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Old 01-11-2013, 02:38 AM   #1
IdahoDoug
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Default Comment on 2013 Impreza handling/tire pressures

We bought a 2013 Impreza Premium with the 17 inch alloys a month ago. Drove it just long enough to be kinda disappointed with its crosswind stability before we headed off on a 4300 mile trip. Got back a few days ago and in 30 days I have put 5600 miles on it.

On the way home, we ran into some snow and serious ice which required 40mph speed on the interstate for 3 hours. I was dismayed that it also was unstable on snow and ice. I recalled that one of my checklist items before leaving for California I checked the tire pressures. So I called the dealership to make an appointment to have the alignment checked.

Well, today I ran across my "checklist" and found I had not checked off the tire pressure from a month ago. Cough. You guessed it. I checked and the pressures were way high - 38lbs, 36 lbs, 36 lbs and 34lbs. So I lowered them to the correct pressures. By coincidence I had to do an hour of interstate driving this afternoon and I'm happy to say the car is transformed. So this chassis seems inordinately sensitive to tire pressures - often an indicator that a lot of development went into the handling.

I called and cancelled my appointment with Subaru.

As a random comment, this evening I discovered something while coming home in the snow. If you use the parking brake to slide the tail around corners it shuts off the stability control completely until the brake handle is back down. So if you want to horse around, find the click point you can leave the handle where the brakes are not dragging and you can slide around to your heart's content without messing about pulling fuses, etc. FYI the dash switch does not turn off the traction control completely but this seems to.

DougM
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Old 01-11-2013, 08:27 AM   #2
J-hop
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IdahoDoug View Post
As a random comment, this evening I discovered something while coming home in the snow. If you use the parking brake to slide the tail around corners it shuts off the stability control completely until the brake handle is back down.
It is pretty hard on the center diff to be ripping the ebrake like that. I personally wouldn't be doing that to get the tail end out....

Last edited by J-hop; 01-11-2013 at 08:33 AM.
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Old 01-11-2013, 08:55 AM   #3
turbolvrwrx
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You didn't mention if you are using the factory tires or snow tires. If you are using the factory summer performance tires I wouldn't expect the car to feel very stable at high speed on snow/ice...
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Old 01-11-2013, 09:08 AM   #4
Elky
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turbolvrwrx
You didn't mention if you are using the factory tires or snow tires. If you are using the factory summer performance tires I wouldn't expect the car to feel very stable at high speed on snow/ice...
I'm just guessing but I bet the impreza comes with all seasons, not performance summers like the WRX/STi
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Old 01-11-2013, 09:14 AM   #5
chapstien
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It probably wasn't the higher pressure as much as the inconsistent pressure. A lot of people run 3 to 5 lbs over on alll 4 wheels.

Quote:
Originally Posted by J-hop View Post
It is pretty hard on the center diff to be ripping the ebrake like that. I personally wouldn't be doing that to get the tail end out....
Yep. If you want the tail out do this. Lift the throttle, turn the wheel, back on the throttle, countersteer and modulate the throttle to keep the drift.
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Old 01-11-2013, 09:20 AM   #6
aeoporta
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to the op

cars during transport can go out of alignment thats why when you buy a new car you should get that checked.

the tires are overinflated for transport, there are a few threads about this on nasioc, most dealerships during pdi do not deflate the tire, top off the coolant, remove some of the buildup from having the plastic on the car, etc. many 2.0i owners have been reporting this trend. I took care of this myself and fullly clay bared the entire car while I was at it.

The nonsense yoko that comes on the car are rubbish, especially on wet roads. You are advised to get some winter tires and ditch the yoko either initially or after you have used them up. My personal settings are 35front 34 rear but use whatever you find agreeable for psi.

In regards to the parking brake if you hear a clunk when you pull it thats normal also, there is a current thread about that.

You may also improve the handling in your premium by adding the sti rear sway bar, the sport premium and up have a rear sway bar the models below that do not. many have reported even better handling with this upgrade. you can search nasioc for that stuff.

Enjoy the car
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Old 01-11-2013, 10:00 AM   #7
myrt1987
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Hmm... i did not know the parking brake disengages the TC. it is kind of annoying that the TC button doesnt actually stop it from going on.


btw the impreza does come stock with all seasons, but they are crappy
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Old 01-11-2013, 10:55 AM   #8
alt14
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I've noticed a lot of service and tire shops around where I live always fill the tires to there max psi..
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Old 01-11-2013, 10:58 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alt14 View Post
I've noticed a lot of service and tire shops around where I live always fill the tires to there max psi..
In my experience, you get the best handling and tire wear at the max PSI.

I know others will say otherwise, but it certainly helps with higher profile tires like 50/55, etc.
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Old 01-11-2013, 11:01 AM   #10
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I mean like they fill them up to 60 instead of 33 front and 30 rear, I just think that's way to much and wears the insides fast.

They did it both on my 225/45's and stock 205/55's
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Old 01-11-2013, 11:02 AM   #11
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I always run ice tires on all my cars in winter. I also always inflate them to maximum pressure. This helps them to reduce the squishy sidewall feeling and they perform very well in snow by biting more into the snow. Not 36.....45. Always have done this with great success.

If you are running OEM all season tires, well, you know that they are a huge compromise and my favorite description is that they're made for all seasons.....in Florida. Winter tires are made for winter conditions. If you are not willing to properly equip your car for the conditions that you drive in, you cannot expect maximum performance from the car in those conditions.
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Old 01-11-2013, 01:19 PM   #12
IdahoDoug
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Thanks, great input and appreciated. We will be looking for a set of winter wheels over the next few months and then getting a set of dedicated winter tires for next winter. That's what we do for all our vehicles and the garage perenially looks like a tire shop with all the extra sets about.

I want to clarify that I posted this to make others aware that this chassis (2012+ Impreza) seems very sensitive to tire inflation to a degree that you should experiment a bit to find what works for you. And that you may be surprised at the improvement you could cause.

I should also mention that I have been a vehicle developer for GM and Lexus for many years and that on a daily basis evaluated prototype and production vehicles for handling dynamics and other chassis parameters. In my judgement, this car clearly had a lot of time and money lavished on its chassis and I am very, very pleased with it. The tire pressure finding was somewhat embarrassing for me, but I wanted to report the outcome so others would be encouraged to check tire pressures.

Agree the Yokos are extremely average. Looking forward to wearing them out and installing some Michelins.

Can anyone point me to a good description of the AWD system? I have read the manual and the Sube site, but as always with a vehicle, I like to know a few levels deeper. Thanks!

DougM
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Old 01-11-2013, 01:35 PM   #13
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You can get a set of tires mounted on steel rims delivered to your house from Tirerack.
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Old 01-11-2013, 09:34 PM   #14
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I can't stand my WRX at the recommended air pressures, 36-37lbs seems to be the sweet spot, that and the added STI rear sway bar & H-Brace settled the suspension movement.
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Old 01-11-2013, 10:24 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordgrinz View Post
I can't stand my WRX at the recommended air pressures, 36-37lbs seems to be the sweet spot, that and the added STI rear sway bar & H-Brace settled the suspension movement.
I agree. I've enjoyed 36F/35R.
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Old 01-12-2013, 11:25 AM   #16
Bluefoton
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Optimum tire pressure depends on the tire itself as well. Squishy sidewalls require a few psi more, harder tires support less. There is also a comfort vs cornering ability trade-off.
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Old 01-12-2013, 04:10 PM   #17
BrDb
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Originally Posted by turbolvrwrx View Post
You didn't mention if you are using the factory tires or snow tires. If you are using the factory summer performance tires I wouldn't expect the car to feel very stable at high speed on snow/ice...
I took my car to Tahoe a couple weeks ago when they got ~6 feet of snow in 3 days. My car has the stock all seasons (Yokohama Avid S34D). Going up the 395, the road was completely iced over for a mile or two at a time in some places. I'd say I averaged 40-50mph on those stretches and to be honest the car felt perfectly fine. While I was in the city, the neighborhood streets were covered in snow and the tires still handled fine, no loss of traction. I honestly think the biggest factor in driving on snow/ice is the way you drive. That's not to say I don't think tires make a difference.
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Old 01-12-2013, 04:14 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IdahoDoug View Post

Can anyone point me to a good description of the AWD system? I have read the manual and the Sube site, but as always with a vehicle, I like to know a few levels deeper. Thanks!

DougM
http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show....php?t=2446927
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Old 01-14-2013, 12:33 PM   #19
IdahoDoug
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Thanks, good reading on that link.

DougM
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Old 01-14-2013, 12:34 PM   #20
myrt1987
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordgrinz View Post
I can't stand my WRX at the recommended air pressures, 36-37lbs seems to be the sweet spot, that and the added STI rear sway bar & H-Brace settled the suspension movement.
Yea i think my tires are a little over the specified pressure.
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Old 01-14-2013, 01:58 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrDb View Post
I took my car to Tahoe a couple weeks ago when they got ~6 feet of snow in 3 days. My car has the stock all seasons (Yokohama Avid S34D). Going up the 395, the road was completely iced over for a mile or two at a time in some places. I'd say I averaged 40-50mph on those stretches and to be honest the car felt perfectly fine. While I was in the city, the neighborhood streets were covered in snow and the tires still handled fine, no loss of traction. I honestly think the biggest factor in driving on snow/ice is the way you drive. That's not to say I don't think tires make a difference.
So I gotta comment. 6 feet of snow in 3 days. <pause for effect> But the roads were plowed and thus, you were likely driving on 1/2 inch of snow. On the counter side, without snow tires (caught sitting outside my kindergartener's school for pickup one day when a very sudden snowstorm hit), I literally could not get up my driveway. I doubt you would have made it with all seasons either. Winter tires give you a huge advantage in the snow.

My driveway....yes, that's a fairly steep hill right after the oak tree preventing any speed before the hill starts. Never had a problem with the LGT on snows.

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Old 01-14-2013, 11:46 PM   #22
IdahoDoug
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To chime in on the winter specific tires. I have not driven a vehicle in winter without winter tires for 20 years as of 2013. To hold the position that tires don't make much of a difference is to admit that you have not driven on a modern winter tire. They're incredible and make a huge difference. I know the post was praising the Impreza's stability on its stock tires on ice, but I could not let that go uncorrected in case others don't feel its worth doing as a result.

DougM
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Old 01-15-2013, 11:24 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IdahoDoug View Post
To chime in on the winter specific tires. I have not driven a vehicle in winter without winter tires for 20 years as of 2013. To hold the position that tires don't make much of a difference is to admit that you have not driven on a modern winter tire. They're incredible and make a huge difference. I know the post was praising the Impreza's stability on its stock tires on ice, but I could not let that go uncorrected in case others don't feel its worth doing as a result.

DougM
That's why at the end I added, "That's not to say I don't think tires make a difference." If you live in a place where it snows often, I don't know why you wouldn't want snow tires, but it seems a lot of people aren't fans of the stock Yokos so I just thought I'd throw out my experience with them.
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Old 01-15-2013, 09:21 PM   #24
IdahoDoug
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Got it. I've actually not been on dry pavement in my neighborhood since Sunday morning. The Yokos are fine on dry pavement and seemingly on wet. But on snow they are like other tires in their class, I guess.

DougM
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