Tire Selection

Hello all, I have a 2009 Subaru Legacy. The tires that came on it are labeled P205/5017 88V. (I know nothing about tires.) Anyway, I’m short and ended up curbing the back tire because I couldn’t see the curb. (Yeah, I’ve heard all the jokes about getting an old lady pillow to sit on.) Anyway, the sidewall is peeling back and I need to replace the tire before it blows. Can anyone recommend a good tire (highway miles mostly) and can I just replace the back two tires on an AWD vehicle?

Talk to a few tire dealers. You may need four tires unless you can get one or two tires shaved by a dealer down to the same circumference as the others. In this case they need to be the same tire as what you currently have.

Read your owner’s manual carefully about tires and the limitations/cautions about what happens if you don’t follows Subaru’s guidance.

Tirerack.com and Consumer Reports Nov 09 provide good reviews to get your started if you end up replacing all four.

If you are changing out a single tire on a Subaru AWD you must purchase the exact same model/size and make sure rolling circumference (distance around tire) is within than 1/2" of three other “good” tires on the vehicle. How many miles on your current tires? If more than 15k miles I am guessing you have to replace all four tires or find a close matching used tire.

If not you must replace all four tires.

If you drive around on winter conditions an excellent tire I recently purchase for my 2005 Legacy(similar car) are the Continental Extreme Contact DWS. They work well around including winter conditions.

If these are the factory tires, you’d be better off replacing ALL the tires on the car. And no, it isn’t a good idea to change just 1 or 2 tires on an AWD vehicle, especially something as sophisticated as Subaru’s system.
Good Year tripletreads, Michelin Pilot Exaltos, and the model andrew_j mentioned are good buys. Tires are not something you want to skimp on, no matter the vehicle, and mismatching tires on an AWD vehicle can lead to an even more expensive repair later on

When I want to find my next tires I like to use Tire Rack’s website (http://www.tirerack.com) - you can plug in your car and get lots of tire choices with customer reviews and results of various testing.

With AWD I would certainly replace all 4 at once - look at what your owner’s manual has to say.