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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone,

Apologies for advance for this newbie post...

The 2019 Subaru Forester Sport is the first vehicle I have owned, and I am located in Westchester County, NY. I am trying to prepare for the winter driving and wanted suggestions on tires. I'm not sure if winter tires are necessary or if all-weathers are sufficient for the vehicle, so I would appreciate input. Also, this means that I need a place to store the regular tires if I get new tires? How do you find reputable places to buy and change tires from? I live in an apartment without outdoor storage, I might be able to use some storage indoors (or, worst case, somewhere very strange in my apartment). I generally drive quite cautiously but I will be making a trip to Michigan from here during Thanksgiving, so I'm anticipating potentially snowy conditions along that drive too.

Thanks in advance for your input!
 

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2010 Forester A
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If you're going to see snow and/or icy conditions... Winter tires. I live in a place that people travel through from a major metropolitan area to reach a ski resort. Every year in winter, hundreds of drivers crash or end up in the ditchs because they don't have winter tires on their cars. AWD helps, but without winter tires you are a hazard to yourself and others on the road. I totally understand that storing tires is a pain. Most well established brands have good tires that will perform pretty well, researching them can be a rabbit hole, so be mindful of a brand name with good reviews that satisfies your value requirements, and you'll do well. I've run Hankook, Michelin and Cooper winter tires in the past, all have been good. Good luck and enjoy your Forester!
 

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2001 Forester
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515 Posts
Hello everyone,

Apologies for advance for this newbie post...

The 2019 Subaru Forester Sport is the first vehicle I have owned, and I am located in Westchester County, NY. I am trying to prepare for the winter driving and wanted suggestions on tires. I'm not sure if winter tires are necessary or if all-weathers are sufficient for the vehicle, so I would appreciate input. Also, this means that I need a place to store the regular tires if I get new tires? How do you find reputable places to buy and change tires from? I live in an apartment without outdoor storage, I might be able to use some storage indoors (or, worst case, somewhere very strange in my apartment). I generally drive quite cautiously but I will be making a trip to Michigan from here during Thanksgiving, so I'm anticipating potentially snowy conditions along that drive too.

Thanks in advance for your input!
You might try to find a tire shop that not only changes over the tires, but for a nominal fee, they also store your tires for you as well. Here is one: https://www.mktire.com/Shop-For-Tires/Seasonal-Tire-Storage
 

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2007 2.5XT Limited 4EAT
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Dedicated winter tires are certainly a bonus, I wouldn’t have it any other way personally. Much like the AWD system it’s self though, most of the time it isn’t really doing anything for you. But, the few times a year that you may actually need it, you’re happy you have it. Completely necessary? No. Think of it this way. The folks at Subaru are confident that your vehicle is perfectly capable with the tires they put on it at the factory for the vast majority of people and locales. Also, most cars on the road are FWD with all seasons on them. How many do you really see in a ditch or snow bank every winter? You’re already ahead of the game compared to those cars. You might at least want to wait until it snows some and see how she does before making a decision.

As far as winter tires go, I ran Dunlop Winter Sport 3Ds on my WRX, and I currently run Bridgestone Blizzaks on my Forester. Both are excellent, not much difference between the two in my opinion. You probably can’t go wrong with most of the options, as there are not too many to choose from.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
If you're going to see snow and/or icy conditions... Winter tires. I live in a place that people travel through from a major metropolitan area to reach a ski resort. Every year in winter, hundreds of drivers crash or end up in the ditchs because they don't have winter tires on their cars. AWD helps, but without winter tires you are a hazard to yourself and others on the road. I totally understand that storing tires is a pain. Most well established brands have good tires that will perform pretty well, researching them can be a rabbit hole, so be mindful of a brand name with good reviews that satisfies your value requirements, and you'll do well. I've run Hankook, Michelin and Cooper winter tires in the past, all have been good. Good luck and enjoy your Forester!
Appreciate your input, and I agree with your point about not only being safe for my own sake, but for those around me as well. I have heard that the roads are pretty well maintained here where I live, but that's definitely not a guarantee when I'm making a trip. I will keep those names in mind. About when is it necessary to put the tires on? I did read that driving with winter tires when it's not winter is not good (for the tire? for your mileage?).
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Dedicated winter tires are certainly a bonus, I wouldn’t have it any other way personally. Much like the AWD system it’s self though, most of the time it isn’t really doing anything for you. But, the few times a year that you may actually need it, you’re happy you have it. Completely necessary? No. Think of it this way. The folks at Subaru are confident that your vehicle is perfectly capable with the tires they put on it at the factory for the vast majority of people and locales. Also, most cars on the road are FWD with all seasons on them. How many do you really see in a ditch or snow bank every winter? You’re already ahead of the game compared to those cars. You might at least want to wait until it snows some and see how she does before making a decision.

As far as winter tires go, I ran Dunlop Winter Sport 3Ds on my WRX, and I currently run Bridgestone Blizzaks on my Forester. Both are excellent, not much difference between the two in my opinion. You probably can’t go wrong with most of the options, as there are not too many to choose from.
I've definitely heard of the Blizzaks and saw that there's a sale at BJ's for them currently at $173.94/tire: https://tires.bjs.com/tires/view/234758/bridgestone-blizzak-ws90-225-55r18/
In your opinion, is this is a good deal?
 

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2015 Forester Premium
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My opinion, and it is just that :)

You are fine with the tires on the car. You don't say if you are a new driver, but first vehicle and Westchester, you aren't driving when it is nasty out. Going to MI will be on major roads. If it is nasty you would benefit from holing up somewhere and waiting.

Ask people locally. There are a number of tire places near me. 1 place likes to fleece tourists. Another has hideous reviews on Yelp. Others I have heard shaky personal reviews. The dealership I got my car was price competitive when I used a service coupon I found online.

I paid a couple bucks more for the honest local place the last time. I have used him before. 4 rotations and I will break even.

Biggest things I can tell you about Winter driving are clear glass and slow down.
 

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2007 2.5XT Limited 4EAT
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I've definitely heard of the Blizzaks and saw that there's a sale at BJ's for them currently at $173.94/tire: https://tires.bjs.com/tires/view/234758/bridgestone-blizzak-ws90-225-55r18/
In your opinion, is this is a good deal?
Seems to be a pretty solid deal. That is the new ws90 model too. Money well spent either way. Though as I mentioned in my other post, not entirely necessary. But how often can you put a price on peace of mind? In that regard $700 is a bargain.
 

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2010 Forester A
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Appreciate your input, and I agree with your point about not only being safe for my own sake, but for those around me as well. I have heard that the roads are pretty well maintained here where I live, but that's definitely not a guarantee when I'm making a trip. I will keep those names in mind. About when is it necessary to put the tires on? I did read that driving with winter tires when it's not winter is not good (for the tire? for your mileage?).
Your local rules and regulations may stipulate a date range they need to be fitted on the car to drive on certain routes. Maybe see what Michigan's law says for your trip? Their winters are probably worse than Western Canada where I am, but our dates are October to March or something like that. Just use your judgement though... starting to get frosty nights? That means possibly icy morning drives. Then take em off in the spring once the threat of snow has passed and it's warming up again. One of the key features of winters is softer rubber compounds which provide better traction in cold temperatures. When the weather gets hot, the soft rubber wears much fast, especially if you don't watch your pressure and you drive a lot of summer road trips and such. For longevity, it's definitely worth having something more durable for the hottest months of the year. You should be able to run both sets back and forth for many years.
 

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2015 Forester Premium CVT
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357 Posts
Are you new in the county? Do you know if the roads that you travel most, are they maintained by NYDOT or the county? I am your neighbor. The roads that I step out on is maintained by NYDOT and is usually either cleaned up before I wake up or after 9 am. I was in the same dilemma in my first year but tried the luck. I just completed 5 years on OEM Yokohamas and I have had no issues anywhere, even on various slopes.

If you ask me, the winter tires are not a necessity where we live. Remember last year, there was hardly any snow. All-weather (say Nokian WR G3 or 4) would be better than winter tires. If you are in the south, like Yonkers, Larchmont line, you would rarely need winter tires but if you are above, esp Chappaqua, Katonah area, I would get them. If you usually make trips to the ski resorts or something then, of course, you should get them. We just hunker down until it gets warm again.
 

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2019 Forester CVT
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My parents don't believe in winter tires and we live in or near Toronto, Ontario, Canada. I didn't either until I put on Blizzak WS80 on mine. Now I can't imagine winter driving without them.

Sent from my SM-G960W using Tapatalk
 

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2019 Forester Sport CVT
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389 Posts
I am a big fan of the Blizzak tires as well. I have had two set now and love them. I am about to add a lift kit and will be running BFG KO2 AT tires. So, I am very curious about how these will compare.

What I suggest, if possible is to have dedicated winter and summer wheels. This saves some money and time from having to depend on a shop to pull the tires and remount/balance them twice a year.

I did a post on my modz page regarding some simple equipment to reprogram the tpms sensors each time I change the wheels. I am totally independant of using a tire shop when chaning wheels. And, when you do this twice a year, I save time more than anything else. I can swap and program wheel sensors in about 45 minutes.
 

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2019 Foester
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2 previous Foresters over 14 years. Frequent trips to local ski areas in all kinds of weather. Never needed snow tires. Never stuck when many others were. This is one reason I persuaded my wife to buy a Crosstrek- so we wouldn’t have to change tires twice a year. However everything depends on how well you drive. Growing up in Montreal, we learned early on how to handle snow and ice.
 

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@duckless tires that can handle the winter are important, but proper winter driving technique is even more important. Even with the best set of winter tires you can slide straight through a slick intersection if you stand on the brakes too hard. AWD will take care of 0-40 mph all by itself, but going 40-0 ABS is almost worthless when its slick and needing to make an urgent stop.

Whatever tires you pick, after one of the first snows, go find an empty parking lot and practice stopping on snow with different levels of urgency. The key is to approach the threshold of activating ABS without letting it activate for seconds on end. Every storm is different so the spot ABS activates will change with the conditions, but the skill is what will keep you from rear ending someone or blowing through an intersection.
 

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I like the fact that my Forester doesn't have TPMS to bother me about it when I have my winter shoes on with their own steel wheels. I know I'll feel it if my tires are losing pressure.

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You'll only stand to do better and be safer by upgrading your tires. Only thing between you and the road.
 
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