Subaru Outback Forums banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
2009 Outback Wagon, 2.5L Engine
Joined
·
150 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
For years, I had two sets of wheels for my Caprice and Subaru.

I have a set of steel wheels and snow tires for winter.

I'm starting to wonder if it's worth it having a 2nd set of wheels.

Other than the cost of mounting and balancing, is there any advantage to having a 2nd set of wheels?

For years, I guess it made sense because I could do the changeover in my driveway. But with my back the way it is now, it may be a lot easier to only have the 25 pound tires to carry to the car, and just take them to the shop to be mounted and balanced.

I hope this isn't a stupid question, but is there wear and tear on the tires and wheels to take in to account for having them mounted and un-mounted once every year?
 

·
Registered
2012 OB , 2017 Impreza
Joined
·
3,289 Posts
I will not attempt to answer the question, you need to decide for yourself.... but I will offer some other considerations you may not have thought of.

--) If your summer wheels are aluminum... the constant changing of rubber risks scratching and other damage to the finish.
--) Now that all cars have pressure-sensors within the tires (TPMS), this adds over $100 to the cost of a second set of wheels. (Before TPMS, I used to get USED wheels from a scrapyard for $10 each)

Personally, I ended up with NOT using dedicated winter tires. Instead, I spend a little more and get quality all-season tires and run them all year long. The Subaru AWD system does not NEED dedicated winter tires. Even here in Vermont, the roads are cleared within 24 hours after a storm.

This saves me in several ways:
-No more tire-storage.
-No additional cost of TPMS sensors.
-No effort nor expense changing back and forth.

In my mind, the savings outweighs the additional cost of QUALITY all-season tires.
 

·
On the Super Mod Squad
02 Pair: 3.0 VDC Wag & 2.5 Limited Sedan
Joined
·
26,222 Posts
you might be interested in year round snows. (ones that don't melt when the temps go over 50 degrees F)

http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums...-year-round-use-snows-good-spring-summer.html

there is wear and tear on the tires from mounting and dismounting. I have never had a problem though before I got a 2nd set of rims for mine. .
..sad was paying 2x a year for mounting / dismounting/ balancing with only one set of rims. (and I did that for like 5 years before I rounded up a set of OEM rims).
 

·
Registered
2017 Outback 3.6R Limited
Joined
·
440 Posts
Another consideration:
Repeatedly mounting and unmounting tires stretches the bead, and may make them susceptible to leaks at the rim seal.

I've lived in the Northeast most of my life, and I always get a second set of wheels with real winter tires. I use low cost alloy wheels for the winter set. I swap them on and off myself twice a year. Takes under an hour. For the Subaru, I got an ATEQ Quickset to reprogram the TPMS ECU. After the initial setup gathering all TPMS IDs (which took me about an hour), the ECU reprogramming only takes a few seconds, literally. Plug the ATEQ tool into the OBD II port and press one button.
 

·
Registered
2017 2.5i Premium Lapis Blue
Joined
·
4,219 Posts
I mostly wanted the extra set of wheels so the original wheels wouldn't be exposed to all the salt on the roads in the winter. It doesn't take more than a winter or two and most wheels start getting corroded and pitted around here. I went with the cheap basic steel wheels because they will be easy to clean up and paint if they start to rust.

If you are going to have separate snow tires anyway then storage space isn't an issue whether they are on wheels or not, but weight is a concern. Also when it comes time to swap tires in the spring and fall it will be a lot quicker. My tire shop is going to swap mine for free so I won't be doing it myself anyway, but with just the changeover I can just wait for it and it won't take long. If they have to dismount and mount the tires and balance them it is either going to be a long wait or I would have to drop the car off and get a ride there and back.

The toughest call for me was whether I wanted to spend all the money on tires and wheels for a car that I am just leasing. In the end I decided the cost divided over three winters, plus the likelihood that I could get some money back selling them if I don't get another car they will fit, made the purchase worth it.
 

·
Registered
'14 Subi OBW, '18 Subi Forester
Joined
·
1,772 Posts
Winter changeover is indeed a pain (3 vehicles, 12 winter tires on rims with TPMS). But drives home like what happened two days ago with the NE blizzard totally reinforced in my mind the amazing performance of a good AWD car with true dedicated soft snow tires. Watching vehicles slide all over the place in single digits and wind whipped snow and mixed with some freezing rain on unplowed back roads while I felt completely in control virtually all the time made it all worth the effort and expense.

24 hours late the conditions were great. But for some of us you just have to deal with it when its happening. At those times there is no substitute....
 

·
Registered
2009 Outback Wagon, 2.5L Engine
Joined
·
150 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Amazing Reponses!

You all came up with some really good thoughts! Thank you! I can't honestly say I disagreed with any of the thoughts. You answered my question that the wear, tear, and expense of all the mounting and dismounting IS a legitimate factor! I've found I notice a significant difference in winter performance with true snow tires, and if they save you from even one accident they paid for themselves many times over. I'm thinking on if I could do without TPMS for the winter, I'm not sure! I have 16 x 7.5" steel Subaru wheels from the 2002 Subaru I was using for winter tires, and I like the idea of the alternate size tire to save a little money and increased the bite that you get with a more narrow tire. Add very inexpensive plastic hubcaps and they protect the steel wheel from the salt a little bit more too. I also see the advantage of an all season tire. I have to find out also if I can use the 215 65 R16 tires that are recommended for the 2002, the 2009 alternate recommendation is 205 65 R16, so I have to look in to that. :nerd::surprise::laugh:
 

·
Registered
'14 Subi OBW, '18 Subi Forester
Joined
·
1,772 Posts
I'm an advocate of TPMS. Not as a substitute for routine maintenance, but for the events that you can't otherwise predict. In the past 6 years we (my wife in 2011 and me this past November) have had road hazard flats. My wife's situation was a true emergency at 70 mph thanks to a little scrap of metal, mine was more controlled (a machine screw). Her deal could have been tragic thanks to the relatively rapid air loss, but the light prompted her to take immediate action and it saved the rim (and possibly the van or her life). You can buy Schrader 33500 sensors for $110, and programmed as clones of your existing sensors so that changeover is seemless. https://www.ebay.com/i/122859667911?chn=ps Programming cost is typically around $10 each. It literally takes less than a minute per wheel!

If you are going for the winter tires, add this for peace of mind. Especially important if your wife or kids are behind the wheel (yes, a little guilt goes a long way!).
 
  • Like
Reactions: leeleses

·
Registered
Lawn ornament XT
Joined
·
14,366 Posts
Just for perspective, my car is one notch too old for TPMS. With that layer removed, the situation is simpler:

I have a lot of space available, so storing a second set isn't a big deal. I still find the time to do my own wheel swaps, so that isn't a big deal either. If TPMS can be tamed, you just need to study your storage and time constraints.

It could argued that two sets of seasonal tires is more expensive. That can be countered somewhat by the fact that you're only using one set at a time, so they both last longer. Just make sure that your total annual miles are high enough to actually get your money's worth of two sets of tread before either one ages out. Old tires with good treads aren't much better than young tires with no treads.
 

·
Registered
2017 Outback Premium, silver
Joined
·
457 Posts
No question the best solution if you NEED 2 sets of tires, is separate wheels. The ‘09 and according to cars101 used TPMS, so it’s the cost of tires, plus wheels, plus TPMS sensors, maybe the code setting unit if you swap them your self. My budget was $1000 just for parts and I couldn’t justify for the NYC area especially as I drive on flat terrain pretty much all the time.

After my OEM Bridgestone are toast I’ll switch to a better set of all seasons, General Altimax RS43 is what I had on my Forester and they were pretty good on snow. Not as good as dedicated snows like Blizzaks, but good enough for my needs

And that’s really your call. Where you live, how hilly, how much snow typically, how much you NEED to drive in snow, totally drives the decision.
 
  • Like
Reactions: leeleses

·
Registered
Joined
·
284 Posts
So we have permanently moved to the North and I wanted to share our position on cars:

2013 Suzuki SX4 Sportback (FWD) with @43K miles on original factory tires (Pittsburgh area): We initially thought we would get an AWD Subaru, but could not rationalize the cost as the SX4 is almost brand new and drives beautifully. Put on Blizzak WS80's (from DTD) and have had no issues with routine winter traction. However, since the OEM tires were old and I am still trying to figure out DIY TPMS tools, we mounted the Blizzaks (205/50R17) on the original wheels. However, I have purchased a set of OZ Omnia wheels from TR with TPMS's installed and will get AS tires in the next few months and have dedicated sets for this car.

2008 Impreza OBS (~122K miles): This is my DD and gets a lot of use in the Chicago area, and a lot of travel between Chicago and Pittsburgh areas. I got a dedicated winter set from DTD (Konig Backbones with Blizzaks (205/50R17) with Schrader 28203 sensors) and could not be happier. This car has seen @2K miles between Chicago and Pittsburgh in the last two weeks and I have had no issues with the crazy cold wintery conditions. A local Chicago DT store programmed the new sensors at no charge on the OBS yesterday and no more TPMS lamp. However, a dedicated winter set here as well. The summer set is OEM OBS wheels with Conti Pure Contacts (205/50R17).

2017 Subaru OB Premium (~3K miles): After the experience with the Blizzaks on the two vehicles above, purchased a set (225/65R17) from DTD with Schrader 28203 sensors. Had to source Konig Runlite's from a separate source as these are getting scarce, and are a low enough cost and light wheel to use in a winter set. I need to get wheel/tire sets assembled and mounted on the OB quickly before winter leaves us :smile2:. However, dedicated set for the OB as well.

In summary, couple of considerations:
1. As in other responses, cost and wear/tear associated for unmounting/mounting tires on a single wheel set.
2. Initial higher cost consideration for a separate wheel/sensor set to be factored in, and thereafter unless the wheel/tire assembly needs to be rebalanced, no additional charges if you can change the dedicated assemblies out yourself.
3. Personal satisfaction in being able to avoid the dealership and tire places and being able to handle stuff on your own.

Separately, I cannot say enough good things about DTD and DT. Their customer service is exceptional. TR is great to work with as well.
 
  • Like
Reactions: leeleses

·
Registered
2009 Outback Wagon, 2.5L Engine
Joined
·
150 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Could you share what DTD and DT are? Obviously tire sites, but which ones!
 

·
Registered
06 3.0R JDM facelift SI Drive-shift paddles. 87 Brumby EA81 (Brat) 4MT D/R
Joined
·
613 Posts
Agree 2 sets of wheels is far better in fitting the appropriate wheels / tyres for the conditions / seasons, yourself at home. ( better choice / flexibility.)
Also get better life out of (softer) winter tyres by not running them unnecessarily in non winter conditions prematurely wearing them out.

Also agree refitting tyres several times to one set of rims / wheels, not the best for the tyre beads / sealing etc
 
  • Like
Reactions: leeleses

·
Registered
'13 3.6R Limited
Joined
·
30 Posts
I live in Seattle and run 2 sets of wheels, BRZ w/michelin premier a/s and stockers w/blizzak ws80 for winter. I store them and swap them when needed and use the ATEQ tool to update the TPMS IDs. When we get snow, Seattle shuts down and is a total cluster. Nobody really seems to be prepared, including the city. Plus, I tend to play in the snow at the passes from time to time. My thoughts are, I'd rather be safer than sorry, so the extra effort is worth it.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top