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2022 Outback Wilderness
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, after the big dump of snow a few weeks ago in the PNW, decided to get a set of snow Tires. Popped into dealer today and was quoted 3 options for our OBW2022

Michelin X-Ice
Yokahama Ice Crusher
Bridgestone Blizzack

Not a significant difference in cost and when I asked about performance, the parts guy said they are mostly comparable. When I asked about their recommendations he said they always recommend the Michelin as the better tire. <shrug>

Looking in the forums here, the Michelin does seem to be the favourite. It's got at least a week lead time as it's coming from out of province while the other 2 tires are in local warehouse and have 2-3 day eta's.

We'll also be ordering OEM rims to mount 5 tires.

Looking for counter examples of why you would NOT get the Michelin over one of the other 2 options, cost and eta's being equal?

Secondly we paid for the 60 month tire insurance for our existing Yokohama set that came with the OBW and I am waiting for costing for this new set. Are there any different considerations you'd make when choosing the tire insurance for winter tires given they are likely to be used less than the standard ones. Notwithstanding climate change, need for snow tires in general is probably a Nov to Mar/Apr thing here or even less some years.

Main reason considering this year is due to Ham Radio Winter Field Day at the end of the month, I plan to participate from a back country camp group somewhere.

Secondly plan some ski trips in March in areas that while they don't require snow tires, M&S are accepted by the Province, in some places the weather can get quite nasty quite quickly (Coquihalla highway).

But if we get another dump of snow like late last month, I can see the value of full snow tires for the season.

Lastly, waiting for dealer to quote me on storage for 5 tires. They had a ready price for 4 tires, but 5 seemed like a novelty for them and will require custom pricing. Given the OBW has a full size spare onboard, that seems strange to me <shrug>

I do plan to get a set of tire socks or other Subaru approved additional traction control devices in lieu of chains as an additional fallback.

Any other comments and suggestions I should be aware of?
 

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Well I cannot give you a good reason to pass on the Michelins.

In my personal experience Michelins are better to get repaired, have a great warranty and just hold up. Over the years when I have had a rare flat on a Michelin, the repair shop has said if it was another brand, they could probably not fix it.

My Michelins have NOT been snow/ice tires. I have had all terrains on a truck (great in snow and sand), Pilot Sport UHP Z-rated all seasons in 45 and 55 series on a sports coupe, and MIchelin Premiers on my last SUV. I had them back in the 70s to mid-90s on VWs and Hondas. My wife's Mercedes Sports Coupe has staggered tires so no rotation and when they has early tread wear on the rear we got new tires under the treadwear warranty. That same car hit a piece of scrap metal on the interstate, that flattened a rear tire instantly. My wafe was able to drive a mile to the exit and called road service. It was NOT a run-flat but the construction was such that efven though the tread shredded and came off, she could limp on the sidewalls to a safe area with no damage or scratches to the alloy wheels. At first there was a question about the replacement due to the carcass not having any lot numbers left but we did get a replacement under their road hazard.

I will pay more for a Michelin as I believe they ARE better. They tend to balance better using less weights. So if you are getting similar quotes, there would be no question in my mind. Keep in mind, I am in the US and warranties and replacement policies may vary in Canada.

I will say also, I have never heard a negative about Blizzaks. When I drove a SAAB, Blizzaks were one of the winter go-to tires, but they will wear fast as the weather warms up.
 

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My 2022 OBW came with Severe Snow Service rated Yokohama's, they have the snow covered peaks and everything. Unless you've already replaced yours with something else, that's about as good as it gets for driving in the snow unless you get studded tires.

But to answer your original question, Blizzaks (y)
 

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2021 Outback Touring XT
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I would buy the Blizzak since you actually plan to use them in the snow. I have tried both Michelin X-Ice and Blizzak (ran both sets on the same vehicle, but it was not my Outback). Michelin was better when it was dry or just wet out (not snow). Blizzak was better in snow. My personal experience is also in line with Tire Rack test results.

 

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I think you got good advice from your dealer!
I just bought Blizzak's for my Outback and for my daughter's Forester.
My other top choice based on reviews was the Michelin X-Ice which I was going to order for my wife's Legacy.
She wanted to wait until next year to save money, and since we have the Blizzak's on the Outback we are going to wait.
We don't get slammed by snow the way you probably do so one car with winter tires is fine for this year.
I am a believer in snow tires and look forward to trying both brands. The Yokohama snow tires didn't seem to make it onto my list from the reviews I was watching, but I suspect they are also very good.

I would go with Bridgestone or Michelin - both are among the best on the market.
 

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2022 Outback Wilderness
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
This reminded me of when the Blizzak's came out and how revolutionary they were considered from an engineering and science point of view, I think they are the winners!

Reading this thread now to learn about directional tires and rotation, more out of curiousity Then need to check if this applies to any of my 3 options.

 

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2021 XT Touring Popular package #2 OEM Hitch on Crossclimate2 tires
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I used to run snow tires, but with the crazy temperatures. I stuck crossclimate 2s on. I could not be more happy with them. One set of rims no need to store and swap tires. Ran them on 3 weeks of ice roads where I am and was like wow. Now it's been 2 weeks of full on mud and they go. Now snow comes back this weekend.
 

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'18 Outback Touring 3.6R, '11 Legacy 3.6R Limited. '11 WRX not stock
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I have had a couple of sets of the X-Ice and Blizzacks and trust them both. Usually run Michelins for everything by default but just bought a new set of Blizzacks for a great price for my around town Subie.
My tire installer has mentioned a few times that the Michelins usually require so little weight to balance.
The build date is my only other consideration.
 

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2022 2.4L Touring XT (Ordered 26FEB22)
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Couldn't be happier with them . . thus far. we're still waiting on a "real" snow fall but the couple of small ones we have had (I'm in Palm Beach for a month and missing some of the fun) have led me to believe they inspire confidence and feel fully in control in wet, slushy and lightly snow covered roads.
 

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What's that about? Dried out rubber resulting in faster wear?
Recognizing you asked someone else, but yes it is related to rubber age. Most people do not drive on winter tires enough to wear them out. As a result they usually need replaced due to age/rubber deterioration before they run out of tread. You will likely get more use out of the tire with the most recent date of manufacture (stamped into sidewall of tire as year followed by week number).
 
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'21 Outback Onyx
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Living in Vermont and now Colorado, I will forever buy dedicated winter tires — just personal opinion / experience that a true winter tire will always outperform an all-season/weather. I've owned Blizzaks, CC2s, and Yokohama....and I've since graduated to Nokian Hakkas. Never going back. IMO they're the best on the market, but of course you ask 10 people and get 10 different opinions. They also have a great warranty; believe mine are 60K miles.
 

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.and I've since graduated to Nokian Hakkas. Never going back. IMO they're the best on the market
I agree with that! Had them on an old 09' Corolla for the winter, and it turned that car into a literal snow mobile. I felt like I had more grip in the snow with the Nokians than I did in the summer on my all-season tires.
 

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Face it . . .they are all good. We choose for various personal reasons. I went Blizzak just base I've had such good luck with them in the past. I doubt anyone here, in a blind test, could tell any of them apart.

The good news is that that are not expensive tires and all will work great.

Most people do not drive on winter tires enough to wear them out. As a result they usually need replaced due to age/rubber deterioration before they run out of tread.

My plan is to drive them 2 seasons and replace them. I drive quite a few miles so that may be a tad optimistic . . . but, I sure feel much better having winter tires on. Thus far, this year, it also seems an effective way to prevent snow from falling.

:)
 

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2022 Outback Wilderness
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
So local Subaru dealers have no steel rims in stock. I found a fellow on FB Marketplace selling 4 new rims and covers that match the tire size noted in the manual on page 546 of 225/65R17 102T for tire and 17x7J for wheel size but manual doesn't mention bolt pattern, here


I find that's 5x114.3, however based on the photo by the seller, how do I match that up, this is one of the pics on his page

Tire Automotive tire Wheel Motor vehicle Automotive design


Is this the correct rim?

Assuming it is the price is right and I'll have to track down a 3rd party one of check one of the local auto wreckers for an official Subaru one to use with the spare tire.
 

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Late to the discussion.

Generally I'd consider myself NOT a Bridgestone fan and generally buy Michelins. However, after purchasing Bridgestone Blizzak WS80's for our Sienna in 2016 and then a set of the new WS90's for my kid's Toyota RAV4 AWD in 2020, I'd have to say I'm sold on them. They grip well in ice and snow, and the WS90 seems to have resolved the early wear issues of the WS80 with no loss in performance.

Given the tread block design and the need to serve dry/wet/ice/snow by having an asymmetrical tread design, many winter tires have a directional requirement. You just rotate front to back, and not cross them. I put a paper on the wall reminding me of lug nut torque, rotation scheme of the winter/3-season tires, etc. on each of the 4 vehicles.

I hate steel rims with a passion, given how they rust in the rust belt. I used to buy inexpensive alloy rims from TireRack, but for the past few cars have just gone for alloy take-offs or insurance company new reproduction/replica rims. Go for heavy silver painted rims rather than polished/clearcoat. Sand and rocksalt pounding damages the clearcoat, and I got some visible alloy corrosion on one set.

Unfortunately, I can't tell from those markings what the hub diameter is, if the offset is correct or if the bolt hole spacing is 5x114.3. There's a lot more to it than just the 17x7.
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Steel vs alloy seems to be one of those religion level arguments ;)

I am getting the steel primarily for the more ruggedness, especially hitting hidden, snow covered ruts on FSR's and other back country roads.

As to the bolt pattern, seller is looking into it for me, if that's a no go, will just buy 5 of these and be done with it

 

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Check with the community to see if this poses any issue....

Standard Outback = 55 mm offset
The Wilderness moves the wheels outboard to 48 mm

You are proposing moving them further out to 42 mm. Any fender clearance issues?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Not sure what you are asking @Fibber2, I am ordering what are onstensibly new steel rims that match the standard OEM rim size, please educate me on where I've gone wrong here. Way more complicated than I expected!

Is there a tires and rims 101 I should be studying?
 

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Not sure what you are asking @Fibber2, I am ordering what are onstensibly new steel rims that match the standard OEM rim size, please educate me on where I've gone wrong here. Way more complicated than I expected!
Q: Are you planning on ordering the rims in the link you posted above?
The 42 mm offset raised a red flag to me. It might work, but I'd want to hear from someone who has tried it.

Did you see and try the "Does This Wheel Fit?" next to the wheel picture.? If you did, and filled in 2022 Wilderness, you would get a "No, it doesn't". If you filled in Subaru Forester, it says it will fit, but the Forester does have more squared-off fenders and is spec'ed naturally for lower offset.

Matching the OEM rim size of 17 x 7 is not sufficient. The rims should be hub-centric meaning you need the correct wheel bore to fit the hub (and 56.1 is correct), the right offset so that the tire doesn't scrape the fender or the strut tower (these are getting close to the fenders), and the right bolt spacing and even the bolt hole diameter. Yes, it's complicated.

I don't have the resources at my fingertips tonight to teach you. Perhaps someone else can jump in here?
 
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