Subaru Forester Owners Forum banner

1 - 20 of 636 Posts

·
Registered
2011 Forester 5 Speed Manual
Joined
·
1,524 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
OK, let's see them! who's buying what and what are you paying? anyone buy used? anyone buy from a company that offers lifetime changeover free, if so are they charging you for balancing?

my stock tires were awful last winter and I almost got into a couple accidents. in my neck of the woods with all the SALT :) they spread I'm dealing with very slippery snowy slush that makes it impossible to steer or stop
 

·
Registered
2008 X 5MT
Joined
·
459 Posts
Just mount the winter tires on separate wheels. Change them yourself. You'll end up saving a lot of $$ and the wheels will pay themselves in 2-3 years.
 

·
Registered
2016 Outback and WRX CVT
Joined
·
2,589 Posts
anyone buy used?
Buying used isn't a completely bad idea, particularly if you're tight-up for up-front money, but there are a couple of things to keep in-mind.

The Bridgestone Blizzak "Studless Ice & Snow" line, designated by the WS-prefix, utilizes a dual layer winter compound, with the top near-magical layer only going about half-way through the tread depth. Finding a lot of "still half useful life left!!!" used WS-series Blizzaks on the market in wintry regions is not uncommon, and while still technically correct, the main use of the tire has already been expended, so you should drive a good, hard bargain.

And while the old myth that winter tires somehow lose their effectiveness when stored for a long time has now been dispelled, what was eye-opening for many of us enthusiasts to see was just how much worse their performance in terms of hydroplane resistance and slushplane resistance becomes - much more, much worrisome than their decrease in snow-moving capabilities.

my stock tires were awful last winter and I almost got into a couple accidents. in my neck of the woods with all the ice they spread I'm dealing with very slippery snowy slush that makes it impossible to steer or stop
With slush being an issue and how badly the Michelin Xi3 tested this year with regard to that factor, it's hard to press its recommendation based on such a consideration - however, depending on your mileage needs (i.e. if you'll burn through the Bridgestone WS70's top layer too fast) it may be a compromise that you'll need to live with. The Nokian R2 definitely merits a look, particularly if your pocketbook is healthy.

In your post above, you said "...with all the ice they spread" :confused: - I'm going to read that as a typo/mistake, and that you meant to say "salt" or "anti-icing agents," right? :icon_wink: :smile: If actual *ICE* is your biggest concern, then depending on just how cold it gets in your area as well as road-use legality, studded winter tires may be worth a look.
 

·
Registered
2005 Impreza RS 4EAT (sob)
Joined
·
436 Posts
I'll find a picture of mine later, but my dad put the snow tires on last year and we haven't changed them yet, so I drove on them all through the summer too. Was very weird at first when the snow disappeared and I definitely noticed a difference in handling/braking, especially as my brakes aren't the greatest, but they're not too worn out yet (the tires OR the brakes!). :p
 

·
Registered
2007 Forester XT MT Lim 5 Speed
Joined
·
45 Posts
I just went with Blizzaks and steel wheels from Tire rack. Looked around a little for wheels at the salvage yards, none, and all in all $777 delivered.
 

·
Registered
2017 Limited
Joined
·
1,018 Posts
I leave the stock tires on year round, I have found that if I can't get out of my driveway with them, I should not be out. Usually the roads around me are good as I live on a school bus route. They plow my residential side street probably 7 times during a storm. Been driving Subies since 2000 the same way, stock all-season tires. No trouble so far, knock wood.
 

·
Premium Member
2014 2.0XT Limited CVT
Joined
·
416 Posts
I switch wheels/tires for winter. I'm using steel wheels because the ice, snow and SALT play h**l on the wheels. If I want a "look" I can get my pick of cheap wheel covers at the local hardware store. I'm not skimping on the tires though. Lots of accidents/deaths on my regular run so safety is important. I've ordered Toyo Observe GSi 5's. Very well rated for Canadian Winters. Wheels and rims will cost me $1200 CDN at OK Tire (includes mounting, balancing and free rotations). We pay significantly more for tires than you do south of the border.
 

·
Registered
2016 Outback and WRX CVT
Joined
·
2,589 Posts
I'll find a picture of mine later, but my dad put the snow tires on last year and we haven't changed them yet, so I drove on them all through the summer too. Was very weird at first when the snow disappeared and I definitely noticed a difference in handling/braking, especially as my brakes aren't the greatest, but they're not too worn out yet (the tires OR the brakes!). :p
^ Some of the winter tires will wear quite nicely, even when it's warm out. Typically, "Studless Ice & Snow" tires - usually the softest compounds - will wear the most drastically, but both "Performance Winters" and "traditional" studdable winter tires often are on harder compounds (for quite different reasons, of-course), and can handle the rigors of year-round use much better.

But just because you didn't see much wear and that the 95%-performance/handling traits were not much affected doesn't necessarily mean that the tires will offer you with the same level of performance under clear summer conditions as they will in the winter. Modern tires are quite durable and typically cause very progressive breakaway at the edges, but this doesn't meant that they're not big compromises when conditions are not what one would expect. Look back at the 2009 test of four cross-genre/sub-genre Michelin tires, and look at the raw data.

Be careful if you do intend to "run-out" your winter tires. :icon_cool:


----


I leave the stock tires on year round, I have found that if I can't get out of my driveway with them, I should not be out. Usually the roads around me are good as I live on a school bus route. They plow my residential side street probably 7 times during a storm. Been driving Subies since 2000 the same way, stock all-season tires. No trouble so far, knock wood.

^ And that's a smart way to do it! :smile: Knowing one's limitations is always the better part of the battle. :rock:

Even with proper-for conditions tires on the vehicle, one's still not immune from the laws of physics. Know your limitations.
 

·
Registered
2011 Forester 5 Speed Manual
Joined
·
1,524 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
personally I'm leaning toward a tire that has bigger voids like the firestone winter force. they are ugly as heck and the gas mileage will suffer, but I got some used for wifey last year and they were great on her front wheel drive toyota matrix. I figure the bigger voids will help with the deep slush massachusetts likes to mix up for our driving pleasure.

I've looked at the high performance winter tires but they are very expensive, even used.
 

·
Registered
2014 Forester 2.5iPremium 6sp Manual
Joined
·
49 Posts
I picked up some Yokohama IG51V's for my '14. Its the light truck/SUV version of the IG20s. I believe it is a 2012 model which is being phased out at the moment but can be had for a good price at discount tire. The "bubble" cell technology of the tire seemed intriguing and it was made for the canadian market. I'm reading good things about not only snow traction, but also decent wet weather and cold weather dry traction as well as durability.

I decided to use the OEM wheels for my winters and plastidip them for some added corrosion resistance, and I'll admit it, changing the color sounds kind of fun. :bling:
 

·
Registered
2016 Outback and WRX CVT
Joined
·
2,589 Posts
^ That's a great resource, but remember to try to take it all in - every resource has its faults, and with the PMC evaluation, the first thing that comes to mind is why are studded tires evaluated directly alongside non-studded tires. Additionally, testing conditions (given what we know about the performance differential between studded and "Studless Ice & Snow" winter tires as based on temperatures) as well as quantified raw data are not known. The latter, especially, is important given that without it, we do not know what the scale of separation is, despite a points-rating system.

:wink:

Other resources should include Consumer Reports, ADAC, NAF, TestWorld, AutoReview, ZaRulem, AutoZeitung, and auto motor und sport, just to name a few popular and highly regarded overseas tests.

Each test can reveal certain traits of the tires - for example, it wasn't until the recent AutoReview test (Êàê çàêàëÿëñÿ ëåä) that we realized just how poorly the Xi3 resisted slushplaning.
 

·
Registered
2014 Impreza Premium 2.0 AT w/ Manual Mode
Joined
·
268 Posts
Bridgestone Blizzak WS70 215/65/17 on my base steel rims (I have a summer set) tires + shipping from TireRack came to $515. A local shop will mount and balance for $40. Les Schwab doesn't charge to swap out summer/winter tires.
 

·
Registered
2011 Forester 5 Speed Manual
Joined
·
1,524 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
seeing some decent used snows already on rims but they come from other cars. how can I tell if their wheel fits my 2011 sub? just seeing 5 bolts isn't enough ...
 

·
Registered
2011 Forester 5 Speed Manual
Joined
·
1,524 Posts
Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
wow, can't believe how lucky i got last nite. shows you though how it's smart to shop and stay diligent so that when an opportunity arrives you are there to take advantage. on CL found a guy who used to have 2011 like me and he sold the car but saved the snows/wheels, lug nuts & wheel covers to sell. he posted Wednesday and I bought Friday. only used 2 seasons for 4 months, stored in plastic bags, marked for last wheel position, even tread wear, mounted and balanced ready to go. no pressure sensors but dealer says that;s OK and will pass inspection without them. downsized so I get the benefit of the narrower snow tread too. couldn't be happier. can't wait till it's time to put them on! I have the 17 wheel but these ar 16s. dealer says same diameter so OK to use my full size spare for short distances. and shud be no change to speedometer.





 

·
Registered
2010 Forester XT Auto
Joined
·
37 Posts
wow, can't believe how lucky i got last nite. shows you though how it's smart to shop and stay diligent so that when an opportunity arrives you are there to take advantage. on CL found a guy who used to have 2011 like me and he sold the car but saved the snows/wheels, lug nuts & wheel covers to sell. he posted Wednesday and I bought Friday. only used 2 seasons for 4 months, stored in plastic bags, marked for last wheel position, even tread wear, mounted and balanced ready to go. no pressure sensors but dealer says that;s OK and will pass inspection without them. downsized so I get the benefit of the narrower snow tread too. couldn't be happier. can't wait till it's time to put them on! I have the 17 wheel but these ar 16s. dealer says same diameter so OK to use my full size spare for short distances. and shud be no change to speedometer.





If those are Blizzaks - WS70, I think? - be very careful with the tread wear. I have used the WS50 and the WS60 before and once they got to about half tread they deteriorated very quickly in performance. They're great tires until that point hits.

Currently, I just mounted Nokian Hakkapeliitta R2's to steelies for winter. I am moving from Vancouver, BC, which is not so snowy, to Burns Lake, BC, which is much more snowy and cold. It is near Prince George, and about halfway to Alaska from the BC border. Actually just finished driving up to Burns Lake to begin my move, and the Nokians did pretty good on the highway. Not as good as all-seasons would be, of course, but the noise and grip levels were reasonable for the highway. Not as confident performing passing maneuvers but that may be because I'm not used to the Forester XT yet. Note that I'm coming from a chipped VW GTI with stretched tires, which handled quite well and had gobs of passing power with 300lb/ft on tap.

For me it was a choice between the Michelin Xi3 and the R2's, and considering the not-so-stellar reviews of the Michelins for slushy/soft snow conditions I went for the R2's. I got them from Kal Tire, who are the exclusive Canadian distributors for Nokians, at a relatively reasonable price (for Canada). Lifetime balancing and rotation, and I will definitely make use of the balancing as it seems that either I'm too picky or they can't seem to make the wheels and tires be as smooth as possible. Or I've got extremely bad luck as this issue has happened to me before on my old VW GTI.
 

·
Registered
2011 Forester 5 Speed Manual
Joined
·
1,524 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
ok thanks for the tip. I checked them again and they are significantly beefier than the picture may lead you to believe, and much better than my stock all seasons which are still legal. maybe I will get only 1 winter out them if I have to be overly cautious with them but using snows for just 2 winters would be ridiculous, so these better work.
 
1 - 20 of 636 Posts
Top