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Go Back   REVscene Automotive Forum > Technical Discussion > Suspension, Brakes , Wheels & Tires Tech

Suspension components, brakes, Wheels and Tires. All things related to how your car handles...

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Old 04-06-2012, 03:09 AM   #1
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Summer Tires or All-Seasons

Hey guys,

I just got myself my first car, a 2002 Impreza Outback Sport.
Stock rims. Tire Size: 205/55/16

It came with all-seasons mounted that need to be replaced right away.
The car came with a set of winter tires on steelies as well.

I have heard through the grapevine that a good rule of thumb is that if it dips below 10 degrees on your morning commute, it's time to put on winter tires.
So that's like Nov until Feb? 1/4 of the year?

Unfortunately, the "car guys" in my life are giving me conflicting advice.
Some say go ultra-high performance all-seasons because of the high durability and it's more suited to our mild vancouver temperatures.
Others are telling me to get summer tires since I will have to winters to swap out.

From what the websites seem to "indicate" is that all-season tires sacrifice some wet/dry traction for very light snow handling? And summer tires are best for wet/dry traction as long as there is no snow?

I haven't been able to find a "don't use summer tires in vancouver because it is too cold here".

Also, the continued construction all over the city must play a factor?
With 16" stock rims, does it mean I can worry about this less?

Are there any special considerations I need to make because it is an AWD?
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Old 04-06-2012, 05:33 AM   #2
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It is more like Nov to Apr.. I just swapped out my 2 X5s winter tires early this week.

Honestly budget is more or a limitation factor than All Seasons vs Winter tire debate. Not to mention availability and wear rate etc.

The constructions around the city should affect your aspect ratio choices (The higher the aspect ratio, the more thickness / cushioning you get around your tires). I prefer higher for comfort and rim protection.

Since it is a Subaru, refer to your owner manual, your spare tire will likely to be a skinny spare.. you want the diameter of the tire to match as closely to your skinny spare if possible in case there is a flat.. or just swap out the spare and put in a full size spare.

Last edited by godwin; 04-06-2012 at 09:31 AM.
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Old 04-06-2012, 08:35 AM   #3
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godwin pretty mch got it covered.

Since it's awd make sure you're on top of your tire rotations. It's important that all 4 tires are the same size.

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Old 04-17-2012, 10:27 PM   #4
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With a Subaru and AWD, a normal set of winter tires will work just fine all year round. The AWD will get you going in the snow/slush that we get but stopping quickly in snow is a different story.

IMO, have a summer and winter tire set up so you can keep yourself and others on the road safe. If you can't be bothered to swap tires, All-Weather tires like the Nokian WRG2 will work more than well enough with our weather.

With the Subaru AWD system, it is best to keep all four tires the same with approximately the same amount of tread so you don't wreck your centre differential.
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Old 05-05-2012, 12:38 AM   #5
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Pretty much what others said above. You always want to have dedicated tire sets, safer on the roads. They will both out perform all-seasons even in the rain.

This is a quote from a member on ClubLexus referring in response of an IS question.

Originally Posted by Kurtz
Why bother taking the mileage and performance hit of AWD if you're gonna put crap tires on the thing?

A RWD with winter tires in winter and summer tires the rest of the year is gonna accelerate, handle, and stop significantly better while getting better mileage doing it.

Doubly so if considering the MXM4, which is the poster child for all-seasons sucking-

MXM4 compared to a summer and winter tire from same manufacturer.

The all-season comes in 2nd in a few tests, and 3rd in even more... including about 20% longer distance to stop in the snow compared to a winter tires, and almost 40% longer to stop than the summer tire in the wet.

Yeah it's a pain to have a second set of rims/tires (though discount tire swaps em free every time if you bought the tires there).

It's a lot less of a pain than taking 40% longer to stop in the rain and crashing into another car though.

Last edited by Sango; 05-06-2012 at 07:49 PM.
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