With forecasters now predicting a prolonged period of ice and snow for the second successive year, Subaru is preparing its customers for the inevitable, providing practical tips on how they can use their trusty permanent Symmetrical All-Wheel-Drive vehicles to tow snow-bound front and rear-wheel-drive cars out of trouble, safely and efficiently.
Subaru’s top tips for emergency winter towing:
1) Know the limits of the equipment – Only use a rope specifically designed for towing road cars, and only tether it to the towing eyelets specified by the manufacturer.
2) Take the strain – The tow rope’s tension should be built up slowly to avoid vehicle damage. When towing, pulling away in second gear in your Subaru can often help minimise any loss of grip.
3) Keep it straight – The towed vehicle should ideally be towed to a safe position in a straight line, reducing unnecessary strain on the towing eyelets and making it easier to avoid the towed vehicle taking an unwanted change in trajectory.
4) Stay loose – Ensure that the steering in the towed vehicle is not locked, and that the wheels are pointing in the right direction before towing begins.
5) Take a neutral stance – The transmission of the vehicle to be towed should always be in neutral. Keep the ignition of the towed vehicle on and the engine ticking over so that the brakes can continue to function.
6) Keep it short – A towed vehicle can be hard to control on icy roads, so only cover the distance necessary to get the towed vehicle out of trouble. Once the vehicle has been towed onto an area of level ground affording adequate traction, both vehicles should quickly but progressively come to a halt. Then check if the towed vehicle is able to move off safely under its own power.
7) Alert other road users – Use warning triangles to mark out the section of road onto which your Subaru and the towed vehicle are about to move. Anyone placing warning triangles in the road should wear a reflective safety vest.