Subaru Outback Forums banner

1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello. I just wanted to document my dealership experience for the shake fix for everyone to read and add to the growing knowledge base of expectations.
Our 2010 3.6R has been shaking on the highway since it was new from 70-80mph. It does it 80% of the time at that speed. Early on I had the tires balanced at my expense, which obviously didn't correct the issue. Once I came across this forum I realized it was a common issue and pursued a fix from my dealer via the TSB. I scheduled an appointment with a Seattle area dealer. They agreed to look at it, I gave them a copy of the TSBs upon arrival. They claimed that they had never heard, seen, or done this fix on an Outback. Not real believable from a major Subaru dealer in this area, but whatever.
They kept the car for a day and the result was that they were "unable to balance the tires to spec". Meaning they balanced on the machine with weights, but when put on the roadforce machine they "wouldn't balance". They told me that they ordered the "parts kit" for the fix and that they were discussing with the regional rep what to do about the tires. They said that prior to performing any parts fix they had to balance the tires. My tires have 35k on them and have 6/32nd of 11/32nds of depth remaining. Currently I'm waiting to hear back on how much they will pro-rate the tires under warranty. (I'm a little concerned about this b/c it will be at dealership prices for tires and not online prices that I usually pay). BTW a set of new OEM tires for the OB sells for $544 shipped on DTD. I asked about the possibility of putting a different brand of tire on the car and the response was "no way, the OB was designed for these tires" (bullsh&t). Which is a contradiction to some reports I've heard on here.
In all the dealership seems very receptive to work with me on this issue. I'm not sure that they ever really got the car to shake at all, (SA says they can't legally go over 60mph and it wasn't necessary for me to drive with tech) so basically they are just taking my word for it.
I have some concerns as I move forward though. It appears that they only tried to balance one tire, based on the grease and mounting lube on it, all others are perfectly clean. I guess that is all it takes to determine that the tires don't meet spec. Otherwise I have to decide if I want to pay a portion out of pocket for new tires that I won't need for another 20-25k miles, plus I have to buy the same crap OEM Connti's (which I would not do) and be stuck with them for another 60k.
I'll update this thread as more info is provided.

Updated Below.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
154 Posts
Just a few questions:
1. How often do you rotate & balance your tires?
2. How often do you do a four wheel alignment?
3. Are you sure you can only put OEM Conti's on to maintain warranty?
Regards,
Cleve
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,836 Posts
the stock tires do not hold balance very well at all mine only ran about 10,000 miles before a good tire shop had to balance them again and even they were pretty surprised at the amount of weight they needed to change to get the tires balanced again.

Also 2010 original tires you probably have one or two or three or 4 tires like the one I have thats doing its best imitation of an egg. It stays on the back now when it goes on the front it shakes the steering wheel like any egg shaped tire would.

I'm actually calling the tire shop to have them order my new tires this week. 40,000 miles on ours and we are at the wear bars with the outside shoulders nearly to the threads. I was simply waiting for the weather to change to swap to the new tires.

Getting these
BFGoodrich Advantage T/A
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,836 Posts
Just ordered them will be over at the shop in the next day or two. Just a hair over $700 installed. Can't wait to dump the Conti craps they have been a pain in my a s s since about 25,000 miles
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Just a few questions:
1. How often do you rotate & balance your tires?
2. How often do you do a four wheel alignment?
3. Are you sure you can only put OEM Conti's on to maintain warranty?
Regards,
Cleve
I have rotated my tires at every oil change (7500mi). I balanced the tires once in 35k at my expense because of the shaking, but I have not had an alignment. The tires are showing very even wear and they are actually wearing well (6/32nds remaining at 35k).

As for the third question, no I'm not sure. You are at the mercy of your dealers interpretation of the warranty rules on this one. I have read plenty of accounts of dealers putting different brands of tires on to correct this issue. However, my dealer states that if Subaru is going to pay a portion of tires under warranty it must be OEM. So it looks like I'm stuck with the Conntis. Right now I'm waiting to hear back on how much the pro-rated tires are going to cost me. I have a number in my head and I think if it is over that I may forego the warranty fix and just run with the shake until my Conntis are worn. Then repalce them with another brand.

I'll update the thread on what happens.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,836 Posts
Alignment issues show in tire wear given your tires having pretty normal wear for the miles covered alignment is not going to be your issue.

Tire balance and tires being round is going to be the primary cause if you drove 35,000 miles without having a shaking vibration issue to start with.

I went through three new Michelin tires on our VW before they found a full set of tires that didn't give the VW a bad case of shakes all caused by tires that were simply not made right.

I would never have any shop try to fix an issue with a car that has in most cases a simple fix ie your tires not being right etc. Given having a shop modify the mechanicals of the car almost always results in other mechanical issues or unwanted results.

at 35K the continentals were complete CRAP! In SF they write tickets if you don't curb your tires and they are not cheap tickets. Simply curbing the continental with a light touch on the curb will result in a wobbly ride for a good distance before the tire sorts its self out. They simply are just not very good tires.

35K is a fair life for car tires on an Subaru - if the shakes bug you that much that your willing to risk the Dealer tearing into your car - GET NEW **** TIRES OF A HIGHER quality FIRST!!!

My OB shakes like a wet dog after having a tire curbed after a few days of no curbed tires it goes away. Prior to the 25K mark it rode smooth zero issues - when we moved the egg to the front the steering wheel started to shake again. Moved the tire to the rear and the steering wheel is smooth assuming I don't curb a tire - but that Egg at 40K pretty much vibrates the seats in the car now given its just a terrible tire that needs to be put out of its misery.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,439 Posts
I had dealer support right from the time I purchased our shaker in Dec of '09. It took just over a year to get things fully resolved but the GM was instrumental in getting things done to our satisfaction. :29::29: for Capital Subaru.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
I got the word from Subaru today about the tires. According to them, Subaru doesn't warranty tires, so the warranty must come through Continental. Continental only warranties tires for vibration for one year, meaning they aren't going to pay for anything. So what my dealer wanted me to do was immediately purchase four new tires on my dime to see if it fixed the problem. If it didn't then they would install the "parts kit". I would have to do it right now since I'm at 35k and about to drop my bumper-to-bumper. The SA was nice enough to leave the ticket open so even if I went over my mileage they could still replace the parts under warranty. According to them, they would NOT replace the parts out of warranty even with the TSB and previous noted trouble.

So, this is kind of a relief, I won't rehash what I was thinking from above, but I wasn't sure I wanted to pay for tires I didn't need, especially the OEM ones.
So, I'm not going to buy new tires. If my tires wouldn't balance then this is at least some of my problem. I'll give the original tires another year or so, then I'll replace them with another brand. I hate Continental tires anyway from previous experiences, and now this one. I'll have no problem putting them on my list of companies that will never see another dime.
If I find that a new set of tires doesn't cure my problem then I can start replacing some of the parts on the TSB myself. I'm a pretty accomplished mechanic so I have no problem with it. I may have to foot the bill for them, but that is no worse than buying tires I don't need. I doubt I'll ever go as far as replacing the steering column though. (I cringe at letting a dealer tech tear into my car to that extent anyway.)
I know that this outcome is inconsistent with other dealer experiences, but as I noted at the beginning, you are at the mercy of each dealer and their interpretation. I wanted to be sure to document my experience and add it to the knowledge base on here. I hope it proves useful to other OB owners. Good luck all; shaky shake!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
766 Posts
A couple of months ago, with ~22k miles on the odometer, my 2011 3.6R Limited began--for the first time--to display a slight shimmy in the steering wheel, beginning at 70-72 mph. The shimmy seemed to go away at 80 mph.
Oh no! The dreaded steering wheel shake had finally found my car! :gasp:

My temporary solution was to drive at either 68 mph or at 80 mph on the local interstate highway, but I knew that I would have to get this attended to at the next service. With some trepidation, I asked the service department to take care of this problem while the car was in for its next oil change.

Well, the bottom line is that they found 3 tires to be slightly out of balance, and one tire to be very much out of balance. They used their new-ish Road Force Balancing machine, and...voila...the shimmy is gone!

And, the best part is that they did not charge for the balancing. I certainly would not have objected if they had charged me for balancing, in view of the fact that the car now has 25k+ miles on it, but I paid nothing for the rebalancing of the tires.

So...I believe that the others who stated that these Contis do not hold their balance are probably corrrect. However, I think it is also likely that the one tire that was very badly out-of-balance had probably thrown one of its weights.

Overall, I am actually reasonably satisfied with the Contis. Once I upped the inflation pressure to 35 or 36 lbs, I felt that the car actually rode better, as well as handled the curves better. My limited experience with them in snow was decent. And, they are quiet.

However, when I need new tires next year, I am definitely going to go with a different brand. At this point, I am leaning heavily toward Michelin Defenders, but if something else that seems very good comes onto the market in the next year, I might consider something else, instead of the Defenders.
:17:
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
About this Discussion
9 Replies
6 Participants
Somerset Max
Subaru Outback Forums
Welcome to the Subaru Outback Owners Forum, we have tons of information about your Subaru Outback, from a Subaru Outback Wiki to customer reviews.
Full Forum Listing
Top