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2003 Civic AT
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Going to have our first forester in 2-3 weeks, as I am shopping for winter tires and trims, I got some opinion from my colleagues that I might not need winter tires in the first couple of years, though we have tons of snow falls every winter, and each winter lasts about 6 months.

I went to Costco yesterday, but they don't have X ICE3, 225 70r17 in stock, they said I need to pay up front and I need to wait for about 2 weeks for the tires, I was also recommended to come to them at around 3 am to get the service, because they open at 6 am, and first come first served.

I will check on Canadian Tires this week and see if they have 225 70r17 in stock, and the price and everything.

So, what do you say, should I buy winter tire right now? or I can survive this winter, and buy winter tire in Spring, will winter tires have big promo in Spring?

Thanks for any inputs!
Zak from Calgary
 

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14 Forester XT CVT
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We've had our XT since the summer but have had the same debate. I've convinced the wife that since we're planning on keeping this car for a long time we might as well get them now and get the benefit for all of the years. A recent article I saw on snow tires stated that a front wheel drive car with 4 snows is likely more effective in snow than an AWD car without snows. I'm planning on running 225/60/17.

Now I just have to convince her that we need alloys! I've always had snows on cars but never anything other than steel wheels.
 

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2016 Outback and WRX CVT
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This is typically a very busy time of year at brick-and-mortar tire shops, where it snows.

That 3AM show-up time for the queue...I actually don't think that's a joke.

By this time of year, the more popular sizes - especially of the more popular tires - are usually quite depleted. It's not uncommon that you'll need to wait into even mid- to late-December for new arrivals. You can even see this via stock of the big online clearinghouses such as Tire Rack and Discount Tire Direct.

Usually, winter tires are discounted twice a year: late-summer and early in the fall as a pre-season sale (for places like Tire Rack, that officially marks the start of their busy season), and again at the break of spring to clear out stock. Whether you'll get your first pick of make/model as well as sizing at the break of spring can be totally up to luck.

Driven with enough caution, full-depth factory all-seasons should have enough go-power in all but the iciest of conditions. Maneuvering and stopping, however, are another story, and even more caution must be used. The biggest problem, though, is not in terms of driving cautiously enough: anyone who has lived for any amount of time in the snowier regions of the world automatically knows to keep their speed in-check under such conditions - rather, it's the emergency situations, by definition unpredictable and unforeseen, that can cause the driver to exceed the performance envelope of their tire, despite their best attempts not to.

Will you crash horribly, roll, and explode into a fireball by not immediately fitting your vehicle with winter tires?

More than likely, probably not.

There's more than a handful of Subaru drivers in the snowier regions that drive with the factory all-season tires and get around just fine, without even a scrape or close-call.

But does it compromise your safety envelope during those instances? That's undeniable as well.
 

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2019 Crosstrek 2018 Forester XT
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4 snows is likely more effective in snow than an AWD car without snows. I'm planning on running 225/60/17. .
Been there..done that..the answer is no...IMHO

I have had my 08 in a number of snows and never have had a problem. Granted Pa. is not Canada.

Snow tires in this area would be a waste of money for most people. If I had a job where I absolutely positively needed to be at work..no questions asked then yes. In my pre-retired life I worked at an electric utility. And even though we got only a couple good snows a year and I lived 7 miles away from work. I had 4WD trucks with snows.
 

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I'm a Calgarian as well :)

At work we had a AWD wagon come in that had hit a curb, well over 2200$ worth of damages, could have been avoided with 800$ in tires, or driver ability, but we all make mistakes.

Point is, 800$ is nothing compared to the damage caused or insurance hit that can be had.

I just put my winters on, I could have made it through the winter with the new all seasons but I like the security and performance of winters. I've bought winters for 3 different cars in the last 3 years haha.
 

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2016 Outback and WRX CVT
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A recent article I saw on snow tires stated that a front wheel drive car with 4 snows is likely more effective in snow than an AWD car without snows.
Been there..done that..the answer is no...IMHO

I have had my 08 in a number of snows and never have had a problem. Granted Pa. is not Canada.

Snow tires in this area would be a waste of money for most people. If I had a job where I absolutely positively needed to be at work..no questions asked then yes. In my pre-retired life I worked at an electric utility. And even though we got only a couple good snows a year and I lived 7 miles away from work. I had 4WD trucks with snows.
To counter, it's actually quite accepted in enthusiast circles today that 2WD vehicles with winter tires, in appropriate winter conditions, will "out perform" an AWD vehicle with non-weather-appropriate tires.

While it is very possible for an AWD vehicle paired with un-seasonal tires to get going - particularly in a straight line - faster than a 2WD vehicle paired with season-appropriate tires under wintry conditions, when it comes time to brake and even turn, the undeniable physics of what traction is available at the contact patch shifts dramatically in favor of the weather-appropriate tires.

It's really as simple as that: traction available. Without the proper tires for conditions, traction is diminished significantly.

I've cited examples in another thread: www.subaruforester.org/vbulletin/2569546-post5.html

Again, however, it's worth highlighting that no tire of current technology is capable of not being a compromise.

The compromises that a tire makes to offer traction in wintry conditions necessarily confers to it shortcomings when the roadways are free of wintry precipitation. This is clearly demonstrated in the data seen in the 2009 Car & Driver comparison (REF: 2009 Winter Tire Test - Comparison Tests), which itself but recapitulates data and assertions we've seen from our Russian brothers and sisters from even earlier in that decade.

While it's possible for any one of us to argue from either end, based on that testing data, it is quantitatively undeniable that the right tires for the right conditions trumps all ancillary concerns.

The real decision is for the unique end-user to come to grips (no pun intended :icon_redface:) with exactly what compromises are willing to make, in their search for "safety."

I've always been one to really mind the wants of the end-user. :smile: As others here on this Forum have commented, I try to point out both the pros and cons of winter tires and all-season tires equally, to help people realize that there is a compromise, no matter which direction you go. It is my sincere belief that it is the end-individual that has to make the decision, as you would suggest adc. :smile:

But that decision should be based on facts as we know them to be today. That's really the only way to make a good decision.
 

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I'm from Calgary as well. The second winter we had our new 2011(bought at the end of January) I went with 205/65/16's on steel wheels. Michelin X Ice tires. That smaller size is cheaper than 17's with very little if any speedometer difference. The reason I went with X Ice is for the hard pack snow and ice rather than deep snow,, which we don't see very often. I figure my factory Geolanders and Michelins will last me many years before I have to change them out.
When both sets are due for change, I think I'm going to try those Hankook Optimo All Weather tire's that we Canucks can get at Canadian Tire. My daughter put a set of those on her Dodge Avenger and thought they performed really well on ice.
What ever you decide to get, just remember when it's icy, use common sense and drive accordingly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for all all typing, I'm still on the buy it now side. for safety's sake, we've got a 3 and half months old son on board.

I think we can order tires from Tires Rack and discount tires, but we have to pay duty and tax if it's coming from US, right? how much it would be? any Canadian has the experience and want to share please?

Or just go to Canadian tire or somewhere, I also like to purchase alloys than steel trims, guess another 1300 bucks to spend. Why everything is cheaper in US...
 

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Been there..done that..the answer is no...IMHO

I have had my 08 in a number of snows and never have had a problem. Granted Pa. is not Canada.

Snow tires in this area would be a waste of money for most people. If I had a job where I absolutely positively needed to be at work..no questions asked then yes. In my pre-retired life I worked at an electric utility. And even though we got only a couple good snows a year and I lived 7 miles away from work. I had 4WD trucks with snows.
Gotta disagree, there is overwhelming evidence counter to your opinion. Have a look at the video with the mini with snows vs. the forester without. The forester can barey make a start let alone manouver or stop. AWD does very little with no traction, no fault of the car it's just physics.
 

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I bought a set a couple of years ago on a Canadian based(Langley B.C.) tire site. It's tiretrends.com and they gave me a better price than if I had bought from an American site after duties. Good luck with your decision.
 

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2014 2.0XT Limited CVT
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Thanks for all all typing, I'm still on the buy it now side. for safety's sake, we've got a 3 and half months old son on board.

I think we can order tires from Tires Rack and discount tires, but we have to pay duty and tax if it's coming from US, right? how much it would be? any Canadian has the experience and want to share please?

Or just go to Canadian tire or somewhere, I also like to purchase alloys than steel trims, guess another 1300 bucks to spend. Why everything is cheaper in US...
The biggest difference with winters is the rubber compound - not so much the tread. If safety is your concern put the winters on now. You get better traction and stopping on slippery surfaces, especially when the temperature drops.

After duty and taxes it would be about the same. Cheaper to drive south of the border and buy/install them there but then having your four off-seasons in the car coming across the border would be pretty obvious. I'd go to OK Tire before going to Crappy Tire. You can get great 16" Toyo Observe GSi5's with OEM rims for $1200. Might even get them cheaper because you pay less tax. Looks like this:

 

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The biggest difference with winters is the rubber compound - not so much the tread.
:confused:

There is significant tread-design differences between summer, "All-Season," "All-Weather," and winter tires.

Even within the winter tire genre itself, we can also see significant differences in tread-design characteristics between the different sub-genres of "Performance Winter," "Studless Ice & Snow," and studdable winters.

Just look at the differences in tread evolution between tires that tested among the top of every tier a decade ago versus those of today. There has been consistent evolutionary as well as revolutionary differences in tread design. Even subtle tread-design elements such as "water-pumps" and variably angled sipes have been evolving over the course of the last half-decade.

Compounding is certainly important - the various Far-Eastern copies of some noted designs typically do not fare very well in quantitative testing, and it's speculated that despite the tires being visibly similar if not identical due to the purchase of mold designs, the Far-Eastern companies simply do not have the necessary investment or knowledge (in both cases, likely "yet") necessary to truly engineer top-tier winter compounds. In a similar vein, each winter, we see an overhaul of the quantified testing performances of the top-tier tires, and most of us speculate this to be due to the companies' seeking to out-do each other in subsequent years' tests by further refining their tire's compounding.

However, to say that the only main difference is in compounding is missing what is obviously quite a large part of winter tire design. Look at the visible differences in the WS-50/60/70, the XIce XI2 versus XI3, the Nordfrost 3/5/7, the Hakka 7/8, to just list a few.

If tire companies can get all the gains without changing gross design, why would they waste any money on new molds? :wink:
 

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Hi,

I am from BC, Canada, and I got a 2014 2.5i Touring Forester with 225/60/R17.
After reading many posts in the forum, I am a bit confused. Can anyone help to answer my questions:

1. Which size choice is best for winter tire if I want to lower the wheel size?

225/65R16 (-0.41%)
or
215/70R16 (+0.80%)

2. Does 2014 2.5i Forester equip with TPMS?
--------------------------------------------------

For similar price range, which one will you prefer?

Michelin X-Ice Xi3
Bridgestone Blizzak WS-70
Yokohama Ice Guard IG20

These three are under $200/each locally.

Thank you,
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The biggest difference with winters is the rubber compound - not so much the tread. If safety is your concern put the winters on now. You get better traction and stopping on slippery surfaces, especially when the temperature drops.

After duty and taxes it would be about the same. Cheaper to drive south of the border and buy/install them there but then having your four off-seasons in the car coming across the border would be pretty obvious. I'd go to OK Tire before going to Crappy Tire. You can get great 16" Toyo Observe GSi5's with OEM rims for $1200. Might even get them cheaper because you pay less tax. Looks like this:

Well, here's other concerns, for FXT 2014 winter tires, what size should I pick, seems 225 60/R17 is recommended by Subaru, and what's the cons and pros if I choose 16 inches tires, except to save money.
 

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That's the size I went with for the XI3s I just bought (225-60/17). Has anybody confirmed that 16" wheels will clear the larger brakes on the XT? One pro with the 16" besides price is that you'd have a thicker tire to absorb potholes and such. I thought about putting the winter tires on the OEM wheels, and getting new ones for the summer, but I wanted more tire on my winter setup.
 

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The pros and cons of downsizing typically revolve around the issues of cost, weight, rim protection, and sidewall stiffness.

Usually, smaller translates to less cost.

Usually, the smaller the wheel the lighter the wheel - but you'll trade off in carcass-weight of the tire.

Usually, more sidewall means more rim protection and a more cushioned ride, but the former is only true if your fitment does not stretch the tire already, and the latter comes at a trade-off of responsiveness in handling.

There's really no need to go overboard with the sidewall on the Foresters. Look at the Impreza and Legacy winter-tire fitments and how many people complain of undue rim damage at the 225/45/17 sizing on LegacyGT.com or NASIOC. Not many at all, correct?

Be sure that your tire section width to wheel width ratio is reasonable. Resources like the TireRack and the tire manufacturer's website will show such specs. Be sure you have enough load capacity. Be sure that you're properly inflating the tires. The three of these factors together, especially tire inflation, are more often the reasons why drivers suffer impact damage - in any season.
 

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Hi,

I just confirmed that 16" steel rim DOES NOT fit 2014 Forester 2.5i.
I went to the shop today getting a set of 16" for snow tires, but it turned out wheels are rubbing the caliper especially the REAR wheels.

I had to pay more to get the 17" wheels now.

~sigh~ so expensive. :(
 

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Thanks for the info. Were they rubbing at the top or side of the caliper?
 

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Hi,

I just confirmed that 16" steel rim DOES NOT fit 2014 Forester 2.5i.
I went to the shop today getting a set of 16" for snow tires, but it turned out wheels are rubbing the caliper especially the REAR wheels.

I had to pay more to get the 17" wheels now.

~sigh~ so expensive. :(
Wow, thats big news. I'd heard from multiple people on here that it did fit and that even 15" wheels fit if you purchased a true rally/race spec'd wheel. Perhaps it is dependent on the wheel in 16's as well.
 
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