06 STI Tires and Wheels - bad for snow?

Discussion in 'General Motoring' started by Adam Frankel, Aug 16, 2006.

  1. Adam Frankel

    Adam Frankel Guest

    I was very close to purchasing my 06 STI today. The salesman is now saying
    that I will need to purchase new (smaller) wheels AND larger all season or
    snow tires as the current wheels and tires will not be appropriate for
    driving in upstate New York. Is this really a problem or should I be able
    to manage with the stock tires using the AWD?

    Adam Frankel, Aug 16, 2006
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  2. Adam Frankel

    Dmitriy Guest

    All-Wheel-Drive doesn't help much if none of your wheels has grip :).
    But coming from a guy who drove a FWD Corolla with nearly bald way wide
    compared to stock Nitto NeoGen's through Michigan winters... you can
    probably manage.

    However, I wouldn't recommend it. The stock Bridgestones are definitely
    a summer oriented tire, and would you really want to risk bending one
    of those oh-so-expensive BBS wheels in a winter pothole? Or smashing up
    your brand new $30+ thousand dollar car?

    IMO... spending $800 on some crappy wheels and good winter tires is
    cheap insurance and will make your winter driving a lot more enjoyable.
    Dmitriy, Aug 16, 2006
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  3. Adam Frankel

    Adam Frankel Guest

    Adam Frankel, Aug 16, 2006
  4. Adam Frankel

    Cam Penner Guest

    Low profile is bad on winter roads. You want a higher
    profile tire than the STi comes with stock.

    Besides, the salt will KILL the stock rims. You'll be
    really sad if you don't pony up the $$$ for some winter
    rims. Plus, with rims and tires you don't have to go and
    get the tires re-mounted every spring and fall. You can
    just do it at home. Nothing sucks more than waiting too
    long for the tire changeover, and having to drive to the
    tire shop on your summer tires in the snow. Murphy's law
    says you'll rearend someone at a stop sign while the tires
    that would have gripped are in the trunk.

    Get snows on rims. You'll never regret it.
    Cam Penner, Aug 16, 2006
  5. He nneds to make sure that if he 'minus 1' sizes the wheels, they will
    clear the brakes.

    I'm just a flatlander - but from everything I've read (and believe) the
    worst dedicated snow tires are better than the best all seasons even
    with AWD.

    Carl 1 Lucky Texan, Aug 16, 2006
  6. Adam Frankel

    JD Guest

    OK. Befiore you go nuts on wheels and tires, you can't use smaller wheels;
    they won't clear the brake calipers in the front. If you can, I would buy a
    set of 7"X17" with the correct offset for the winter. I use a narrower tire
    for the winter since it will give you better grip in snow. I use a
    205/50R17 winter. I bought Enkei wheels for the winter; good and cheap.

    If you have to use the stock rims (which you can do, but will take a beating
    from salt and sand) you have to use 225/45R17.
    JD, Aug 16, 2006
  7. Adam Frankel

    mulder Guest

    The stock tires are summer tires only. Not only are they useless in
    snow, but they are not supposed to be used in lower temperatures
    (below about 40 degrees F). The tread compound is not designed to
    operate at low temps and will get hard causing severe loss of grip.
    People have crashed their brand new STi's because they got them in the
    winter and drove them on the OEM tires. I at least give your salesman
    credit for warning you not to use them in the winter, even if his info
    wasn't totally correct.
    As others have posted you can't use smaller wheels due to brake
    clearance but there are some aftermarket wheels that will fit.
    If you are in upstate NY you should get dedicated winter tires and not
    all seasons.
    mulder, Aug 17, 2006
  8. Adam Frankel

    Body Roll Guest

    Besides the summer rubber you'd have the problem with 90W grease
    in the rear diff. It flows above 32F. Not sure what you could do aside
    replacing it with 75W90 when temperature drops below 40F or something?
    I wonder if the diff would overheat if you forget to switch back to 90W
    when the temps
    get back up.
    The manual is mum regarding what to do in STI below 32F.
    Body Roll, Aug 17, 2006
  9. Adam Frankel

    Adam Frankel Guest

    Thanks for all the responses. I used tirerack.com (recommended to me by the
    Subaru mechanic) and I am going to get a set of 4:

    17x7.5 ASA JH3 Silver Painted


    225/45WR17 Kumho ECSTA ASX Blackwall

    This will come to $720 for 4 of each.
    Adam Frankel, Aug 17, 2006
  10. Adam Frankel

    sndive Guest

    ASX grip poorly on snow. If you absolutely have to get all seasons
    people claim ContiExtremeContacts work very well in most conditions.
    There is a RE-960 (successor?) to RE-950s that's been a very good
    all around tire. But for a high perf car like yours all seasons will be
    the weak link in a chain. If you can't afford two sets of rubber
    (dedicated max perf summers and perf/deep snow winters)
    I'd save $$$ and get a plain WRX instead.
    sndive, Aug 17, 2006
  11. Adam Frankel

    Cam Penner Guest

    I'd concur. The car is coming with summer tires. You're
    set for the non-winter months. If you're getting separate
    rims and tires, but winter tires on, not all season tires.
    Cam Penner, Aug 17, 2006
  12. Adam Frankel

    Jim Stewart Guest

    Very good advice. The STI is an incredible
    car, but the plain WRX is still lots of fun
    and more practical for your application.

    My wife has used hers as a snow car in the
    Sierras for 2 seasons with zero problems
    and stock tires.
    Jim Stewart, Aug 17, 2006
  13. Adam Frankel

    JD Guest

    I don't do anything to the oil in the diff with no probs. We get down down
    to below -30 C here in winter and the car works fine.
    JD, Aug 18, 2006
  14. Adam Frankel

    k. ote Guest

    Whoah! Do *NOT* drive the stock tires in winter conditions! Not only is
    there practically no snow-worthy grip, but the stock tires are rated only
    down to 4C!

    You *will* slide through every turn, miss every stop, skid down hills, spin
    in place up hills, and generally look like a tool driving a car like the
    STi without winter or at least M+S tires.

    The reason the salesman is suggesting a new set of wheels to go with new
    tires is twofold: 1. The BBS wheels are ridiculously expensive. Why risk
    them? 2. It hurts tires to be moved too many times around on wheels.

    You don't necessarily have to get smaller wheels and bigger tires. Be
    mindful, though, of the fact that snow and ice that can accumulate in
    BBS-like ventilated wheels and STi wheel-wells. (My old 2002 WRX, driving
    through snowy conditions, needed frequent cleaning in the wheel wells with
    a long-handled scraper, without which the tire would rub horribly against
    polished ice/snow chunks tossed up there and compressed by normal driving.)
    k. ote, Aug 18, 2006
  15. Adam Frankel

    k. ote Guest

    I spoke with some people at BBS. They seemed to think winter salt wouldn't
    hurt the wheels at all.
    k. ote, Aug 18, 2006
  16. Adam Frankel

    CompUser Guest

    Note the poster ID---the info is totally bogus.
    CompUser, Aug 19, 2006
  17. Adam Frankel

    Body Roll Guest

    Nice to know. Do you have any autocross events in winter?
    Body Roll, Aug 20, 2006
  18. Adam Frankel

    Body Roll Guest

    Looks like you are right. From what I googled 90W synthetic may flow
    okay even at 0F.
    Does anyone know if STI comes with synthetic or dino gear oil
    in the rear diff?
    Body Roll, Aug 20, 2006
  19. Adam Frankel

    JD Guest

    We do indeed. I don't autocross myself, but several of my buddies with STIs
    do and no issues with the oil in the diff. When the car is cold, it is a
    bit stiff (but so is the tranny), but everything warms up in a few minutes
    of driving.
    JD, Aug 20, 2006
  20. Adam Frankel

    JD Guest

    Mine (an 04) came with MOTUL synthetic
    JD, Aug 20, 2006
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