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Old 08-26-2013, 09:46 PM   #1
lightsandsirens
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Default Sport Premium winter wheels and tires

Hi all. I'm in the Hudson Valley area (Rockland Co.) of NY. I wasn't impressed in the least with the stock Yoko all seasons on my '13 Impreza sport wagon last winter. I plan on using them up though (16,000mi now). I'm looking on changing out wheels and tires each winter season. Looking for reasonably priced recommendations for 17" rims and winter tires to change in and out of. Anyone purchase recently? Much thanks.
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Old 08-27-2013, 08:08 AM   #2
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How much snow do you see every year?

Also, do you have 17s now or 16s? IMHO, I'd do 17s for non-winter duty and stick with 16s for winter. Cheaper, more tire selection, etc...

I'm thinking about getting some Michelin XIces for the Crosstrek this winter and steelies. I don't care what the car looks like in the winter. Steelies last forever, and for $58 ea at Tire Rack... worth it.

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Old 08-27-2013, 08:28 AM   #3
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Reading the Winter Tire thread in the Tire section, it depends what kind of winter tires you should get (depending on where you live, how much snow you get etc).

Apparently performance winter tires are better suited for regions that get snow, but also where there are extended periods of non-snowy weather in the winter. These have a harder tread and last a lot longer. Something like the General Artimax (which I actually have now and need to replace) are a softer winter tire probably better suited for the snowier regions.
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Old 08-27-2013, 10:11 AM   #4
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The General Altimax Arctics are fantastic. They are studdable, but DO NOT get them studded. They actually perform best without studs in every situation except when driving on solid ice, which doesn't happen very often in NY.
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Old 08-27-2013, 10:36 AM   #5
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Actually for NY you should have two cars, one for summer and the other for winter road snow and ice treatment season.
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Old 08-27-2013, 10:44 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fistv View Post
Actually for NY you should have two cars, one for summer and the other for winter road snow and ice treatment season.
Meh, I would only do this if my summer car was completely unsuitable for winter driving, like if it was a RWD sports car, or something like that. But the Impreza's (and all Subarus except for the BRZ) purpose in life is to go anyplace, anytime. As such, putting snow tires on an Impreza is an excellent choice.

My Impreza is a daily driver all year long, as it should be. There's no way that owning two cars for the different seasons can be more economical than one car with two sets of tires. Don't forget that owning two cars would require paying insurance, repair, and depreciation costs on both cars.

Last edited by sgoldste01; 08-27-2013 at 04:31 PM.
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Old 08-27-2013, 10:44 PM   #7
lightsandsirens
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Thanks. I run the stock 17's now. I will look into picking up 16's. Anyone run Firestone Winterforces on their subie? Kinda on the low priced side of winter tires. I will probably spend the extra 20 bucks a tire and go with quality, especially since I'll only be using them for 5 months / year.
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Old 08-28-2013, 06:36 AM   #8
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I used to run Winterforces on all my vehicles back when I lived in Central NY and I must say that they are the best snow tires that I ever used. I tried out some Michelin snow tires and some Hankooks but the Winterforces have deeper tread and they are amazing in deep snow. That being said I noticed you said that you are in the Rockland County area, it is very unlikely that you will need snow tires. These Imprezas can go through deep snow with a good set of all-seasons. I have Goodyear Comfortread Touring tires on my 2012 Sport Limited and I drove through "Winter Storm Nemo" from Boston to Syracuse and then From Syracuse to DC with no issues. I'd only get dedicated winter tires if your area gets a lot of ice.
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Old 08-28-2013, 07:10 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IveBeenRued View Post
I used to run Winterforces on all my vehicles back when I lived in Central NY and I must say that they are the best snow tires that I ever used. I tried out some Michelin snow tires and some Hankooks but the Winterforces have deeper tread and they are amazing in deep snow. That being said I noticed you said that you are in the Rockland County area, it is very unlikely that you will need snow tires. These Imprezas can go through deep snow with a good set of all-seasons. I have Goodyear Comfortread Touring tires on my 2012 Sport Limited and I drove through "Winter Storm Nemo" from Boston to Syracuse and then From Syracuse to DC with no issues. I'd only get dedicated winter tires if your area gets a lot of ice.
He did mention that he was expecting better last season with the stock tires.

As for a different all season tire that would be better in winter, I can't help but wonder about the trade off regarding the LRR tires. My best guess is a hit on fuel economy would be nominal, but still....

Anyway, I never felt I needed winter tires on my WRX running the OEM's, but I did notice the Yokos sacrificed a little in that weather. Certainly I could have gone through the winter with them, but dedicated winter tires make a huge difference in stopping and handling on slippery and snow covered surfaces, not to mention getting going. People here have had great success with a variety of brands. If you can source a used set of wheels for winter tires, they're worth every penny when the roads get bad. I went with the Blizzaks myself. I put them on 1 day before we had an impending storm with lake effect snow. As I followed other cars that were slipping and sliding around on the road, mine felt as if I were driving on dry pavement. After experiencing winter tires, I'm sold!

Another thing is that with two sets of rubber, you extend the life of your tires in terms of time. I'm happy to go for best mileage in summer and best traction in winter.

John
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Old 08-28-2013, 07:51 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lightsandsirens View Post
Anyone run Firestone Winterforces on their subie? Kinda on the low priced side of winter tires. I will probably spend the extra 20 bucks a tire and go with quality, especially since I'll only be using them for 5 months / year.
I ran Winterforces on my Baja for two winter seasons. They are really good in deep snow, if that is what you need. My opinion is that they could be great backroad winter tires (i.e. unmaintained streets). A lot of guys use them with success in rallycross. They tend to be much louder than others and they are not nearly as good as the competition on ice or even packed snow. The tread is deep, but the rubber is hard. They do wear well for winter tires, unlike some of the others that work great for the first few 32nds of treadlife and then rapidly lose their traction. For me as a urban/suburban commuter, there are way better options out there.
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Old 08-28-2013, 08:03 AM   #11
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I am totally sold on having a dedicated set of winter tires and have run them on every car that I have had for nearly 20 years now. Snow traction is the primary reason, but they are also better on ice, in cold rain or really in any condition where the temperature is consistently below 45 degrees F. They also allow you to run a dedicated summer tire and let you keep your best set of wheels in pristine condition, but that is just a secondary bonus. The security of driving in winter on dedicated tires is something that once you've experienced it, you will never want to be without them.
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Old 08-28-2013, 08:31 AM   #12
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^^ +1000
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Old 08-28-2013, 08:44 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lumpy View Post
I am totally sold on having a dedicated set of winter tires and have run them on every car that I have had for nearly 20 years now. Snow traction is the primary reason, but they are also better on ice, in cold rain or really in any condition where the temperature is consistently below 45 degrees F. They also allow you to run a dedicated summer tire and let you keep your best set of wheels in pristine condition, but that is just a secondary bonus. The security of driving in winter on dedicated tires is something that once you've experienced it, you will never want to be without them.
Still getting back into that mind set, having had all jeeps for the past 15 years we all just ran BFG AT KO's and switch over to MT's for Paragon or Rausch creek for play so that was never an issue. Last winter it was pretty good on the hills with the stock subaru's tires and I had no problems getting around stuck cars. The issue I want to find out more about are those pressure sensors, buying a set of winter tires/wheels plus 4 new sensors seems to be a PIA, can the car be programed to recognize two different sets of sensors or does it need to be reprogrammed every time you switch ?
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Old 08-28-2013, 08:52 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fistv View Post
The issue I want to find out more about are those pressure sensors, buying a set of winter tires/wheels plus 4 new sensors seems to be a PIA, can the car be programed to recognize two different sets of sensors or does it need to be reprogrammed every time you switch ?
It needs to be reprogrammed every time you switch, which is why I don't have sensors in my winter wheels/snow tires. I just live with the TPMS light on the dash from Thanksgiving through mid-April, check my tire pressure regularly (like I always do, even with my summer wheels/tires), and don't worry about it.
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Old 08-28-2013, 09:38 PM   #15
lightsandsirens
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Damn! Forgot about the TPMS! That would drive me nuts. (I rely on my own gauge of course for tire press. monitoring). Thanks for all the great input all. In the end, I think I just might run through these Yokos and take a look at those Goodyears in another year and a half.
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Old 08-29-2013, 01:14 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sgoldste01 View Post
It needs to be reprogrammed every time you switch, which is why I don't have sensors in my winter wheels/snow tires. I just live with the TPMS light on the dash from Thanksgiving through mid-April, check my tire pressure regularly (like I always do, even with my summer wheels/tires), and don't worry about it.
I agree! I bought steelies and Winterforce tires and I love them! I live in the "Snow Belt" south of Buffalo where snow tires are a must. Having the TPMS light on for a few months only annoys me for a week and then I get used to it.
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Old 08-29-2013, 08:51 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sgoldste01 View Post
It needs to be reprogrammed every time you switch, which is why I don't have sensors in my winter wheels/snow tires. I just live with the TPMS light on the dash from Thanksgiving through mid-April, check my tire pressure regularly (like I always do, even with my summer wheels/tires), and don't worry about it.
I will have to find out if that will fly with state inspections. I bought it in January so that puts me right in the middle of winter come inspection time.
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Old 08-29-2013, 09:00 AM   #18
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I will have to find out if that will fly with state inspections. I bought it in January so that puts me right in the middle of winter come inspection time.
In NY, a car cannot fail a safety inspection because of a TPMS light on the dash. Most states (including PA) are the same, but some states are different:

http://www.tirerack.com/wheels/tech/...jsp?techid=214
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Old 08-29-2013, 09:25 AM   #19
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My local tire dealer (who is stellar BTW) was able to "clone" aftermarket TPMS sensors to the same codes as my OEM sensors. The sensors ran $30 each and I never have to deal with reprogramming when I change the tires out seasonally.
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Old 08-29-2013, 09:28 AM   #20
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Chiming in (just got back to the Subie family yesterday), that I loved having the dedicated steelies and winter tires to swap out. I want to keep my new 17in rims nice, so don't want to put them through the salt/ice/snow of New England winter. Glad to see the Firestone gets good reviews. So the 16in steel will fit ok on the Impreza sport Limited?
Firestone has a 6 month same as cash credit card...so might just have to visit their shop to compare prices w/ TireRack...
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Old 08-29-2013, 09:36 AM   #21
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So the 16in steel will fit ok on the Impreza sport Limited?
Absolutely.
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Old 08-29-2013, 09:37 AM   #22
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My local tire dealer (who is stellar BTW) was able to "clone" aftermarket TPMS sensors to the same codes as my OEM sensors. The sensors ran $30 each and I never have to deal with reprogramming when I change the tires out seasonally.
Who is your local tire dealer? Do you know what brand of aftermarket sensors they used?
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Old 08-29-2013, 10:17 AM   #23
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Who is your local tire dealer? Do you know what brand of aftermarket sensors they used?
My local dealer is White Wheel in Cleveland, they are simply the best that I have ever worked with. Family owned, independent, a TireRack approved installer and they have been around forever.

I cannot recall the brand of the sensors, but maybe my paperwork has it on there. I will check.
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Old 08-29-2013, 11:01 AM   #24
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Who is your local tire dealer? Do you know what brand of aftermarket sensors they used?
That might be handy to know.
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Old 08-29-2013, 03:29 PM   #25
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x2 i want to know as well!
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