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2017 Outback 2.5i Limited w/EyeSight Lapis Blue
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Discussion Starter #1
Well, TPMS light came on today, and I assumed it was because its 14 degrees outside, so I pulled the air compressor out of the trunk and my pressure gauge and was getting ready to start pumping up all four tires when I noticed that I had a nail in my front tire.

Hopped back in the car and drove down to the local auto place that I get my inspections done at. They said that the nail is too close to the sidewall, so they won't repair it. On top of that, they said that I have to get ALL four tires replaced because I can't put just one tire on as it will screw with the AWD system.

I called my local Subaru dealer to confirm, and they basically said the same thing. I only have 24,000 miles on these factory tires, which is a bummer.

Pulled into the garage at home (getting ready to put the spare on) and noticed that the nail is now gone and it's spewing air out. Here's a pic.





1) Is it really too close to the sidewall for repair?
2) Couldn't I just plug it temporarily?
3) Is it true that all four tires need to be evenly worn?
4) Couldn't I just buy one tire and have it shaved down, or should I just go ahead and get all four done?
 

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2008 Subaru Outback PZEV,2010 Impreza 2.5i
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523 Posts
It is true that all 4 needs to be worn evenly for Subaru AWD system. Check in your manual.

Yes, you can buy one tire of the same brand same sub brand and speed and temperature rating and have it shaved down to match the original tire. Tire rack is one place that shaves down tires.
 

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'03 outback limited, '01 Outback Limited, '01 Legacy L wagon, '96 Legacy Brighton wagon
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Put a plug in it and don't worry about it. I've had many nails that close or closer to the sidewall that I have plugged successfully with zero issues afterwards.

Note: A lot depends on the angle that it penetrated, as that will tell you the position of where it went through the cords.
 

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1) Is it really too close to the sidewall for repair?
2) Couldn't I just plug it temporarily?
3) Is it true that all four tires need to be evenly worn?
4) Couldn't I just buy one tire and have it shaved down, or should I just go ahead and get all four done?
1. Yes.

2. No, plug is not going to hold.

3. Yes.

4. Yes, but at 24k miles just go ahead and get all 4 replaced.
 

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I simply cannot abide useless people.
2006 2.5i and 2002 3.0 wagons.
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12,151 Posts
Can I get a dollar for every new thread on "Do I need 4 tires"?

Maybe then I'd be less snarky with the "Read your owner's manual." comments. :D
 

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2016 3.6R Outback
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248 Posts
You could always just buy 1 tire and have it shaved down somewhere. That's what we did for my wife's forester for a tire that only had 13k miles on it. Finding a place that will shave it may be the hard part but they are out there.
 

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2013 & 2014 Outback
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I also have a 2016 OB with 30K miles. I also had a close to the side wall puncture. Yes you can plug it sometimes. I would also smear rubber cement to the plug before its inserted. If that doesn't work ( and you will know it in a few weeks) then purchase a new tire. There is a wear limit which my tire was within. The dealership sold me a new tire and installed it with no problems
 

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2011 SSM Outback 2.5i Premium
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24k is almost the same time I picked up a screw on my 2011. Do you have the SAS Gold Plus extended warranty? If so it'll cover all 4 tires, pro-rated of course, if the wear is enough. Read the info pamphlet that came with it, it covers road hazard on the original tires.
 

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2017 Outback 2.5i Limited w/EyeSight Lapis Blue
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Discussion Starter #9
24k is almost the same time I picked up a screw on my 2011. Do you have the SAS Gold Plus extended warranty? If so it'll cover all 4 tires, pro-rated of course, if the wear is enough. Read the info pamphlet that came with it, it covers road hazard on the original tires.
I have an extended warranty, but I don't think I got Gold Plus. I'll have to check my paperwork. Love this car; 24,000 miles in one year (just celebrated its birthday on December 23rd) and this is the first hiccup :)
 

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1999 30th Anniversary Legacy Outback DOHC 2.5L 4EAT, 2008 Impreza WRX 2.5L 5MT, 2008 Impreza Wagon 2.5L 4EAT
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I also have a 2016 OB with 30K miles. I also had a close to the side wall puncture. Yes you can plug it sometimes. I would also smear rubber cement to the plug before its inserted. If that doesn't work ( and you will know it in a few weeks) then purchase a new tire. There is a wear limit which my tire was within. The dealership sold me a new tire and installed it with no problems
The limit is 1/4 inch difference in circumference between all four tires. I think someone stated that 2/32nds of an inch wear difference meets the 1/4 inch circumference limit, but don't quote me on that since math is not my thing.

Les Schwab says:

RECAP: WHY YOU NEED TO REPLACE ALL FOUR AWD TIRES
Mismatched tires are often a primary factor in drivetrain damage.
To minimize variances, always match tires: same brand, size and type.
The tread depth difference between front and rear tires should be no more than 3/32nds of an inch.
If it is, you’ve got a problem with tire circumference difference. Get all four tires replaced.

From Tire Rack:

Subaru Within 1/4-inch of tire circumference or about 2/32-inch of each other in remaining tread depth.
 

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You can try asking local tire shops to see if they just happen to have a tire that is the same size and near the same wear-level. I know it is a long shot, but that's what happened to me when I brought my 2016 outback to the local Discount Tire shop. I was only charged $20 for labor. =)
 

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2011 SSM Outback 2.5i Premium
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I have an extended warranty, but I don't think I got Gold Plus. I'll have to check my paperwork. Love this car; 24,000s mile in one year (just celebrated its birthday on December 23rd) and this is the first hiccup :)
It's worth asking. That's one of the big benefits of buying the extended warranty at the time of vehicle purchase (or early on) rather than waiting until the 3/36 is nearly up - road hazard coverage on the OE tires, which is not offered by the 3/36...
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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some folks have found partially worn tires on craigslist and ebay - if they are within 2/32" and the same model tire, should be fine.
 

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2017 Outback 2.5i Limited w/EyeSight Lapis Blue
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Discussion Starter #14
It's worth asking. That's one of the big benefits of buying the extended warranty at the time of vehicle purchase (or early on) rather than waiting until the 3/36 is nearly up - road hazard coverage on the OE tires, which is not offered by the 3/36...
Just checked; I do have Gold Plus, 6 years, 80,000 miles.

However, the paperwork says that it covers "repairable" leaks or punctures and up to $300 for replacement. However, given 24,000 miles of wear, I doubt that putting on a single new tire will get the job done.
 

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2013 Outback 2.5i Convenience
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Do you have the SAS Gold Plus extended warranty? If so it'll cover all 4 tires, pro-rated of course, if the wear is enough.
Are you sure on that? I can't see anyone paying to replace non-damaged tires. Every plan I've been offered would only cover the punctured tire, pro-rated (obviously, I've declined their offers).
 

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2011 SSM Outback 2.5i Premium
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Are you sure on that? I can't see anyone paying to replace non-damaged tires. Every plan I've been offered would only cover the punctured tire, pro-rated (obviously, I've declined their offers).
I have a check stub from a $600+ check saying they did. I was shocked also, but Subaru understands the needs of the vehicles it sells. I had to ASK to get it because of the need to have matched tires, but there was no escalation it was just "here are the terms and requirements, send us the info to process the claim". If I had gone through a Subaru dealer I would not have even had to send a claim in, it would have all been done there but I chose to get my tires elsewhere.
 

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2002 Pair: 3.0 VDC Wag & 2.5 Limited Sedan
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Just checked; I do have Gold Plus, 6 years, 80,000 miles.

However, the paperwork says that it covers "repairable" leaks or punctures and up to $300 for replacement. However, given 24,000 miles of wear, I doubt that putting on a single new tire will get the job done.
24,000 miles is a lot to be shaving a new one down.

as people hate the OEM tires so much, you might be well free of them. buy 4 new,
save the remaining 3 sell them on craigslist to the 2wd people.
 

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Just checked; I do have Gold Plus, 6 years, 80,000 miles.

However, the paperwork says that it covers "repairable" leaks or punctures and up to $300 for replacement. However, given 24,000 miles of wear, I doubt that putting on a single new tire will get the job done.
Yep, and no legitimate shop will plug that tire given the location of the nail hole. Nor will they mount a single new tire.

Went through this with my wife's '14 Forester. Picked up a nail in about the same location, at about the same mileage. Replaced the tires then she decided to replace the car with a '17 Forester.
 
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