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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi all. I have 9,000 nearly all highway miles on my 2013 XV and for the last 200 miles of wet/slushy weather, I can't go above 40mph without the car feeling out of control.
- My dealer rotated the tires at 7500 miles; I don't know if they balanced them.
- My front tires are at 33psi and my rear tires are at 32psi (measured while tires are warm, and w/outside temperature of 20 degrees).
- No warning or notification lights have come on in the dash.

I'm 1,000 miles into a 2,000 mile drive and got into the middle of today's snowstorm over I80 through Iowa. As the weather got wetter and snowier, my own speed dropped from 70mph to 40mph to be able to continue to feel safe and in control. ALL others around me kept on at about 60-65mph, including the semi-trucks.

It felt as if my XV was floating around, like the rear wheels wouldn't track behind the front. I had to constantly counter-steer to keep going straight. As the XV would ride over something and momentum would lift weight off the suspension slightly, it would come back down and hard correct itself straight. This all went on for about 200 miles while I'm trying to figure out what is happening, and everyone around me kept on going at near normal speeds.

This is my first Subaru and first AWD. I have been driving for 25 years in various front, rear, and 4WD vehicles that have never driven like this. Could it be that power is not evenly going to all 4 wheels? It's Sunday night and I'm stopped about 50 miles from Des Moines' Subaru dealer that's open in the morning.. afraid to continue on and now speculating. Thank you for any ideas.
 

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This is one of those it-seems-obvious questions, but I thought I'd at least ask. Is the traction control on/off? That'd be my only thought cause it could make a difference. I haven't really gotten to drive my Crosstrek in the snow yet so that's all I can really tell you. (I stayed home in this snow storm today!) ;) I know when I drive on loose gravel I don't have much feedback coming through the steering wheel's electronics and that drives me nuts so I have an idea of what you must be going through on the roads out there today!

If you do stop in at Ramsey Subaru in Des Moines to get it looked at I HIGHLY recommend the dealership. They're awesome people there and are always willing to help out. That's where I bought my Subie. Just a bunch of happy folks happy to help their customers (even if they are just passing through). ;) They are in the middle of a remodel of their building, but they are open fyi. I wish you a safe trip for the rest of your travels!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi Talesonelves, thanks, I forgot to mention that. The traction control is On. Just to be very clear, it's at default, meaning that if I hit the button, an indicator light would show and I believe that that would then indicate Off. I did not experiment with that button at all.. I just left it at default.

You know the area! I'm heading to Ramsey Subaru and happy to know they come recommended!
 

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Are cars are on the light side I think like 3000 lb. I know the feeling you are talking about it feels a little Squirrley its the best explanation I just got mine yesterday haven't encountered that yet. But I know what you mean. It's not the balance of the tires. If the tires are in properly balanced your XV would shake then as you go faster it would smooth out a little bit. Depending out of balance their. Sorry I couldn't be more help?
 

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How is your car on dry roads? Do you have much experience in snow, slush and the like? Snowy conditions can vary greatly with temperature and road surface.

I drove in a snow storm on I-80 last night, 20 or so degrees out 4-5" of fresh snow and snowing really hard and I was passing Semis and everything else. The XV felt awesome. I do have 16" General AT2 tires which I'm sure helps.
 

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May be toe-in adjustment that is wrong for some reason. I have heard that some have experienced same problem with their XVs and the problem was toe-in.

Another problem is tires which are to broad for winter driving. XV is relatively light-waight (1,5 metric ton, 3000 lbs) and using winter tires 195-205 broad would be ideal in order to gain enough pressure that enables tires to push aside snow and slush from the road surface. Broad tires are just flowing above, floating. Even 215 makes difference, larger than you would belive.

But check first toe-in. Than if you drive often on the snowy roads consider obtaining smaller winter tires.
 

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if you are traveling that much I highly recommend dedicated snows. If you still encounter the same problem than it would have to be with the drivetrain or suspension.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Wow, thanks for all the responses! I took side roads and arrived at the Ramsey dealer this morning. Squirreling all over the place at above 40mph.

Weight: I forgot to mention that it's a CVT, and we are two people plus gear, so I estimate passengers of 300lbs total, plus gear of 300lbs, adds 600lbs.

It drove the first 9,000 miles perfectly.. all on dry or wet roads in 40 degrees or hotter. This is the first time driving below freezing and in snow. I have tens of thousands of miles of snow driving (5 years alone in Colorado) with all of the wheel drive types except AWD. This behavior is absolutely foreign to me.

"Big Nick": maybe you were one of those that blew by me. I could not feel safe at anything over 40mph.

My tires are Yokohama's 225 / 55 R17, which are OEM from my dealer in New Jersey, with 90% highway use. Plenty of life left and they were rotated at 7500 miles.

I'll have them check wheel alignment, balance for the sake of it, and toe-in, and will look at different tires, too. And I'll report back with what the dealer says. Thanks again.
 

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The tire psi mentioned are the same sicker levels for my XV, but I thought the 33/32 psi levels are when tires are cold before the car moves. Can someone clarify.

"- My front tires are at 33psi and my rear tires are at 32psi (measured while tires are warm, and w/outside temperature of 20 degrees). "
 

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Let us know what the dealer says!

The tire psi mentioned are the same sicker levels for my XV, but I thought the 33/32 psi levels are when tires are cold before the car moves. Can someone clarify.

"- My front tires are at 33psi and my rear tires are at 32psi (measured while tires are warm, and w/outside temperature of 20 degrees). "
That's my understanding, as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Yes, I believe that recommended PSI is for when checked "cold" and at average outside temperatures. I keep checking them while warmed and at sub-zero outside temperatures. I'm not sure if I should be compensating higher or lower. The dealer marked them off at 33psi front and rear and recommended no changes.

The Dealer checked "tire pressures, suspension, etc". They said a 3 hour wait to check alignment. Technician said he sensed "some drifting" and reported that it's "normal XV driving style" and they told me to continue along.

I pulled onto I80, which is still wet and a little snowy in spots. I got up to speed with other vehicles, and began fishtailing and having to counter-steer to correct. I pulled off immediately and will have my passenger drive. This can't be normal..
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Passenger feels the same thing as I feel. We're now further along and the road is dry and no more swaying, so effectively, it's solved for now. It's early in winter, so I'll visit another dealer at my destination at next snowfall and will report back with any relevant updates.

I am still curious about whether or not to compensate for tire pressure when tires are warmed and at sub-zero outside temperatures if anyone knows.
 

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FWIW, this definitely isn't normal from my perspective ... overall, I've been really thrilled with how the car handles in adverse conditions.

I'd be very interested in knowing more about the tire pressure issue myself, though. When it got down to 20 below here, the tire pressure actually dropped enough to activate the TPMS warning light on the dash, and I wondered if I should temporarily add more air to the tires to compensate until it warmed up.
 

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Yes, I believe that recommended PSI is for when checked "cold" and at average outside temperatures. I keep checking them while warmed and at sub-zero outside temperatures. I'm not sure if I should be compensating higher or lower. The dealer marked them off at 33psi front and rear and recommended no changes.

The Dealer checked "tire pressures, suspension, etc". They said a 3 hour wait to check alignment. Technician said he sensed "some drifting" and reported that it's "normal XV driving style" and they told me to continue along.

I pulled onto I80, which is still wet and a little snowy in spots. I got up to speed with other vehicles, and began fishtailing and having to counter-steer to correct. I pulled off immediately and will have my passenger drive. If this is normal, I'm sorry, but this will be my last crosstrek.
Not normal. I would have the alignment checked. Both my 2012 Impreza and my 2013 Crosstrek were out of alignment spec when delivered. The Impreza in particular was out of spec front and rear. The dealer admitted they did not check the alignment on new cars when delivered. Most never have a problem. I do a lot of driving and could feel they were off. Trust your judgement that something if off and take the time at a dealer until they get it fixed. Have them drive with you so they can feel what you experience.
 

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We had some snowy roads this morning and although I really couldn't get above 40 because of others on the road it did seem to handle ok when I got some openings. But then again I really didn't push my luck


I will say my XV does drift to the right on the highway and has ever since I've gotten it. I was going to wait until tire rotation time to check it out but I think I may go sooner than later now

Tom did you have your alignment fixed at Milford?


Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App
 

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While I think there is more going on with the OP's XV, The following on tire pressure might be useful (from tirerack.com):

The tire pressure recommended in your vehicle's owner's manual or tire information placard is the vehicle's recommended cold tire inflation pressure. This means that it should be checked in the morning before you drive more than a few miles, or before rising ambient temperatures or the sun's radiant heat affects it.

The rule of thumb is for every 10° Fahrenheit change in air temperature, your tire's inflation pressure will change by about 1 psi (up with higher temperatures and down with lower).

In most parts of North America, the difference between average summer and winter temperatures is about -50° Fahrenheit...which results in a potential loss of about 5 psi as winter's temperatures set in. And a 5 psi loss is enough to sacrifice handling, traction, and durability!
 

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We had some snowy roads this morning and although I really couldn't get above 40 because of others on the road it did seem to handle ok when I got some openings. But then again I really didn't push my luck


I will say my XV does drift to the right on the highway and has ever since I've gotten it. I was going to wait until tire rotation time to check it out but I think I may go sooner than later now

Tom did you have your alignment fixed at Milford?


Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App
I'm running 4 snows and my XV feels extremely stable.

Yes I had Milford Subaru do the alignment and no problems since.
 

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While I think there is more going on with the OP's XV, The following on tire pressure might be useful (from tirerack.com):

The tire pressure recommended in your vehicle's owner's manual or tire information placard is the vehicle's recommended cold tire inflation pressure. This means that it should be checked in the morning before you drive more than a few miles, or before rising ambient temperatures or the sun's radiant heat affects it.

The rule of thumb is for every 10° Fahrenheit change in air temperature, your tire's inflation pressure will change by about 1 psi (up with higher temperatures and down with lower).

In most parts of North America, the difference between average summer and winter temperatures is about -50° Fahrenheit...which results in a potential loss of about 5 psi as winter's temperatures set in. And a 5 psi loss is enough to sacrifice handling, traction, and durability!
I noted that the OP is carrying a heavy load too. I noticed the Crosstrek can be sensitive to heavy loads. I would also recommended adding extra psi. (Checked cold pressure.) I run 34/33 normally and run 35/35 or 36/36 with heavy cargo or rear seat passengers for trips. I figure the Crosstrek is front weight biased normally that's why they recommend 33/32 but with a heavy cargo depending on weight the rear pressure can be raised to match the front under certain circumstances. If the tires are under inflated (checked warm instead of cold) then the tire side walls are giving too much and can cause a wallowing feeling.
 

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I've only had one minor snowfall this year but I also felt the "floating" feeling. I felt I had to make constant adjustments and didn't feel secure as all. I have the CVT and I'm one of those that had the drifting to the right problem. It's better since they did a toe-in adjustment but it's still a bit off and can't help but think that this is contributing to the "floating" feeling on snow. On my next service I'll have them adjust more for the alignment issue and hopefully this will help.
 
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