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Subaru Forester Tire/Wheel Questions



  • danielldaniell Posts: 128
    edited February 2013
    Hello Subaru experts.

    I recently bought a 2013 Forester Limited with the 17" wheels. I have an extra set of OEM 16" tires and wheels from my 2002 Forester S with all season tires. Bolt pattern and offset match. So today I installed the old wheels + tires 215/60-16 instead of the 225/55-17 the 2013 came with (as those old tires still have a lot of life in them). I realize my odometer is about 2% off, and the TPMS light came on as the old tires had no TPMS in them. My question however is about the front brakes - they only have 3/8" or so clearance with the 16" wheels. Wheels rotate freely, and a test drive including highway showed no problem. Is there any scenario in which this tight clearance could be a problem?

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I don't think so...the brakes move with the wheels.

    You lose a tiny bit of ground clearance, right? I would just get taller tires when (if) you replace them.
  • danielldaniell Posts: 128
    Thanks Juice!

    Yes, I am losing 0.5" of ground clearance. The plan is once I use these old tires to put snows on in the OEM size (for lower trims) 215/65-16.

  • danielldaniell Posts: 128
    Meant 0.25", not 0.5"...

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Yeah, half inch diameter. So not a big loss in clearance.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,391
    Daniel, those 16" rims work just fine, and the planned 16" replacement tire size is perfect going forward, so if you are fine with the smaller size for now, go with it. You will be accumulating miles a little faster than actual, though, which will (slightly) shorten your warranty period depending on how long (miles-wise) you use the tires.

    I have a set of 16" steel rims off a 2007 Forester that I use on my 2010. I use those with my winter tires (same size as you noted - 215/65R16) and then use the 17" alloy wheels for the summer tires. No TPMS in the winter wheels, which is fine by me.
  • capriracercapriracer Somewhere in the USPosts: 793

    Between 2002 and 2013, the Forester put on weight. So Subaru put on tires with larger load carrying capacity.

    I STRONGLY recommend you do something other than put those 16" tires on your new Forester. Overloaded tires can fail - sometimes catastrophically and with little warning. You do not want to be part of that statistic.
  • danielldaniell Posts: 128
    edited February 2013
    Thanks capriracer (and Wes) for your answers!

    Capriracer, I am fully aware of that. Weight went up by about 200 lbs., and tires went from 215/60-16 to 215/65-16 on base models and 225/55-17 on my limited. Load rating is 95 on my 225/55-17 vs. 94 on the old ones, very minor change. However for this very reason I am keeping my old tires 215/60-16 inflated by an additional 2-3 psi. I have them at 33 psi in the front, 32 in the back, so that should cover it. We also never get close to the load rating of the car of 900 lbs...

  • danielldaniell Posts: 128
    Hi Capriracer,

    I accidentally saw some of your posts in an engineering forum (you are/were an engineer for a "major tire manufacturer").

    Very good stuff there, I agree with you 100%. If I have a choice, I try to buy tires rated H and above for the reasons you mention.

  • Heads up, DTD has pre labor day sale, 215/60R16
    96 X 4 = 384
    MFG rebate = 50
    DTD rebate = 75
    Free shipping
    = 259

    Other tires available, I ordered Conti PureContact, $376 shipped.
    Sale ends Mon...
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