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Old 02-12-2013, 09:32 PM   #611 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by kpk02 View Post
My wandering largely disappeared ever since I had my winter wheels/tires put on. If I had to put a number on it I'd say roughly 85% of the wandering went away. After driving on the winters for close to 3 months now, I'm fairly confident in that statement. I should be able to tell for certain once the OEM wheels/tires go back on in another month or so.

At least for my specific situation (2013 3.6R SAP), the OEM wheels and/or tires seem to be the biggest contributor to my wandering experience. I tend to keep my tires at 33 front / 31 rear.
What tires (size and brand)? Also, do you know the offset of the wheels? If not, would you be willing to call the folks you bought the wheels from and ask? That could be important.
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Old 02-17-2013, 03:50 PM   #612 (permalink)
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Any authorized Subaru dealer can do the warranty work. A proper alignment with emphasis on zero or slight toe in will make the OB drive much nicer. Also, check your tire pressures cold...make sure it's not a hair over 32 f / 30 r. Both of these made a dramatic difference in my '13 OB. Good luck.
Took a short trip this weekend of approximately 120 miles of which 90% was highway driving. Guess what? The wandering was present...again. Looks like trip #3 to the dealer. Wow...this Subaru experience is just so great!!! Why did I buy a Subaru?!?!?

BTW...I have had the car for about 3 months and it now has approximately 3,500 miles and I feel like I hate the car already...and it's not even my daily driver!!!
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Old 02-17-2013, 04:39 PM   #613 (permalink)
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What tires (size and brand)? Also, do you know the offset of the wheels? If not, would you be willing to call the folks you bought the wheels from and ask? That could be important.
The tires are 225/60/17 Michelin X-Ice Xi3. The wheels are Sport Edition A7. I'll see what I can find on the offset. The tire shop most likely would have used the same offset as the oem wheels if available in the A7.
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Old 02-17-2013, 05:13 PM   #614 (permalink)
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The tires are 225/60/17 Michelin X-Ice Xi3. The wheels are Sport Edition A7. I'll see what I can find on the offset. The tire shop most likely would have used the same offset as the oem wheels if available in the A7.
Offset is +48mm on the A7's. I tried to order a set but got washed away by the tsunami. There was a 4 month wait for them and I couldn't.
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Old 02-17-2013, 05:22 PM   #615 (permalink)
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Check out the following review from TireRack...are the Conti's to blame???

2013 Subaru Outback More Tire Reviews for This Vehicle

Buy/More Info
Michelin Defender
Miles driven on tires:4,200
Location:Roswell, GA
Driving Condition:Combined Highway/City
Driving Style:Spirited

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful:
Initial Review, 325 Miles on Tires
August 31, 2012
I just took delivery of a 2013 Subaru Outback 3.6 Limited in July. Since then I have made an extended trip from GA to CT, NH, MI, Il and back to Georgia covering some 3750 miles. The Outback is fitted with Continental Pro-Contact Conti tires as OEM. I couldn't wait to replace the Conti's and recently purchased Michelin Defenders for my car. The Michelins were recommended by my Subaru service manager as he had replaced his own Outback's Conti's with Michelins. It seems that one of the major complaints with Subaru Outback owners is with the Continental tires that come as standard equipment. That is due to due to road noise, longevity and tire sidewall issues . I am in agreement with those who eschew the Conti's since mine were hard riding, announcing every tar strip and darting the car right and left over road irregularities. I never felt totally safe, especially in rain and I was apprehensive about facing a winter snow/ice event here in north Georgia. The change in driving feel with the Defenders is amazing, almost like driving a luxo-cruiser. The car now tracks straight and true and the steering feel is fantastic. Also, the tar strips and indentations of the road are swallowed up with nary a tire slap or unexpected dip. The ride comfort plus the expected longevity and safety of the Defenders has made me a true believer in the Michelin brand. Didn't take much coaxing since I have had Michelins on my BMWs for years and have never been disappointed. These tires make all the difference in the Outback. I wonder why Subaru and other makers use Continental tires as original equipment. The only gripe I have about the Defenders is that they seem a bit noisy at first especially on concrete and serrated blacktops. I have been told by my Subaru guru that they will break in after a few more miles and become deathly quiet. I'll keep you posted on that. In the meantime, I'm a happy camper with an excellent car riding on excellent tires.

Follow-up Review, 4,200 Miles on Tires
December 21, 2012
Update review. After several thousand miles of mixed highway and city driving I am still happily in the Michelin Defender camp. Although initially a bit noisy on blacktop and concrete, the tires have mellowed down to near silence. I haven't had a chance to drive in snow yet, but I'll follow up if it ever snows again here in Georgia. Normal wet / dry traction is still very good. The Michelin brand has been my choice for 50 years and I see no reason to change. They may be a bit more expensive but, as the old adage says, you get what you pay for.

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Old 02-17-2013, 05:27 PM   #616 (permalink)
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Another one on TireRack:
2011 Subaru Outback More Tire Reviews for This Vehicle

Buy/More Info
Continental ContiProContact
Miles driven on tires:16,500
Location:Odessa, TX
Driving Condition:Combined Highway/City
Driving Style:Spirited

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Initial Review, 16,500 Miles on Tires
July 29, 2011
These tires came standard with my new Subaru Outback. Such terrible tires. I'll admit, I'm a heavy driver (over 15,000 miles on my brand new Outback in 4 months) but this set of tires is the first set I've had that seems to not be able to take it. First of all after 4 months, the tread didn't wear so badly, but it was all cracked and it almost looked dry-rotted. The noise level of the tires is noticed with the windows down mostly or on long trips (on I20 and I10). In light snow, the traction wasn't as good as I expected but on ice, it was the worst I've experienced. Dry traction was only half as good as I'm used to (as this is my 2nd Outback and 4th Subaru), and in water these tires just couldn't hold the road when accelerating. The BIGGEST problem of all is these tires bounce on smooth surfaces, causing the Outback to have a wobble sensation. It gets worse with temperature. I've personally experienced one hot day where the wobbling was so bad, the vehicle was not drive-able. It can sometimes cause a temporary loss of steering or traction as the All Wheel Drive system tries to cope. This has been investigated actually by the NHTSA as what was originally thought to be a Subaru issue and it turns out it's the tires. Apparently, the uneven tires are made so because of the run flat materials. Having popped one of my tires within 2 months (thanks to road debris), I can tell you that these "run-flats" simply flatten when deflated, so you're settling for a very bouncy ride for nothing really. The run-flat material make the tires very stiff, so hitting bumps warps the tire like you'd warp a rim (wheel). Do not buy these tires for a Subaru if you want a good ride. I'm currently waiting for my Bridgestone Ecopia's to arrive that I just ordered from here. I've owned many Subaru's and all have had Firestones and have NEVER had an issue with tires, so go figure the one I buy with Goodyear's have issues.

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Old 02-17-2013, 05:59 PM   #617 (permalink)
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When I take mine to Les Schwab here in town they put 40 psi in and from the sticker in the door its 32/30 ,they stated it helps with even wear being a Subaru,but I run 235/55/17. So as most state not sure what the overall wear pattern or treadlife difference is.
The lane wandering must be with the newer models as I am not seeing any or noticed on mine before and after swaybar upgrades.
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Old 02-17-2013, 06:22 PM   #618 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by *Subie* View Post
Another one on TireRack:
2011 Subaru Outback More Tire Reviews for This Vehicle

Buy/More Info
Continental ContiProContact
Miles driven on tires:16,500
Location:Odessa, TX
Driving Condition:Combined Highway/City
Driving Style:Spirited

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Initial Review, 16,500 Miles on Tires
July 29, 2011
Apparently, the uneven tires are made so because of the run flat materials. Having popped one of my tires within 2 months (thanks to road debris), I can tell you that these "run-flats" simply flatten when deflated, so you're settling for a very bouncy ride for nothing really. The run-flat material make the tires very stiff, so hitting bumps warps the tire like you'd warp a rim (wheel). Do not buy these tires for a Subaru if you want a good ride. I'm currently waiting for my Bridgestone Ecopia's to arrive that I just ordered from here. I've owned many Subaru's and all have had Firestones and have NEVER had an issue with tires, so go figure the one I buy with Goodyear's have issues.

This is interesting as someone on the board a while back said he solved his problem with new tires. This guy states these are run flats. ?????? I don't think he is talking about the same OE tires we have.

I have been kicking myself in the keister about not demanding different tires when I went from the 12 to the 13 OB.

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Old 02-17-2013, 06:58 PM   #619 (permalink)
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I have approx 28K on my 2011 2.5 and no tire problems at all. Car goes straight as an arrow and I was thinking of maybe taking someone's Continental's if their getting rid of them and mounting them on my car and see if I have your problem. Do you think this would be a good test of the tires on a different Outback, one with on problems. I live in Bellingham, Wa. and willing to drive a little south of Seattle or north to Vancouver, BC.
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Old 02-17-2013, 07:37 PM   #620 (permalink)
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Interesting stuff. Continental does have a reputation of having quality control problems. I wonder if this is indeed why some of use have problems and others do not.

As for swapping tires, yes, that would be an interesting test. But before you do that, you might just swap rides and see if you both agree that one car wanders and the other does not.
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