Subaru Outback/Legacy Tires and Wheels



  • cptpltcptplt Member Posts: 1,075
    the Serenity has replaced the Turanza LS series which for several years was the top tire on the Tirerack reviews for whatever category they were in.(do not confuse the Turanza LS with the ELs which are often OEM and suck) whether the Serenity is as good as its predecesor remains to be seen.
  • mountainwalkermountainwalker Member Posts: 40
    Thanks, that's very helpful. I've read mixed reviews about the Serenity - generally quite good on dry and wet, but complaints about poor traction on snow, and I expect decent traction on snow and ice from an all-year tire (decent, not superior). Is the Turanza LS still available? If it is, would you recommend picking it up? Are there any other tires you'd recommend for the Subaru Outback 2000 (16 in. tires)?
  • somainersomainer Member Posts: 6
    I'm looking for recommendations for All-Season tires for a 2005 Outback. We live in Maine and also run Winter tires to handle the snow and ice, so we mostly need solid competent tires to cover general summer and shoulder-season driving (as in we could get hit by a snowstorm before or after I have the Winter tires on). This is mostly for highway (often long-distances) and around town driving. Any ideas about where to buy and known specials would be appreciated as well. Thanks!
  • mountainwalkermountainwalker Member Posts: 40
    Hi somainer,

    I have roughly similar needs to you, except that I would be driving from warm conditions into mountains with snowy/icy conditions, rather than getting hit with freak summer storm. Though I know exactly what you mean - we've been in NY up to now and hike/kayak/x country ski in NH, ME, VT, upstate NY, MA. We've been hit with weather surprises like that in the White Mountains of NH.

    Check out my detailed post #52 that compares 2 of the best all-season tires I could find - the Bridgestone Turanza Serenity and the Yokohama Avid TRZ.

    Yokohama Avid TRZ 225/60R16 $94 T speed rated4/ - rated for 80,000 miles - rated as a touring tire. Very large number of ratings and very highly rated, both for summer and winter conditions. Considered an excellent mix of quality and value. The Yokohama Avid TRZ also got a very good review in Yahoo Answers.

    So far these 2 are looking best - I just want to verify which of the two has better snow/ice handling.
  • mountainwalkermountainwalker Member Posts: 40
    I'm looking to pick up an Outback wagon and someone on Car Talk forums recommended picking up a 2005 or beyond, as some earlier year models had a tendency to have problems with leaking head gaskets.
    1) How do you like your 2005?
    2) Do you know about how much a 2005 would cost now (I'll check KBB and other sources as well)?
    3) What's the difference between the Outback wagon and the Legacy wagon? Is the Outback wagon just a little higher off the ground?
    4) Anything in particular to look out for on Outback 2005 and newer?
  • cptpltcptplt Member Posts: 1,075
    I had Turanza LS on my 98 legacy GT and I put some on my dads 02 avalon too. the Turanza LS are very good but I can't say much about snow traction as my dad is in FL!! and I use snow tires here in IL in winter.
    if you can find any LSs they are probably worth getting though if you lose one in the future you may have trouble finding a replacement!

    if you live where it snows one option but a little pricier (though the LS or Serenity aren't cheap either) is to get Nokian WRs which are snow rated but can be used all year round unlike other winter tires. I actually use them all year round on a Tribeca and a Windstar and used the Wrs predecessor, the NRW, as my winter tire on my legacy.
  • somainersomainer Member Posts: 6
    1) Great
    3) No, there are other diffs. Go to a used Subaru place and check them out!
    4) Not that I know. We're pleased with it. Got it used 14 mos. ago.
    Hope that helps.
  • ebony5ebony5 Member Posts: 142
    I have been satisfied with the Yokohama Aegis ls 4 tires on my '96 OBW. I purchased them before the TRZ's were available so when I replace them I will stick to Yohohama but may switch over to the TRZ. I live in NYC and travel upstate often.
  • mountainwalkermountainwalker Member Posts: 40
    I just picked up an Outback VDC edition in excellent condition with two sets of rims, including a set of WRX rims with studded snow tires on them. What do the WRX rims do for you? One person said they were for speed, another person told me they were for use with snow tires.

    Will be using this subie mostly for work highway/around town during week, and every few weeks a 2-3 hour road trip on good highways and roads in mostly very good weather. In winter, when headed to ski areas, I plan to use our all-year tires and chain up if necessary in the last 10-20 minutes driving toward the resort. It doesn't seem like you need more than that in the Bay Area - for example, for the vast majority of your drive from the Bay Area to Tahoe ski resorts, you're driving in fairly good weather on good roads - winter or snow tires seem overkill except for people who live in Tahoe full time, and have to drive on roads other than ski resort approaches that are not kept as clear.

    Also, in very good-excellent condition, what are the WRX rims worth?

    In very good-excellent condition, what are the regular rims worth?
  • cptpltcptplt Member Posts: 1,075
    I used my stock 02 WRX rims as my winter tire rims on my 08 OB Ltd. I actually like them better than the stock OB rims besides which they are 16in ones too and I don't like the idea of 17in rims on the OB (its more expensive and its nuts to have a high performance tire on a 4cyl OB and the stock 08 Ob rims are butt ugly and anything but bling bling!)

    what year are your WRX rims, are they 17in or 16in? I got another set of WRX rims from tirerack for about $90 each when I got snowtires for my WRX but I've never seen them that cheap anywhere else or since.

    one option instead of dedicated snows is to get Nokian WRs, they are winter rated and you can drive them all year. I use them on a Tribeca and a Windstar all year round and while they are not as good as a multicell blizzak on ice they are as good as any regular snowtire.
  • xiolagloxiolaglo Member Posts: 1
    I just took my outback to the dealer because 3 of the studs broke off on one wheel! I could have died or caused a serious wreck injuring or killing others! This happened last year right after I bought the car, except it was only one stud then. The last people to tighten the lugs were at the dealer. Is this their fault? I hate the dealer and if I can get out of paying the bill, that would be great. Has anyone else had this problem with the studs, or is this human error?
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    It's the dealers fault. They overtightened the wheels. They probably use an air gun w/o torquing them down and over-tighten because the air gun goes to about 150psi instead of 80-90 that is for a Subaru rim.

    Definitely make them pay for em.

  • shrinermonkeyshrinermonkey Member Posts: 58
    No reason for studs to fail unless their is significant corrosion or you struck something (which would kill the rim and tire before breaking the studs). Most likely over-torqued lugs. Ask them to show you what they use to torque the lugs, bet they don't have a torque wrench and just use an air impact wrench.

    Is your car still under warranty?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    That's just nuts. Don't they use torque sticks for their air guns? I mean, c'mon!

    This is why I rotate the tires myself. I re-torque them even when a shop installs new tires.
  • arigoldxarigoldx Member Posts: 2
    im writing about this problem both to document it and to see if it is affecting everyone else although upon seaching the forum it seems to have affected several people.

    let me first restate that we have a 2006 outback (legacy).

    the problem was first seen a few weeks after we bought the car new and went on an extended road trip. when we took the car in for its scheduled service, the mechanic said that he could not rotate the tires due to excessive wear. the wear worsened and, before we got home, we had to stop to get the car looked at as the metal thread was showing through the worn tire. it was diagnosed as being excessively out of alignment. subaru paid for the alignment and, after a struggle, the tires as well. thinking this was it, we were on our way.

    this past summer, a few weeks ago, we moved across country. we had our mechanic perform an alignment just to be safe. they installed the trailer hitch and verified that all would be all right (max tongue weight 200 lbs). the same problem occurred as before but while it took near 10,000 miles last time, this time it occurred in less than 4,000. again, the alignment was excessively positive.

    i should state that we were well under the 900 lbs max load for the vehicle.

    needlesstosay, this problem should not occur with any vehicle when below the max load.

    for your information - subaru, in '07, issued a service bulletin with new alignment specifications and tire pressure guidelines (upping the pressure to 40 psi under load).

    today, after 2 weeks, subaru said that they'd give us $500 towards a new car. naturally, due to the meager sum and lack of care, we declined and are looking into legal action.

    the last mechanic said that he has seen this problem - has anyone experienced anything like this? any excessive tire wear? that is the first sign - you may not know it is due to faulty alignment (although you probably do, as it would continue to happen without repair). has anyone had to get many alignments done on their car?

    sadly, we are in the process of getting rid of our subaru. we thought this was a car for the outdoorsman but if it the alignment fails under normal loads, something is severely wrong.

    i would be happy to discuss this more with anyone - just contact me via the forum.

    wishing you the best.. ~ari
  • arigoldxarigoldx Member Posts: 2
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    Hmm, something is odd here...

    You had the problem in 06 for the first 10k miles.

    How many miles are on the car now?

    Is there 14k miles on it now (10k then new tires and alignment + 4k on 2nd alignment)?

    Also did the same shop do the alignment on your car both times?

    I have an 05 LGT, no alignment issues, except after I hit an apex too tight on-track and put a wheel into a big pothole at 50+ mph, then it needed a new alignment!

    Motorsports and Modifications Host
  • jackaspadesjackaspades Member Posts: 3
    2004 Sub Outback Sedan, 63,000 miles on car, same on OEM Bridgestone Potenza tires, looking for info on new All-Seasons. I know some of this has been covered in previous posts but my question deals with what all-season would be good for off-road driving as well as city/highway. I live in the NW, tend to drive somwhat spirited:) Only get a few days of snow a year so that isn't as much a concern as taking it on dirt/gravel forest service roads and since it is the "Valley" wet driving a must for good handlinig. What do ya'll suggest?
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    Hmm offroad tires may be difficult to find in that size.

    I usually suggest the Sumitommo HTR+ for good all-seasons at a great price with good dry and wet handling. Not sure how they would do off road though.

  • jackaspadesjackaspades Member Posts: 3
    Its been suggested to me by a couple tire stores that I could go with a 215 65/16 sized tire and see minimal change in speedo/odo. I checked with my Subie dealer and although "not recommended" to deviate from manufactures scecs, that size would prob be ok. Just a little narrower and slightly taller. If so I now have a wider range of tire selection that could offer more off road capabilities and branch out into the light truck/suv tire category such as the Yokohama Geolander A T/S, or the Pirelli Scorpion STR. I know all-wheel-drives can be picky about the size of tire and ecspecially with the VDC and what the car is tuned for, I want to be safe. Thoughts?
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaMember Posts: 16,209
    Well, my thinking is that if it is close to the specified size and all four are the same, there should not be added stress on the AWD system. I am really not sure if it would affect VDC, but I would think VDC tracks wheel-to-wheel spin differentials, which would not be affected by a different tire size.
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    So long as the diameter is the same on all 4 you will be ok.

    I have always liked the Pirelli Scorpion tires. I just put the STRs on my Dad's Trooper.

  • vdonovanvdonovan Member Posts: 1
    We have a 2005 LOB, purchased new. At 20K miles (almost all highway) on the original tires (Potenzas) the outside edges of the rear tires were almost worn through. The front tires were not bad.

    I took the car to the dealer and said that the tires were wearing prematurely and there must be something wrong with the alignment or some other problem with the car. He said that it was my fault for improper inflation, in that the wear patterns indicated under-inflation. I told him I know how to keep my tires properly inflated but got nowhere. I foolishly agreed to let him replace all tires with new Potenzas. They also did a balance and alignment.

    20k miles later with regular rotation and proper inflation, I am seeing the exact same wear pattern as before. (see photos below). I am steeling myself to go back and argue with the dealer, even though I know it's not going to do me any good. Regardless, I would like to have this problem fixed. Does anyone have ideas about what might be causing this excessive and uneven wear?

    thanks for your help

    Rear tires:

  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    That's not too bad, to be honest.

    You do need 4 new tires, though. The rears are totally spent and the front won't last another winter. Shop now.
  • snowbeltersnowbelter Member Posts: 288
    Subaru issued a Technical Service Bulletin #05-36-07R in regards to their changing rear wheel alignment and increasing tire pressure because of uneven wear on rear tires when carrying a heavy load. When I load up my 07 OB I try to increase the pressure on the rear tires to the number indicated for pulling a trailer which also puts a load on your rear tires.

    I can't help you with the details of the TSB as you need to subscribe (pay) to download them from, but your dealer and/or /Subaru Customer Service might be able to enlighten you.

    Juice is correct in your needing four new tires, but also see if your rear alignment needs correction as per the TSB.

    I suspect that the original alignment values and tire pressures resulted in the outside edges wearing too quickly. Have you been carrying heavy loads?
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaMember Posts: 16,209
    Aw, darn. I had a link to a site that listed all the Subaru TSBs, but it is no longer valid. Bummer, that. I worked long and hard to find the thing. It is ironic, to me, that Subaru would charge for TSB access when we already spent enough flippin' money on the cars in the first place! :mad:
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaMember Posts: 16,209
    Perhaps this is counter-intuitive, but I would think that carrying a heavy load (which typically vests with the rear suspension) would tend to cause the inner edge of the tires to wear faster than the outer edges, as the suspension drop would put more pressure on the inside edge of the tire. Maybe not, though.

    I noticed no oddities on my 2008 Outback's tires, and I had a heavy load (probably more than the rated capacity, to be honest) in it for the first 5500 miles of its life. Maybe they had the issue corrected by then.

    Have you not had the 4-wheel alignment reset? If the tires are wearing unevenly, that would be a good place to start.

    The Potenza are probably not overly reliable as a test tire, as they wear very quickly anyway. General reports seem to give them a lifespan of 20-30,000 miles.
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
  • snowbeltersnowbelter Member Posts: 288
    I read somewhere that the TSB changes the toe-in specs.
  • vrooom32kvrooom32k Member Posts: 1
    hey guys I got this lil big problem with my 1990 sub legacy L, 5 speed every time i try to turn it on in the mornings it wont pwr up the fuel pump and the car wont run, but when i get home from work or let it sit in the garage over night it pwrs right up and oway it goes, Ive tryied the fuel pump relay and ign relay and its still doing the same thing so can some one out there point me in the right direction PLEASE i would be more then greatfull.... Thanks ; )
  • jackaspadesjackaspades Member Posts: 3
    The common knowledge about tire inflation says that shoulder wear is an underinflation problem, but I was seeing the same thing with my OEM tires and a tire guy told me that Bridgestones react just the opposite, so they cup and wear the outer edges when overinflated. I have been trusting that when I get my car serviced they know what my tires should be inflated to and I have been wrong to do so. There is also the difference between what the tire sidewall says they should be inflated to and the placard on the inside of the driver door panel. Not sure if that helps any.
  • cptpltcptplt Member Posts: 1,075
    I think that tire guy is smoking some good stuff if he thinks Bridgsetones are somehow different!

    The tire pressure stamped on the side of the tire is the maximum cold pressure the tire should ever be at. that is usually a lot higher than what the vehicle manufacturer stamps on that little plate on your car which they think will give you the best ride for that vehicle
  • cptpltcptplt Member Posts: 1,075
    one other thing, never trust a shop to measure the pressure accurately, they use those gauges a zillion times a month and in most shops will never recalibrate them ever again after their purchase. the number of times I have left a shop after a service where they set my tires to some ridiculously low pressure I have given up counting. get a good accurate gauge and always recheck them when you leave those places.
  • ddOutbackddOutback Member Posts: 1
    I have the same problem with my 05 Legacy Outback. The original Potenzas wore this way so I replaced them in June. I drove 7000 miles in July with a Thule box and two bikes on top across the country and back and the tires needed to be replaced again. The rear two tires.

    Did you get it worked out?
  • nornetnornet Member Posts: 24
    I've done several cross country trips on the original R92As. They have about 20k on them now and should see another 20 with no problems. Overall a pretty good tire. No alignment problems. Good enough that I might replace them with the same tire when the rime comes. When I get the snows taken off, the dealer wants to set the car at 37psi. The original dealer delivered the car with 37 psi. The tire dealer wants to fun the Toyo snows at 40 psi. Tire pressures are beyond me these days. The only thing I can think of is no one wants the TMPS to activate so they over inflate.
  • snowbeltersnowbelter Member Posts: 288
    You need to talk with your dealer and Subaru if your dealer is ignorant. Subaru came out with a Technical Service Bulletin some time back on the rear tire wear issue. There are new settings for rear toe-in and tire pressure. See TSB 05-36-07R.
  • jfljfl Member Posts: 1,396
    I set my tires at +4 psi above Subaru specs. (On my 2000 Legacy that's 36F and 34R.) Any higher than that and I feel the rear end bounces around too much on bumpy roads.

    I've gone thru two sets of RE-92s and I'm on my second set of Conti Extreme Contacts and will probably go with a third set when these need replacing. I always get an alignment after new tires are installed.
  • ClaytonRoyClaytonRoy Member Posts: 2
    Curious if anyone else has experience with a "plus zero" conversion on the stock 14" Legacy steel rims. I'm looking at a set of General Altimax RT's....and thinking I mine as well go slightly wider while I'm at it. I suspect the small addition of 5mm each side wouldn't be a clearance risk.

    Thank you for your comments
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    I think you'll be ok. On my 94 Legacy we used to run 215 or 225-50-16s on it!

    Subaru Guru and Track Instructor
  • ClaytonRoyClaytonRoy Member Posts: 2
    Thanks for the confirmaation, Mike. I'm ordering tires tomorrow. Santa is bringing me some stainless steel "Bonneville Speed Disc" hubcaps for Xmas. So with the upsized rubber and stylish 'caps, my wagon will be looking good in '09 :shades:

  • herzzzherzzz Member Posts: 1
    I have a '05 Outback 2.5i and have also experienced outside edge rear-wheel tire wear but have what I think is a related problem that has bothered me a bit. The rear end of my car is really loud. I am sure the problem is behind the transmission because the noise is constant thru gear changes. I had the car realigned the last time I purchased new tires but I am sure it was before the aformentioned service bulletin was released. Anyone with similar noise problems?
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    Can I put 215/70R15s on my '97 Outback Limited on the stock wheels?

    Stock is 205/70R15.

    The tire size calculators indicate that the sidewall and circumference aren't much different. You'd think they'd be the same since the first number indicates section width but go figure.

    My all-seasons are getting older and I can score a deal on some almost new Yokos. But I may want to stick with a skinnier tire for my snowboard trips -- maybe I won't notice the half inch extra (ok, .393 inch wider).

    thanks, Steve, visiting host
  • dcm61dcm61 Member Posts: 1,567
    Can I put 215/70R15s on my '97 Outback Limited on the stock wheels?

    Stock is 205/70R15.

    215/70 may rub the rear struts. IIRC, there is very little clearance between the tire and rear strut w/ the stock 205/70. It's basically YMMV since the same size tire can vary across manufacturers.

    P.S. Pretty sure it's OK to put 215/70 on the stock wheels.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaMember Posts: 16,209
    edited August 2010
    Steve, the first number indicates the section width, but the second number is a percentage of the width. So, 70% of 205 is less than 70% of 215.... 26.29921" (total diameter) versus 26.85039" to be (nearly) exact. That results in about a quarter inch greater radius, which should not be a problem.

    I agree that it is *possible* that the strut towers might rub, but the increased width is less than 0.2" on each side of the rim, so there is a good chance you will have sufficient clearance. You should probably measure the current clearance to verify that, though!

    I also agree that the tire will fit on the rims themselves with no problem. Even a 225 would fit just fine on the rims.
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    Ah, thanks for the explanation of the width percentage. I wondered what the deal was there.

    Yeah, not much clearance in the wheel wells. It iced up bad the one trip I did with studs.

    See more Car Pictures at
  • monaleamonalea Member Posts: 3
    Hi there! We bought a 2005 outback wagon, and wish to know what replacement tires would be best for all terrain? Our daughter is a senior now, and will take this, her car, off to college here in Colorado! We don't want to buy separate snow tires, so just wondering what all terrain tires to buy: 225 60 R16.

    My husband and neighbors love the TOYO open country A/T tires, but I only see the size 225 70R16 in these. Will this work?
    Thanks for any help!
  • gizzer777gizzer777 Member Posts: 335
    edited October 2010
    .I purchased a VERY cherry 2008 Outback 2.5i, last year, loaded, (live in Reno Nevada) and part of the deal was new tires (AFTER settling on the price!)., and he also had the battery replaced + pollen filter, after I was going to "walk" (only had 21000 miles on the odo last year!) BTW: I would not have walked at that price for that car!!! It was also certified and still under factory warranty!!!

    I really like the OB and this is my 1st Subaru!!

    . Anyway they put on a set of H rated 17" FUZION all season radials. They have an aggressive tread, but are really quiet on the road....Not bad in the snow either! They give a very smooth ride, especially for a "cheap" tire"!

    My tire dealer told me they are "back door Firestones") and they seem to be wearing very well at factory recommended PSI, especially for a "cheap tire" (under $100 each) w/o mounting and balancing or tax. He buys them from Tirerack when he gets calls for them, which apparently have been increasing.

    So far I would recommend them for all season! I have also heard good things about Hancock brand" if one is not out to spend a bunch of Moolah!
  • somainersomainer Member Posts: 6
    Re the best tires for a 2005 Subaru Outback Wagon, I posted a question like this when we first bought out 2005 Subaru Outback Wagon about 3 + years ago. We live in Maine and have pretty hairy driving conditions. We're using the Pirelli Centurato P5 225 60R16 and have been very pleased. The key is also to ensure your daughter knows that if there's a reason to replace a tire, Subaru urges all 4 tires be replaced at the same time once there's any real wear, or it may affect the AWD system. You might also check whether a slightly narrower tire (such as a 215) can fit, since this may work better in snow. Good luck.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaMember Posts: 16,209
    edited October 2010
    The trick with tire sizes is to know that the first number (225) is the section/tread width, and the second number (60) is the sidewall height as a ratio of the section width. So, 225*0.60 = 135mm. The second tire you listed is the same width, but the section height is 70%, or 225*.70 =157.5 mm. That's close to 7% larger (greater diameter) than the stock tire and it's going to be too large.

    Going with a narrower tire is not a bad idea at all (such as a 215 as was suggested above). A 215/65R16 is as close to an exact match as you're going to find, and that size will fit the stock rim no problem.

    I use this same size tire on my '10 Forester with some Goodyear Ultra Grip Ice (winter, not all-season) tires, and they're simply unstoppable - really fantastic tires for ice, snow, mud, etc. The stock size on that car is 225/55R17 - of course, I use a 16" rim for the winter tires!

    Here's a link to an easy-to-use tire calculator:

    In general, keep any alternate tire size to within 3% of the stock size and you should be fine. I wouldn't go wider (such as 235) than stock.
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
  • monaleamonalea Member Posts: 3
    Thank you so much for your help! I will definately check into it now. It is time!
  • monaleamonalea Member Posts: 3
    Thank you so much for your help. It was quite comprehensive and I appreciate you taking the time. We are looking now!
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