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Subaru Forester Tire/Wheel Questions

noproblemnoproblem Posts: 4
Had a bad blowout on left rear Yokohama Geolander this week on interstate going 75mphin left of 3 or 4 lanes...geez it was scary. The sidewall was damaged badly in 2 places. My 05' Forester handled just fine...still alive.
Now the question??? My 3 other tires have 21k miles and wear is at 6/32" tread depth with my full size spare at 9/32". Should I just get another similar Yokohama and put it on the front with the spare tire, and then run them until they get nearly same tread depth as rear tires and then start rotating. Or should I get 4 new ones...like Yokohama A430's ...have done all my tire needs at Merchant Tire for years. Thanks for your advice.
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Comments

  • bayview6bayview6 Posts: 141
    Subaru says not to drive more than 50 miles with the temporary spare. Why is that? On my automatic transmission, when I put on the spare tire I disconnect the AWD and turn the vehicle into a FWD, so is the 50 mile limit only for the stick shifts?

    Could somebody explain this to me? :confuse:
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    That FWD trick is part-time only, it's not meant for long-term use, either.

    Basically Subaru wants you to have 4 evenly worn tires in use whenever possible, and I'd have to agree with that strategy.

    -juice
  • bayview6bayview6 Posts: 141
    Yeah, but "50" miles??????? There are plenty of places out in the West where 50 miles is nothing. Where do you get your information that the FWD for automatics is only temporary?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    We discussed that a while back, when Patti was around, and she bounced the idea off some of her senior techs. I think the idea is that you don't want the rear axle sitting idle for long, it's not engineered to be used that way.

    The 50 mile limit probably has more to do with the donut itself, they're not very sturdy.

    -juice
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    As juice indicated, this is an old "issue" here, as it's been discused many times.

    I hate temp spare tires—and for the very reason you mentioned. What if you're towing a trailer (a very real possibility with a number of Forester owners) and you get a flat? You can't tow with one of those donuts either!!!

    In other world markets, almost all Subies get fullsize spares. We should too.

    Bob
  • once_for_allonce_for_all Posts: 1,640
    what? The new Foresters now have a donut? When did the full size spare as standard get deleted?

    John
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Sadly, yep.

    -juice
  • bayview6bayview6 Posts: 141
    Yes, it's an old issue on the board but it is new to me. I called SoA last week and the lady I spoke with stated that the regular tire/rim would not fit in my 2006 spare tire hole and that Foresters have had temporary spares for a long time. Are those statements true? Did 2004 and 2005 Foresters have temporary spares?
  • drwalesdrwales Posts: 18
    That's not a bug, that's a feature!

    Our dealer gave us two rationales for the deletion of the full-size-spare:
    1) simple economics -- it knocks a couple of hundred dollars off the cost...

    2) with a donut, there is now room (and a slot) above the donut to stow the cargo privacy cover when you don't need it... perhaps twisted logic, but followable, at least.

    I'm a little disappointed (I loved the VW coelocanth commercial!), but I'd be more unhappy if I was still in Montana and not DC. I also keep a emergency kit with "goo" and a pump in the car -- and I've already given one person a jump!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    A can of fix-a-flat ain't a bad idea. I keep one at home, since I have 3 cars and I'm too cheap to buy 3 of them. :D

    -juice
  • bayview6bayview6 Posts: 141
    juice, I think you got something there. In order to have a regular tire as a spare, I would have to buy one of those fancy alloy rims that came with the Forester (probably $300 to $400 bucks plus a new tire, that's another $100) because I would have to put the spare into a 5 wheel rotation pattern so that all the tires have more or less the same tread depth. I already carry a portable air pump so I'll just get a can of "goo" and one of those cheap "plug-from-the-outside" kits and try to fix the tire on the side of the road if I'm stuck in the middle of Montana.
  • once_for_allonce_for_all Posts: 1,640
    My '03 has a full size Geo.

    I am pretty sure the '04 XT (and likely the '04 NA) all had the full size.

    The XT came out in May of '03 so it was essentially an '03 model also. I don't think there was a midseason change to donuts.

    If I had to guess I would say it must have happened to the '05 + models.

    John
  • once_for_allonce_for_all Posts: 1,640
    no, even with a full size spare, you still can't do a 5 tire rotation.

    If you think about it, there is no way in *$%! you could keep all tires the same circumference with a 5 tire rotation.

    John
  • bayview6bayview6 Posts: 141
    On the other hand, if one does have a regular tire as a spare and use the 5 wheel rotation pattern, if one has a blow-out in the middle of Montana, one simply puts on the spare and continues driving 75+ mph for another 4 hours. Plus, one does NOT have to bother with buying 4 new tires so that you have equal tread depth.

    It's a tough call.
  • bayview6bayview6 Posts: 141
    John, let's think about that for a bit. Maybe not THE exact same circumference but would they be within the Subaru specifications of a quarter inch?
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    She's wrong. All US-spec Foresters, up until this year have had a fullsize spare. She's thinking of the (North American-spec) Outback, which has a larger 225 size tire than those found in other markets.

    Bob
  • once_for_allonce_for_all Posts: 1,640
    Bob, thanks, I didn't think I was so behind the times to miss out on a Forester donut snafu.

    John
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    Donuts also save a little bit of weight and help the manufacturers meet their CAFE requirements (or so I've heard).

    Steve, Host
  • subearusubearu Posts: 3,613
    Yep, my '04 F-XT has a full size spare on steel rim.

    -Brian
  • once_for_allonce_for_all Posts: 1,640
    I doubt it Steve, if anything we are talking 15 lbs more weight. The tire is about 20 lbs, and the steel rims are likely a push with the donut, or maybe 5 lbs more.

    The EPA ratings aren't different for the Forester X (heavy steel rims) and the alloy wheel versions.

    John
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    Follow the money then. :shades:

    Steve, Host
    (I got full sized spares for both my rides)
  • aka1aka1 Posts: 110
    When I was in HS I worked at a Discount Tire for extra money for the holidays, and every now and then we would have a customer complain about having to get air in his/ her tire every other day- after researching the problem, fix a flat had started to eat away at the alloy wheel... Air was leaking through the rim itself.

    If you ever use "fix a flat" or any similar solution, make sure the shop that is repairing the flat completely cleans the rim after fixing the tire or replacing the tire.

    Spare tires are also designed as a means of crash protection for rear impacts- the tires help absorb crash energy.

    AKA1
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    Spare tires are also designed as a means of crash protection for rear impacts- the tires help absorb crash energy.

    I don't know whether they are designed for that purpose but their placement certainly helps! :)

    tidester, host
  • bayview6bayview6 Posts: 141
    John, you might be right. I can't figure out how much variation in circumference a 5 tire rotation will create. ;)

    Looks like I will stick with the temporary spare and hope for the best. Probably will drive the Forester close to home and on the long road trips drive one of my other vehicles.
  • smittynycsmittynyc Posts: 289
    I had a flat a couple months ago on my 04 X with approximately 205XX miles. Before seeing if the flat could be patched (it could be, thankfully), I e-mailed SOA with a bunch of questions and got them to confirm the 1/4 variation requirement.

    Anyway, the person I was dealing with strongly discouraged the use of a five-tire rotation, saying that unless you were rotating your tires on a weekly basis, it'd be damn near impossible to stay within the variance. He also hinted that using a 5-tire rotation could void warranty coverage of "certain driveline components."

    Food for thought.

    As for the full-size vs. donut spare issue, I understand Subaru's in a pressure-packed cost environment, but the donut really runs counter to the brand's spirit and one of its biggest selling points--safety. I'm sure thankful my model has the full-size: given the condition of the local streets between our place and my wife's work, we probably would have stood a 50-50 chance of blowing out a donut on the trip back home.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Just put the spare on a steelie, hopefully you'll never use it.

    I got Plus One rims, 225/60R16, and my spare is an OE 205/70R15, which is a tad smaller (as big as a donut would be, though). The difference is probably more than a new tire vs. a worn one.

    Any how, I got a flat in the middle of a road trip home from the beach, 3 hours total, right smack in the middle. It was more than 50 miles in either direction, so I headed home. Made it, no problem whatsoever. I did take is easy on the speeds, though.

    Specifics - the flat was the driver side rear tire, and mine has an open differential (as opposed to a limited-slip on S, XS, and XT models).

    I doubt tread wear would harm things as long as it's temporary use.

    Nice thing about AWD is the 4 tires wear pretty evenly. I lose track of when I rotated because they all look the same for wear.

    FACT: my wife's old donut weighs 29 lbs. My OE steel rim and tire were 44 lbs. Her tires are smaller, but the donut still saves about 14 lbs.

    How do I know? I'm home and I just weighed the donut. I had weighed the steelie when I first installed the alloys.

    -juice
  • once_for_allonce_for_all Posts: 1,640
    Juice, you get the first OCD award of 2006 ;)

    John
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I accept, and would like to thank my bathroom scale, which now has tire marks.

    How do I get those off before my wife kills me? :surprise:
  • bayview6bayview6 Posts: 141
    Just bought a tire repair kit (plug) which I can use for temporary repairs on the road. Will carry a small portable pump with me. Will keep the temporary spare and hope for the best.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I have a plug-in air compressor also. It came with my hydraulic floor jack as a bonus.

    -juice
  • once_for_allonce_for_all Posts: 1,640
    btw, did you check your tire pressure before you weighed it? You wouldn't want to be off by 1/4 ounce. ;)

    John
  • mnfmnf Spokane WaPosts: 405
    2004 has Full Size Spare not sure about 2005....

    Thanks Matt
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Yes, actually. All tires were aired up properly before I measured! :D

    -juice
  • jeqqjeqq Posts: 221
    I found this on Subaru's website
    BTW, it says don't go over 50 MPH with the doughnut - not 50 miles in distance.

    Also, last paragraph states when you use a spare on a non-turbo automatic that's also not a 3.0, you should deactivate AWD by inserting a fuse in the FWD connector.

    Here's the link

    http://www.subaru.com/owners/carcaretips/index.jsp?pageid=tire&navid=TIRED_TIRES- - -
  • once_for_allonce_for_all Posts: 1,640
    all that only applies to NON-Foresters. Please post on the other boards, it just confuses people here.

    John
  • subearusubearu Posts: 3,613
    Unfortunately, the '06 (and '05) Foresters's get a donut spare now, so yes it does apply.

    -Brian
  • Does anyone know if a full sized spare will fit into the spare well of an 06 Forester? I have not yet measured but suspect not.
  • subearusubearu Posts: 3,613
    Someone on one of the boards here mentioned they were going to try removing the foam surround in the wheel well and trying a full size in the Forester. This worked for someone with a pre-'05 Legacy wagon as well.

    -Brian
  • once_for_allonce_for_all Posts: 1,640
    Must have happened in '06, the '05 follows (edited to save electrons):

    2005 Subaru Forester®
    Standard Equipment
    Forester 2.5 X
    · Full-size spare tire

    John
  • kumarikumari Posts: 72
    According to the dealership, if you remove the styrofoam "bucket" and the storage tray, a full-sized spare will fit into the wheel well from the donut. I also read on another board, that you will need a longer bolt to hold it in place. This is for the 2006 Forester.

    Samantha
  • bayview6bayview6 Posts: 141
    Jeff, I posted the 50 mile limit no faster than 50 mph because that is what Subaru of America as well as my dealer told me. Why the owner's manual doesn't state that I don't know.

    Your thoughts?
  • jeqqjeqq Posts: 221
    just picked up the car today and we are loving it. I found the 50 MPH and the 60 PSI instructions in the Yokohama spare tire instruction manual; again nothing in Subaru's manual about 50 mile limit. Maybe if you deactivate the AWD (by inserting a fuse), then it's okay to exceed the 50 mile limit.

    BTW, there's no mention of a break in period. I'm assuming take it easy for the first 1,000 miles.

    BTW BTW, For those interested in the non-turbo, I feel the base engine has stellar performance. For those who want that xtra rush, the turbo can't be beat.
  • grahampetersgrahampeters AustraliaPosts: 1,786
    G'day

    The 50mph or 80kmh limit is pretty standard for all donuts and is usually printed on the tyre sidewall. They are also intended only to get you to the nearest tire repair shop. Typically they come with a recommendation not to use for more than 50 miles. Theya re also pretty dangerous when fitted toa front wheel and some manufacturers recommend fitiing to the rear and then swapping a good tire onto the front if you suffer a front wheel flat.

    Given the emergency spare is narrower and much smaller than the conventional tyre, handling is seriously affected and at anything above 50 mph you are endangering yourself, your passengers and other road users, you have to wonder why anyone would want to drive faster. If you do not want the inconvenience of travelling slowly to the nerest tyre shop, don't use an emergency spare.

    In Australia, because disctances to the next town can be huge, donut spares are severely frowned upon. When Mercedes announced that their new M Class would be sold with a donut spare, it was greeted with amused laughter. Mercedes instantly offered a tailgate mounted fitting for a full size tyre and reengineered their wheel welll to accomodate a full size tyre.

    When Subaru first showed the Outback down under, the example they showed the press was fittted with a donut tyre and the press instantly pilloried the Outback as a show pony. Despite the Ouback being delivered with a full size spare (a tight fit in the spare wheel well) it took some time to live it down.

    Cheers

    Graham
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    Excellent post Graham. I couldn't agree more. As with Aussies (and the rest of the world), I've always thought that donuts were BAD idea.

    Bob
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Ask to see receipts for service, and call 800-SUBARU3 to see if they can tell you anything about its history (you'll need the VIN).

    I replaced the donut on our 02 Legacy will a full size spare, indeed all I had to do was remove the foam filler piece, very simple. Try on your 06 Forester before you buy a new rim and tire, just see if you can fit one of your existing tires in there.

    -juice
  • Hello,
    I'm looking for tires to replace original Geolanders.I'm thinking about BFGoodrich Traction T/A or Michelin Pilot.
    I'm open to any suggestion. Basicaly I want avoid another "disaster" such as Geolander.

    Thanks in advance.
  • I really like the Falken Ziev 512's. A traction, A temp, 420 tread, H rated, and 95 weight.

    They are quiet, CR #1 rated, you can get them for $59 each free shipping from discounttiresdirect.com

    I actually ordered them throught a local tire dealer. After he looked up the price he agreed to match it. This avoided mounting and balancing issues that could have come up.

    I put these 4 tires on my MPV. My Geos will go until 60k at least but I will put the Falkens on the Forester too.

    John
  • jeqqjeqq Posts: 221
    I have 300 miles on my Forester and you guys are starting to worry me about these tires. Are they so bad that I should replace them now?
  • raybearraybear Posts: 1,795
    Your experience may vary, I haven't had much in the way of complaints.
  • kavoomkavoom Posts: 181
    So far 24K on the Geolanders and no complaints... but for the person asking about TA's, I had them are original on my 99 Outback Sport and got 80K out of my first set and the second set was still on at 147K when I traded it in. They took the spare out put on one new one and kept two of the old 147K tires on it when they sold it...

    They will be my next set of tires on my Forester... They wore great and handled extremely well in all weather...
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