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2005 Forester XT 5-Speed Manual
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Discussion Starter #1
Hello All, LOVE this forum! Thank you! I bought a 2001 Forester S on Saturday, with standard (manual transmission), stock alloy wheels, and tires in good condition. I had a screw removed at Les Schwab today, and the tech said I should have matching tires front and back or I could damage my vehicle due to the AWD. The tread style is very slightly different on the front and rear tires, but the dimensions are the same, according to the numbers on the side of the tires... Do I really need to replace my tires immediately to avoid damaging the AWD?

Thanks for any and all feedback.

--Michael
 

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2005 Impreza RS Wagon Auto
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3,683 Posts
Hello All, LOVE this forum! Thank you! I bought a 2001 Forester S on Saturday, with standard (manual transmission), stock alloy wheels, and tires in good condition. I had a screw removed at Les Schwab today, and the tech said I should have matching tires front and back or I could damage my vehicle due to the AWD. The tread style is very slightly different on the front and rear tires, but the dimensions are the same, according to the numbers on the side of the tires... Do I really need to replace my tires immediately to avoid damaging the AWD?

Thanks for any and all feedback.

--Michael
Can of worms, but my opinion is that long as they are the same size AND tread wear you'll be fine. I have been running my subies for 3 years that way, nothing exploded yet.
 

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Super Moderator
2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
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35,916 Posts
Welcome to the forum from Oregon! :biggrin:

Congratulations on the new Forester! Don't forget to do your New Member intro. :smile:

More than what the tire label says, is the actual dimensions of the tires. If they'ere on the back or the front (same axle... kinda sorta) you should be good. Besides, I'd guess they were on there before you bought the Forester. :wink:

Bobby...

My MODding Journal
 

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2005 FXT
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37 Posts
The guys on CarTalk say that the proportional difference of full tread versus partial tread is not enough to confuse your differentials. The real danger is that your diff senses the right wheel (full tread) is turning slower than the left wheel (partial tread) that it will react to that difference by activating its locking mechanisms and prematurely wearing your diff. Think of it this way: a tire on one side with low pressure will have a vastly larger difference in rolling diameter than some missing tread. If low tire pressure on one side destroyed diffs, we would all be talking about it. Don't listen to the doomsayers.
 

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04 Forester X, MT
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1,051 Posts
most subarus don't have locking diffs. some do have limited slip, but that is not the primary issue.

manuals have center diff in the tranny, which is the problem with mixing tires front to rear. autos also have center clutch mechanism. extra heat is generated when tires are mixed that shortens the life of components.

safest thing is to keep same model tire with same depth all around. tires are $ but rubber is cheaper than metal.

did you pay much for the car and how long do you want it to last are also good questions to ask. if it doesn't have much life left anyway, then maybe it's not as big a deal.
 

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2005 Forester XT 5-Speed Manual
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141 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for all the responses so far. I paid a bit for the car (it has a new engine in it, and some other nice features). I plan on keeping it for a long time to come.

The tires on the front are one brand. The tires on the back are a different brand. They all four appear to be quite new, with little wear, and to be the same size. I agree they have probably been on the car for a least a couple thousand miles (new engine 2800 miles ago).

Most important question: If even though the tires are close, but not identical, they can hurt the diff or some other metal component(s) (good way to put that, thanks), will I do a great deal of damage by driving it say 1000 miles before putting new tires on it? I really cannot afford new tires this week...

Again, thank you for the information, positive and negative both.
 

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2005 Forester XT 5-Speed Manual
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Discussion Starter #7
Well, in a fear of pani I went outside in the rain with a flashlight and measured the tires. they are within a 1/4" of each other. I wil replace them in a few weeks when I am feeling flush again, but for now I amd thinking I am ok...
 

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Super Moderator
2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
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35,916 Posts
As I posted earlier, I don't think it's a big deal if they're paired fronts or rears. :wink:

On your first post you mentioned Les Schwab tires. I get my tires, wheels & batteries from them. They're a great business to deal with, especially if you can deal with one person & you have an account with them. If your tires are in like new condition, ask if they'll give you a trade in. They gave me $60+ per tire when I changed the tires on my '07. The dealership I bought it from had just installed a set of Kumho tires & I didn't care for them. :smile:

Bobby...

My MODding Journal
 

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2005 Forester XT 5-Speed Manual
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Discussion Starter #9
Bobby,
Thanks for the reassurance, and the idea of trading in the tires. Hadn't even occurred to me to try ans get something for the used ones.

Yeah, I have dealt with Les Schwab for years and had good results. I also like there are so many of them around, so as one travels in the area, one can always find one for warranty issues.

--Mike
 

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Super Moderator
2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
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35,916 Posts
Mike,

As long as they're making some profit, they're very willing to work with you. More so if you dealt with the same dealership for years. :wink:

Bobby...

My MODding Journal
 
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