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RichP
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PostMon Apr 14, 2014 8:07 pm 
I'm going to buy new tires for my 2004 Forester which I recently purchased and have no clue which to get. Price is not as important as good quality is (a gift from mom). I mainly drive in the city, but would like something adequate for FS roads as well. I know there are lots of Forester owners on nwhikers, so I thought I'd check in here to learn from you. Also, where is a good place to get them? I live in Central Seattle, but don't mind traveling for the right shop. Thanks in advance

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robertjoy
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PostTue Apr 15, 2014 9:15 am 
I have used NOKIAN winter rated (snowflake) for several years. As they are rated as equivalent to driving with chains, they are useful in snow. They also have a 40k miles driving life compared to other brands of 'winter' tires.

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H. Hound
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PostTue Apr 15, 2014 3:09 pm 
Take a look at goodyear assurance tripletred's. I bought a set on a co-worker's recommendation after hydroplaning the Outback . The Outback is well stuck to the ground now.

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Backpacker Joe
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PostTue Apr 15, 2014 4:07 pm 
WEIGHT! This is a VERY big deal with respect to fuel mileage. Find out what the stock tires weigh and then look for (Tire Rack.com) better tires (ratings) that weigh close to the same as the stock tires. That way you get better performance while keeping your fuel mileage.

"If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time or die by suicide." Abraham Lincoln
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wildernessed
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PostTue Apr 15, 2014 5:37 pm 
"Observe" from Les Schwab.

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509
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PostTue Apr 15, 2014 6:12 pm 
The best traction tires for summer and winter that I have ever owned were Goodyear Wranglers. Of course, after seven years one of them delaminated and caused $1600 damage to the truck. I do like their tread pattern. I would look for a tire with a similar pattern. It makes a huge difference in snow when they are new. I have a set of Michelin Mud and Snows with a similar pattern on my truck. They made it to 48,000 miles but are on their last legs. Hopefully, they will make it through an Washington summer, and Arizona winter before I replace them!! I did have two set of Open Country tires by Les Schwab. I love the company, but those tires only made it to 30,000 miles. Those are the recommendations for traction....for mileage you need a much less aggressive thread. Those highway tires are also much quieter.

Retired Forester....rambling round www.usbackroads.blogspot.com
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boot up
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PostTue Apr 15, 2014 7:28 pm 
I just picked up a Forester. I will likely replace the stock OEM POS tires with Nokian WRG3's when I can justify the expense or wear out the OEM Geolanders. Nokian WR's are available only at Tire Factory. They are rated one step above "normal" All-season's for winter use but of course are not as good as a dedicated snow tire for winter like a hakkapeliittas. I don't swap tires for winter. I get about 40K-50K miles on the Nokians, so yes, they do not last forever. But then I consider good tires as part of my insurance policy and tend to dump tires when they still have a fair amount of tread left. I tried the Good Year Assurance Triple Tread and found it mediocre for traction in nasty conditions and they wore out amazingly fast on our Honda Accord. I have had the Nokians on a couple of different cars, always with good results. I keep looking for something better, but keep coming back to them. They are low rolling resistance tires.

friluftsliv
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RichP
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PostTue Apr 15, 2014 8:54 pm 
boot up wrote:
I have had the Nokians on a couple of different cars, always with good results. I keep looking for something better, but keep coming back to them.
Thanks boot up. I hadn't heard of these before. From a quick view of this tire online, it is exactly what I'm looking for. There's even a Tire Factory close to where I live.

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Opus
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PostTue Apr 15, 2014 9:02 pm 
I'm on my second set of Goodyear Triple-Treds on my Outback. Very happy with both sets so far. I got about 60k miles out of the first pair and good traction in the rain. Also good on gravel roads, acceptable on snow but I'm a slow driver anyway. The new ones seem the same and are noticeably quieter than the old ones. Bought both sets from Discount Tire. They fixed several flats for free (nails mostly) and a recurring leak that turned out to be a gouge in my rim. Great service.

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tigermn
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PostWed Apr 16, 2014 7:11 am 
Just to throw this out for tires that may be hard to find by default at local tire places. Discount Tire once told me they could order for me any brand/kind of tire I wanted. Now I don't know how good the price would be or how long it might take, or even if this offer was real as I never took them up on it, but it might be worth a shot if you want something that is harder to find.

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FungiFan
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PostWed Apr 16, 2014 7:53 am 
I've used the Geolander AT/S tires on my 01 since purchase. Great in snow/ice and on FS roads. Note this is not the typical crappy OEM Yoko on newer foresters.

Stupid isn't illegal...but sure comes with consequences. Famous last words: 'Here, hold my beer and watch this.'
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wolffie
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PostWed Apr 16, 2014 10:06 am 
Possibly more important than what kind of tire are proper inflation and wheel alignment. If you don't have a religious habit of watching your tire pressure, you're almost certainly driving around with at least one underinflated tire. That's really bad. Dangerous. If you skid or hear a squeal, check inflation. Get a good pressure gauge (many aren't) and make a habit of checking inflation -- when the tires are COLD, before driving, else apply the correction. I have a small car (199 Saturn station wagon SW1). The manual says 30 psi front, 26 psi back, and don't let anybody tell you different. The tire people said 26 psi would wreck my new tires. They installed them at 32 psi. I've had the discussion with several mechanics who seems to agree that "over" inflation is OK as long as you don't exceed the max, and that underinflation allows hydroplaning (a lens or bubble of water between tread and road). I "overinflate" a bit and try to keep the 4 psi front-back difference. I got a lifetime alignment at the tire dealer -- it suckers you back in, but alignment is important. One thing about a small car -- easy to adjust tire pressure with a good bicycle pump.

Some people have better things to do with their lives than walking the dog. Some don't.
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tigermn
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PostWed Apr 16, 2014 12:48 pm 
Some cars now will actually tell you what your pressure is on each tire. Better than a bicycle floor pump (if you have anything more than a real small tire or want to build up your arm/shoulder muscles) is go get one of those portable air compressors that plug into the auto power source. Then you can sit back and let it do the work. I typically leave one in the car. Also helps if you get a low tire/might get you back home/to a repair place if a slow enough leak without having to put on the donut spare (assuming you even have a spare). Alignment is even more critical for AWD vehicles. Having said that there are crap tires out there. Amazingly enough some don't even have a traction rating of A.

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RichP
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PostWed Apr 16, 2014 1:05 pm 
wolffie wrote:
Possibly more important than what kind of tire are proper inflation and wheel alignment. If you don't have a religious habit of watching your tire pressure, you're almost certainly driving around with at least one underinflated tire. That's really bad. Dangerous. If you skid or hear a squeal, check inflation.
Sound advice, wolffie. I check the pressure on my bicycle tires more often than on my car. I am just not used to driving much. With a newborn on board, I plan make it a point to be more vigilant of this.

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RichP
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PostThu Apr 17, 2014 1:00 pm 
I placed the order for the Nokian tires recommended by boot up. I'll post back with my initial impression when I get them on and drive a bit. Thanks for the help everybody.

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