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Old 11-06-2012, 10:10 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Replacing two tires

I had my dealer investigate a slight shimmy (in a 2010 that has always been a rock solid non-shaker). They said that two tires cannot be RF balanced within spec so they are being replaced under warranty. I asked about the DIRE WARNINGS in the owner's manual about using tires with different wear and was told that Subaru will only replace all 4 if there's a difference of 1/2" or more between old and new. At 20,000 miles, I'm apparently well within that spec. Being the OC sort, I'm opting to pay out of pocket to have the other two tires replaced so all 4 will be new (and all 4 will be RF balanced). I'm not thrilled about this, of course, but plan to keep the car as long as possible so I'm not going to cheap out now.

Am I nuts?

They also ordered a "balance kit" which is what, exactly? I forgot to ask.

Has anyone had success complaing to Subaru to get all 4 tires replaced in such a situation? I'm not willing to accept much risk of drive train damage over $320. I've never minded the stock tires performance, so no worries there.

Thanks!!

Adam
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Old 11-06-2012, 11:01 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Tough call. If you replace all 4, you would likely want to go to a better tire, but of course, the 2 being replaced under warranty would be the same crap that came with the car.
Some tire shops can "shave" the new tires to make them the same size as the other 2. Might be your best option.
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Old 11-06-2012, 11:05 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Tough call. If you replace all 4, you would likely want to go to a better tire, but of course, the 2 being replaced under warranty would be the same crap that came with the car.
Some tire shops can "shave" the new tires to make them the same size as the other 2. Might be your best option.
Good point, hadn't thought about that. I figure if all 4 new tires RF balance properly then I'll get another 30 months 20k miles out of them. Probably another 40k. Not terrible for $320 for a full set (fuzzy math included).

But yeah, Subaru will only replace with OEM.
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Old 11-06-2012, 11:06 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Subaru's AWD system cannot tolerate more than 2/32 difference between tires. A difference of 1/2 an inch is alot more than that!!
The 2/32 difference is a Subaru spec, so I would go with that.

TireRack.com can shave tires for you, but if you are buying two that sure is a waste of good tread.

Better off just to suck it up and buy 4 tires.
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Old 11-06-2012, 11:11 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Subaru's AWD system cannot tolerate more than 2/32 difference between tires. A difference of 1/2 an inch is alot more than that!!
The 2/32 difference is a Subaru spec, so I would go with that.

TireRack.com can shave tires for you, but if you are buying two that sure is a waste of good tread.

Better off just to suck it up and buy 4 tires.
Thanks. I see that 2/32 number on Tirerack. Is it anywhere else? Somewhere I can show the dealer?
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Old 11-06-2012, 11:18 AM   #6 (permalink)
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If you do it properly, you do not have to replace all 4 at once. Make sure you get the same type of tire as the ones you are keeping and then get the new ones shaved down to match the old ones. IF you do that, you should be good to go.

That being said, how much tread is left on your tires? You have 20,000 miles on the original tires. Most people here report they only get 30,000 miles or so out of the stock tires. They likely don't have much life left in them. It seams a bit of a waste to get new tires and then shave off 2/3rds of them.

It's up to you, but since the dealer is paying for 2 tires, if you can afford it, I would suggest two more and then should be good on tires for quite a while. Can you talk the dealer into getting some nicer tires, or at least a credit on some better tires than the stock ones?

On the 2/32" number, that is out of the owner's manual. They can't argue with literature directly from Subaru.
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Old 11-06-2012, 11:20 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks. I see that 2/32 number on Tirerack. Is it anywhere else? Somewhere I can show the dealer?
It's in the owners manual. It's also in the factory service manual, which I can check when I get home and post a screenshot. Your dealer should know better.
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Old 11-06-2012, 11:20 AM   #8 (permalink)
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When they did the RF balance, did the just stick it on the balancer then come back and say they couldn't be balanced? If so, they need to try again because it still might be able to be balanced.

They should dismount the tire and check the balance on the rim, by itself, because the problem might be the rim itself. Also, some rim/tire combos just need to be remounted in a different position to balance out.
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Old 11-06-2012, 11:25 AM   #9 (permalink)
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So if a new tire has 11/32 of tread, and 1/2 inch=16/32 we have a problem here. How can they possibly be saying 1/2 inch difference-you would be almost down to the belts with no tread at all left. Something is not right........
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Old 11-06-2012, 12:36 PM   #10 (permalink)
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So if a new tire has 11/32 of tread, and 1/2 inch=16/32 we have a problem here. How can they possibly be saying 1/2 inch difference-you would be almost down to the belts with no tread at all left. Something is not right........
I'm fairly sure they mean circumference, not diameter.
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