Had to take a little trip to the Subaru dealer today for some recall work. It turns out that the windshield wiper motor cover on the 2011 Legacy has a tendency to overheat and catch on fire.
Well, it’s fixed now, supposedly. This is the second recall I’ve had to deal with, though. Watch: two days after I leave (less than a month away, now), they’ll discover that this model blows up as soon as it’s driven below zero degrees Fahrenheit, and I won’t find out until I’m driving through northern Wisconsin, when I’ll suddenly be warm for the rest of my life.
Whilst I was there, I asked about tire chains for winter driving conditions.
The repair dude told me that usually, the awesome all-wheel-drive feature of a Subaru (one of the main reasons I got one) is enough to deal with snow situations – and that with chains or not, you’re going to get stuck if you try to drive in snow deeper than the axles, which as it happens I already knew; contrary to popular belief, it does snow in Virginia, at least once or twice a season, and when it does, the highway department freaks the hell out but doesn’t actually do anything, so snow tends to stay on the roads longer than in, say, Michigan. So Virginia drivers either learn real quick what they can and can’t do in the snow, or they stay at home (or they’re from Michigan and laugh at all the school closings).
Subaru, the repair dude said, doesn’t even make chains for their cars, and I’d have to find a set elsewhere. And the set would have to work on my car’s specific tires, or risk damage to the wheel wells.
On the theory that I’d rather have ’em and not need ’em than need ’em but not have ’em, I’m inclined to get ’em – except that it would suck to spend all that money and then get into snow on the road and discover that I’m hosed, with or without the chains. I can handle being stuck; if I wanted to be safe, I’d stay cowering at home. I just don’t want a false sense of security.
I mean, I’ve never had a problem driving through snow, even back when I had 2wd vehicles. But then, I’ve never been in a North Dakota snowstorm, or trying to climb the Rockies.