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Just got my 2011 WRX about 2 weeks ago and absolutely love it! A coworker mentioned that I have summer tires, and suggested that I get a set of all seasons, stating that summer tires were not that great in the winter... I contact the dealer and they said that they haven't heard of WRX owners having any issues with those tires in the winter, and that those were the only tires available from Subaru.

I am no tire expert, so I am wondering, how bad would it be if I used the stock Dunlop Sport SP 01's in winter? FYI, I live in IL, a little SW of Chicago
 

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I've been through IL in the winter, I would not suggest you drive on those tires. It's always best to have two dedicated sets of wheels and tires, one for summer, the other for winter and you just swap them out. That is, if you can afford it. You can always use the same wheels for each set and have them unmounted and remounted each time to the tune of ~15 per tire.

You probably CAN drive in the winter on those, but I would definitely take it a LOT slower than you would normally on snow. Simply because the compound used in those tires gets extremely hard in those lower temperatures.
 

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The Fruit
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I'd stop taking advice from your dealer.. they're a bunch of idiots if they think the factory equipped tires on the wrx are even marginally ok for winter travel. Run those in the snow and you're taking your life or someone else's into your hands. Did you talk to a salesman or the service dept? .. either way they're full of ****. Summer tires in snow are dangerous.

They ARE summer specific tires.. that means they're best in dry and wet conditions in temps 50* and up.. anything below that or dealing with any sort of cold weather precipitation and you're going to be up crick without paddle.

Get a set of stealies and a good set of dedicated snow tires. That way you can use your factory wheels/tires for warm weather (spring/summer/fall) and your winter set just for doing battle in the snow and cold.
 

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Wow,just wow.Your dealer said the stock summer Dunlops are good for the winter.Maybe if you live in Florida.They have absolutely no idea what they are talking about.They are called Summer tires for a reason.

Like mango said in temps below 40* they start loosing grip & once it snows all you can do is pray.No snow traction or stopping power at all.I had a brief stint last year when it unexpectedly snowed for the first time.

Your best bet like Mango said would be to get a set of wheels with winter tires.
 
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