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Hello,

I am looking to get a dedicated set of rims to use with a new set of winter tires. I am leaning toward blizzak's as I have used them on my previous car. Does anyone have any thoughts putting winter tires on a Subaru?

Would it be a good idea to get a new set of TPMS senors for this set of rims and winter tires?

Would the installer just program both sets for the Ascent?



Thanks.
 

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Hello,

I am looking to get a dedicated set of rims to use with a new set of winter tires. I am leaning toward blizzak's as I have used them on my previous car. Does anyone have any thoughts putting winter tires on a Subaru?

Would it be a good idea to get a new set of TPMS senors for this set of rims and winter tires?

Would the installer just program both sets for the Ascent?



Thanks.
Search the forum for winter tires to read the many conversations and opinions on this topic.
 

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Hello,

I am looking to get a dedicated set of rims to use with a new set of winter tires. I am leaning toward blizzak's as I have used them on my previous car. Does anyone have any thoughts putting winter tires on a Subaru?

Would it be a good idea to get a new set of TPMS senors for this set of rims and winter tires?

Would the installer just program both sets for the Ascent?



Thanks.
Just as a point of reference, I bought the blizzaks that fit the Ascent Limited for the winter and I just replaced my all seasons with the Falken Wildpeaks which will also work great for 99% of the time in my winter in Colorado.
 

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Hello,

I am looking to get a dedicated set of rims to use with a new set of winter tires. I am leaning toward blizzak's as I have used them on my previous car. Does anyone have any thoughts putting winter tires on a Subaru?

Would it be a good idea to get a new set of TPMS senors for this set of rims and winter tires?

Would the installer just program both sets for the Ascent?



Thanks.
I'm a huge fan of any and all Nokian tires. The hakka R3 SUV are a personal favorite. I had them on my Outback and loved them. I currently have a dedicated set of the Hakka 9's (studded) for my TWO Ascent's. My normal tires are winter rated 3PMS rated all terrain and my wife's Ascent is an all weather Nokian WRG4 which is also winter rated. So we use the studded tires if travelling through the mountains in the winter.
 

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I had hakka's on my GLS450, they were pretty incredible, and also they weren't bad in the warm weather either. I run the General Altimax Arctics on my Lincoln and Subaru and find them to be excellent. quite good in the summer also, as I didn't get to swap out winters until late this year. I can't make an apples to apples comparison to the hakka's on the GLS 450 because it was a much heavier car. I have dedicated wheels, sensors, and tires for the Subaru and Lincoln that are a few sizes smaller than the factory OE all season tires, as it gave me more options.
I really don't think you can go wrong with the generals for the price. And honestly, and I'm not trying to incite things here, I can't tell any difference driving in the usual type of snow and inclement weather I drive in between the Lincoln or the Subaru with the winter tires installed. Although I prefer to take the Subaru because it has more ground clearance and low speed cruise control for bad weather, And I suspect that when push comes to shove it's all-wheel drive system will prove itself to be better, Although I hope to never have to find out firsthand!!
 

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Do you really need winter tires? In my opinion, winter tires should only be used in areas which absolutely require them, that is in areas where you often need to drive on heavy snow and ice. I live in Northern New England where the winters are harsh, yet I only may need to drive in snow or ice a few times during the winter. Usually, the roads are quickly cleared even after heavy snowfalls.

It's important to understand that winter tires are superior only on snow and ice. When the roads are dry or simply wet, they have considerably poorer performance than performance All-Season tires. So, if you use winter tires, you're sacrificing tire performance in road conditions other than snow and ice. That's a huge trade-off.

Michelin now offers the superb CrossClimate2 tires for the Ascent. These unique tires are excellent in all conditions year-round, even in the winter. While they are not quite as good as dedicated winter tires on snow and ice, they offer superior winter performance than typical All-Season tires. So, for people who don't often need to actually drive in the worst winter conditions, they are a better choice than winter tires because they don't sacrifice tire performance in all other conditions.

With the CrossClimate2 tires, there is also no need for an expensive set of additional wheels or having to change tires on one set of wheels, you can use the tires all year.

Currently, Costco has the CrossClimate2 tires on sale for $150 off until the end of September.

After many decades of using winter tires, I'm now switching to using the CrossClimate2 tires year-round.
 

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I'd be curious to compare them to the Nokian WRG4 which should be a similar type of tire.
Yes, hopefully, more manufactures will come out with such tires. This will redefine what an "All-Season" tire is capable of or possibly define an entirely new class of tire. These tires are already classified differently with the three-peak mountain snowflake rating that indicates the tire meets required performance criteria in snow testing to be considered severe snow service-rated.
 

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The BFG Advantage T/A Sport LT tires I recently bought from Costco also have both M&S and Three Peaks rating. I really don't get "winter" here in SE PA, but I'm confident they would perform well in areas that do.
 

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Do you really need winter tires? In my opinion, winter tires should only be used in areas which absolutely require them, that is in areas where you often need to drive on heavy snow and ice.
If someone wants snow tires (and perhaps feels more comfortable/safer with them on) then they can go ahead and drop the cash for a set. Actual studded tires aside, the only harm driving snow tires does on pavement is you wear them down faster because the rubber compound is softer (to get snow to stick to it (snow-on-snow traction is the best)).

I spent nearly a decade driving on Blizzaks on my Outback and swore by them. From late November to mid-March every winter, I'd spend 3-4 days a week driving on actual snowpack. I chose to spend money on snow tires for a few reasons:
  • 3-4 days/wk spent on snow
  • I'm commuting and driving so frequently on snow I want near-perfect performance. I want to be able to drive 65mph on snowpack around highway turns. I'm familiar enough with the mountain highways that I know exactly how fast and how safe I can drive when I know my tires can perform and keep me on rails.
  • During high traffic periods, stop-and-go traffic on snowpack can be a nightmare. Many vehicles are unable to drive again from a stop and simply slide off the road into the ditch. With Blizzaks, I was always able to start up again and avoid slipping.
  • Lateral stability in ski area parking lots (and at highway speeds) is essential. Most spin-outs happen because the back tires lose traction laterally causing the vehicle to spin out of the turn. On ice/snowpack it's sometimes easier to get fore/aft traction on all-season tires, but once you throw some sideways pressure the tires just release. In my opinion, lateral traction and stability is one of the biggest benefits a snow tire can offer. This can allow you to "drive normally" instead of constantly loosing your back end around turns.


Some western states don't salt roads, so unlike the east and midwest, "clearing" snow really means just plowing away the new stuff and then throwing gravel down on top of hard snowpack. (here's a story I found about Oregon: Oregon to use rock salt this winter on Interstate 84)

Each driver needs to consider their driving needs and anticipate the weather for their region. If you want to drop the cash for a one-off city snowstorm, great. If you're like me and commute on snowpack roads on a regular basis, also great. I don't have experience with any other tires besides the Blizzaks. On our 2021 Ascent (due to the dealer any day now!) we plan on doing the Falken Wildpeaks. Based on the reviews here, it sounds like they will do great in the snow. I intend to fully test them as soon as I can, and I'll be ready to spring for the Blizzaks if the Wildpeaks don't satisfy my three snow performance demands: 1) lateral traction/stability, 2) stop-and-go traffic, and 3) slushy/transition zone control.
 

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One of the reasons I didn't just put OE sized winter tires on my touring, was because I was concerned about wheel damage, and the excessive cost and lack of selection of winter ties in that size. Also, at $~100 per changeover season (ie, twice a year) to remount and balance the wheels, after 3-5 years, you'll potentially recover the cost of the wheels and tires. If I didn't spend a lot of time up in the Berkshires, and if the road up to our place up there was regularly clear, I probably wouldn't necessarily have dedicated winter wheels and tires.
There are plenty of other pros and cons as mentioned above, but consider the long-term cost as well. Sometimes more (i.e. dedicated winter wheels and tires) is actually less....
 

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If someone wants snow tires (and perhaps feels more comfortable/safer with them on) then they can go ahead and drop the cash for a set. Actual studded tires aside, the only harm driving snow tires does on pavement is you wear them down faster because the rubber compound is softer (to get snow to stick to it (snow-on-snow traction is the best)).

I spent nearly a decade driving on Blizzaks on my Outback and swore by them. From late November to mid-March every winter, I'd spend 3-4 days a week driving on actual snowpack. I chose to spend money on snow tires for a few reasons:
  • 3-4 days/wk spent on snow
  • I'm commuting and driving so frequently on snow I want near-perfect performance. I want to be able to drive 65mph on snowpack around highway turns. I'm familiar enough with the mountain highways that I know exactly how fast and how safe I can drive when I know my tires can perform and keep me on rails.
  • During high traffic periods, stop-and-go traffic on snowpack can be a nightmare. Many vehicles are unable to drive again from a stop and simply slide off the road into the ditch. With Blizzaks, I was always able to start up again and avoid slipping.
  • Lateral stability in ski area parking lots (and at highway speeds) is essential. Most spin-outs happen because the back tires lose traction laterally causing the vehicle to spin out of the turn. On ice/snowpack it's sometimes easier to get fore/aft traction on all-season tires, but once you throw some sideways pressure the tires just release. In my opinion, lateral traction and stability is one of the biggest benefits a snow tire can offer. This can allow you to "drive normally" instead of constantly loosing your back end around turns.
Some western states don't salt roads, so unlike the east and midwest, "clearing" snow really means just plowing away the new stuff and then throwing gravel down on top of hard snowpack. (here's a story I found about Oregon: Oregon to use rock salt this winter on Interstate 84)

Each driver needs to consider their driving needs and anticipate the weather for their region. If you want to drop the cash for a one-off city snowstorm, great. If you're like me and commute on snowpack roads on a regular basis, also great. I don't have experience with any other tires besides the Blizzaks. On our 2021 Ascent (due to the dealer any day now!) we plan on doing the Falken Wildpeaks. Based on the reviews here, it sounds like they will do great in the snow. I intend to fully test them as soon as I can, and I'll be ready to spring for the Blizzaks if the Wildpeaks don't satisfy my three snow performance demands: 1) lateral traction/stability, 2) stop-and-go traffic, and 3) slushy/transition zone control.
For your specific application, snow tires make sense. But for many, many others, using snow tires may be a major trade-off for the majority of driving that they do. Snow tires are superior only on snow and ice, for everything else you seriously lose performance. Take a look at these ratings for winter tires from Consumer Reports:
5181

5182

You can clearly see that while performance for Snow Traction and Ice Braking is excellent, the performance for Dry Braking, Wet Braking, Handling, Hydroplaning, Ride Comfort, Noise, and Rolling Resistance is not good and often poor, especially for Wet and Dry Braking which is very critical.

Now look at the ratings for Performance All Season Tires, especially the Michelin CrossClimates:
5183

Much better-balanced performance across the board. So, unless you really require dedicated snow tires, many people would be considerably better off using Performance All-Season tires year-round, particularly the CrossClimates.
 

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I am waiting for the day when someone does a "1/2 tread left" test. Two things, individually, or in combination, affect stopping and grip, on those tires (and all terrains and many others):
  1. How far the siping goes through the knobbies
  2. How far the "winter"/"grip" compound goes through the knobbies
 

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Pro, I think that many of those tires in the second category are "all weather" rather than "all season" which I think is a "more-new" category. Those are some exemplary ratings too!
 

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One of the reasons I didn't just put OE sized winter tires on my touring, was because I was concerned about wheel damage, and the excessive cost and lack of selection of winter ties in that size. Also, at $~100 per changeover season (ie, twice a year) to remount and balance the wheels, after 3-5 years, you'll potentially recover the cost of the wheels and tires. If I didn't spend a lot of time up in the Berkshires, and if the road up to our place up there was regularly clear, I probably wouldn't necessarily have dedicated winter wheels and tires.
There are plenty of other pros and cons as mentioned above, but consider the long-term cost as well. Sometimes more (i.e. dedicated winter wheels and tires) is actually less....
I negotiated free change overs through discount tire. Free balancing as well
 

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Pro, I think that many of those tires in the second category are "all weather" rather than "all season" which I think is a "more-new" category. Those are some exemplary ratings too!
Consumer Reports lists them as "Performance All-Season". It really doesn't matter what they're called, only that they are excellent all-season tires that can effectively be used for winter driving in all but the severest winter conditions and have much better performance than dedicated snow tires for everything else.

I realize that people who have been dedicated to using snow tires for many years may have a hard time coming around to the new technologies that now effectively and safely allow the use of a single tire set year-round. I was a dedicated winter tire user too, but I always knew that it was a major compromise in performance just to gain better snow and ice traction which I rarely really needed. I was always glad when they came off in the spring.
 

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I am waiting for the day when someone does a "1/2 tread left" test. Two things, individually, or in combination, affect stopping and grip, on those tires (and all terrains and many others):
  1. How far the siping goes through the knobbies
  2. How far the "winter"/"grip" compound goes through the knobbies
Consumer Reports used to do that, they would shave off half of the tire tread and then retest them. If I recall correctly, only the Michelins would still do really well with half of the tread gone. It was one of the reasons I switched over to Michelin tires years ago.

I don't know why Consumer Reports no longer performs that test. I'll ask them and see if they reply.
 

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I will probably always have one car with dedicated winter wheels on it (as opposed to two with winter wheels and tires, like we have now) because of getting up to the lake in the winter time. But I will be very interested in trying an all weather type tire for our next vehicle, provided it's not a performance oriented vehicle. I know the all-season generals I just put on my Lincoln Don't fall into that all weather category per se, but they are quite good in light snow, but I haven't tested them on ice and I don't want to!!
Having been a tire jockey in college, I'm always very interested in the new technology that's coming out, and I think an all weather type tire would be great for most non enthusiast drivers in New England.
 

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Consumer Reports lists them as "Performance All-Season". It really doesn't matter what they're called, only that they are excellent all-season tires that can effectively be used for winter driving in all but the severest winter conditions and have much better performance than dedicated snow tires for everything else.

I realize that people who have been dedicated to using snow tires for many years may have a hard time coming around to the new technologies that now effectively and safely allow the use of a single tire set year-round. I was a dedicated winter tire user too, but I always knew that it was a major compromise in performance just to gain better snow and ice traction which I rarely really needed. I was always glad when they came off in the spring.
Other than performance, many cite cost of course being a factor in not having a second set of snow tires. Keep in mind that there will be less wear on your regular 'all-seasons' if you are running a snow tire 3-6 months per year. So theoretically you may get more years out of each set of tires. I would then call the cost a draw for the TIRES. That said, you'll come out far ahead if you have a second set of wheels (hopefully inexpensive) to mount them to and then can do your own rotations/seasonal changes if you have that inclination or ability to realize the true cost savings.
 

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Other than performance, many cite cost of course being a factor in not having a second set of snow tires. Keep in mind that there will be less wear on your regular 'all-seasons' if you are running a snow tire 3-6 months per year. So theoretically you may get more years out of each set of tires. I would then call the cost a draw for the TIRES. That said, you'll come out far ahead if you have a second set of wheels (hopefully inexpensive) to mount them to and then can do your own rotations/seasonal changes if you have that inclination or ability to realize the true cost savings.
The cost of using winters tires will always be greater than owning a single set of all-season tires. I know from many decades of experience. Unless you're content with ugly steel rims on a $40,000 Ascent, the cost of purchasing a suitably rated set of alloy wheels can easily approach $600-$1000 or more. The cost of a set of four quality winter tires for the Ascent will be around the same. So, you'll need to come up with around $1200-$2000 just to start. If you instead wish to remount the tires seasonally on a single set of wheels, that'll run you around $200 each time for mounting and balancing (Costco charges $50 per tire). That'll certainly add up over the life of the car.

Additionally, winter tires are not known for their longevity and often come with no tire tread warranty, some can be worn down in as little as 20-30,000 miles. The more they wear, the less effective they are in the snow. So, expect to buy several sets over the full life of the car depending upon how many miles you drive.

All of this is certainly not less expensive than the extra wear on a set of all-weather tires, some of which have tread warranties in the order of 75-90,000 miles.
 
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