Rims for winter tires

I’m a firm believer in switching tires with the seasons, and like to keep each set of tires on their own rims so I can make the swap myself. We’ve just traded in our 2000 Subaru Forester (15 inch wheels) for a 2007 Forester with 16 inch wheels. So, my old steel 15s with the winter tires are going to be sold.

My question is: Should I try to get winter rims that are specific to my make and model, or will the generic tire store rims be good enough? Looking at various discussions elsewhere, I’ve heard such conflicting advice. Some say: “Save your money – get the generics.” Others say: “The fit won’t be right with the generics, go for OEM rims.”

All thoughts welcome.

P.S. I live in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Winter lasts a while here.

A lot of people order winter tire and wheel packages from Tire Rack. Even if they don’t deliver to Canada, you could at least look up what wheels they recommend for your car to get some choices in mind.

Are you sure the 15s won’t work on the '07? The 16s were an option for 2000, so they might interchange without a problem.

Seconded. They’re actually a pretty good deal.

I never thought of researching it that way. I’ll see what I can find. Thanks.

I can ask the dealer about that. I’ve heard that if you go smaller there’s a risk of binding on various brake parts. The 15s I had on the old car were generics from a tire store. Thanks for raising this option.

Yes, if they increased the brake size there could be binding, which should be apparent immediately. The dealer may or may not know, you could pose this on one of the many Subaru forums (there’s one specifically for Foresters).

You can eaisly find out if the 15s will fit by simply trying them and rotating the wheels by hand.

However, you’ll need to compare the rolling circumference of the tires you have on the 15" wheels with the rolling circumference of the 16" wheels you have on the vehicle to see if the change will cause a significant error in your speedo and odometer. Www.carbibles.com has a calculator. There used to be charts comparing all the tire sizes, as well as listing necessary rim widths, but the only one I can find now is on tirerack.com and only goes up to 15" wheels.

In 2000 the 16" option had the same size tires as the 2007 standard 16" tires, so I’d guess they’re very similar in size. Easy to check, like you said.

Fitment shouldnt be an issue regardless of what rims you get.

What your concern should be is what finish/color to get.

Go with a Color finish maybe even Flat Black.

Chrome will pit and wont last very long in the snow.

Chrome Rims
Wheel and Tire Package

Thanks, whippetwheels.
I ended up getting the 16" Subaru winter rims (flat black) and Hankook i-pike tires. Very happy with the combo this winter – we’ve had more snow than usual, and they perform well on ice, too.