Tire pressure is one of the most important items
affecting fuel economy.
The recommended tire pressure is indicated on a panel
located on the b pillar below the driverís door striker. Note that air
temperature will affect tire pressure, so check tire pressure at least once a
week and adjust for seasonal climatic change.
If you drive from a cold climate to a warmer one, it is possible for the
tire pressure to increase by an unsafe amount. Driving from a warm climate to
a cold climate has the opposite affect, tire pressure will decrease. At
Christmas note the number of Canadian drivers stopped on the side of the road
in southern states with blown tires, this is mainly due to increased tire
Check the tire pressure of the spare tire. It should be
60psi. I find that my spare tire leaks 1 or 2psi each month!!! Having a flat
spare can leave you stranded.
Note that the temporary spares have a
90kph/55mph speed limit, and less than that if the vehicle is loaded. It also
has a 100km distance limit. Note that this distance limit does not mean the
tire is worn out after 100km, it just means that after 100km enough
temperature has built up in the tire to reduce its strength. Stopping for a
minimum of 30 minutes is required at 100km intervals to allow the tire to
Never plug a nail puncture. Always use a patch inside
the tire to repair punctures. Installation of a tire plug can weaken the tire,
and the plug often leaks.
Rotate the tires on a regular basis
Subaru Outback Specific Tire Notes
Firestone Wilderness tires used on the 2000-2001 Outback
are of a different design than the Wilderness AT models used on the Ford
Explorer. Wilderness AT tires are light truck tires with a speed rating of
140KPH, while the Wilderness tires are passenger car tires with a speed rating
of 210KPH. The Wilderness tires used on the Outback will not explode (unless
over or under inflated).
Both the Firestone Wilderness tires and the Bridgestone
Potenza tires are somewhat prone to punctures. The tread pattern seems to suck
up more stones and nails than other designs leading to punctures. I have
experienced three punctures with my Firestone Wilderness tires, including one
which was not repairable. I have the same mileage on my Michelin Arctic Alpin
winter tires and drive on the same roads, and have never experienced a
puncture with these tires.
Subaru recommends 30psi front and 29psi rear for the 2000-2003 Outback.
Tire rotation on Subaru All Wheel Drive (AWD) vehicles
is very important, since AWD vehicles tend to wear the rear tires faster than
the front. I recommend rotating the tires front to rear (never side to side)
every 10,000 km. Remember to recheck the tire pressure after rotation, since
Subaru recommends different front and rear tire pressures.
Subaru Outback's (and all other
Subaru's aside from the WRX) required H speed rated (210 KPH) tires. Using a
lower speed rated tire compromises handling.
Low pressure in one tire can lead to failure of the all wheel drive system
(Limited slip differentials, viscous couplings (5MT) and hydraulic multi-plate
clutch packs (4EAT) can experience significant wear and even complete failure
with an under inflated tire.
North American Outback's are equipped with 225/60R16 H
tires, elsewhere Outback's are equipped with 215/60R16 tires. I have heard that the speedometer is actually calibrated for the
slightly smaller 215 tires, which means that the speedometer is showing a
lower than actual speed and the odometer is counting a KM as being longer than
an actual km. This might explains why I am always 0.1 or 0.2 km out on the
roadside 5 or 10 km odometer calibration checks. The sign says 10km, my trip
odometer shows 9.8 or 9.9 km. Don't try to use this as an excuse for a
All four tires on a Subaru Outback
MUST be of the same design and size. NO EXCEPTIONS TO THIS RULE!!! Destruction
of the all wheel drive system is virtually guaranteed if this rule is not
Winter tires will decrease fuel economy by 5-10%.
Winter tires are noisier than all
Winter tires wear very quickly in warm weather, so
remove them once the temperature is consistently above freezing
Winter tires are more susceptible to damage from road
Alloy wheels can be damaged by road salt, steel wheels
are recommended for winter driving.
Mounting and demounting winter tires on each spring and
fall on the stock alloy wheels is not recommended. Frequent mounting and
demounting of tires can weaken the tire bead leading to air leaks and even a
catastrophic failure of the tire. Some manufacturers claim that their winter
tires can withstand multiple mounting and dismounting, this may be the case,
but what about the all season tires you switch them with?
Winter tires mounted on steel rims are significantly
heavier than the stock all-season tire/alloy wheel combination. Heavier wheels
mean a rougher ride and more work for the suspension system.
Winter tires are typically Q speed
rated (160 KPH), which is a lower speed rating than Subaru recommends
(H-210KPH). This is not an issue since the added traction of the winter tires
in winter conditions will be more of a benefit than the handling qualities of
the higher H speed rating.
This sticker on the driver's side B pillar (A pillar is
the windshield pillar, B pillar is the one between the side doors, C pillar is
the next one back and so forth).
Vehicle weight capacity is 386kg (850lb) for the sedan and
408kg (900lb) for the wagon. This rating includes the weight of all passengers,
cargo, roof rack cargo, trailer tongue weight and even the dirt on the car! This
capacity limit is the amount of weight that the vehicle with full fuel load can
Tire size for the Outback is P225/60R16, weight rating 97
and speed rating H. Recommended tire pressure is 30 front and 29 rear. Higher
tire pressure is required in the rear for towing and full cargo loads (32 psi).