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2016 Forester XC CVT Lineartronic
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3 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
New member, new Forester owner (2016 XC diesel, CVT).

I live in an upland part of the UK with narrow, twisting and in places steep roads, subject to ice and sometimes snow in winter. I had planned to get a spare set of wheels - probably 16" rather than stock 17" - with winter tyres, but have run into the problem that they would need their own TPMS units (in the UK if the car comes with TPMS it shouldn't be driven without). Then the car presumably needs to be programmed to recognise the units each time the wheels are changed - does anyone know if this is a dealer-only job or can it be done using menus in the car?

The other options seem to be having the tyres swapped to winter and back again on the original wheels, or going for all-season tyres such as Michelin Crossclimates or Vredestein Quatrac 5s. I had Crossclimates on a Nissan Qashqai and they were much better than the standard tyres but don't seem to be as grippy as winter tyres on snow and ice.

What do others do?
 

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2017 2.5i Premium Manual 6-speed
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71 Posts
I’ve heard of tpms units that can be clones so each set of tires the car would see as the same.
 

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2019 Forester Touring Automatic
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247 Posts
I have (or had, until I changed Foresters last week) a separate set of wheels and winter tires for my Forester. Both sets had their own TPMS sensors, for which I paid something like $20 per wheel at the time of installation. The tire shop does the switch from all-season to winter tires and back for me for free. When they do this, they connect a device to the OBD-II port and reprogram the TPMS for the newly installed tires. I know they have to do this, because one time they forgot, and I had the TPMS warning light on my dash until they connected their device and reset the sensors.

I presume things work similarly in the UK, but your mileage (or kilometrage) may vary.
 

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2004 Forester STI
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309 Posts
I had mine cloned, works great. I can swap between summer and winter wheels without one issue with the TPMS light now. Most places should be able to do this now. It will cost you a new set of sensors, fitting and balancing of wheels and labour for copying the sensors etc. Worth doing though.
 

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2006 Cross Sports 2.0T Manual
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30 Posts
Why not just ignore the warning light all winter and all should be fine when the other wheels are fitted in the spring?

Old school method of looking at the tyres to see if they're flat still works for me :smile2:
 

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2004 Forester STI
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309 Posts
It's now an MOT fail if the light is on. Granted you could just swap the wheels for the MOT, but personally I opted to get another set of sensors so I never had to worry about it or see the dash light again. :)
 

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2016 Forester XC CVT Lineartronic
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3 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the replies. I might opt just to have the tyres changed for the winter months, particularly as there's a local garage that will do this fairly cheaply if I buy the tyres from them in the first place.

Having sensors in the wheels is a pain. A friend's Audi has a different system that doesn't rely on having a sensor attached to the valve. I was always taught to check tyre pressures regularly anyway.
 

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2010 Forester XT 5 Speed manual
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6 Posts
Hi!

I own tyre shop in Estonia. We have cold winters and winter tyres are compulsory. So I have to deal with TPMS and winter tyres every day.

16 inch rims have softer ride with added bonus of higher sidewall to protect the rim when slipping into curb or ditch (hopefully never going to happen). but it makes car feel less sporty.

I would go with dedicated winter tyres, doesn't matter if You buy new wheels or only new tyres for OE wheels.
Allweather tyres make compromises - little bit of everything = not really good at anything.

In Estonia we mostly use soft compound winter tyres or even studded tyres, for UK, harder compound winter tires are used (for example Continental TS-860 / Goodyear Ultra Grip 9).

Usually all summer tyres have better wet braking and less rolling resistance than winter tyres BUT the compound is hard and rubber loses it's gripping ability when driving in cold temperature, so there comes in winter tyres which suck at summer temperatures, but allow You to drive AND STOP in cold temperatures.

I have never heard that TPMS will affect cars behaviour in any way except warning buzzer letting You know something is wrong, but it can be MOT failure.
I don't know how often MOT checks are done, but if the check is done when the summer wheels are on, then there's no problem.

TPMS can be cloned, as Tomfdx said, workshop reads the code/ID of the OE sensors and then program new sensors to have the same code... Car will not know difference. I have also used OBD2 to tell the car new sensor ID, but its easier to set new ID for programmable sensors so You don't have to use OBD2 next time car comes in.

Programmable sensors can be rewritten, so if the next car has TPMS, You don't have to buy new sensors with new wheels.
 

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2016 Forester XC CVT Lineartronic
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Discussion Starter #9
Hi, thanks for your explanation. A 'problem' in the UK is that our winter weather is quite mixed, so from December to end March there can be periods with daytime temperatures around 10 degrees or more, a mixture of dry, wet and freezing overnight, and maybe 2 weeks when snow settles (sometimes none at all in the south of the country). Rain followed by freezing overnight makes the roads very slippery, particularly in the hilly region where I live - there is a little distance to go between my house and roads that are regularly gritted. My local dealer says the standard Geolandars are fine, but I think all-seasons are a minimum and probably proper winter tyres advisable. The cost of spare wheels + sensors looks quite high, but it may work out not much different from having the tyres changed twice a year over the life of the car.
 

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2006 2.0 XE Manual N/A
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1,240 Posts
I had the standard Geolander 900s on my Forester in 2010 when we had a big dump of snow on ungritted roads and they performed extremely well. In subsequent winters I swapped them for Geolander M+S but it was a waste of time because we haven't had the same amount of snow since!
 

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2012 FX Premium Auto
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9 Posts
TPMS and new wheels

Considering downsizing for snow tires for my '12 X Forester (from OEM 225/55R17 to 205/65R16) and putting them on 16" plain wheels. Any gotcha's I should know about in this car? Do new wheels need a new TPMS sensor also? Don't want to mount w/o TPMS.

Edit: Guess I should search before posting! Do'h. Found a discussion in another post here https://www.subaruforester.org/vbulletin/f72/winter-tyres-tpms-790293/
 

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2018 Forester Premium 2.5 CVT
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112 Posts
Yes, you can do this. I've done the same thing for my '18 Forester, using the 16" steel wheels (and tpms sensors) from a '10 Forester. The speedometer may read somewhat off.
 

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2010 Forester XT 5 Speed manual
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6 Posts
There is awesome video by Tyre Reviews (What's the BEST winter tyre? Winter, all season and summer tyres explained and recommended!) will explain everything and make selection easier.
Most of my Subaru friends agree that OE Yoko's are crap so I don't think much of them.

Sadly when downsizing from 17" to 16"(with new wheels and TPMS) it WILL be more expensive, even with changing tyres every year TWICE.
Different case, when You have 20" summer wheels. One customer of mine had Mercedes GLC and 17" wheels + tyres were cheaper option by 200 €, than 20" winter tyres only.


In my calculations new set of wheels, TPMS and tyres are 1320 €, new tyres for OE wheels 900 (incl. changing 6 times over the lifespan of tyres.)
Brake even point is when one full tyre (set) change costs 120 € and You winter tyres for last for 3 years (usually 2-3 seasons, when the sipes are worn, tyres will not really work).

Except for softer ride, new wheels allow You to do DIY wheel change when snow comes suddenly, that's the main argument why Estonians buy separate wheels. It's the peace of mind and not waiting in the cues when the snow comes (how much is it worth do You?)



Considering downsizing for snow tires for my '12 X Forester (from OEM 225/55R17 to 205/65R16) and putting them on 16" plain wheels.
TPMS became compulsory from 2014. Do You have SH of SJ? Are You sure You have TPMS installed on Your car?

I'm not sure if SJ has TPMS in standard, somebody will tell me I hope?

Also, isn't the 16" OE size 215/65r16? Compared to 225/55r17 205 will lower Your car, as 215 will lift it little bit, I would go with higher car for the winter, but then again You might not have 20 cm of snow during the winter. Check which size is cheaper! In my shop 205 IS more expensive!
 
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