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Old 10-22-2008, 09:11 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Do I really need snow tires in Vermont?

This will be my first winter with the Forester and my first time with All Wheel Drive. I am wondering if I should buy winter tires, or are the original Geolanders good enough for the winter.

I live in Vermont, but I don't drive in really DEEP snow too often (not a skier). My biggest concern is being able to stop while barreling down an icy hill!

Would winter tires significantly improve my braking distance on slippery roads?
Are they generally worth the time and money, if I'm not doing serious mountain road driving?

Thank you very much for your advice!
Beth
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Old 10-22-2008, 09:22 AM   #2 (permalink)
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The first winter I drove the Forester I used the Geos and the work just fine. Winter tires just give you a extra edge when dealing with ice and snow, they do make a fairly substantial difference over the stock tires. In the end its not necessary, but makes winter driving that much more fun!
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Old 10-22-2008, 09:24 AM   #3 (permalink)
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If you've got the money I would recommend it, winter tires will make a significant difference even if you aren't in ice and snow. If you can afford it, buy yourself some winter tires and have them mounted. Save your geolanders for the spring and put them back on.

In my opinion, it's a small price to be even safer. But, it's up to you.
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Old 10-22-2008, 09:32 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bethanndee View Post
This will be my first winter with the Forester and my first time with All Wheel Drive. I am wondering if I should buy winter tires, or are the original Geolanders good enough for the winter.

I live in Vermont, but I don't drive in really DEEP snow too often (not a skier). My biggest concern is being able to stop while barreling down an icy hill!

Would winter tires significantly improve my braking distance on slippery roads?
Are they generally worth the time and money, if I'm not doing serious mountain road driving?

Thank you very much for your advice!
Beth
I actually found them to make the biggest difference in icy and smaller amounts of snow typically found while driving around town, they really helped braking distance ( I could hit the brakes in snow without the abs going crazy!). Definitely worth the investment!
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Old 10-22-2008, 09:35 AM   #5 (permalink)
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My take is that for the first year of Winter driving with new Geos, you really don't need Winter tires too drastically. Where all bets are off is when the roads ice up (especially black ice), then you need every bit of extra traction you can get. To cover that issue, I would look at the latest Consumers Reports tests of snow and ice tires and get the best you your budget can afford.

For the second year of winter driving, I would seriously look for winter tires to replace the Geos for the winter - especially in the snow country of Vermont. They not only make winter driving more pleasant, they offer an extra degree of safety.

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Old 10-22-2008, 02:19 PM   #6 (permalink)
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You'll be fine.
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Old 10-22-2008, 04:07 PM   #7 (permalink)
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The Geos are terrible & borderline dangerous on snow.
Besides, one only wears 4 tires at a time....so in the long run it is not a lot more expensive to change tires anyway...
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Old 10-22-2008, 04:15 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Hello,

I have heard from some that winter snow tires for people in my area are unnecessary. I have gotten through some pretty serious snowfalls and bad driving conditions in both a 97 outback we had and my 01 forester S with the regular tires.

Several years back I got basic not expensive snow tires mounted on steel wheels from tire rack and have been so happy with that decision. I used them for two years on the outback and when that got totalled started using them on my forester and am starting my second winter season with these snows.

I did well before I got the snows. I really noticed the difference with them and loved them right away and for me they are very much worth it. They are already mounted so easy to throw on and off each season. I can get through some real stuff and we don't get as much here as where you are.

So basically all posters here have valid points. You have a great car for inclement weather. I drive in all conditions and don't let bad weather hold me up. I'm all in for burrowing in for a storm but we all have to work and things happen and I find myself driving when I don't want to and having the snows is a benefit I can really detect so I'm a snow tire user in not as snowy as when I was a kid Pa.

eb
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Old 10-22-2008, 05:18 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I live in an area that gets about 200 to 300 inches of snow each winter. The highway departments do a great job keeping the roads plowed so we do a lot of driving on hard packed snow or ice when it's real cold. I have found that good snow tires make winter driving much better and safer. I would recommend a good snow tire for ice and hard packed snow such as the Bridgestone Blizzaks. There are a few brands that are similar. They grab better on turns and stop considerably quicker. They are worth the price for safety and piece of mind.
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Old 10-22-2008, 06:07 PM   #10 (permalink)
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With Subaru's AWD and VDC and the generous amount of siping on the new Geolandar H/T G95A's you will be fine

These ain't your grandpa's geolanders
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Old 10-22-2008, 08:03 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Here is my 2 cents. If you get snow and ice where you live. Driving on summer tires or all season tires is not a good plan. Of course I can get around in my summer tires on winter but I'm screwed once I need to stop or make a tight turn. You may not damage your car or you may hit someone walking or some other car or something else. The AWD is gold worth getting through snow and stuff but for safety the tires is all that matters. If you buy snow tires and don't abuse them and keep them stored at a good place you have them for 3-4 years. It's a good investment.
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Old 10-22-2008, 08:26 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Go to tirerack.com, buy a set of snows and wheels. Probably about $800.00. You are in Vermont right? You'll enjoy the car a lot more with the snows. The cars are GREAT in the snow,
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Old 10-23-2008, 03:16 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I've gone through Salt Lake City winters for years without snow tires. NOT the best choice. Let's see... best story spinning donuts, not being able to stop (never got stuck), or just difficulty turning?
Now, I've spent dollars to get this XT to Stage 2... I wonder if it's squirrelier in the snow?Only one way to find out, but I opted to be proactive! He'll, I'm driving home from Montana tomorrow, turning around and driving to Colorado. As soon as conditions my new Blizzaks are going on. Don't "barrel down hills" on snowy roads. Take your time, use your gears. That "extra margin of safety" won't save you! Why is it always SUV I see flipped over like turtles on Utah hiways in snowy weather? The reason is not stock tires or Blizzaks! It must be that high center of gravity... or driving too fast!
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Old 10-23-2008, 03:20 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Problem with the new subaru's you can't just get steelies bc of the pressure monitoring system.
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Old 10-23-2008, 03:34 AM   #15 (permalink)
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You can use whatever you want! I am using 16" steelies with Blizzaks and choosing to monitor my own tire pressure. The light is a gentle orange reminder to periodically check the tire pressure. I didn't want to spend extra for the sensors.
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