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I have had my new 2012 WRX for a week now and living in the northeasat means that the snow is soon upon us. Does anyone have any suggestions as to whether or not snows are "required" or "recommended"? I would expect recommended would be the case. If that is true, who has had success in using a narrower tire? What tire does anyone recommend? Lastly, anyone had any luck in getting a decent set of steel wheels for their snows? Sorry for all the questions, but we already has a little snow and want to get on this quick. Thanks - Silver Fox
 

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Required. You stock tires are worthless in the snow ( since they are summer performance) I opted for a set of 16" alloys and Pirelli snow tires from tire rack. I went with a cool wheel look because it will be on the car for nearly 1/2 the year here and I didn't want steel. The price difference was minimal. I went with tire rack recommended snow package size for a 16" wheel for my 11 wrx.

Good luck, act fast!
 

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Definitely get some different tires on there ASAP, the summer tires are unbelievably bad in the snow...I just put a good set of all seasons on today because I don't have the space to store an extra set of wheels and tires, but if you do snows would be the best option, and I'm sure narrower wouldn't hurt at all.
 

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"Snow" tires aren't required (you can go A/S), but you should not run the OE tires in sub-40° temperatures, let alone with any kind of snow accumulation.

If you deal with any kind of real accumulation, you should consider getting a second set of inexpensive wheels and snow tires.
 

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I went with the snow/winter tires, will put them on next weekend. after that...♫let it snow(3x)♪....
 

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I can't tell you strongly enough how dangerous your car will be with the stock tires and just a dusting of snow... Like others have said, even if there is no snow on the ground but the road is cold - you will loose control of your car very unexpectedly.

I did TireRack and got cheap-o rims/blizzaks for my STI for around $1100. I didn't get the TPMS put on, so I deal with a light on my dash all winter long - but the car drives solid on snow now. The new (08+) WRX/STI with the traction control is just excellent with the right tires.
 

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Does anyone have any suggestions as to whether or not snows are "required" or "recommended"?
How does a dealer not make sure the buyer knows that the stock tires are horrible in the snow? I wonder how many wrecks a year happen due to ignorant drivers (no offense to OP, he is at least asking) driving their car with OEM summers on the winter roads....

But OP, you have the choice of either a performance all season (like the Continental DWS tires), or a performance/snow tire mix (like the blizzak LM series) or a pure snow/ice tire (like the blizzak WS series). As you get more snow performance, you start to very quickly lose dry road performance. No tire can do it all unfortunately.

Also, summer tires start to lose a bit of traction at around 35 degrees or so, even if the road is dry, so be careful if your driving it hard on a cold morning.
 

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Yes - everything is a tradeoff. I went with the Blizzak WS series, and the car drives awful on dry roads. I had Hankook snows on my last WRX - they were a much better balance between snow/ice/dry conditions in my opinion.
 
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