10-day old 2013 Subaru Outback - blown continental tire - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums

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Old 07-12-2013, 02:05 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 10-day old 2013 Subaru Outback - blown continental tire

Hi all, could use some experienced advice/input on the following:

New 2013 Subaru Outback, about 650 mi on it only. Half way home today, rear left tire sidewall blew out. Saw a 2" slash in the sidewall and some stretch marks or "wrinkles" in the sidewall of the flat tire, but didn't notice anything else wrong. Alloy rim didn't look like it was bent.


Didn't notice anything wrong when I approached the car in work parking
lot from behind. Got in the car, drove off and about halfway into my 27
mi drive home, a car behind me honked at me.. I wondered why and
shortly after noticed a yellow light come on (later learned this was the
tire pressure alert indicator), and about the same time, I started
noticing this sound coming from the left rear lower side of the car
that sounded like a remote control car that is pushed..

I slowed down and pulled over, called the Subaru 800 # for free towing
that is part of the 3/36000 service package included. Opted for
towing because I didn't know if driving long on spare would damage the
AWD or cause uneven wear to the other 3 tires.

Car was towed to dealer where I hope to get tire replaced with same
tire make/model to make things good as new again. Used Subaru's free tow service that came with the car. opted to do this rather than put on spare since I wasn't sure
what damage it'd do to the AWD system to drive on the spare too long, or what uneven wear it'd cause to my other 3 tires.

Questions:
1. if the 2" slash was caused by a person in my work parking lot in broad daylight, wouldn't I have noticed a flat tire when I got to my car at end of the day? I usually check out the car and its tires as I approach it in the parking lot from behind, and although I didn't consciously do it today, it didn't look like it was uneven while parked. wouldn't I have noticed
the tire pressure warning light come on as I was leaving from work?

2. if it wasn't caused by a person but was a defect or caused by something else.. is there some known issue with Continental tires that come with the Subaru Outbacks? I read
they seem to lose tread prematurely and have even read about cases of tire blowouts. I haven't really rubbed that tire against a curb or anything that I'm aware of.. in fact
I try to avoid parking against a curb on my left side since it's more likely your car will get dinged by a driver. as opposed to taking a right-most parking spot, which makes it less likely that your car will get dinged by a door opening. I may have run over some pot holes or speed bumps in the parking lot and backed up to home driveway up a curved curb, but the
car tires seemed fine even after doing those things as recently as a day ago.

3. is it feasible for a sidewall blowout to occur and look like that? (2 inch slash)

4. is there anything I can check on the other 3 wheels to determine if they are defective or the same will occur eventually on one of those tires?

5. should the tire be covered under warranty (3/36k bumper to bumper or tire warranty) or is it possible dealer will give me some resistance, saying it looks like the tire was slashed?

6. rim looks ok.. doesn't look deformed and edges don't look like they made contact with the road..as far as I can tell.. but does even having a temporary flat and pulling over do damage to the AWD system, disc brake, axle, or anything else?

7. does the process of putting cable hooks underneath the car to be pulled into a tow truck's flatbed potentially cause damage to the car, frame, axles or AWD at all?

It's kind of concerning to me that I've have 2 problems only 10 days into ownership (less than 700 miles):

a) some rattling sound coming from what appears to be the front right of car, either from the outside front side panel of the car or behind the dash and above or behind the glove compartment.. or maybe it's in the front right pillar.. i'm not sure yet. I seem to see a lot of forum posts about rattling.....

b) 1 blown Continental tire (rear left tire).

Thanks for any advice/input/answers to the above.
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Old 07-12-2013, 07:11 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Wow. It's a little intimidating to see all those questions! Not bad at all but it will take time to answer them all. I don't have time to do all that now.



For now I'll say simply this:
You did the right thing, the dealer should get you on the road and they should have/would have replaced anything else that was broken from the flat. Highly doubt damage was done to you car from what you describe, but again the dealer will know.

It doesn't sound like you got your tire slashed from a person. These things do simply happen sometimes as it could have simply been a weak point in the tire that can't be seen until it breaks, simple as that. Side wall breaches are not always covered, but most dealers are reasonable and simply replace it.

I wish you luck and hope to see that you are back on the road soon. This should be a simple matter.
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Old 07-12-2013, 11:04 AM   #3 (permalink)
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1. It depends on the depth of the cut. If some hooligan did it with a pocket knife he may not have gone very deep resulting in just sidewall damage. Always stab. Never slice.

2. It could have been a defect or even a piece of sharp debris in the road. If you didn't see anything it's probably the former.

3. Anything can happen. The manufacturing process is efficient but there will always be a defect or two. Sometimes tires leave the factory with unnoticed damage. It could have also been something as simple as low tire pressure.

4. It's not likely that the problem would be on all four. If you're paranoid, you can dump about 10psi out of each tire and have somebody slowly move the car while you examine the tire. You will be able to see any defects. Don't forget to air it back up.

5. The dealership will probably eat it to keep a new customer happy. Don't be afraid to talk to management if they try to charge you.

6. I believe the manual will tell you all about driving on the spare. It's intended to take you from your flat tire location to the nearest tire shop.

7. That's what the tow hooks are designed for.

With regards to your other issues I'd say the first is normal and the second is a freak occurrence that can happen to anybody regardless of make or model. Rattles can happen. If you can make them occur, take your service adviser for a ride and show them. You hearing it is one thing. Them hearing it is another. If they can hear it they'll know where to look.
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Old 07-12-2013, 12:13 PM   #4 (permalink)
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subaru replaces the tire and you're good to go. i wouldn't worry. i'd put the new tire up front, have it shaved to match if there's any appreciable difference in circumference.

i don't think Subaru stock tires are generally raved about so i wouldn't expect grandiose things from those tires, but i doubt they're ominous either.

they're tow hooks, that's kind of like asking "will turning my steering wheel compromise the structural integrity of the materials in the steering column and make it unsafe in the future"?

but good idea to check - google that exact tire and check reviews on tirerack or other substantially active tire related venues. i would look for places like that with larger sample sizes, looks like you've started some. tire blow outs aren't that uncommon, no doubt with lots of reasons.

driving on the spare is no big deal. i don't recommend it and it's not practical at all, and you'll hear incorrect and inexperienced input to the contrary, but as an example you could drive on it indefinitely with no damage to the transmission if you keep tire tread depth and rotations up to snuff.

by the way inexperienced folks talk, small differences will hose your transmission. so make sure you clean your tire treads out every day so the amount of debris doesn't affect tire traction, effective diameter, or coefficient of friction, and make sure you wash your wheels so one doesn't have more brake dust than the other side. better wash the back of the wheel too so it doesn't get more dirt than the other side....and we better measure the amount of grease in grams of the wheel bearings and DOJ and CV joint so each side is the same, like every time a axle boot is replaced the other side needs disassembled to make sure it's the same amount of grease...LOL....since even the smallest difference in resistance or "tread type" (which doesn't effect diameter) will magically blow up the 4WD like some people talk.

it's completely ridiculous.
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Old 07-12-2013, 12:32 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Hopefully you got the one in a million production defect. Meaning, you will not have that problem again. I like my Conti's, and will buy another set when it's time, provided they are available.
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Old 07-12-2013, 12:41 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Let me add this, I too bought a 2013 OB this week and all 4 of my tires (same as yours) have 1/2" divots in them. They are vertical grooves about 3" long. I took my car in the day after purchase and had a technician look the tires over. He said this was totally normal (and would unfold itself after a few miles) but I am not so sure now.......I too am at 600-700 miles and beginning to worry.
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Old 07-12-2013, 12:51 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nu2Utah32 View Post
Let me add this, I too bought a 2013 OB this week and all 4 of my tires (same as yours) have 1/2" divots in them. They are vertical grooves about 3" long. I took my car in the day after purchase and had a technician look the tires over. He said this was totally normal (and would unfold itself after a few miles) but I am not so sure now.......I too am at 600-700 miles and beginning to worry.
That's weird. Don't know that I would trust that implicitly. Most of us only have 1 spare! What type of Continentals do you have?
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Old 07-12-2013, 01:35 PM   #8 (permalink)
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How about some pictures?
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Old 07-12-2013, 02:22 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KansasMatthew View Post
How about some pictures?
+1.
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Old 07-12-2013, 02:40 PM   #10 (permalink)
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You need one of those T-shirts sh-t happens

When it comes to tires you can shred a tire any time lots of road debri out there that can easily trash a tire regardless of how many miles are on them.
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