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Subaru Outback/Legacy Tires and Wheels



  • xiolagloxiolaglo 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 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.

  • 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 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.
  • 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
  • paisanpaisan 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
  • 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 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.

  • 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, AlaskaPosts: 11,148
    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.
    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
    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.

  • 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 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.
  • 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, AlaskaPosts: 11,148
    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:
    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: 11,148
    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.
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • I read somewhere that the TSB changes the toe-in specs.
  • 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 ; )
  • 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 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 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.
  • 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 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.
  • 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 Posts: 1,388
    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.
  • 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 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
  • 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:

  • 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?
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