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2001 Outback Wagon
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Discussion Starter #1
I'm looking for a new set of tires for our 2001 Outback.

We replaced a couple of the original tires when it wouldn't pass inspection this fall. I suspect we needed to change all of them, because traveling on the highway in winter weather seems to cause a hot rubber smell. Also, the tread on three of them is surprisingly worn considering that at least one of them must be new.

What suggestions? Or should we really go to two sets for winter and summer?

Thanks,

(Just my) wife's car!
 

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Superb Moderator, ,
MY12 WRX, MY07 FXT
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Carl is correct, sir. Go to the Tirerack and check out the tires/surveys on them. Continental Contiextreme Contacts have a great rep, even in the snow. And cost is low. That is the tire I'm going to get when my RE92's bite the dust.
Oh, and welcome to your #1 source for Outbacks in general. Brian
 

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SubaruOutback.org Founder
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Tires are a hot topic of discussion lately, good time to come and ask about them ;)

Anyway if you want the best of the best for any weather, go to NokianTires.com and check out the Nokian WR's. They are by far the best all around all season tire ever produced. They have good performance in dry weather and are some of the highest rated tires (of any tires, period) in the rain and snow. Also they have a M+S rating (mud and snow) so they'd be decent light offroad tires, or so I've been told. They are kinda pricey and somewhat hard to find depending on where you live, but are worth every penny and more. BTW, I see that you're from New England (where if I may ask) and I know tons of people who use Nokian tires up there and absolutely love them and stand by them religiously. As far as being pricey, I check on a set of Nokain WR 225/55/17's and they were $204 here in Nebraska. Thats a less popular size than that of the stock 225/60/16's on the Outback so the price will be less if you are just going to stick to the stock tire size.

If those don't fit your budget, like Carl and Brian said go to Tirerack.com and check out some Continentals. TireRack has many specials going on right now for Conti's so you'll likely get a good deal. All their tires perform similiarly although you pay for what you get of course so some tires may be better than others. All Conti tires are pretty good and are relatively cheap for how good they really do perform.

Conti's and Nokian's are definately the two best tire values available today. So if you want go all out and get the best you can get and the best for your money go for the Nokian WR. If you don't like the pricing, check on Continentals. Hope this helps :D
 

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OBS Obsessed, ,
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I just got my WRs put on this past weekend and I love them. 205/55/16 H rated ran me $120 per tire delivered. I bumped the PSI up about 4 psi all around over what Subaru recommends on the 04 Impreza.

I happened upon a wholesaler that could get them. I think they felt sorry for me when i told them what etires.com was charging so they ordered them for me. The best thing about these is not only are they All Seasons they are winter rated AND have a 50k treadlife warranty. I sold my crap RE92s for $100.

I have also heard and read lots of good things about the Contis.
 

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2003 Subaru Outback 2005 Ford Ranger
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I agree on the Nokian WR's. I've never heard anything bad about them. They will be the next tire I buy when that time comes.
 

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Blue Ridge OBS said:
I just got my WRs put on this past weekend and I love them. 205/55/16 H rated ran me $120 per tire delivered.

WOW! $120 per tire w/delivery for that size, that price is incredible as compared to everywhere else I've seen! Where did you get them from? By comparison you'd think that all their sizes of WR's would be lower than most, we all need to know about this place if you'd like provide us with the information Blue Ridge. Hmmm... let us in on your secret wholesaler, heck they can be a vendor here if they want! :D
 

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Tokyo's between my toes
2001 Wintergreen Outback 5MT
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I suspect we needed to change all of them, because traveling on the highway in winter weather seems to cause a hot rubber smell.
Be careful, some of the other Subaru boards have said that it is a Bad Thing to run different size tires (even a significant difference in tread height on the same size of tires). You make the differentials do a lot of work. Are you sure that's rubber you're smellng, and not axle grease?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the info. I was traveling about 300 miles in snow/icy rain. I thought it smelled like rubber, but could have been something else.

Why would axle grease smell and what would that mean? Or did you mean differential fluid? Is there something else I should look out for? There is no indication that the car is not driving well, though the traction in rain had also decreased. I noticed some slipping in a heavy downpour a couple months before. This is something I noticed in my honda accord when it needed tires, but never in my subarus.

Seem to hear a lot about Nokian, but I was looking to stay around $100 per tire as I thought Tirerack could provide for Dunlop, Bridgestone, or others. I will investigate more.

Thanks.

PS We're in the MA/NH area.
 

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Superb Moderator, ,
MY12 WRX, MY07 FXT
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Hey Wife's Car (I like that name) Don't exclude the Continentals mentioned above. Very nice ratings-especially for almost 2.8 million miles driven (Tire Rack customers). Check out the size you need, price it and then find out how cheap you can get 'em locally. Brian
 

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Discussion Starter #11
So what sizes can I run happily on the stock rims?

I believe they are 225/60 16's stock.

And what conti tire should I consider?
 

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Superb Moderator, ,
MY12 WRX, MY07 FXT
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Continental ContiExtreme Contact. I would not put anything wider than 225 section width of a tire or you will have rubbing probs. We all recommend you visit Tire Rack and look at the Continentals, go through the customer surveys on them. That is where we get a lot of input on tires and such. Brian
 

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wife's car said:
So what sizes can I run happily on the stock rims?

I believe they are 225/60 16's stock.

And what conti tire should I consider?
You should always run the stock size of tire otherwise there can be bad things that happen with your car down the road ;) I've provided a link to The Tire Rack below for the only two Conti's that will suffice on an Outback with your tire size. They are the Continental ContiTouringContact CH95 and the Continental ContiPremierContact. The CPC is the newer version of the CH95, they are both about the same tire really so it just depends on whether you want to get the newer and slightly better one or the oldie but still a goodie and save a few bucks. You are not going to go wrong with either.

Here's the link: Conti's in 225/60/16

Also if you are still interested in Nokian tires the best place I've found to buy from is eTires.com. They carry the Nokian WR and the Nokian NRW which fall under the same case as the two Conti's above. The WR is the newer version of the NRW and the NRW is still a **** good tire nonetheless. The WR's price per tire is $132 and the NRW is $130, same old story as above. The pricing could be less IMO although it is more than fair as compared to everywhere else I've seen. Its far less than any other price you're going to find anywhere else I'd wager.

Here's a link to both tires in size 225/60/16:

Nokian WR

Nokian NRW

So its up to you of course, just remember you get what you pay for but if you choose any of these tires you'll certainly get a good set of tires with high quality and good value :)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
OK, I did it. I purchased the Continental CH95's last week in Downtown Nashua.

They were about $111 balanced, mounted, with values, and old tires disposed. I could have gone to tirerack, but they with all the other costs it would have been close anyway. These guys were done in 45 minutes.

Thanks for all the help. Now the alignment.
 

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Superb Moderator, ,
MY12 WRX, MY07 FXT
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Wife's car, please keep us posted with your review on the Conti's. Thanks, Brian.
 

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My sister has an '00 OB and lives 40 miles from Lake Tahoe on the Calif. side. My '02 OB has the Bridgestones like hers and they said their OB didn't handle well in snowy road conditions. Anybody in Lake Tahoe/Reno/Carson City/Sacramento area that crosses the summits found tires that work well? I am planning on moving out West after retirement from the navy and may need to replace my tires then. Here in Va Bch, VA the people don't really know what mountain driving is like.

Thanks
 

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SubieFinn said:
My sister has an '00 OB and lives 40 miles from Lake Tahoe on the Calif. side. My '02 OB has the Bridgestones like hers and they said their OB didn't handle well in snowy road conditions. Anybody in Lake Tahoe/Reno/Carson City/Sacramento area that crosses the summits found tires that work well? I am planning on moving out West after retirement from the navy and may need to replace my tires then. Here in Va Bch, VA the people don't really know what mountain driving is like.

Thanks
Well I think the Nokian WR's will be your best bet for any condition. That being said I've been thinking that the WR's are the most ideal tire for any Outback. They are great for the snow, muck, and rain and are M+S rated (mud & snow). Seeing as how they are All-season tires I think they are very fitting for the Outback. That along with complementing Subaru's AWD system I don't think you could find a better match :)
 
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