Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Subaru Forester Tire/Wheel Questions



  • 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. ;)

  • 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

  • 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 - -
  • 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.

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

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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: 1,785

    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.


  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

    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.

  • 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...
  • kavoomkavoom Posts: 181
    Oh for you 03 - 05ers with a full spare, you can always pull the spare out and only buy three if you can live with the Geolanders...

    I was kicking myself when I realized I could have done it on my old Outback Sport...and the TA's...
  • jpfkkjpfkk Posts: 43

    Personally, I wouldn't worry about it. As we all know, everyone has their own threshold as to what they find acceptable. Doesn't make anyone right or wrong.

    I am on my third Forester and have always just kept the stock tires on the car. I drive in some pretty heavy snow in the Catskills (last year we had 23 inches on one day) and have never had a problem with the tires. These are not bad tires at all. I understand that folks want to have snow tires and want more traction. Perfectly reasonable. But, that doesn't mean there is anything wrong with your tires.

    I've had my Geolanders for several years and if you keep them properly inflated and check for wear and tear, you should be fine. That's my view and that works for me. I do understand the need for snow tires though and it is safe to say that folks who live in more harsh climates my have differing views. Depends on where you live, how often roads are plowed, etc. But to answer your question--these tires are not so bad that you need to rush to replace them.
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    I got 50k out of my first set of Geolanders. They're not "bad" tires. When a manufacturer selects a vehicle's tires, they try to choose the least expensive tire that will satisfy the most potential customers. In the case of the Forester, the Geos are all-weather tires that provide fair mud and snow traction, decent handling characteristics, an acceptable amount of road noise and average tread wear. However, some owners prefer to have a tire that performs better in one or more of these categories so they switch to a different type tire. Be advised though that there's no "perfect" tire. Increased ability in any given category usually results in loss of ability in another area. For example, excellent handling tires normally have faster tread wear due to the use of stickier (and hence softer) rubber compounds.

    Bottom line, a few owners switch tires for various reasons but the majority are satisfied with the Geolanders.

  • I like the Geos... long life, decent handling, good mileage. 4 season.

    They are "noisy" compared to some.

    I will switch to Falkens next year at about 60k. Reason: The Falkens are better in all categories except wear, and cost $59 each. Go figure. 4 Falkens for less than 3 Geos.

  • grahampetersgrahampeters AustraliaPosts: 1,785

    I was delighted with the performance of the geolanders on my 99 OB. Fairly sticky with good mud and dirt traction. However I only got about 50,000 km (say 30,000 miles) from each set.

    Funnily enough, I am looking at putting a set of Geolanders on to my Kluger (Highlander to you) when the current set wears out. They look to be about the best compromise for my sort of usage which does include mild off road work.


  • Tire choice should be dictated by driving style. Some people are more likely to wear out the Geos by hitting the curves a little bit harder (faster) than others; so the Geos don't meet their expectations. Some are fine with the Geos b/c they don't push the tires to the limits.

    My Geos handled our recent winter storm (about 16" of snow) really well; my only complaint is the ABS kicked in a lot under stopping conditions.

  • I can't understand why an earlier post said that Forester wheel bearings (prior to 2003) didn't seem to be that big of a problem. There are many,many posts about this. I replaced a passenger side rear bearing at 34,000 miles and the driver's side rear at 51,000 miles in my 2001 Forester. The first was covered by warranty, but the second was performed when the car was 7 months out of warranty. It cost me $573!! I think SOA should accept responsibility that this was a design flaw and cover all repairs. I also had to replace a radiator at 42,000 miles to the tune of about $700. This occurred even though I was using the required additive when changing the coolant--at least as soon as I received the notice to do so. I was thinking of getting a new Forester before long, but I may have to rethink that. My husband has a 1999 Outback which has been much more reliable. I liked the handling and agility of the Forester better at the time I purchased my car. Now I'm disappointed and broke! :(
  • jeqqjeqq Posts: 221
    Thanks for all of your replies. I only have 400 miles on my Geos and they feel fine to me, so I'm happy to get some positive feedback on them. Reminds me of the Pirelli 4 seasons on my other AWD car; I find them to be the perfect all season tire while others hate them. One man's garbage is another man's gold.
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    How long ago did you replace the 2nd set of wheel bearings? If it hasn't been too long, it wouldn't hurt to ask for Subaru to cover part of the repair. Because they're a known issue, you stand a decent chance of getting some help.

    I can't imagine what would cause the radiator to go bad so soon. What did the mechanic say the problem was? Oh FYI, the coolant additive is intended specifically to prevent head gasket leaks so it has no effect on the operation of the radiator.

  • i'm curious about these wheel bearings problems people have been having. is there a sound associated with it?

    i have a 2004 forester x, and everytime i do a slow turn of the wheel, say, like turning into a parking space, i hear this griding noise.

    i've mentioned it to the subaru service people, but they couldn't replicate it.

    could this be a wheel bearing problem?

    any help would be much appreciated.

Sign In or Register to comment.