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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 1999 OB/MT has a tire that's gone uneven and bald on one side and the rest are within their last year, so I'm looking at a new set of all seasons (or maybe touring). I've been using Nokian WR's for many years, but am looking at other possibilities. I live in the northern Rockies (SW Montana), so travel in snow, ice and rain some, as well as mountain passes, gravel roads and occasionally some that are more rocky on the way to trailheads. Of course, the number of tire companies still producing 205/70R15's is a lot fewer these days. My research so far has found the Firestone WeatherGrip to be well liked by customers, if not testers (e.g., TireRack, CR). Any other ideas that have pleased? I like quieter tires if possible and put on several thousand miles a year. Thanks,
 

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Meh.
I has wagons.
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General Altimax RT43 are good, but getting long in the tooth style wise. Think they're being replaced by the RT45 I think, which might mean you find them cheap as an outgoing model.

Yokohama A/T G015 is a good mix of on/off road style. Spendy though.
 
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I run the General Altimax Arctic 12's year round. Found them a year ago at Walmart for the incredible price of $40 a piece. Quiet, excellent snow traction, but decent summer performance as well. Seem to be wearing great also. I'm in Maine, they are perfect for me. I would get them again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the General tire suggestions. The new RT45 is supposed to extend wear cycle by 10K miles, which may in part be a response to complaints about RT43's wearing out fast.

Great deal on the Arctic 12's. The winter driving here is probably not as consistently wintery as Maine, and we get a lot of melt-freeze cycles. In addition, salt is not used here, so the plowing tends to leave the cover thin and thus often slicker. In the reviews of the Arctics I'm reading, there's no mention of better weather driving, but most say they are relatively noisy, which I suppose is to be expected with winter-focused tires. Maybe the difference are the roads in Maine. There's a lot of chip seal used here, which would tend to be noisier I imagine.
 

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Your 15" are still used on a lot of older trucks, which means there should be othe sizes avl... I'd consider 'plus-sizing' to a 215/70R15 or 205/75R15, and you may find more choices. Any AT tire will likely be noiser, but an HT may have decent all-weather/season tread pattern, and less noise. But I also am a fan of those RT43, as they worked well on a RAV4 I had.

Note you'll lose a bit of off-the-line performance, and your speedo will be off a few %, if you go bigger/taller on the tire.

To compare tire sizes: Tire Size Comparison

And if you're not against used, the 1st and 2nd Gen Foresters used a 215/60r16, which is the same tire size (they used both the 205/70R15 and 215/60R16). If you can find a set on FB or CL, with wheels for likely cheaper than a new set of tires.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the suggestions. I just installed a couple of Subaru OEM wheels from a junkyard, which cost roughly $160 with shipping, so I'm probably going to stick with the standard size. Although the car's burning oil, I'm currently hoping to keep it another six or seven years, aiming for 30. Going new seems a better choice from that perspective, since I don't drive that many miles a year.
 

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Thanks for the General tire suggestions. The new RT45 is supposed to extend wear cycle by 10K miles, which may in part be a response to complaints about RT43's wearing out fast.

Great deal on the Arctic 12's. The winter driving here is probably not as consistently wintery as Maine, and we get a lot of melt-freeze cycles. In addition, salt is not used here, so the plowing tends to leave the cover thin and thus often slicker. In the reviews of the Arctics I'm reading, there's no mention of better weather driving, but most say they are relatively noisy, which I suppose is to be expected with winter-focused tires. Maybe the difference are the roads in Maine. There's a lot of chip seal used here, which would tend to be noisier I imagine.
The Arctic 12's may be noisy, but it's a 99 Subaru, haha. Also, my 98 has over 260,000mi and I bought it with 230,000 mi a year ago. Original owner used 0W20 synthetic oil and it used a qt every 1,500 miles. I switched to 5W40 Rotella T6 and no more oil burning. Of course T6 is now hard to find.... Over 20,000 miles on the Arctic 12's, still look new.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the Rotella idea, which seems worth a try I'm adding two to three quarts every 1500 miles. It also got me to look up about the transition from mineral to synthetic oil, which I see is now considered ok, as is mixing in the process (not sure about going from 10W-30 to about 5W-XX though).

Emailed the local General dealer, who replied that there is no RT45. Had to send him an article from tire review and a quote from the Tire Rack for delivery this week, and ask him to check. He said the RT43 is nationally backordered.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
That an online dealer has some RT43 in stock doesn't mean that they aren't backordered nationally, especially for brick and mortar dealers. I don't know if they are directly related to Discount Tire, but the closest location of the latter for installation is 80 miles away.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Call whom? Free shipping is not free transportation to a distant installer. I'd rather have someone local responsible beginning to end if there are problems (as I was just reminded after having a local computer shop install some parts I bought online per their suggestion, and then screw up the diagnosis and installation). Even with something as simple as balancing, there's a lot of incompetence these days, as I also just found out replacing two wheels at a well reputed tire dealer.

But more than that, the RT45 has a 10K greater warranty, which suggests they might have been listening to complaints, as well as making other improvements: Continental Launches General Tire AltiMax RT45
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
The Arctic 12's may be noisy, but it's a 99 Subaru, haha. Also, my 98 has over 260,000mi and I bought it with 230,000 mi a year ago. Original owner used 0W20 synthetic oil and it used a qt every 1,500 miles. I switched to 5W40 Rotella T6 and no more oil burning. Of course T6 is now hard to find.... Over 20,000 miles on the Arctic 12's, still look new.
I asked on Amazon’s Rotella T6 synthetic diesel page and among the answers is the following:

“It used to be fine to mix the t6 in car with a cat converter, or even use it at 100%, but the oil formula has been changed recently and it is no longer rated for automotive use. I researched the reason and found it contains extra wear preventative additive (Zinc) that can harm the cat converters in a car if your car burns any oil. Personally I stopped using it as 100% when I found that out but do not have a concern with using a small amount with the oil recommended for cars if your car does not burn oil or your not concerned about wrecking the cat converter. It is very good oil but since diesels don't have a cat converter but cars do, they added more zinc to help the diesels from wearing but it is a bit too much for cars, because of the cat damage that might be done."
 

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I asked on Amazon’s Rotella T6 synthetic diesel page and among the answers is the following:

“It used to be fine to mix the t6 in car with a cat converter, or even use it at 100%, but the oil formula has been changed recently and it is no longer rated for automotive use. I researched the reason and found it contains extra wear preventative additive (Zinc) that can harm the cat converters in a car if your car burns any oil. Personally I stopped using it as 100% when I found that out but do not have a concern with using a small amount with the oil recommended for cars if your car does not burn oil or your not concerned about wrecking the cat converter. It is very good oil but since diesels don't have a cat converter but cars do, they added more zinc to help the diesels from wearing but it is a bit too much for cars, because of the cat damage that might be done."
Here is a recent UOA from Blackstone Labs using T6 on my Ram Ecodiesel. You are right, they went up on the Zinc, but only a bit. Also the Ram Ecodiesel has a very expensive Cat, compared to the one on my old Subaru. No worries on my personal info on the test.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks. My question, assuming your RAM is a lot more recent than 1999, is if there’s a difference in the materials and/or construction of cats between times. I have to be cautious because even needing to have an engine rebuilt these days, cost aside, is a much bigger hassle than it was before covid.
 
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