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Subaru Legacy/Outback Tire Issues

caliberchiccaliberchic Posts: 402
edited April 2014 in Subaru


  • I purchased a new 2006 Subaru Outback about 6 months ago and the tires are already worn out at 16,000K!!! Has anyone else had this problem? What is my recourse? The tire warranty is handled by Bridgestone/Firestone rather than Subaru, and the tire warranty booklet mentions no mileage rating for the tires. This is my third Outback. I got 50,000 - 60,000 miles on my original tires with my first two Outbacks. Thank you!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    If they are worn evenly I'm not sure there's much you can do.

    If they wore unevenly you could argue it was the alignment or something Subaru did wrong.

  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,925
    I agree. Heck, I would count it a blessing and go put some decent tires on it! :P
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • You don't think there is something a bit off about just sitting back and letting Subaru all of a sudden put truly inferior tires on their new cars??? I have had the car 6 MONTHS! We are supposed to simply accept it? Where is the "blessing" in this?
  • krzysskrzyss Posts: 845
    that now YOU can choose tires that you like and not accept OE choice.

    What tires do you have on your Subaru?

  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,925
    Yes, that is what I was thinking as well. The RE92 is "truly" a mediocre tire. Granted, I agree that it is frustrating to need to put new tires on a vehicle after such a short period of time. I think, though, that you will find any replacement to be a vast improvement over the OE tires.

    I am not sure why it lasted such a short period of time, but maybe it has something to do with cost reduction since so many owners tend to oust those tires early on anyway. From the manufacturer's point of view, why pay for a 50,000 mile tire when folks tend to replace them within 20,000? I am not sure if this is the case, but it is possible.
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • My '05 outback wagon was similar. The tires were worn near the outer edge more than elsewhere. This happened on all four tires. The car pulled slightly after about 3 months of purchasing new. I took it to the dealer about 3-4 times for the same problem. They finally had to pull the vehicle frame for the fix. Dunno how the frame was bent being that this is a new car?

    I was in an accident 3 months ago. The car was totaled by the insurance company. Guess what? The airbags did not deploy!! I think that I may have gotten a lemon? This vehicle was the one in the show room.

    That was my first subaru. I love subaru but will reconsider next time when i look for another car.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Count your blessings and go get some good tires. I suggest the Sumitommo HTR+ which go for abouy $65 in Impreza size from Tire Rack.

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Your car can be totalled and the airbags won't go off. Why do you feel it was a lemon because the airbag didn't deploy?

    As for the bent frame, do not blame SOA, chances are and this is well documented, that dealers damage the cars in transport and do not (and don't have to) disclose up to 4k of damage in some states.

  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,925
    The airbags are a tough one. It takes a fairly specific collision to deploy them. Most notably, a frontal impact that misses the front bumper (such as impacting a taller pickup or van) can cause a significant amount of damage to the vehicle, but not deploy the airbags because the shock did not travel through the bumper/frame. On the other hand, my grandparents were in a collision where another vehicle T-boned them at about 20 mph, and pushed their vehicle (on packed snow) such that it bumped another vehicle with a glancing blow at maybe 5 mph and the airbags popped unnecessarily.
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    in the old days there were sensors in the bumpers, now-days there is I believe a mercury switch inside the dash panel that essentially is a shock sensor and will deploy only if hit in a manner where the airbags would deploy and be helpful. For instance I've seen 4-runners offroading and come crashing down hard off a burm at high speed and the airbag deployed, w/o any damage to the vehicle at all.

  • My first two Outbacks came with great tires, which lasted 50 - 60,000 miles. I suppose it is my fault for not checking the tires before purchasing the vehicle. Because my first two came with good tires, I assumed this one would also. This new "cheap" tire thing seems to me like yet another way to cheat us.

    So, I am calling Subaru to complain. Whatever happens, I need new tires, what is your recommendation? Best tire, not best deal.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Is the best bang for your buck. Yeah you can drop like $200/tire on "the best" tires but after 3-4 years they'll be worthless. I've used a lot of tires over the years, on subarus specifically...

    Dunlop SP5000s -Great all season tire, better dry grip than wet grip, ran these tires on the track and through the winter, price in the $115 range

    Sumitomo HTR+ -Outstanding all season tire, less dry grip than the SP5000s, but superior wet and snow grip, ran these for 2 winters on my SVX and were better in the snow than the SP5000s, priced under $65

    Pirelli PZero Nero M&S -Haven't used them but several other subaru owners say they are great all-seasons, again not as good in the dry as the SP5000s but better in wet and snow. Priced $103

    There are some $150 ones out there but I don't feel they are any better than those listed above.

  • I have to put in my usual plug for the Yoko Avid H4s (which I think come in a size that fit the Outback).

    They are only $70/tire (plus installation/mounting), but they are one of a select group of tires with a AA traction rating (also A temp and 500 treadwear). I bought them as replacement tires for my old Forester and never got to use them in snow, but they were absolutely first-rate in every other respect.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I like the Yoks too, the Avid H4s are good tires, just don't have any personal experience with them, I used to use the Yokohama AVS Intermediates which were awsome. I think they were the predicesor to the Avid H4s.

    For summer tires I like the Yok ES100s and the Faulken Azenis Sports

  • ebony5ebony5 Posts: 142
    I certainly was not aware of this. What states? How can one prevent oneself from purchasing a vehicle damaged in transit,& is there any way to find out if a particular car has been damaged and to what extent?
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    The $ figure varies in each state. There is no way to know if it was damaged other than via inspection. This isn't something new, been going on for years.

  • xwesx, that's exactly what happened to me. The other car was an F250. The truck crossed a red light and I just happened to cross the intersection at that precise moment. I was going about 35mph. The damaged occured near the top of the bumper and the hood. It pushed many of the engine component down due to the height of the other truck.
  • paisan, you mentioned that this was well documented. Can you cite your source?
    I live in Seattle and recently a cargo ship carrying a bunch of mazda ran into rough whether. I don't think there were any physical damage to the cars but they were shifted from one side to the other. The story was in the seattle times. If car manufacturers didn't have to let the customer know, i wonder why mazda did? In this case, the damage $ was less than the figure you gave earlier.
  • rysterryster Posts: 564

    Since we are discussing tires for Subarus, I thought I would throw this question out there.

    We have an '05 Outback 2.5i Our OEM Potenza RE92's are ready for replacement at 32,000 miles. Have narrowed down the choices to a handful, but 3 of them are directional tread.

    Aside from the obvious tire rotation limitations (can only move front to back on same side of car), are there any immediate concerns with using a directional tread pattern tire on an all-wheel drive vehicle?

    The tires being considering are:
    Yokohama Avid H4S (Directional)
    BFGoodrich Traction T/A (Directional)
    Continental ContiExtreme Contact (Directional)
    Kumho Solus KH16 (non-directional)
    Continental ContiPremier Contact (non-directional)

    The Outback is driven mostly on the highway, so low noise is very important. Ride is next most important, followed by responsiveness. Would also like something that is competent in rain and the occasional light snow.

    We have read very good things about the Kumho, and that is the front-runner right now, but the Yoko also seems like a good choice.

    Thanks so much!
  • subearusubearu Posts: 3,613
    Directional tires are fine, and you should be rotating only front to back anyway on your Subie.

  • rysterryster Posts: 564


    I guess my concern with the directional and rotation would be if the following rotation is done:
    RightRear to RightFront (OK with directional)

    RightFront to LeftRear (RightFront tire would need to be remounted as it would be facing the wrong direction)

    LeftRear to LeftFront (OK with directional)

    LeftFront to RightRear (LeftFront tire would need to be remounted as it would be facing the wrong direction)

    The only way to prevent having to remount and balance 2 tires every 5-6K miles would be to do a LF to LR, LR to LF, RF to RR, RR to RF swap. Then I would never get the real benefit of rotating the tires for optimal wear.
  • subearusubearu Posts: 3,613
    Subaru only requires you to rotate front to back, back to front same side, which would be just fine for directional tires. Certainly you can remount the tires so you can swap sides, but it is not necessary to swap sides as the front to back rotation every 5-6k will help the tires wear evenly.

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Probably because the manufacturer wanted to disclose it. Usually the damage that isn't disclosed is done by the regional distribution corp or the dealers themselves who do not want to take the hit on the car. In the case of the mazdas I bet they just back-charged the damages to the shipping company.

  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,925
    I agree. Mazda did the same thing with the Cougar when it listed so badly this past summer off the Alaskan coast. None of the cars were damaged (apparently), but since it was at a 70%+ list for several days, they decided to sell the autos as used, or some such. Anyway, I think a manufacturer is much more likely to disclose damage than a second or third party.
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,925
    whew... that's a shocker. I guess when the shipping and/or insurance company is eating the cost...

    Surprising. If those vehicles were tied down properly then there is no reason why they would have sustained any damage unless fuel spilled.
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • could be lots of spills--battery acid, brake fluid, gear oil, tranny fluid, antifreeze, etc.

    Many of those fluids are corrosive to steel, hoses, and paint jobs.

    Still, I'd love to buy one at $0.10 on the dollar ;)

  • Hey again,

    I need new tires on my '06 Outback. I got a lot of suggestions in my last post. But, in reviewing those suggestions I realize I neglected to mention that I do not live in snow country. It freezes maybe once or twice and once in a long while we may get a light dusting, but no major snow driving. It does rain and I do commute over a twisty mountain road. In these parts we leave the same tires on the car year 'round, none of this changing of tires to fit the season. So, taking all of this into account, what is the best tire? Thank you! d
  • kenskens Posts: 5,869
    I think the only reason why Subaru recommends a front-to-back rotation pattern is that it is the most conservative. In other words, this pattern will work even with directional and asymmetrical tread tires.

    If your tire type allows it, there's no reason why you can't cross rotate them. In fact the rotation pattern should be determined not only by tire type but by tire wear pattern as well.

This discussion has been closed.