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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As stated I'm a noob with 17 limited and I need to get cracking on a winter setup. ..up state ny.

Is it out of the question to use the stock rims and add snow tires?

If so...I'm running 18s now but should I look into smaller rims and tires?

I'm leaning towards all seasons as it's pretty rare I'm actually driving in deep snow. They plow the roads pretty well and feel like I'd be driving on dry pavement 85-90% of the time. That would be loud and wear them down quickly I'd imagine.

I hear alot of talk about tire rack. ..is that the best option going? The cheap ass in me is considering buying used rims and slapping on cheap all seasons.
 

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A lot of threads on this recently...

I am in the same boat and got used STI rims with 245/45/R17 Blizzaks. My current thinking is that getting a second set of rims and running full winter tires 4-5 months is a reasonable idea.

Make sure the used rims fit the current WRX bolt configuration.

From what I've read smaller and narrower is generally better, but for most people it makes very little difference. The winter rubber will perform much better than AWT's in cold conditions.
 

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As stated I'm a noob with 17 limited and I need to get cracking on a winter setup. ..up state ny.

Is it out of the question to use the stock rims and add snow tires?
No, people do this routinely.

should I look into smaller rims and tires?
The narrower the footprint, the more pressure per cm2 of contact area there will be between the car and the snow. This is generally a good thing, if there is snow. So you sacrifice looks (I certainly don't care) and dry max grip for max winter grip.

I'm leaning towards all seasons as it's pretty rare I'm actually driving in deep snow. They plow the roads pretty well and feel like I'd be driving on dry pavement 85-90% of the time. That would be loud and wear them down quickly I'd imagine.
This is interesting. What you're really talking about is occasional white but mostly dry yet cold tarmac. Summers won't grip in the cold, and winters will wear down and howl in the dry. It sounds like excellent all-seasons would be your option, but you'd be giving up both snow and dry grip. If you go all-season, go for something outstanding. Continental and Michelin come to mind.

I hear alot of talk about tire rack. ..is that the best option going? The cheap ass in me is considering buying used rims and slapping on cheap all seasons.
Factor in shipping and taxes and take a Tire Rack quote to several local shops and see what happens.
 

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I have a 17 Limited too, I went with stock rims and got the Blizzaks snow tires. If you're planning on buying a new set of rims and tires for summer seasons you should get snow tires instead of all season. You'll be going through all season tires a lot faster if you use them for both. Which is my plan, during or after winter Im getting a new set and using my stock as my winter setup. A lot ppl go with 17" for winter, but i don't wanna spend money on a snow set and then buy a summer set...
 

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Winter tires are designed for use in sub-40° weather. The fact that they're being used on dry pavement won't cause excess wear like high temperatures will. If you're mainly going to be on dry pavement, you may want to consider performance winters (vs regular winters), as it will be focused on cold temp tarmac traction. As a result, you will give up some traction on snow/ice, but if you drive reasonably, you shouldn't have an issue. A performance winter tire will handle better than an all-season tire in all conditions (dry, snow, ice, slush, etc.) as long as you're not exceeding the external temperature of the tire.

If you're buying a second set of wheels, you have two options:
1) If you really like the look of the summer tires, keep your factory wheels and buy a second set of wheels/tires for the winter. This will allow you to retain the factory summer tires, not pay a second mounting fee, and you can step down to 17" wheels, which will mean the tires are likely cheaper, and offer more sidewall (good for crappier road conditions seen in winter).
2) Buy a good set of wheels for the summer, and use your OE wheels for winters. If you go this route, you'll pay an additional mount/balance (to get your factory tires over onto the new wheels), but you'll have your nicer wheels for more months/year that you can appreciate.

I've done both options. I ran summers on my OE BBS wheels for years with inexpensive alloy wheels in the winter. For this past winter, I bought a set of OZ wheels for the summer, retired the BBSs to winter duty, and sold the alloys for scrap.
 

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TPMS will add to OP's costs and headaches too now that I think of it.
 

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I was fortunate as one tire dealer in town offers free winter tire swaps if you buy the tires through them.

So I had options . . .

But I opted to buy a set of alloy rims and dedicated winter tires in the end. I figured going this route would give me the option of putting the tires on and off on my schedule and I wouldn't have to deal with any potential damage to the rims with the swap-overs.

As for going with all-seasons or a separate set of winter and summer tires . . . like you, Maine does a very good job of clearing the snow in the winter, but for those days when the snow is coming down hard and the secondary roads have several inches of snow on them it's hard to beat winter tires.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the feedback.. lot of good info there.
I actually like the look of the black stock rims so if I were buying new rims they'd be for the winter tires. After reading all replies im leaning towards buying cheapish rims with all seasons for nov-apr, and stock rims/tires for Apr-oct. Either that or cheapish rims with snows.
 

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If you're gonna keep your summer set then please just do yourself a favor and get snow tires. I live on Long Island and I drive up through all parts of the NE throughout the winter to feed my skiing addiction, so I'm very familiar with the winter road conditions all over the state. Sure, all seasons will be a bit quieter, but they will still leave much to be desired when you hit a patch of ice or slush, or get caught in a snow storm (inevitable if you live here).

Even the cheapest decent snow tires (General Altimax Arctic) are really not very loud. They hum a little, but its really not that bad, especially when you consider that the stock Donlops are already loud as hell.
 

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Even the cheapest decent snow tires (General Altimax Arctic) are really not very loud. They hum a little, but its really not that bad, especially when you consider that the stock Donlops are already loud as hell.
Not knockin you bud, just sayin "loud" is a relative thing for sure. To me, my Altimax Arctics are very loud; a substantial difference between them and the OEM Dunlops. But I certainly agree that winter tires are the thing to have in the north. I readily put up with the noise.
 

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I agree, they are loud compared to most tires I've had the pleasure of riding on. I just don't think they (or snow tires in general) are loud enough to outweigh their benefits over an all season tire. I think my opinion on their loudness may also be influenced by the fact that I drive a 2014 model, not a 2015+. My car is probably just louder in general right from the factory, so I may not notice the change in tire noise quite as much.

Just want to add the following. I replaced two of my factory tires in the spring and the new ones are almost unbearable. Not sure if Donlop changed the compound, but man, they are really annoying. Swapped to my winter set for a couple days just to make sure it was the tires. Gonna swap to a different summer tire next spring. Anybody else have a similar experience?
 

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I find my skinnier 17 inch winter tires, Dunlop Winter Maxx, to be significantly quieter on dry pavement than the summer stock 18-inchers simply due to the smaller contact patch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Ok Thanks fellas. I'm going to get cheap rims and snows for the win... prolly wait long as possible to put them on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Ok Thanks fellas. I'm going to get cheap rims and snows for the win... prolly wait long as possible to put them on.
 

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Who actually does that, though? I don't know a single WRX owner that actually goes through the trouble. I have met one dude, but he's a Volvo man, and he purchased all of the gear needed to do it in his garage.
 

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Who actually does that, though? I don't know a single WRX owner that actually goes through the trouble. I have met one dude, but he's a Volvo man, and he purchased all of the gear needed to do it in his garage.
We are on our 9th Subaru and I purchased the two devices to do it myself.

Sent from my XT1575 using Tapatalk
 

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All 2015 plus owners I know who run two sets of wheels do it because on the those years, you can only hold TPMS memory for four, not eight like in previous years.

So you have to get the TPMS reprogrammed or buy clones or buy the machine and do it yourself. Regardless, it's not cheap.
 
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