Subaru Impreza Tire/Wheel Questions

PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 9,403
Discuss Impreza tire and wheel questions here.


  • i posted on here about a year ago and had a nail in one of my wrx tires. i got it patched and a few months later ended up with 4 new tires as the previous set was worn. now, lucky me, i just discovered a HUGE chunk out of the sidewall of the right front that in no way could be patched. in fact, the reason i noticed it was b/c i thought i noticed a slight pull and was checking the tire pressure. so i return again with a common dilemma:

    do i replace the one (two?) or am i going to have to buy 4 more? i have yokohama es100s on now with about a year of normal wear. the prospect of all 4 just kills me quite frankly but i don't want to risk damage. the manual is very vague on this. thanks for any thoughts.
  • i found this after a trip to my local tire spot...where i was told that my 1year old es100s on my wrx were probably at about a 7.5 (10 being new) on wear and that replacing just one would probably be fine. i told him i'd get back to him after finding out a bit more info.

    anyway, i found this on "There are some AWD vehicles where it does not matter what you do. Replace one tire, replace 2 - it does not matter. Those AWD vehicles are true AWD, in the sense that they are full time 4WD with a transfer case but without low range. Most Subaru (except Impreza...are in that group of true AWD)"

    well crap which is it!? wrx =

    also from "All of the tires on your AWD Subaru must be within 1/4 of an inch of rolling circumference (part that touches the road)."

    perhaps i should just print out that page from subaru and take it to the Just Tires guy and see what he thinks.
  • ok. ended up with 4 new tires and 2 of the best old ones in my garage. the original set was worn just a bit too much to be comfortable with just replacing the one.
  • lilbluewgn02lilbluewgn02 PAPosts: 1,089
    What did you end up buying?
  • oop. forgot to post that. i put the same yokohama es100s on so that the 2 old ones will match up if i ever need them. they didn't exactly wear very well (according to my wallet) but i had them for just over a year with 11500 miles on them. the 2 that i saved have probably another 4000 miles before they hit their wear bars. so...maybe that's reasonable...15500 miles total use out of a set?...
  • bruticusbruticus Posts: 229
    Can somebody please weigh-in on whether I'll be OK replacing 1 of my Sumi HTR+ tires after putting 4500 on the set (installed early November)??


  • If your buying a replacement tire from Tire Rack they can shave the new tire to match the others. Considering how new they are, it won't be much, and you'll have peace of mind.
  • fisherboyfisherboy Posts: 16
    Well I test drove an '06 sti Sat and think I am hooked. Love to drive and at 43 can get over the boy racer look (I will take alot of S#[email protected] from friends). But then I will not let them drive it!

    My question is the stock OE tire are LOUD! Cannot hear enough of the engine/exhaust loud, especially at speed. Have any of you replaced with quitier riding tires? Did it make a significant difference?

    Still grinning from my test drive and Subaru is offering o% financing for 2yr in March (anybody know if that will be rolled over into April?).

    Thank you
  • bkaiser1bkaiser1 Posts: 464
    I replaced the OEM Potenzas with Pirelli PZero Nero (M+S) and they made a dramatic difference in the noise and comfort levels. The tradeoff in steering sharpness was well worth it to me, since all of my driving was on the highway. As a bonus, I sold the used Potenzas online for $400, and that was with about 10,000 miles on them.

  • fisherboyfisherboy Posts: 16
    Brian - thank you for the info. That is what I was hoping to hear. Majority of my miles will be highway as well. Looks like I am going to start shopping up a black STI w/ short throw, boost guage, and security upgrade. Thinking about putting the fog lights on there too, but may do aftermarket (like the stereo).
    Thanks again.
  • faust54faust54 Posts: 4
    I just picked up an OBP 06 STI 2 weeks ago and the car is tremendous- but I would not get the factory boost gauge. It's is awkwardly mounted on the steering column and is of little use when driving.

    The short throw shifter is great though and I opted for upgraded security.

    For the boost gauge I am going aftermarket (Defi)
  • fisherboyfisherboy Posts: 16
    Thanks Faust. Good info, I had not driven with it but thought it would be useful. Now that you mention it the salesman did mention lots of WRX owners to that.
  • bigpapidobigpapido Posts: 18
    How many miles are you guys getting out of the stock STI tires and how much do they cost to replace?
  • Sounds like all you guys out there are gearheads, I'm just a 25 year old woman who bought an Impreza hatchback 2 years ago and have already had to put two sets of tires on my car because of the "if one is unrepairable, you have to replace them all" routine. I go to places like Kost and Sears for tires and they WILL NOT put 1 or 2 tires on a an AWD car. They refuse and let you walk away unless you buy all four. This is my back and forth to work and everything vehicle. I get regular tire rotations, but admit I put a lot of miles on my car daily back and forth to work. Am I getting ripped off by tire dealers because I'm a woman or because of the frailty of the AWD system? My mother has a '96 Legacy with 152,000 miles and the dealer and garages do the same to her. But that only started in 2002, not before. Now everyone is on the bandwagon with these AWD cars and selling the 4 tires. Any thoughts?
  • Sounds like all you guys out there are gearheads

    I resemble that remark.

    Are you sure you want to be older than 25? :D

    Why are your tires going out? A good tire will only need replacement when there are issues of alignment, sidewall punctures, or they have self destructed from low pressure operation. Typically they can be patched if the puncture is not in the edge or sidewall.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    You can have up to a 1/4" difference in the circumference of a tire.

    Basically, if the old tires have 10,000 miles or so, you'll be OK replacing just one tire.

    But if they have 35,000 miles, you'll need a full set.

    It's not that the AWD is fragile, it's that it is designed to sense a difference in rotating speeds. Worn tires have to spin faster, so that might fool the mechanicals into thinking one tire is slipping.

    To be honest, any modern vehicle with stability control will have the same issue. You want tires to wear evenly on any car or truck.

  • terry92270terry92270 Posts: 1,247
    There are perhaps better places to buy tires than Sears..... ;)
  • Let's face it, not all of us have tire gauges and check our pressure once a week. In my estimation, that's being obsessive. Yes, it's the way to go in tire preservation, but I'm a girl, I like to go shopping for shoes, not worry about tire pressure. My tire problems have been sidewall issues. When I said gearheads, I meant it in the most complimentary way. I'm sure you guys who write in this forum have immaculate cars and detail them every week. Mine, at the moment is covered in mud from recent bad weather. My family has had 4 Subarus, mine the only new one. I'm not sure if I'd buy another if it has to be babied. By the way, I am an electrical engineer with Lockheed Martin, so I'm not completely useless. For many of us who buy cars, we want to get in and drive and get on with life without being ripped off by our car dealer and tire sales places. Maybe living in NY makes a difference, I know our inspection regulations are more stringent.
  • Thanks for your input, read my answer to John for the whole story. There are places better than Sears, but I want a car I can depend on and go anywhere for oil changes, tire rotation and tires. I may want to spend my money elsewhere than on my car. I hate the thought of buying American, but it may be my next choice.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    We have an OCD Club among the Subaru Crew members, and one of the pre-requisites is to have a tire pressure gauge in each car.

    I have 4, one in each of our 3 cars plus an extra in my tool shed. :shades:

  • lol, it is fun reading your impression of us.

    I don't really fit your mold however. I have never waxed my car in 3 years (still looks good by the way) and am still on my OEM Yokohamas at 60k.

    Honestly, checking tire pressure once a month is more than adequate. I generally do mine about 3 or 4 times a year.

    The nicest thing about my Forester might be its aftermarket rubber mats. I can store 6 months of dirt, a spilled raspberry ice tea, and a few sesame seeds off the last drive thru I went through. They just don't need attention regularly...

    However, don't let that dust build up in the engine compartment. Now, that is

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Oddly enough I can feel when the pressure is low on one side. I can usually even predict which tire is low. If it pulls to the left, usually the left front, for instance.

    Still need a gauge to tell just how much air it needs.

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I totally don't fit the mold....

    I haven't washed my cars in months, covered in NYC muck.

    I own tire gauges but check my tire pressure once every 6 months at best.

    Oil changes for me are every 8-10+K miles usually cause I don't have time to change it.

    But they all run well and I can't complain.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    You want to open your own shop and you don't have time to change your own oil? :D

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Actually on the Armada I went 15k this time around, luckily I use Amsoil Full Synthetic which is good for 20k miles :)

    Well it's like the shoemaker with bad shoes...

    Also regular work would not get in the way if I quit :)

  • I totally don't believe that. It's a joke, right?
  • Well, John, the cleanest part of my car is my engine compartment. Everything I don't know what to do with including mail, drink cans, fast food wrappers, shoes, gets thrown in. I keep the back seat behind the driver's side folded down so I can just throw junk over my shoulder. I should be driving a clunker. Thanks to all of you who replied to my original inquiry. One thing and any of you can dispute. I believe that my P205/55R16's with the narrow sidewall can't take the beating my mom's Subaru with P185/70R14's can take. Both have run over curbs and my right front tire split out at the sidewall and they were fairly new tires. No road hazard on them. Yes, we drive over curbs once in a while.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I'm half kidding. My wife's Legacy had low pressure on one of the front tires and I knew which one it was, but pressure was way low, 22psi IIRC.

    You can feel it when one of them is that far under-inflated.

    Some times you can even see it, the bottom of the tire looks wide.

  • I just bought a 2008 Impreza Outback Sport and was thinking of getting winter tires.Tire rack recommended 15" rims and tires. I was just worried the handling would suffer because of the
    larger tire/rim ratio.As well as the TPMS will it reset itself if I don't get sensors on the new rims?
    I don't mind the TPMS alarm on and don't want to pay 100 every time a swap out the tires
    Thanks Ron
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    You shouldn't be pushing the car if it's snowing out! :)

    I have installed rims with the tirerack TPMS sensors in them, the computer reset itself after about 50 miles or so.

    Motorsports and Modifications Host
  • I"ve been told that the new sensors have to programed by the dealer in order for the system to know they are there. So everytime you swap to back and forth It's
    a $100 trip to dealer.200 a year.I was just going to live with the TPMS alarm on for winter.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    yeah put a piece of tape over the dash :)

    Motorsports and Modifications Host
  • So you are running minus 2 sizing? I was just concerned of handling because I live in Calgary and we get chinooks quite often so roads get dry in a hurry and then you get snow and ice next day.Tire suggested Blizzacks which I run on my mazda 626.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I actually have stock size Nokians on my car that came with it. They are the smallest that will clear my brakes on my Legacy GT. I run 215-45-17 in the snows. My regular tires are 235-45-17s. I finally drove in snow with them a few weeks ago and they did well. I would probably replace with Blizzak WS50s or Pirelli Sottozeros next time around.

    Motorsports and Modifications Host
  • ramone899ramone899 Posts: 3
    Hi everybody. I'm about ready to replace those crappy OEM tires on my 2004 WRX (not driving it much lately) and need to find a good all-season high performance alternative. I see Pirelli p Zero Nero and Yokohama es100 mentioned in this forum. How are these tires in light snow? Do they perform better on dry and/or wet roads than the OEMs? Any suggestions for other alternatives? i have a limited budget of about $100 per tire and thy have to be all-season. Thanks for any info.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    My favorite tires in 16" for these cars is the Sumitomo HTR+ best all around tire for the WRX for All Seasons. I've driven em in snow, ice, and on the road race tracks. Oh and they are like $65 on tire rack :)

  • henry22henry22 Posts: 1
    Is it possible to have '04-'06 wheels on the '08 2.5i?
  • suez2suez2 Posts: 4
    Just bought a new impreza in June
    564 mi
    going 60-65 mph the steering wheel was shaking took it in and they told me the rims where bent tried to tell me i hit something which I didn't anyone else have this happen?
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I'm quite sure the rims didn't bend on their own...

  • suez2suez2 Posts: 4
    Well there must be a defect cause to have tboth rims bent i would have had to hit a BIG CHUCK HOLE
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Nope, I've bent 2 rims at the same time. Very easy to do actually.

    Often times you will see a seam where concrete meets asphalt or visa versa. You can dent both rims at the same time.

  • suez2suez2 Posts: 4
    Thanks Mike
    it's in the shop getting the rims on.
  • lorettsloretts Posts: 21
    A mechanic told me that I will need to replace a tire on my AWD 1996 Impreza. He told me because my car is AWD that I have to replace all four tires,, saying something that the height of the tires all have to be the same because of the AWD ? Is this true?.. or he is trying to sell me more tires than I need?
  • fandcfandc MinnesotaPosts: 51
    What your mechanic is saying is true. The circumference of all four tires must be within a quarter of an inch of each other, otherwise the differentials tend to take offence and that can get expensive.

    How many miles on the tires?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    If they still have life left in them put the newer ones on the front, because those wear faster. They do most of the braking, and all of your steering.
  • I have a 2000 Impreza Outback Sport and it has a 15x6JJ wheel on it. I have snowtires from my 1992 Legacy that are on rims that are 14x5J. They will go on the Outback with no problem. Will it cause any problems to use them?
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 14,721
    If they are not rubbing on anything or conflicting with the brake calipers, you should be able to use them, but if the diameter of the tires differs (likely smaller?) from your stock wheels/tires, then it will affect the speedometer (and odometer) as it will read faster than you are actually moving if the diameter is smaller, or slower if the diameter is larger.
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • ty, I am going to try them
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I'd be concerned if the diamater is significantly smaller because you lose ground clearance.

    Ideally you want the same size, or at least within 3% or so.
  • Hi

    I was a happy 03 Impreza TS driver til the unlicensed kid driving his boss's moving van decided to go for a joy ride during an ice storm this January... :(
    (He took off but luckily for me was caught)

    After the insurance company had settled up, I realized I still had the relatively new summer tires in storage at the dealer's. They're TOYO PROXES 4 205.55.R16s on the original TS alloy wheels. I bought the tires Aug 07, used them til Oct, then again April-Oct 08. Paid about 190.00 each and not high mileage, mainly highway... I see on-line dealers asking about 170.00 for reconditioned Subie alloy rims.

    I'm just wondering if someone could help me out with a reasonable ballpark price to ask for them (on kjiji or craigslist, etc). Also, is there a way I can measure the wear on them - I read something about this but don't know how!

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