I need new tires on my 2007 Subaru Forester. The present tires are rated as H and my local tire dealer says I don’t need an H and I should by 215/60 R16 S. The owners manual calls for H tires. Should I go along with my dealers advice. Thanks for your reply.
The owner’s manual rules. Now if you really want to cheap out and buy something less and you or another driver will never drive on the freeway, go ahead. I have no idea why the dealer said something like that. If you were to follow that advice and if there was a high speed tyre related accident he could be held responsible. Really dump dealer.
see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tire_code for a full explanation of tire codes.
H is rated for 130 mph, S is 112 mph
There are a couple of reasons why H rated tires are specified - and one of them is that they are more dimensionally stable - which is of particular importance for an AWD that seems to be sensitive to tire diameter.
You probably don’t NEED H rated tires, but it’s a good idea to keep them. Going to a S rated tire you’ll notice a difference in how the car handles.
www.carbibles.com is another good resource in understanding tires.
I agree that you should stick with the H rating. While S may not be unsafe, assuming you don’t plan on actually cruising above 112 mph, you’ll likely feel a difference in handling.
While I’ll tout this tire: http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.jsp?tireMake=Michelin&tireModel=Pilot+Exalto+A%2FS&partnum=16VR6EXAS&vehicleSearch=false&fromCompare1=yes&place=29&speed_rating=H&speed_rating=V&speed_rating=Z&speed_rating=W&speed_rating=Y&speed_rating=(Y) there are plenty of others available in your tire size.
Any difference in handling is going to be negligible at sane speeds, so the S-rated tires should be just fine.