Need snow tires or are brand new tires good enough

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greif greif
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Need snow tires or are brand new tires good enough

Got a brand new Subaru Forester- and it comes with brand new tires just full of tread. Anybody think it is worth it for the first year to get snow tires or will the new tires be decent in the snow?
tBatt tBatt
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Re: Need snow tires or are brand new tires good enough

In the same situation as you. Got a Forester last week and it has brand new tires. Will be parked under a snowbank for most of the winter. I'm going for it... Even though it's a deep tread, it's the rubber compound and tread pattern that make the whole difference.
Telemark Dave Telemark Dave
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Re: Need snow tires or are brand new tires good enough

Depends.  Are you driving on snow/ice/slush covered roads most of the winter? If you only "need" the snows for the w-end drive to the mountain, then I'd say new all seasons are just fine.

We had 2 foresters between '99 and 2011, and being where we are, had snows on them just about every winter.  The only time we didn't bother happened to coincide with new all seasons ("summers") being purchased.  They were aggressive tread patterns, and although they lacked the soft rubber compounds of a winter, we never noticed the difference.  Subie love rules when you really need one.  

TD
Sick Bird Rider Sick Bird Rider
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Re: Need snow tires or are brand new tires good enough

Let's ask another question: I just bought some nice new skis with really sharp edges, will I be able to get down the hill if I never sharpen them again? Answer: yes. But will you get the same performance out of those skis at the end of a long season? No.

We live (like TD) in a snowy part of the world. I am a big advocate of both snow tires and AWD Subarus (despite the love/the relationship I have with the current Subie, but that is another story). When we got our first AWD Subaru Legacy back in 1996, we tried the all-season tires for the first winter. We got around and the AWD likely saved our butts a few times. The next winter, we put four snows on the car and it was like having a completely new vehicle. The thing was unstoppable. Driving confidence went up exponentially. Currently, we own an AWD car and a 4WD truck, both have dedicated snows on separate sets of wheels.

IMHO, you can get by with all-seasons and AWD. Life will be way better, and safer, with snow tires.

If you are a skier, it is a no-brainer. Time spent on the road is time not skiing. Snow tires will get you to and from the hill when the other guys are spinning and sliding.
Love Jay Peak? Hate Jay Peak? You might enjoy this: The Real Jay Peak Snow Report
Harvey Harvey
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Re: Need snow tires or are brand new tires good enough

In reply to this post by greif
I think you'll be ok with the OEMs for a year.  Our camp has a really steep driveway and our previous CRVs (1998, 2006) struggled to get up on all-season tires. For the 2006 I finally broken down an bought another set of rims and put snows on em.

During that time various friends in Subies (they all have the same drive train) scampered up without issue.

We now have a 2012 CRV and the difference is huge. I'm coming on my third season on the all seasons and haven't decided what to do.  I may just go for a new set of all seasons.

Come to think of it I'm putting those rims up for sale in Gear for Sale.

That said my drive is MOSTLY highway, followed by that steep drive. YMMV

tBatt!  Got a pic of your new wheels? Congrats.

"You just need to go at that shit wide open, hang on, and own it." —Camp
Sick Bird Rider Sick Bird Rider
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Re: Need snow tires or are brand new tires good enough

In reply to this post by greif
Oh, another thought. Not all tires are created equal (snows or all-seasons). Do some research on whatever tires are on the car, read reviews and see where they excel or under-perform. Simply having "deep tread" does make a tire work well in snow. Case in point - the "all-seasons" on our Impreza are great summer tires and really shine on wet pavement. They suck in snow and even the AWD won't keep the car from sliding around. You might say they have deep tread. Our current winter tires do not even look like snow tires, but due to some magic of tread design and rubber compounds, perform incredibly.
Love Jay Peak? Hate Jay Peak? You might enjoy this: The Real Jay Peak Snow Report
Benny Profane Benny Profane
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Re: Need snow tires or are brand new tires good enough

I bought a certified used Forester last December with 16,000 miles on it and the tires, which are Yokohama Geolander something or other (the Geolander series includes a lot of different tires). Now, I am am in the "snow tires no matter what" camp, even on a Subaru. I owned an '01 Forester and put snows on it when I lived in Saratoga, and, that car was awesome in a big storm. But, those original equipment tires on my new Forester were fine last year in the snow. They're pretty loud, so, a bit more aggressive than passenger car "all weather" tires. I'm up to 31,000 miles today, so, you just reminded me to shop for some snows.

So, my answer to you is, yeah, brand new tires on the Forester? You'll do OK, just don't tailgate. Wait 'til next year.

edit: Oh, and don't make the mistake I made when buying snows. DO NOT use the same rims and change the tires when seasons change. Destroys the tires, and, you really don't save that much, over a few seasons. A new set of standard Forester rims, from Subaru, are about 120 each. In the end, worth it.
funny like a clown
DackerDan DackerDan
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Re: Need snow tires or are brand new tires good enough

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endoftheline endoftheline
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Re: Need snow tires or are brand new tires good enough

If you live in the mountains of Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine or the Adirondacks year round, no matter what your drive I'd recommend 4 snows on any veh for the winter. Up in the mountains, all seasons tires are generally the worst of all worlds but especially bad for driving on ice and snow. Get 4 good snows on rims, if you keep your veh for 4- 5 yrs and change the tires yourself it's well worth it.
tjf1967 tjf1967
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Re: Need snow tires or are brand new tires good enough

I put 30k miles on a car each year running around the ADK's.  I run all season and I do just fine.  Never got stuck and have not driven into a ditch.   I have an old man sedan.

Get what you are comfortable with but I dont waste the money. Just make sure you have tread.
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