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Subaru Forester Tire/Wheel Questions



  • leo2633leo2633 Posts: 589
    I think the 2007 XT comes with 17 inch wheels and tires.

  • What would going to 225/55/16 do for me, from the 215/60/16 I have now? I have Falken 512s now, and found these to be a HUGE step up from the stock Yokohama Geo 900s that our 2003 XS Forester came with. Now have almost 30K miles on the Falkens, and I have been considering using the same 16" wheels, but 225/55s instead.

    Any thoughts about choice (brands) of tires are also welcome.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Stick with what you have now, if they are so noticeably better than stock, it's going to be hard to get incremental gains beyond that.

  • Thanks, Juice. I absolutely love our 03 FXS. I think I might just do that. They seem to work well, and heck, the Falkens are cheap!

    I was just trying to squeeze some more performance out, and economically so. :) We have almost 50K miles on the car, and a fair share has been city streets. My brakes began squeeling last month, but the sound disappears on hard braking within 2-3 seconds. Seems to come from the rear, but not sure. If I do need a brake job, could I use the larger legacy or outback rotors and pads for the back, so as to reduce the "dive"?
  • better check those brakes...the rears go faster. I have 59k now on my '03 XS and the rears are 75% gone.

    Note that the brakes are a "system" which includes highly engineered components such as ABS. If you make mods as you mention above, there are other affects than just enhanced rear braking (which may not happen at all, as there are apportioning valves) that come into play.

  • The increased surface area may result in an ever-so-slight drop in gas mileage

    Actually, you'll get a more accurate gas mileage figure. The standard Geolandars on the FXS are a bit undersized in terms of speedometer calibration. When you use the odometer numbers to calculate your MPG, you get an inflated miles driven figure on the order of 5%. (or put another way - when you see 68mph on the speedo, your true speed is about 65mph).

    The good news - you'll put fewer miles on the Subie without even trying ! ;)
  • Just bought an 07 LL Bean Forester. Had an 05 Outback Wagon prior. Question: I have a set of 225/60R16 winter tires mounted on steel wheels that I used on the Outback. Will these wheels and tires fit the Forester? The tires are Winterforce M+S from Tire Rack. I know they would make a very slight speedo diff but I am more concerned about clearance and whether the wheels will fit or not. TIA.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    That is what I'd be most concerned with.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    It should clear, stock size is 215/60R16. So basically these tires are 10mm wider and have a 6mm taller sidewall.

    I had 225/60R16 tires on my Forester, and they did not rub. They aren't stock rims or offset, though.

    That difference is very tiny, odds are they will fit. I think the offsets are similar. The closest call in terms of rubbing will be the rear spring perch.

  • psfod3psfod3 Posts: 63
    I am replacing tires with eather bridgestone 009 or BFG Traction TA-H. I read a post on Edmunds saying you should not put uni directional tires on a awd car. Anyone know if this is true I really was leaning toward the Traction Ta.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Directional is absolutely fine, in fact I'm using them now on BOTH of our Subarus.

    Just rotate F<>R without swapping sides, of course.

  • Well, I've been posting lately because I was thinking of replacing the brake pads on my forester. Anyway, I never got around to it but I did manage to total the car the other night (don't worry, nothing to do with the brakes).

    I got lost and hit what was essentially a ski slope, went airborne, and came down in a rut on the side of the road, on a large rock. I wasn't even speeding.

    I've never been in an accident before. I guess my question is how do I know what is a fair price to be offered if the car is deemed totalled? Is this a bargaining process?

    I posted in this section because I've gotten to know some of posters here, but can move the post to another area if this is not there is a better place.

    Thanks for any advice.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    You might want to check out the Replacement Cost by Insurance Company for Totaled Vehicle discussion as well.

    tidester, host
  • I was lost at night and hit what was essentially a ski slope, went airborne, and came down in a rut on the side of the road, on a large rock. I wasn't even speeding but the damage was major.

    I've never been in an accident before. I guess my question is how do I know what is a fair price to be offered if the car is deemed totalled? Is this a bargaining process?

    It's a 2003 Subaru Forester XS with 28,000 miles, no accidents, one owner, clean, etc. Thanks for any help.

    If anyone cares to read on, the following might help someone. After I got out of the car to see if I was OK, it really didn't look too bad. I called AAA and they pulled it out of the ditch, saw the damage was extensive and went back to get a flat bed. While they were gone, the state police (NH) came and removed the vehicle to whatever lot they use. So the original guy came back and found no car.
    Lessons learned: 1) AAA does not cover these towing fees (at least with standard AAA), so make sure you know what you're covered for or what your insurance covers for towing. I now have to pay the initial pull out of the ditch, the return trip with the flatbed to find the car gone, the guy who the cops had do the actual towing, storage in his lot while I figured out where my care was, and finally towage to the final repair facility.
    2) I didn't realize I had to call the police. I figured I had run off the road, nobody was hurt, no property damage, etc. Well, the state police were pretty angry and told me that I had created property damage to the earth and that I could face a year in jail for a misdemeanor but that they would only give me a speeding ticket instead on the assumption that I must have been going too fast for conditions.

    So anyway, I apologizde for a long saga. Hopefully someone can offer advice on the financial aspects.
    I revisited the scene today and it is unsafe at the speed limit in broad daylight. The neighbors report frequent runoffs. Pretty frustrating since I have a clean record and have been driving for 30 years.
  • sorry about the last message. I meant to take the tidester's advice and post in "Replacement Cost by Insurance Company for Totaled Vehicle"
  • terry92270terry92270 Posts: 1,247
    In most States, the posted "Speed Limit" is only the maximum under optimal conditions.

    Other conditions, including driving at night, in snow, rain or ice, means you must not go faster than those conditons would allow. Not knowing the road you are on, is another of those conditions that dictate a slower speed.

    People can be, and often are, cited for going 35 in a 50 zone, if the driving conditions are such exceeding even 20 would be unsafe. ;)
  • Terry,
    I see your point. On the other hand, is there no responsibility for the condition of a road to be consistent? Isn't it reasonable for me to expect a warning if there is a sudden hazard approaching in a road, such as "warning, uneven pavement, bump ahead, exercise caution"??
    How about a stop sign???

    I think you're saying that people should use reasonable caution when driving (and I agree), but if you take that to an extreme, I might as well get out and walk. Sometimes bad things happen and one doesn't necessarily need to receive a ticket. Maybe a stop sign would do more good.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    There's no way they could put signs up for every road when there is a situation like a snow emergency. Radio stations do that.

    I believe they also issue fog warnings in weather reports.

  • terry92270terry92270 Posts: 1,247
    Well, the only person who could take that responsibility, totally, usually only responds to prayer. ;)

    I agree that signage, such as "Curve Ahead", "Uneven Pavement" or "Icy" are of great help, and under budget constraints, woefully lacking in many localities. Sometimes all it takes is a phone call or email to the local road department to spark the placement of such signs. After all, it is unreasonable to expect a road department to know of, or anticipate all hazardous areas, so they need our help as well.

    Over-use of "Stop" signs is a big problem, and generates more driver anger than any other sign. Not to mention impeding the flow of traffic in good weather. The problem you posted about, it doesn't seem as if a "Stop" without an intersection being right there, would help, and possibly create more of a hazzard than it would fix, especially in the Summer months. :)

    If it were my call, possibly I would use the placement of temp caution signs, the ground-type, with the battery yellow blinkers on them, in the area you mention.
  • All are valid points. This actually was an intersection with stop signs in the other direction (don't ask me why). The conditions were not particularly hazardous compared to the usual. No snow, not particularly muddy. The rut along the side of the road is littered with car parts and the neighbors say people lose it on a regular basis.
    Anyway, I sure wish I hadn't gone off, I'm glad I'm not hurt badly, and if I were king of the world, I'd make it a four way stop sign.
  • dstew1dstew1 Posts: 275
    As Juice said, you are safe with a directional tire.

    I've had the Bridgestone Potenza 009s in stock size on my FXT for two weeks, and can already attest to them being a massive improvement over the Geos. I felt much more secure on wet roads during recent downpours, and haven't heard a peep out of them, much less managed to break them loose just yet (at least not on pavement ;) ), whereas the Geosquealers certainly lived up to their name and reputation.

  • eps105eps105 Posts: 216
    Hi folks. Back on the subject of tires....

    It's been a long time since I've posted, and it seems the Subaru forums are much less active now that Edmunds has split everything up for the Forester group. But since I've gotten so much out of these forums, I'm still going to let everyone know my $.02.

    About 2 years ago, going on the high ratings of Consumer Reports and generally positive feedback elsewhere, I replaced my OEM Geos with the Falken Ziex ZE512 on my '03 Forester XS Premium.

    My initial impressions (click here for full details eps105, "Subaru Forester (up to 2005)" #15940, 20 Jan 2005 6:35 pm) were very positive, with only one exception. They were quieter than the OEMs, stuck like glue in all wet and dry conditions, and improved my cornering tremendously, but if they were inflated more than about 10% over Subaru recommendations, I could feel each and every bump and rut on the road. So to compromise, I kept them inflated around 30-32 psi-- a good tradeoff between performance, quiet ride, and mileage.

    I've now had them for 26,000 miles, and my opinion has changed drastically. They have gotten increasingly noisy as they've worn, and now exhibit a warbling noise at low to moderate speeds despite frequent rotations and alignment checks. The outsides have now worn almost completely bald, with about 5/32 remaining in the middle 50%. When it rains, I slide around as if there is ice on the road even at low to moderate speeds going around corners and accelerating. It's the first time in my 10 years of owning AWD Subarus that I've been able to spin my wheels from a stop!

    These tires are shot and I'm generally disappointed. I know they're performance tires and only warrantied to last 45k, but 26k is too soon and I feel these tires have become dangerous in wet weather.

    My brother bought the same tires at the same time on his '01 Forester. His fronts wore bald on the sides before the first rotation and were replaced under the prorated warranty. Yet the rears and the replacement fronts continued to wear quickly in the same fashion as mine, and he has since replaced them with Bridgestone Potenza G009s.

    Bottom line -- the Ziex's are a good tire if you want to get a "bargain" price and only want to keep them for 20k miles. Otherwise, you'll get a lot more for your money buying a more expensive tire in the long run.

    I know Juice has had good luck with the Falkens on his Miata, but I don't think they're a good match for the Forester.

    Now, since then, I've been obsessively researching replacement tires. The Consumer Reports update on Performance tires 2 months ago helped point me in the right direction. After extensively researching tires that had a good blend of performance, wet handling, and quiet ride characteristics, I narrowed down my selection to Bridgestone Potenza G009's and Turanza LS-H, Michelin Pilot Exalto A/S, and Goodyear Assurance Tripletread.

    My brother has G009s on both his Forester and Outback and is reasonably pleased, but my dad put them on his '01 Camry and said they're extremely noisy on the highlway and he was disappointed overall.

    So in the end, I've found the most favorable tire pretty consistently to be the Michelin Pilot Exalto A/S. They're #2 in CR, they have very good feedback and testing on TireRack, and the sales people at several stores (including a very experienced sales manager at Sears) all consistently pointed my toward this tire.

    The best part is, they sell them at Costco-- FREE rotations, balancing, flat repairs, and roadside assistance for the life of the tire. And next month, they go for $60 off when you buy 4, making the out the door price about $113 per tire installed inlcuding 6% PA tax!

    I'll report back in a few months after I've had them for a while and can test them on the PA winter roads.

    Sorry this post is so long :sick: , but hopefully I've helped at least one person in cyberspace with their search.

    Thanks, and happy holidays.

  • Elliot,

    Thanks! I put the Falken's on our Mazda MPV last year, and after 8,000 miles they are showing some wear on the insides of the fronts. I have been chalking it up to needing an alignment, and that is probably true. Otherwise they are a quiet and grippy tire, so far.

    My OEM Geo's have 60.5k on them now, they still grip well and have another 10k on them if necessary. But, I was planning on putting on the Falkens shortly... now I think I will reconsider. Possibly back to the Geos, since I can get them free from my dealer using Subaru Bucks and I really only need to buy 3 anyway since the spare is a full size.

    Another poster really likes the Yoko Avid H4 tire. I will take a look at that one, too.

    Merry Christmas,

  • Elliot,

    I can't give you a long-term review, just the 5K worth I put on the tires before trading in my Forester, but I would strongly suggest that you take a look at the Yoko Avid H4s.

    They're rated 500/AA traction/A temperature, quiet as a churchmouse, great cornering, great in water (didn't get to use them in snow), excellent overall ride, and TireRack's got 'em for about $75 a pop.

    The Exalto sounds great, and probably the Costco sale makes it a no-brainer for you, but I had to put in my $.02 about the Avids. I simply could not have been happier with them (and whoever bought our trade-in has to be ecstatic, too).
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The one are where they don't rate that well is in tread life. But I'm OK with that for a couple of reasons:

    * I don't like the idea of 7 year old tires, no matter the mileage
    * I drive 2 cars, so neither does a lot of miles per year
    * I'm more than happy to replace the tires every 4 years or so

    Longevity just wasn't a big priority for me. I'm still happy with mine, in fact we have them on all 3 cars now, 12 tires total, with no such problems.

  • its interesting, I was looking at the Falken's last night on Tiresdirect. They do not have a mileage rating or warrantly for the Falken's with the H speed.

  • eps105eps105 Posts: 216
    smittynyc, thanks for your comments about the Yoko Avid H4s. After reading that, I went back to TireRack and re-read the reviews and tests and was strongly encouraged by the generally positive comments, especially the quiet ride, not to mention the significantly lower price.... Then I rechecked Consumer Reports and saw they got the lowest possible ratings (black circles) for both ice braking and snow traction. Since I live and PA, that kind of defeats the point of this being an all-season tire.

    So in the end, I think I'm going to stick with spending the extra money and get the Exaltos. Incidentally, the Exaltos got identical ratings to the Avids in all other categories (noise, ride, handling, etc.), so hopefully the Exaltos will prove to be everything you love about the Avids with the added benefit of decent snow traction.

  • I just bought a new 2007 forester about a month ago. Three days later we go 8 inches of snow. I couldn't wait to try out the a.w.d. Worked great!! 2 days later took it on the highway and by 40 MPH I could not even hold onto the steering wheel.Shook more than an overloaded lumber wagon!!! Drove it right to the dealer and they said that the snow has melted and refroze in the rims. Ran it through the car wash there and all was well. 2 weeks later freezing rain and then below freezing temps. sat out at work. on my way home, same thing, over loaded lumber wagon I am VERY disapointed in this car. Looked at the rims after I washed it and water sits in the middle of the rim waiting to freeze. poor poor design.. Has anyone else had this problem??? I guess I'll have to buy the alloy rims so I can drive it in the winter.
  • subearusubearu Posts: 3,613
    This can happen on any car, even those with alloy wheels. What some of us Subaru Crew members do is wax both sides of the wheels, which then helps the ice and snow not stick (not to mention less brake dust too). Does help steel wheels as well.

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