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Old 12-30-2017, 09:55 AM   #1
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 11411
Join Date: Oct 2001
Chapter/Region: SWIC
Default 2009 Forester: Winter tire year round?

My wife has a 2009 Forester with 17” wheels. It needs new tires. Our winters are fairly mild where we recently moved to ( Pacific NW) but we now live on a hill that has become problematic in ice and snow.

I really don’t care for summer performance since this car is just for running the kids around. She also doesn’t drive that much (10k a year). My priorities in a tire are mostly winter traction so That she doesn’t get stranded (again...)

I noticed the Michelin X Ice have a 40k guarantee. I understand they will be loud and not ideal in warm weather, but based on our needs would this be a reasonable tire to run year round?
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Old 12-30-2017, 10:15 AM   #2
Snow Drift
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 75071
Join Date: Nov 2004
Chapter/Region: Tri-State
Location: Long Island
'18 STI Ltd 15XV Hy
Past: 05, 08, 11 Red WRXs


Not recommended. Winter tires use a very soft rubber compound which in the winter is great (it takes colder temp to harden it, adding grip), but is bad in the summer (soft rubber melts at high temps and gets greasy, = slippery). Just get some All-Season tires and switch to Snow tires in the winter.
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Old 12-30-2017, 12:40 PM   #3
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 383231
Join Date: Mar 2014

Typically, I would divide most tire mileage guarantees in half to approximate most real world experiences, i.e. 40k guarantee, 20K actual mileage. Read the guarantee/warranty carefully in advance to see how you need to document tire rotations and if it requires the tires not be used in the warmer months.

Your approach makes sense depending on your location. We had several customers that bought performance oriented studless snow tires each Fall and ran them year round. Typically, that was their life expectancy, but it gave them the traction they needed to negotiate the switchbacks where they lived.

Since she only drives 10K a year, you may get two full years of use, but the second winter season they will be less effective. However, often times you can find a set of used snow tires and wheels on Craig'sList for a very reasonable price. It seems as though many people end up not selling their snow tire set when they sell (or damage) their cars, and their new car uses a different tire size or wheel bolt pattern.
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Old 12-30-2017, 01:48 PM   #4
NASIOC Supporter
Member#: 30669
Join Date: Dec 2002
Chapter/Region: Tri-State
Location: USA, North NJ, 07456
1998 Legacy 2.5GT
Silver Sleeper BK, 5MT


Most "winter tires" wear like a red rubber eraser in warmer weather (meaning, they wear really fast), I lean to a GOOD all season tire that is also mud and snow rated.
I used to use......
Yokohama AVSU+4, Dunlop SPSport 5000, Pirelli PZ Nero M&S, now, Conti Extreme contact DWS (old version, there is a newer version now) as an all year tire in the NE.

I'm a skier, so snow days I'm looking to make first tracks. Also field service, when I get a call, I HAVE to go.

AWD and pretty much any of these tires give good performance year round. I typically get about 40K miles out of a set.......pretty much go as fast as my modded Legacy will go (a bit over posted speed limits......sometimes pulling a 1400lb trailer.

Best bet, 2 sets of rims with tires mounted, next best, good all season M&S rated tires.

Just my $0.02...,,
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Old 12-30-2017, 02:09 PM   #5
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 11411
Join Date: Oct 2001
Chapter/Region: SWIC

Thanks guys.

I actually just picked up a set of 17" Subaru rims from an outback that were listed on Offer UP. $50 was a great price for all four....

I also ordered some Blizzak WS80s to mount on them for a dedicated winter tire.
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Old 01-17-2018, 11:58 AM   #6
Patrick Olsen
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Member#: 120
Join Date: Jul 1999
Chapter/Region: AKIC
Location: Where the Navy sends me...
1997 Legacy 2.5GT
1996 Impreza coupe


When I bought my '05 CTS-V it had winter tires on it - in August. I ran it that way for a month or so until I picked up another set of wheels and summer tires. Summer driving in a 400hp RWD car did not result in any excessive wear, nor did I have any issues with the handling. The winter tires went on the car for that winter, and the fronts saw a second winter of use. (Not surprisingly, the rear tires get used up more quickly, whether they're summers or winters.)

I'm sure your wife's Forester would be perfectly fine running winters all year round.
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