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'14, 2.5 SAP w/Eyesight
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Discussion Starter #1
My '12 Outback was a tad over 7,500 miles so I took it to Liberty Subaru in Emerson, NJ for an oil change and a tire rotation. Being slightly OCD, I labeled each wheel with a grease pencil to ensure that the rotation was done correctly. By "correctly" I mean the way of the manual. I'm riding on the stock Contipro's and according to the manual, the rotation pattern for non-unidirectional tires is as shown below, front to rear, rear to front on opposite sides:


There are no directional arrows and my fellow forum members have confirmed that the Conti's are non-directional.

When the dealer was done, I went to check on the pattern and they performed it incorrectly... they simply put the front tires in the back and back in the front. When I presented them with the manual, the service manager stated "this is how we do all tire rotations, I have never seen this pattern before." I then asked him to perform it according to the manual. They took it back in and when it came out I was amazed to see that they had simply swapped the right and left sides. I drew the pattern and tire numbers out on a piece of paper and handed it to the service manager and technician. The car then went in for the final, correct rotation.

Since AWD vehicles are especially sensitive to uneven tire wear, why aren't dealers familiar with the correct rotation pattern? Am I wrong to follow the manual's instructions on the tire pattern? What pattern does everyone else use with the Conti's?

On a side note, they also overfilled the oil to a full inch above the "F"ull mark. I guess they just get free oil... or maybe they didn't drain all the old oil out.

Needless to say, with 3hrs being spent at the dealer for a simple oil change and tire rotation, I'm seriously considering doing these myself in the future.
 

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2009 Tribeca Now - 2004 Outback EJ259 - Sold
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Sounds like a dealer to avoid.
Pretty common knowledge here that tire rotations are straight back from the front and crossed from the rear.
Unless directional tires of course.
Its a good thing you keep a close eye on what is being done, nice job.
 

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'15 Forester 2.5 CVT
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198 Posts
My '12 Outback was a tad over 7,500 miles so I took it to Liberty Subaru in Emerson, NJ for an oil change and a tire rotation. Being slightly OCD, I labeled each wheel with a grease pencil to ensure that the rotation was done correctly. By "correctly" I mean the way of the manual. I'm riding on the stock Contipro's and according to the manual, the rotation pattern for non-unidirectional tires is as shown below, front to rear, rear to front on opposite sides:


There are no directional arrows and my fellow forum members have confirmed that the Conti's are non-directional.

When the dealer was done, I went to check on the pattern and they performed it incorrectly... they simply put the front tires in the back and back in the front. When I presented them with the manual, the service manager stated "this is how we do all tire rotations, I have never seen this pattern before." I then asked him to perform it according to the manual. They took it back in and when it came out I was amazed to see that they had simply swapped the right and left sides. I drew the pattern and tire numbers out on a piece of paper and handed it to the service manager and technician. The car then went in for the final, correct rotation.

Since AWD vehicles are especially sensitive to uneven tire wear, why aren't dealers familiar with the correct rotation pattern? Am I wrong to follow the manual's instructions on the tire pattern? What pattern does everyone else use with the Conti's?

On a side note, they also overfilled the oil to a full inch above the "F"ull mark. I guess they just get free oil... or maybe they didn't drain all the old oil out.

Needless to say, with 3hrs being spent at the dealer for a simple oil change and tire rotation, I'm seriously considering doing these myself in the future.
I think that your dealer is not wrong. Since your tires are radial, they must always keep the same rotation way, unidirectional or not.
 

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2013 Outback, 2.5i Limited w/ Moonroof
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1,537 Posts
I think that your dealer is not wrong. Since your tires are radial, they must always keep the same rotation way, unidirectional or not.

This used to be the belief. The fear was that radial tires could not take the change in rotational direction, and that the belts could separate. They have since found that there is no basis for this fear, at least with modern radial tires.

Because of this, the pattern the OP shows is the recommended method for non-directional tires. It will result it the most even tire wear. At least that is what my tire stores tell me. ;)
 

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2004 Outback Wagon, Mystic Blue Pearl
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4,940 Posts
I think we are dealing with a matter of better vs. best here. The best way to rotate non-directional tires is the way listed on the left above. That doesn't mean a straight front/rear swap is bad, it just means you might not end up with *quite* as even a tire wear.

Remember that when you go to the dealer, you're probably not going to get any better, or more vehicle specific service than you would at a good independent shop. A lot of dealers service all the models for 2-3 different makes of cars and are staffed with people straight out of a technical school, who get paid fairly small wages compared to their counterparts elsewhere.

I imagine as someone running a service department, a "better safe than sorry" approach is to just have everyone do the front/rear swap. That way the tech doesn't have to worry about whether the car has directional or non-directional tires, and any idiot can do it.
 

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2013 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited
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179 Posts
I always do as much as i can without dealer "input". cheaper AND i know its done the way i want.
I agree with this 100%. Generally speaking, dealership service departments suck. :28: Most of them are incapable of doing proper service and are ONLY good at lying to customers and ripping them off. Period.

BTW, front to back and back to front rotation is just fine. The cross rotation is not critical.

HOWEVER!!!...did you remove that extra oil in your crankcase??? That is alot of extra oil that WILL cause damage to your engine!!! :gasp::gasp::gasp:

Get it out ASAP if you haven't done so already.
 

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2013 Outback, 2.5i Limited w/ Moonroof
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I always do as much as i can without dealer "input". cheaper AND i know its done the way i want.
X3.

Not to cast all professional trades people in a bad light, because there are some great ones out there, but I tend to also feel that if I want a job done right, it is easier to do it myself, rather than pay someone else. I just have to know my limits.
 

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X3.

Not to cast all professional trades people in a bad light, because there are some great ones out there, but I tend to also feel that if I want a job done right, it is easier to do it myself, rather than pay someone else. I just have to know my limits.
Completely agree, when I do something I know for sure that it was done and it was done correctly with no corners cut. Not only that but I tend to save time over going to the dealer. Last time I had my "free" oil change it took them well over an hour.
 

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'14, 2.5 SAP w/Eyesight
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118 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
HOWEVER!!!...did you remove that extra oil in your crankcase???
Yep I had the excess drained before I left the dealership.

With this experience, I managed to accomplish two trips to this particular dealer: first and last!
 
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2014 2.5 Outback Premium CVT 72,000 mi (previous: 2012 OB 2.5 base 6-MT, totaled at 73,532mi)
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534 Posts
Yeah, avoid the dealer entirely. I gave my dealer service one chance for the 15k service, and they charged 1.5 hours to change the cabin air filter, which was probably fine anyway. My wife picked up the car, didn't question it. Never going back.
 

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'14, 2.5 SAP w/Eyesight
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118 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Dealers love air filters. They recommend replacement without even inspecting them.
 
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