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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been driving in ice and snow since 1953 (yes, 1953). I learned from my Mom who was an ambulance driver in the
USA in the '40s & '50s serving in the American Women's Voluntary Services (AWVS). She was trained by the winter driving course in the (then) Army and regularly took me (15 years old) to every snow-covered big parking lot on Sundays before the plows cleared them. learned all the tricks of two-wheel vehicle driving on ice and deep snow. I've never stopped practicing for 72 years and consider myself pretty much of an expert (old, yes) but my love for all-wheel drive Subarus has met a real bad set of tires for my (used) 2018 Impreza Sport. It came to me with 18" wheels with mounted Falken tires.

Today was my first snowstorm so I took a short refresher "test" drive for this Subaru's 1st winter with me.

Scary as hell! The torque was way too much for the advance-from-idle transition into drive and I spent a little sideways time on some clear ice. It felt like I was driving a go-kart. All over the place and absolutely no "pull" over minor obstacles like 1.5" curbs with fresh snow. It gave no "bite" at all. even at lowest RPM acceleration. It felt like I was back 72 years ago on my first Sunday lesson.

I desperately need recommendations for all-weather (not "winter-only," studded or extra tires) in this odd size. I've been on soft-compound all-weather Michelin tires since 1956 without ever a bad enough winter to not be able to go with confidence,
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What do you winter drivers recommend for tires for this Subie that has narrow "slippers" for "shoes?"

--thanks
 

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What do you winter drivers recommend for tires for this Subie that has narrow "slippers" for "shoes?"
For driving on snow-covered roads, you WANT narrow tires. They have a better chance of getting down to the asphult and finding traction. (wider tires tend to 'float' on the snow)

For this reason, many folks buy their snow-tires a bit narrower than their summer tires.
 

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I desperately need recommendations for all-weather (not "winter-only," studded or extra tires)
Look for tires with embedded silica dust in the rubber compound. As the rubber wears down, fresh, sharp, silica edges are exposed. This technology adds remarkable 'bite' on slippery surfaces.

My choice of tires has been Cooper CS5 Grand Touring ( Cooper® CS5 Grand Touring™: Car, Minivan, and SUV Tire | Cooper Tire )...we just installed a second set on the Outback.
 

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ModFather
2019 Subaru Impreza Sport 5 Dr. Manual Shift
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Look for All Season tires that are snow rated with a three-peak mountain snowflake (3PMSF) symbol. Most all seasons like the ones that come on our cars stock are really three season tires that can handle a little snow. The all season ones with the 3PMSF symbol, sometimes called all weather, are rated for snow. Not as good as dedicated snow tires but better than stock for snow. We have Firestone WeatherGrip on our Outback. For my Impreza I have a second set of wheels with snows.

Look on tire rack and filter by the snow rating and include all season in the filter that will help you find your size

I did the search for the Sport wheels tried to save it:

https://www.tirerack.com/tires/Tire...&rearRatio=40&rearDiameter=17&performance=ALL

That may work hopefully. I have a friend with a forester and he has the General Altimax 365AW and he likes them a lot. I also have a friend with a non subaru with the crossclimate 2's and he like them a lot too. If I were to get all weather I'd go the CrossClimate's myself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Look for All Season tires that are snow rated with a three-peak mountain snowflake (3PMSF) symbol. Most all seasons like the ones that come on our cars stock are really three season tires that can handle a little snow. The all season ones with the 3PMSF symbol, sometimes called all weather, are rated for snow. Not as good as dedicated snow tires but better than stock for snow. We have Firestone WeatherGrip on our Outback. For my Impreza I have a second set of wheels with snows.

Look on tire rack and filter by the snow rating and include all season in the filter that will help you find your size

I did the search for the Sport wheels tried to save it:

https://www.tirerack.com/tires/Tire...&rearRatio=40&rearDiameter=17&performance=ALL

That may work hopefully. I have a friend with a forester and he has the General Altimax 365AW and he likes them a lot. I also have a friend with a non subaru with the crossclimate 2's and he like them a lot too. If I were to get all weather I'd go the CrossClimate's myself.
Thanks, peatyt:
Your research really helps. --JP
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks, BruceP:
The silica particles are a new one for me. I had thought that outside of tread pattern, the "softness of the compond was the second best aid to liliting slip. Thanks for the heads-up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
For driving on snow-covered roads, you WANT narrow tires. They have a better chance of getting down to the asphult and finding traction. (wider tires tend to 'float' on the snow)

For this reason, many folks buy their snow-tires a bit narrower than their summer tires.
This flies in the face of my physics background. Do you ever see a bicycle in a blizzard? Even airplanes (general aviation light aircraft) sport what we call Tundra Tires (much bigger and fatter than the stock landing gear rubber.) Aside from helping serve Alaska's 85% of its population which doesn't have roads to their town, to get places and mail and general goods from afar. One of the jumbo tire's features is its bigger rubber patch hitting the runway stabilizing landings that are wet, slippery, and rocky. Narrower snow tires would be murder.
 

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This flies in the face of my physics background. Do you ever see a bicycle in a blizzard? Even airplanes (general aviation light aircraft) sport what we call Tundra Tires (much bigger and fatter than the stock landing gear rubber.) Aside from helping serve Alaska's 85% of its population which doesn't have roads to their town, to get places and mail and general goods from afar. One of the jumbo tire's features is its bigger rubber patch hitting the runway stabilizing landings that are wet, slippery, and rocky. Narrower snow tires would be murder.
READ what I said again... "They have a better chance of getting down to the asphult and finding traction."

Here in Vermont where the plowtrucks run pretty regularly, there less than 5 inches of snow on the road. I have seen many times where skinny tires find traction and wide tires slide all over the place. The wide tires do not have enough weight to dig in and are essentially 'hydroplaning' on the snow.

If we were talking about MUD or bumper-DEEP snow... sure wide tires are beneficial... there is no asphult below for the tires to dig into... you WANT the tires to float. In this case, perhaps a Subaru is not the proper vehicle for the task. The bumper would be pushing snow.

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If you wish to talk "physics" (given the weight of the vehicle remains the same)
  • As the tires get skinnier, there is MORE weight on the contact-patch (per sq/inch)
  • As the tires get wider, there is LESS weight on the contact-patch (per sq/inch)
More weight means more traction!!!


BTW: Airplanes are not DRIVEN via the tires.... all the tires do is hold up the vehicle, in this case you want WIDER tires to distribute the weight. Additionally, the tundra tires soak up bumps better too.
 

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ModFather
2019 Subaru Impreza Sport 5 Dr. Manual Shift
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This flies in the face of my physics background.
<<
Snow driving — Because there is low friction on the road, having greater pressure on the road is more important than having more surface area. Therefore, narrow tires perform better when the roads are covered with snow, since they can dig deeper into the snow, providing more traction.
<<
from here:

Wide vs. Narrow Tires

Tire technology has come a very long way form when I put studded snows on the rear of my 68 Fairlane 500 :)

Now it's not just about tread pattern but rubber composition sipes and whatnot

<<
So today’s winter tires are much different than the snow tires that adorned rear-wheel drive sedans and pickups 30 to 50 years ago. That leads to difficult development questions: What snow and ice conditions are being targeted? What type of tread pattern should be used? How much void should there be? What compounds are best?
<<

from here

Breaking Down Winter Tires

One of my favorite YouTube channels is from Engineering Explained:

This is a good review of the Crossclimate2

 

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ModFather
2019 Subaru Impreza Sport 5 Dr. Manual Shift
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Just for a little more info on how changing the wheels and tires will change traction etc. Here is a link with a comparison of my OEM 18" Sport wheels and the 17" older WRX wheels I am running now with my snow tires. At the bottom of this link it has this info which is handy, this link here has more details:

Rim & Tire Size Calculator. Custom Offsets

You can plug and chug all sorts of wheels to see what will be changed.

Font Material property Parallel Screenshot Number
 
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