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Discussion Starter #1
I have a '97 Outback. I got lazy and left a front alignment issue go too long. I have heard that when replacing tires on a Subaru you have to replace all 4 at the same time. Is this true? My rear tires are in great shape and I prefer not to scrap them if I don't have to. All advice is appreciated.

MAT
 

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2002 Outback Wagon
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311 Posts
Do NOT change only the front tires!!! There are a ton of threads on tourqe bind that is caused by not changing all the tires at the same time. The problem is with an awd drivetrain it is very sensitive to unequal tire tread heights. That being said however, some people will say it ok to do this IF the back tire treads are about the same as the new tread. If it were me I'd rather change all 4 tires than risk tourqe bind problems because any money you save on tires would be lost on fixing tourqe bind
 

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Meh.
I has wagons.
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12,323 Posts
You have 2 options that don't run the risk of damaging the AWD system.

1: Buy 2 new tires of the exact same type as the rears and have them shaved to match.

2: Buy 4 new tires and sell the 2 decent old ones.

All 4 tires need to be within 2/32 of wear if you like your AWD system not burning itself out trying to constantly correct what it reads as slipping.
 

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02 Outback 2.5 5sp
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543 Posts
I put only one tire on my car once due to a nail penetrating the outer tread. I fell under the guidelines that AWDFTW mentioned. I ran another 50k or so. I do not have torque bind. You are technically supposed to measure circumference.

You may also be able to get tires shaved to match.

James
 

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2005 OBW 2.5L, 1989 Subaru Justy, RIP Blu
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7,355 Posts
You Can get away with it if money is tight by putting the new tires on only one side of the car. But you really should get all 4
 

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'14 Subi OBW, '18 Subi Forester
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Putting them on one side only will keep the center diffy happy, but your rear limited slip (if your early OBW had one) won't be too thrilled with your choice. It's better to keep them all close to the same if possible.
 
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