Tire Pressure - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums
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post #1 of 48 (permalink) Old 05-28-2010, 07:31 AM Thread Starter
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Tire Pressure

Ok folks, this discussion needs more air............so I'll put it in here for general consumption and comment:

I believe that I noted Continental tires on my new 2010 Subaru Outback (base model with add ons), and I'll know for sure, tomorrow, when I pick it up.

A current conversation I'm having with Porky, has to do with the recommended tire PSI -vs- preference.

I come from a world where most tires have 35 PSI recommendations for Max pressure (obviously for typical sedan type vehicles), and yet I'm hearing that some folks (like Porky, for example), run their PSI at about 44 PSI.

First off, I didn't know that a "typical" sedan tire can TAKE "44 PSI" or higher. I'd think you'd run the risk of blowing a seam where the tire meets the wheel.

Secondly, I guess I figured that anything in excess of say 40 PSI due to heat (like when you take a trip and set them at 35 PSI and they expand to 40), would BLOW a tire!

So it begs the question........because my Owners Manual (I downloaded the .pdf yesterday) seems to indicate 30 - 33 PSI (front to back depending).......are the tires that come "Stock" on a 2010 Subaru Outback (Base Model) BIGGER than what are typically put on "sedan" type vehicles (as opposed to say, a Jeep)?

As I was telling Porky, I prefer a softer ride, (more forgiving on the bumps in the road), but not so soft as to wear down the treads any faster than necessary.


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post #2 of 48 (permalink) Old 05-28-2010, 08:23 AM
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Maximum tire pressure is listed as 51 PSI. I personally wouldn't worry too much about tires blowing due to pressure set at 44 PSI. Tire wear is another story though.

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post #3 of 48 (permalink) Old 05-28-2010, 08:32 AM
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Check the tire PSI when you pick up your car. I received my 3.6 2010 OB last week and the steering was really twitchy (not the shaking problem) and keeping the car tracking straight required constant corrections. I was getting great mileage though. After a couple days of this and reading tire-pressure-related threads on this forum, I checked the cold tire pressure and it was around 41. I lowered the tires to 35 front/34 rear and the handling completely changed. The ride was more comfortable and the car just went where I pointed it without wandering all over the place. If you like a softer ride you might want to start with the Subaru recommended pressure. Just be sure that the tires are cold when you check the pressure.
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post #4 of 48 (permalink) Old 05-28-2010, 08:46 AM
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Just addding this in for the those with Aussie 2010 Outbacks. We just had our 12,500km service, they informed us that they had upped the tyre pressure to 36 psi as it offered better tyre wear. (They acknowledged this was different to the owners manual) Only took a day or two and I've gone back to 32 psi, ride was just too harsh and steering twitchy at the higher pressure. We get Yokohama Geolanders as OEM tyres...

Don't know if the Japan manufactured/Australian market Outbacks are set up differently to the US vehicles, but body roll is not really an issue when cornering briskly, in my opinion, the ride is firm and fairly level... I make that statement currently owning a 1998 Outback, a much more "plush" ride than the 2010 but rolls like a drunk, and having in the past owned 2x Liberty (Legacy), go kart like in its handling compared to any Outback...
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post #5 of 48 (permalink) Old 05-28-2010, 08:55 AM
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Recommended tire pressures are posted on the drivers door frame--they work just fine. If you run higher pressures you will notice more wandering and will feel bumps more. I just checked mine and they were 6 psi over posted cold...I set them to recommended and the car felt much better.
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post #6 of 48 (permalink) Old 05-28-2010, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by dug01 View Post
Recommended tire pressures are posted on the drivers door frame--they work just fine. If you run higher pressures you will notice more wandering and will feel bumps more. I just checked mine and they were 6 psi over posted cold...I set them to recommended and the car felt much better.
+1 stick to the recommended pressure or venture within a couple lbs if you like. Running high pressure i.e.40+ is inviting disaster imo.
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post #7 of 48 (permalink) Old 05-28-2010, 01:51 PM
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Link to interesting tire wear chart.

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post #8 of 48 (permalink) Old 05-28-2010, 02:02 PM
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The manufacturer actually engineers the recommended tire pressure based on numerous variables, with an emphasis on ride quality, which is often decided by marketing research. They don't always get it right as we saw with the Ford Explorer and the Firestones. Soft tires run hotter.

In general, however, for the best ride, decent mileage, and safety, you should stick with the recommended pressure, and definitely not the max pressure labeled on the tire -- this is potentially unsafe due to reduced traction in a panic stop, and can potentially wear suspension mounts that aren't designed for harsh vibrations and shock loads. Having said that, I've often upped our tires a 2-4 PSI for long trips just to squeeze a bit more mileage and tighten the handling, but the ride quality does diminish slightly as commented above.
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post #9 of 48 (permalink) Old 05-28-2010, 07:26 PM
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I keep mine 4 or 5 psi above the manual's recommendation, which is 32F, 30R. These recommendations just seem a bit too comfort-oriented to me. I prefer the somewhat firmer feel of the tires at basically 35/35, or 36/36, and also believe that they will wear more evenly and give a bit better gas mileage.

The story I've heard about some cars being delivered to customers with 40+ psi is that the factory supposedly pumps the tires up high to lower the chances of flat-spotting the tires if the car is sitting too long in one position. Don't know if that is true, or just a story, but it makes a bit of sense. In any case, when my car was delivered it was at 35/35, which may just reflect my dealer's own preferences....
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post #10 of 48 (permalink) Old 05-28-2010, 08:54 PM
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My dealer prefers 35/35. While I have noticed a slight firmness going over bumps, the bump steer I had (a side to side shimmy) when hitting a small bump at an angle is gone plus my alignment was out which they corrected

Also, because TPMS is sensitive you should bump the pressure up a couple a lbs for that cold snap when your tires go down below the recomended value.

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