I purchased a 2006 outback, my second one. I love the car and this year purchased studded tires. It’s been years since running this style and am looking for ideas and things to watch out for.

any suggestions and comments?

-Firestone, winter force directional is what I am riding on here in Northern New Hampshire. They came recommended by my tire guy as well as the Dealership in VT which the car was purchased from.

That AWD need a couple of things to keep it going. The first is all four tyres need to be the same size (circumference) If you blow one tyre and need to replace it, you must either replace all four or have the one new one shaved down to the same size as the other three.

Be sure to read the owner’s manual and follow any recommendations or instructions listed.

I don’t know of any special tyres or stud requirements.

You are smart to get snow tires for your Outback. They have a limited rear differential…when they lock and you don’t have adaquate traction, the rear end can kick out quicker than expected. CR notes this on their emergency handling comments. Your set up will be a real traction animal…be careful you don’t use the added traction to drive too fast for conditions. Take care.

one thing to watch out for with studs in rain the studs lift the tires up and you can lose control steering slow down in rain.

Tire Rack recently did some testing of winter tires vs. studded tires, and they found that the winter tires beat the studded tires easily in snow, ice, and wet and dry pavement.

In other words, technology has moved on. Put on some good modern winter tires and forget the studs.

Yea, Winter tyres (they changed the name from snow tyres when the technology changed) are much better than the old snow tyres.  I would have suggested that you not try studs if you asked before doing it.  

I do agree with the warnings about different sizes of tyres on that car.  Even a small wear difference between two of the same kind of tyres or different tyres can damage the AWD system.  Also for any car you want the same traction available front and back to maintain safe handling.

And you are illegal in several states.

Our 1996 Outback AWD runs wonderfully with fresh identical summer tires, or studded M&S winter tires. All 4 must be same or you will damage the AWD system, which is computer controlled. Personally, I am opposed to studs, which horribly trench our few high-speed highways in Anchorage, Alaska, and decrease major highway surface course life by about 50%. Our 1983 and 1987 4WD-on-demand Subarus have been fine with high quality all-season tires. However, my wife feels safer with the studs so I go along. I do put them on as late as is safe (Sep 15 is allowed), and take them off as early as safe (May 1 is required by regulation).