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2009 Outback
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Car: 2009 Outback 2.5i Limited

1 month ago I replaced my factory tires on my 2009 Outback with Bridgestone Potenza G019 Grid tires. I noticed almost right away that they were much noisier than the factory tires.

The factory tires were Bridgestone Potenza RE92A. I got the Bridgestone G019 Grid tires since they were about $300 less than the G019's. The warranty on the Potenza G019 is 65,000 miles were the factory RE92A is 40,000 miles.

I thought I was making a good financial choice but now that I've had them about a month the sound is getting louder. They are so loud that I can hear them through noise-canceling headphones. It's difficult to have conversations in my car and I can't even think about talking on a phone while driving. It's louder driving on pavement than a gravel road.

Now here's the kicker: I used to get anywhere from 27-32MPG as I drive very conservatively and mostly on highways. Now I am lucky to get 24MPG. That hurts.

I drive a LOT. I bought the tires 1 month ago and already drove 3000 miles.

Now I'm at a point where I can't take the noise. I have to get rid of these suckers. I am going to go back to the tire shop that sold them on Monday.

1) Do you think I have any luck with them working with me on replacing them? I assume they can probably just get them back to the manufacturer since they're a fairly large dealer.
2) If the dealer will not work with me what are my options of getting any money out of these tires? I paid $600 total having them installed.

3) I want tires for my Outback that are quiet and fuel efficient. The factory Potenza RE92A cost about $1000 installed and last 40,000 miles. I'm willing to pay that if I need to. I don't ever remember hearing them while driving so they were very quiet. I also got much better fuel efficiency out of them.

Are there more fuel efficient tires that any of you use for the Outback? I was told by the tire shop that I should use a V rated tire so that narrowed my options. Maybe that's not true -- I talked to someone a few days ago that said they replaced their tires with a touring tire and got 35MPG!

Think I'll get anywhere with the tire dealer?

Thanks, take care.
 

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Goto tirerack and drill down through the reviews and such until you find tires you like. I personally am not a huge fan of bridgestone. I have NEVER paid even close to 1000$ for tires, there are MANY much cheaper, better options out there. I don't care to get tires that are rated for over 50,000 miles, as most all tires start getting louder the more worn out they are. I'm a huge fan of contiextremecontacts/extremecontact DWS, and the general altimax HP. I've never had a tire change my fuel mileage anymore than the difference I see tank to tank. I also personally do not trust 99% of tire shops, they just want to sell what they have in stock, I buy all my tires now from either tirerack or discount tire direct (depending on brand, if I have to call up I generally deal with DTD, but I find tirerack's website far superior, they both have very competitive prices).

What sort of pressure are you running those at?
 

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2009 Outback
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9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi. I am running them at the tire pressure that is in the manual. I believe it was 36 front and 39 back or something close to that. If it's not perfect the TPM light comes on. Anyway I just recently checked and compared and all is good with the tire pressure.

What should I do with these brand new tires?

Thanks.
 

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2015 Highlander AWD XLE 6AT
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DJ,

Sorry to hear about the bad luck with your new tires… and with your recent local weather!

Long story short: Everything else being equal, tires do not deliver their lowest rolling resistance when they're new. Nonetheless, you’ve stumbled across a couple of the Grid 019’s apparent weaknesses. This tire has not scored well in the Tire Rack survey’s noise factor, and it scored in the lower half of Consumer Reports overall ratings of “V”-speed rated performance all-season tires. While it scored well in several important CR performance tests, it shared a bottom-of-the-pack “fair” rating in the noise test, and it alone scored a “poor” rating for rolling resistance. :icon_sad:

In fact, none of the “V”-speed rated tires (up to 149 mph) tested by Consumer Reports scored well in the rolling resistance test. Although your Outback 2.5i Limited was originally fitted with “V”-speed rated tires, that’s an unnecessarily excessive spec IMHO, and you may want to stay away from that speed category when considering new tires for your OutBack. For example, the new U.S.-spec 2010 Outbacks are equipped with “T”-speed rated tires (118 mph).

Considering that noise and rolling resistance (fuel economy) appear to be two of your primary concerns, you might want to consider the Michelin Primacy MXV4 or the Yokohama Avid ENVigor. Both are available in the correct physical size for your Outback (225/55R17 97H).

The Primacy MXV4 is a well-regarded tire that has scored well in Tire Rack tests and surveys, and it also scored at the top of Consumer Reports test of “H”-speed rated performance all-season tires. My wife and I have these tires on her Honda Accord, and so far, so very good. :cool:

The ENVigor is a new tire, but initial Tire Rack survey results are very promising indeed.

My guess is unless your dealer is running some kind of customer satisfaction promotion, he won’t be particularly interested in taking back the no-longer-new Bridgestones, unless, perhaps, you offer to buy a new set of tires from him.

I am running them at the tire pressure that is in the manual. I believe it was 36 front and 39 back or something close to that.
Something’s not right here. My copy of the ’09 Legacy & Outback owner's manual states the correct cold inflation pressure for your 225/55R17 95V tires is 32 F and 30 R (page 12-5).

I hope this helps, and best of luck!

Regards,
Jim / crewzer
 

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2009 Outback
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
** Update **

So I took the car back to the tire shop. I waited for an hour and a half then saw them pull out to test drive my car. 10 minutes later the tech called me in the shop to discuss.

He said, yeah, "they're chopping". The only thing that could cause that is an alignment problem. Then I told him and showed him the receipt where I had them aligned by a Subaru Tech the day after the tires were put on. Then he said "your struts could be bad". He looked at the mileage (43,000) and said yeah this is about time for new struts.

I told him the tires were loud the day I bought them. He said that was impossible they would be quieter if anything and that they test drive. Well, they were indeed louder right after I got the new tires... and I thought I would just get used to it but it's now driving me nuts.

So he got a little defensive and said Bridgestone isn't going to do anything about it, our shop isn't going to do anything about it, etc. Basically blaming the car for the loud tires and not the tires themselves.

I mentioned that I was going about 5-10 mph on the pavement and pulleed into gravel and it was much quieter on the gravel. He told me that was impossible that something else is going on and not the tires. I know the sound was coming from the tires. That humming noise cannot be mistaken.

He said the only thing he could tell me is to take it back to my mechanic and have an alignment and have it looked at to see why it is "chopping". If they are still loud come back and see him and he will see if Bridgestone will do anything about it.

So I really don't like the idea of going to the Subaru tech if I am getting the run-around.

I would really like to get the Michellin Primacy MXV4's as these tires are way too loud. What would you do in this situation?
 

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2009 Outback XT-B 5MT
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Don't most shops have a return policy? I know Costco and Sears did, but it's been years since anyone in my family has had tires replaced at either place.
 

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Smooshed FOTY 2011
2005 Lifted 2.5 XT 5-Speed MT Dual-Range
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Sucks about your situation, hope you get it resolved.

BUT why are you referring back to the manual for tire pressures for? Subaru didn't build the Bridgestone tires, so you should be basing your tire pressures off the tires' sidewall, NOT the Subaru manual. All tires are different. Some run better at 28 PSI, some need 40, just depends on the tire and it's construction.
 

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09 Forester Limited
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I had B stone G009s on a 01 I30 Infiniti. After 27K they became so noisy and rough riding that we had to dump them. Bridgestone was unwilling even to make an adjustment. They still gave good traction but were unusable for noise and ride issues. The G009s were the forerunners of the G019s. I switched to General Exclaim Hp. They are excellent!
 

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I wonder how much of it is that the new tires have higher treads.
The old, used up tires would have almost no tread on them.
The new tires are a bit higher, a bit heavier and fresh new, noisier, tread on them.
It may be a small thing but could cause some of the problem.
 

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That dealership is giving the run around. They just cant be stuffed handling your complaint and doing the right thing, (or scared to hand your money back) so they wanna try different answers (i.e suspension, alignment) and get you out of their face, if anything, postpone the case a bit longer. If they had no shame they would probably even say, you dont know how to use the tyres. Typical unprofessional business. I dont know where you are, but here in Australia we go straight to consumer affairs and let the sales person know that is our intention.
yes bridgestones are noisy, my parents have got bridgestone desert duelers on their ford explorer, yes, they paid a pretty penny for them and yes, they last yonks. But my parents have had the noise for as long as they have had the tires. Yes, we also thought the noise would go away, no, it doesnt, just annoying as hell. At certain speeds its louder, like full on wowowowowowowo sound. Factory michelins on the explorer were as quiet as a baby sleeping.
 

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2015 Highlander AWD XLE 6AT
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...BUT why are you referring back to the manual for tire pressures for? Subaru didn't build the Bridgestone tires, so you should be basing your tire pressures off the tires' sidewall, NOT the Subaru manual. All tires are different. Some run better at 28 PSI, some need 40, just depends on the tire and it's construction.
Well, I sure don't agree with most of this.

According to Subaru specs, the OP's 09 OutBack 2.5i Limited was equipped with 225/55R17 95V tires. The "95" is the load index for a Euro-metric (ISO) tire, and it's an industry standard, not an individual tire company standard. Subaru's recommended tire pressures apply to this tire size and load index regardless of manufacturer.

The maximum load and pressure specs molded on a tire's sidewall can be easily misunderstood. I discussed some of this very issue in this recent post.

I do agree that a car company's tire pressure specifications are more of a guideline than a rule, but they are, IMHO, the place to start.

HTH,
Jim / crewzer
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for the info.

I looked at the tire pressure and it appear they were floating around 31psi. I changed them to 37psi and I can see a big increase in fuel economy.

It didn't do anything for the sound issue though. You can even hear them as you go through a parking lot. Once you hit 10-15mph the sound comes into play. When you go over 60mph I find myself having to turn up the radio.

Unfortunately I am right outside of the 30 day buy & try warranty. I think when I walked back into the dealer to discuss this situation it was day 32.

I am going back to the Subaru dealer tomorrow so they can re-do the alignment and we'll see what happens. They are not charging for re-doing the alignment and maybe they can provide some insight.

I wouldn't even mind paying $200 or so over their original price for the Michellin MXV4's. I looked at them and it looks like they'll give me the best combo of a quiet drive and good fuel economy. It might come down to me having to buy a new set though. Maybe if that's the case I can sell these on craigslist or something similar for $200-300.
 

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Unfortunately I am right outside of the 30 day buy & try warranty. I think when I walked back into the dealer to discuss this situation it was day 32.
:icon_sad:

...Maybe if that's the case I can sell these on craigslist...
May be your only option at this point.

Best of luck!
Jim / crewzer
 

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The Sub kit guy
2005 Forester X & XT VF39
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RE92 tires are a low rolling resistance tire. Honda uses them as the stock tires for the Insight. They run them at about 40psi though.

When I went from worn out Michelin Pilot Sport tires to Outback takeoff RE92s on my X, my mileage went up a good deal too. From about 24mpg to over 26mpg. I see Outback size RE92s (225/55/17) for between $100-$150 all the time on craigslist. My current set has 5k miles on them and I paid $120 for them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I have great news.

I took my car to the Subaru dealer and he drove it and found that the left rear bearing needed to be replaced. All was covered under warranty.

Now the tires are quiet and the MPG seems to have gone way up!

The interesting part of this is the sound came into play right after purchasing the new tires. No mistakes about it.. I wonder what happened?

Also the book says run the tires at 32/33 psi but I moved this up to 37psi. I am seeing a huge difference in fuel economy by going at 37psi. Is this a safe level? Can I go further and get even better results?

Thanks!
 

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DJ,

That's good news about correcting the real noise problem!

Also the book says run the tires at 32/33 psi but I moved this up to 37psi. I am seeing a huge difference in fuel economy by going at 37psi. Is this a safe level? Can I go further and get even better results?
Previous posted info and Subaru specs indicate the OEM tires on your car were Bridgestone Potenza RE92A's in size 225/55R17 95V. Info from Bridgestone and Tire Rack indicates the new Potenza Grid 019 are size 225/55R17 97V.

The new tires have a higher load index (97 vs. 95), and can carry a slightly higher load. You can compare ETRTO tire load vs inflation data in this Load and Inflation Table Application Guide available from Toyo. See page A12 in the guide.

The maximum load load specs for both the old and the new tires are based on 36 psi cold pressure. This is an ETRTO standard. The higher maximum pressure specifications for the tires (44 psi max for the RE92's, and 51 psi max for the 019's) allow for special applications requiring higher tire pressure (i.e., sustained high-speed driving, higher fuel economy), but these higher pressures do not increase the tires' maximum load specifications.

Please double check this 51 psi maximum inflation specification on the new tires' side walls.

With their 51 psi max pressure spec, the new tires can safely sustain operating pressures higher than those recommended by Subaru for your car and tire size. "Hyper-milers" typically inflate their tires to over 40 psi in search of high mileage results.

There are potential drawbacks to consider. Increasing tire pressure appears to deliver diminishing returns w/r/t increased fuel economy. In other words, if you realize a 2 mpg gain by inflating your tires with an extra 5 psi, don't expect another another 2 mpg if you increase pressure by yet another 5 psi.

High tire pressure can also lead to an uncomfortable ride, changes in vehicle handling in various weather and road conditions, and uneven tire wear, although this latter issue appears to be less of a problem than it used to be.

In other words, you should be able to safely experiment with cold tire pressures between the OEM specs and 51 psi max cold. You'll just need to find the balance of mileage, comfort, handling, and tire wear that's the best mix for you. Additionally, the choices, decisions, and responsibilities are yours.

Best of luck, and I hope you'll keep us posted on the results of your experiments.

Regards,
Jim / crewzer
 
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