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2002 Subaru Outback Limited - 2.5 L Boxer H4 - 5 Speed Manual
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys. Rotated my tires yesterday - everything went well, until I got the Sube back on the road. It drove just fine for the last 8 months or so, but now it pulls to the right pretty bad! It only takes about 3 or 4 seconds after letting go of the wheel for me to go from driving straight along to beginning to cross over the white line on the right. Any idea why this happened?

I checked tire pressure. Have all the lugs torqued to 100 ft lbs. Not sure where to go from here.
 

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'05 2.5i H4 4-Speed Auto w/Sportshift
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Are the tires visibly worn any particular way? When you run your hand around them, are they feathered at all? Do you feel the tread more rubbing your hand one way over the other?

I am wondering if you have been driving a car that might have needed an alignment, getting the tires worn a certain way -- rotating them, then suddenly the way they were going fine means a different way which now may be pulling due to tire wear that is not all equal.
 

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2002 Subaru Outback Limited - 2.5 L Boxer H4 - 5 Speed Manual
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Discussion Starter #3
That's what I was thinking too - I looked over the tires quickly while rotating and did not see any noticeable uneven wear, though. Do you think just letting it go and letting the tires "wear in" will work eventually?
 

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It might.
Or, you might try swapping, say, just the two front tires (left to right and right to left) and see what happens. It doesn't sound like you would be making anything worse than it already is, it seems it could help, but I don't think you could make it any worse than it is!
 

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Yes, swap between left and right at the front, and then at the back because either can affect steering direction, to see if the pull changes. The tire belts are sometimes slightly off center, and this can cause pulling. It might have been less likely when the tire was on the other side, pulling against the crown in the road, but more noticeable now when it's pulling along with the road slope.

But I would also mention that 100 ft-lb is far too high for the lug nuts. Spec should be in the Owners Manual, or see http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/81-wheels-tires-brakes-suspension/15339-lug-nut-torque.html#post197234
 

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2002 Subaru Outback Limited - 2.5 L Boxer H4 - 5 Speed Manual
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Discussion Starter #6
You see, I have directional tires, so when I did my rotation I switched the front tires to the back, vice versa, without switching sides. Would switching the left and right be advisable still?

Also, I see what you're saying about the ftlbs for my lugs. However, I used to torque them at a lot less and they would constantly come loose. My mechanic told me to torque them at 125, but that seemed like too much. So I have been doing 100 and it seems okay?
 

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You see, I have directional tires, so when I did my rotation I switched the front tires to the back, vice versa, without switching sides. Would switching the left and right be advisable still?

Also, I see what you're saying about the ftlbs for my lugs. However, I used to torque them at a lot less and they would constantly come loose. My mechanic told me to torque them at 125, but that seemed like too much. So I have been doing 100 and it seems okay?
I cannot imagine a lug nut coming loose when properly torqued to 75/80lb......Especially if they are rechecked again after 50 miles.

As far as your tire is concerned, I would bet on a slipped belt. Have those tires been on the front before? If not, one of the tires is most likely defective. I had this happen years ago, when I drove a pickup overloaded. But tires can have a belt off center from the factory. Go back where you bought them.
 

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2005 Mazda 6 && 2007 Outback 3.0 LLBean, WGO
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You see, I have directional tires, so when I did my rotation I switched the front tires to the back, vice versa, without switching sides. Would switching the left and right be advisable still?
Even directional tires have to run fine when rotating in the opposite direction; otherwise you're in trouble whenever you have to back up!
While I'm sure the direction is set so the tread pattern is used to best minimize hydroplaning, friction, and road noise, I see absolutely no harm in swapping them left-right for a 10-20 mile test drive.
Just don't do it in the rain and then complain to the company!:29:
 

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I think the manual lists the lugs at 81 ft-lbs.
When was the last time the car was aligned?
 

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You see, I have directional tires, so when I did my rotation I switched the front tires to the back, vice versa, without switching sides. Would switching the left and right be advisable still?
No problem; put one side back to where it was and see what happens. If the pulling stops, there's a problem in those tires, probably the one that was on the front. If no change (still pulling), do the same with the other side.

I cannot imagine a lug nut coming loose when properly torqued to 75/80lb......Especially if they are rechecked again after 50 miles.
Indeed!

But make sure that the threads, and the contact surface between the lug nut and the wheel, are dry. Also important is that the lug nuts are matched to the wheels -- the contact surface is angled and that angle has to be the same. Replacement lug nuts and/or aftermarket wheels might not be.
 

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I never had any come loose, but I did recently replace the lugnuts on out oldest car (03 OBW) because the mating surface of the lugnuts was - 'galled' - looking.

wheel studs and lug nuts get a lot of abuse over the years. maybe one of yours is cracked or the threads are compromised.
 

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2002 Subaru Outback Limited - 2.5 L Boxer H4 - 5 Speed Manual
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Discussion Starter #12
Alrighty guys, I will switch the tires around as soon as I can (college so I'll have to find some time here soon).

So is the consensus that I should switch one side (Back to front, front to back) and check, then do the other? What if I switched the front tires (Left to right, right to left) and it seemed to drive okay - could I leave the tires that way?
 

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As was mentioned, you can cross-switch (side to side) for a test, but because the tires are directional, it's probably best not to stay that way. I'd probably do front-back to return one side, then the other, to it's original state. Cross-switching is introducing another unknown factor (a tire turning in an opposite direction), whereas you know how the car handled before the rotation.

(In the "old days" of radial tires, we couldn't reverse them because the belts would "set" when first used. When a tire would be reversed, the belt would then separate -- end of tire. Not sure if this is still the case with today's directional tires, or if it's just the way the tread is designed that requires a "one way" rotation.)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I got it. Well, I'm not going to lie to you guys, I am not going to buy new tires anytime soon - the tires have about 3/4 the tread on them still. If I switch them back to the way they were, how bad would it be to not rotate them? Sounds bad, I know, but... :/
 

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Not bad at all, I never rotate my tires, only when I change them at the change of four tires for summer to four tires for winter and vice versa.

I do monitor my tread and keep the air pressure in the tires accordingly (less air if the center tread is worn more than the outer tread and more air if the center tread is deeper than the outer tread).

Other than that, I do not rotate my tires and they all wear perfectly even. If they don't, that means you need an alignment!
 

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I had the same experience on my Celica years ago. Car pulled badly after rotation, and the mechanic said it was a symtom of a bad tire. The tire shop inspected and said one tire had a slipped belt or cord, I don't remember which. The advice was to leave the offending tire on the back until the set of tires wore out.

No real harm in not rotating them, other than you'll replace them a bit earlier, especially since we cannot mix a new tire into an older set without damaging the all wheel drive.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I figured that, you guys are a huge help. Thank you so much!

Rotated the tires again tonight, back to how they originally were, and the pull is gone now. I'll just let them be until I replace them. Also ripped out all the resonators in the air intake, and covered the remaining open holes with electrical tape, and then PVC caps with some adhesive glue. Sounds so great!

Thanks again for the help friends
 

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I figured that, you guys are a huge help. Thank you so much!

Rotated the tires again tonight, back to how they originally were, and the pull is gone now. I'll just let them be until I replace them. Also ripped out all the resonators in the air intake, and covered the remaining open holes with electrical tape, and then PVC caps with some adhesive glue. Sounds so great!

Thanks again for the help friends

soob rims are 'hub centric' so, maybe one wasn't seated well or something? maybe some rust or debris between the rotor and rim?

anyway - hope it stays good!
 

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Check the brake caliper slide pins to see if they have enough grease.I rotated my tires and had a pull to the right afterwards.I tried everything including alignment and new tires.One day I pulled the tires and checked the caliper slide pins.They were dry lubed them up and the car drives like its brand new at 130000 miles.Just a thought
 

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Discussion Starter #20
What do those slide pins look like? Anybody have a pic?
 
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