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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,
I recently moved to a place where snow tires are somewhat of a necessity and purchased tires for my 2009 Outback for the first time. After much deliberation, I selected the Firestone Winterforce 2 UV. I bought new winter wheels, too.

I dropped my car off to have the tires and wheels mounted and installed, and there was apparently an issue with one of the tires. An imperfection (safety hazard). So, the tire shop I bought the tires and wheels from instead installed Hankook I*Pike RW11s, and said it was a "free upgrade to a tire that costs $30 more than the Winterforce 2UV". I took the car home, and after some googling, it doesn't look like the tires are an upgrade (Hankooks - $85 on Discount tires vs. Firestones - $105 on Tire Rack). They may be a lateral move, or a slight decrease, in price, anyway.

My questions for the forum are:
1) Can anyone weigh in on the performance of the Hankook RW11s versus the Firestone Winterforce 2 UVs? I'm not sure if I should ask them to order another set of Firestones and to get those installed as originally planned, or to keep the Hankooks and potentially ask for a partial refund to account for the tires being cheaper. I live up a 3/4 mile dirt driveway that is steep in places and is plowed by a neighbor. Aside from that, my commute is mainly highway. Vermont gets deep snow, ice, slush, and road maintenance is poor at times.

2) My factory wheels were 225/60/16s and this place installed 215/70/16s. The internet tells me this substitution is acceptable, but the fit looks a little tight. Is this ok? Is it recommended to go w/a narrower tire and bigger sidewall, or should I also be ticked at them for installing a different sized tire?

Thanks for your help.
 

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2005 Outback VDC limited 3.0r
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In the owners manual it says to run a 215 snow tire. In the end, it's not going to make a noticeable difference on every day driving. Snow tires, doesnt really matter what type, are a vast improvement over all seasons. I would bring up the cost difference and see if they will refund you at all. If you want to get an idea of what are good snow tires for your area, call local PD, FD and ask what they run. Emergency vehicles tend to run the best snow tire they can get for there area. Local PD in my state of Washington run I-pikes. I pikes are generally regarded as one of the better snow tires.
 

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I've run those Hankooks before and loved the way they handled deep snow and slush. I wouldn't worry about performance issues with those tires.

FYI .. watch your speed! since the tire's are a bit larger, your speedometer is going to be inaccurate by a few mph. e.g. when you are going 65mph your speedometer will only read ~62mph
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for your input, folks. Sounds like the swap they made was a fair one. I’ll write back once the tires see some action and will report on how they perform.
 

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Hello,
I recently moved to a place where snow tires are somewhat of a necessity and purchased tires for my 2009 Outback for the first time. After much deliberation, I selected the Firestone Winterforce 2 UV. I bought new winter wheels, too.

I dropped my car off to have the tires and wheels mounted and installed, and there was apparently an issue with one of the tires. An imperfection (safety hazard). So, the tire shop I bought the tires and wheels from instead installed Hankook I*Pike RW11s, and said it was a "free upgrade to a tire that costs $30 more than the Winterforce 2UV". I took the car home, and after some googling, it doesn't look like the tires are an upgrade (Hankooks - $85 on Discount tires vs. Firestones - $105 on Tire Rack). They may be a lateral move, or a slight decrease, in price, anyway.

My questions for the forum are:
1) Can anyone weigh in on the performance of the Hankook RW11s versus the Firestone Winterforce 2 UVs? I'm not sure if I should ask them to order another set of Firestones and to get those installed as originally planned, or to keep the Hankooks and potentially ask for a partial refund to account for the tires being cheaper. I live up a 3/4 mile dirt driveway that is steep in places and is plowed by a neighbor. Aside from that, my commute is mainly highway. Vermont gets deep snow, ice, slush, and road maintenance is poor at times.

2) My factory wheels were 225/60/16s and this place installed 215/70/16s. The internet tells me this substitution is acceptable, but the fit looks a little tight. Is this ok? Is it recommended to go w/a narrower tire and bigger sidewall, or should I also be ticked at them for installing a different sized tire?

Thanks for your help.
I also live a mile up a dirt road and, if you dont already have a pair, get yourself a set of quick-fit chains (like Les Scwab or equivalent). Sooner or later youll need them to get home after work, and youll be glad you did! And practice putting them on before snow season begins.
 
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