicks in. It's not like the WRX where when you click it off, it's really off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Most japanese cars use a special solution and treatment on the metals of the vehicle but you're still gonna have to take it to a car wash with an underbody wash monthly. I grew up in New England and the salt damage was ridiculous. I lived in alaska for many years and cars up there last so much longer because they don't salt the roads (although I do hear that Anchorage has started but I'm not sure about that).

Living in the deep south, I miss snow, but I do not miss my vehicles being destroyed by salt
I understand that, but it's not uncommon to have all car washes close up here in the winter months. Really hard to wash a car at -20! Snow and cold absolutely sucks....
 

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Well, living in MN, it's pretty much unavoidable. BTW, what is the reputation on rust for Subaru's?
Lol. True that.

I have a bunch of family in the twin cities. Some of them have winter only cars and summer only to avoid the salt damage.

They drive beaters for winter.

I would say any car made if metal will rust, some just faster than others. Spray under coating?
 

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I understand that, but it's not uncommon to have all car washes close up here in the winter months. Really hard to wash a car at -20! Snow and cold absolutely sucks....
But it's not -20 every single day. In every northern state I've lived in, Maine, Connecticut, and Alaska, the car washes were open on many days. Yes, even Alaska, which regularly saw temperatures dip to -60F
 

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I go to work at 6:30 or so and there is my local car wash open, even though its freezing. I got to drive in the first snow of the year on Monday and the Ascent felt actually much stabler than the '18 Outback. The Eyesite even worked in the driving snow where I remember the Outbacks would clam up in the thick stuff. The auto wipers worked great also even though it was a dark and stormy night.
 

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Let the salt damage begin
We have not really had the opportunity to try out Abrams, our Subaru Ascent 2021, in some real snow. We've have had a few inches here in central NY but not the foot+ snow downfalls that we are used to. Nevertheless, we have outfitted the car with snow tires and are eagerly awaiting its first real test.

Well, living in MN, it's pretty much unavoidable. BTW, what is the reputation on rust for Subaru's?
Rust, primarily due to road salt, has claimed several of our previous vehicles including Subaru Forester 2003 and our Honda Odyssey 2009.
I am determined to prevent or at least significantly limit the amount of rust that our Ascent develops. After my underlying research I ended up purchasing Fluid Film to apply to my vehicles. There were several other products that worked just as good or even better however their application was either more time-consuming or required better knowledge of what parts not to spray beneath the car. With Fluid Film I could liberally applied it to pretty much everything underneath it without worrying about electrical connections or heat from the catalytic converter (some other products were flammable). The main drawback was that fluid film needs to be reapplied at least once a year, preferably twice per year. This is the first year I'm trying this with any of my cars so I have no experience with how well it will work.
 

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What are you all doing to cause crazy rust?

Our 2005 Outback was rust free on the outside when we sold it a few years ago. Only had rust on the side of one door at the bottom. My 2011 WRX is rust free right now, and I play in the snow a TON with that. Our 2015 Yukon was also rust free when we sold it last year.

I'm in Michigan for what it's worth. Lots of snow, salt and playing in both.
 

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What are you all doing to cause crazy rust?

Our 2005 Outback was rust free on the outside when we sold it a few years ago. Only had rust on the side of one door at the bottom. My 2011 WRX is rust free right now, and I play in the snow a TON with that. Our 2015 Yukon was also rust free when we sold it last year.

I'm in Michigan for what it's worth. Lots of snow, salt and playing in both.
I am convinced people don't wash their cars in the winter. You have to, no excuses
 

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From my perspective it isn’t just protecting the car body/frame from corrosion but protecting fasteners. After we retired our Forester which had been well protected but had seen quit a few VT then MI winters the bolts holding lower control arms or sway bar bushing bracket bolts etc were seized and for DIY’er it became a giant pain to work on myself. That is despite the body being rust free...YMMV but i am going to keep doing it.
 

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Even though they don't salt the roads here, even if I don't drive in snow I will vigilantly take my car thru a car wash with an undercarriage spray. I haven't had any problem with rusting in any of my cars. YRMV
 

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Just got back from an almost 1000km road trip through PNW mountain passes and to ski hills. It snowed 7 inches two days in a row. Perfect for testing various road types and driving conditions. Except the closure of the Coqihalla on our ride home.
As expected our Ascent performed flawlessly. We have all weather type tires mounted Nokian WRG4 235/55r20. I purposely did not change them as I wanted to test these out. I have one set of Nokian hakkaa 9 studded 235/65r18 on separate wheels that I would normally change before heading out for this trip.
I even sought out an unplowed steep windy mountain roads at the ski hill. I purposely attempted to safely find its limits. With traction control on its amazing how well it keeps the vehicle pointed where you’re steering. Zero issues with acceleration. Deceleration was equally admirable with very little slippage. Traffic was quite light so I was ‘that guy’asshole power sliding around the switchback with TCS off. FWIW it’s more fun with a viscous coupled center diff 6MT.

My only complaint is the turbo boost initiation/kick could potentially break traction when you don’t expect it. When you’re asking it to accelerate up a steep snowy mountain, even slowly, it requires the boost. Throttle control at lower speeds is finicky which have been talked about a bunch in other threads. I found manual mode very helpful up and down the mountain at slower to more moderate speeds for sure.
Saw many other trucks and cars get stuck and slide into ditches.

edit: I removed all the underbody protection In September and sprayed both subarus with CRC heavy duty rust inhibitor which is cosmololine based. Used about 7-8 cans per vehicle. Curious to see about any salt damage in future years. Routinely wash vehicle including underbody.
 

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Any suggestions for washing the car with a roof box? It won't fit in any car wash I've seen; do you think I can do an adequate job of the underbody at a self service bay? The box full of skis is just too tough to take off regularly.
 

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I love that you linked me a bidet!
But actually, these look great, except that I don't have a driveway, nor easy access to a hose. But maybe I could work something out if I get desperate, go to a friends' and have a car bidet party; I'll bring the beer and bidet.
He's not wrong. Still an 'undercarriage sprayer' hahaha
 
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