2011 forester winter tires - Subaru Forester Owners Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-14-2012, 06:08 PM Thread Starter
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Unhappy 2011 forester winter tires

The all-season tires that came on my Subaru really suck for winter driving. Subaru states that for "specification" purposes, all 4 tires need to be changed at the same time. What if I change only 2 tires to snow tires, keeping to the same exact size tires as the 2 all-seasons being left on the car (215 65 16)?

I had put 2 snow tires on (from my 2010 Forester, 215 60 16) and it set off my "traction" warning lights on the dashboard, indicating that the tires were not exactly the same. After taking them off, the warning lights were shut off.

Would like some input on whether putting ONLY 2 snow tires (same size as the all seasons on there now are) is acceptable? Thanks, ahead of time for your responses.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-14-2012, 06:34 PM
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All four tires need to be changed at the same time on Subarus.

Subtle variations it the circumference of the wheels will wreak havoc with the AWD system. Even among tires that are the same size (215 60 16) there is variation between tire models due to treads etc.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-14-2012, 06:37 PM
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the cheapest winter tire is better than the best all season tire in the winter. Sorry but suck it up and get some winter tires and enjoy the subaru in the winter like I do.

Just got back from snowshoeing in the dark at the top of mt seymour. sweet.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-14-2012, 07:24 PM
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From SOA's website:

For safe vehicle operation, SUBARU recommends replacing all four tires at the same time. WARNING: All four tires must be the same in terms of manufacturer, brand (tread pattern), construction, degree of wear, speed symbol, load index and size. Mixing tires of different types, sizes or degrees of wear can result in damage to the vehicle's power train. Use of different types or sizes of tires can also dangerously reduce controllability and braking performance and can lead to an accident. Use only radial tires. Do not use radial tires together with belted bias tires and/or bias-ply tires. Doing so can dangerously reduce controllability which can result in an accident.

~ Silke ~
'04 FXT 4EAT PSM - "Subed Up"
'98 S 4EAT DBP - "Slynki"
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-14-2012, 08:03 PM
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all-seasons being left on the car (215 65 16)

I had put 2 snow tires on (from my 2010 Forester, 215 60 16)
215 65 16 is not the same size as 215 60 16.

Jim / crewzer

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-14-2012, 10:49 PM
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1: Snow tires ALWAYS work better in a set of 4, no matter how many wheel drive the vehicle is.

2: NEVER put mismatched tires on a Subaru. The allowable difference in circumference is 1/4" inch.

3: Read your owner's manual. It says to not do exactly what you did. That is why error lights popped up. Don't do that unless you want to break your Forester.

2003 Outback 2.5 AWP.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-15-2012, 07:31 PM
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Installing only 2 winter tires on a car even if they are the same size at your other 2 tires is a bad idea. You installed 2 tires that are different sizes.

w w w.tirerack.com/winter/tech/techpage.jsp?techid=18

w w w.tirerack.com/videos/index.jsp?video=92

Installing 2 tires that are different sizes than the other 2 tires on you Subaru is bad for your drive train. The post by pleiadd7 provided the info from Subaru.

Use only 4 matching tires.

EDIT: I have no idea why my links don't work.

2010 2.5X Premium AWP 4EAT

Last edited by Bikeguy; 01-15-2012 at 08:19 PM.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-15-2012, 07:36 PM
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you can if you put the FWD fuse in and have the snow tires on the front you WILL be FWD but you will save your diffs

some thing if your have flat you use the fuse and have the spare in the back
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