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Old 08-30-2009, 01:44 PM   #1
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 127998
Join Date: Oct 2006
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: Near Cleveland Ohio
2006 OB Impreza Spt
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Question Why does it pull to the left (I know insert joke)

I just got new tires for my Outback Sport Wagon '06.
The original stock wheels were Bridgestone Protenzas of some sort.
My tire size was P205//55R16 with a 89V rating

I took my car to a Firestone Automotive center and got a set of Potenza RE960 Pole Position same size but the rating is now 91W, which should be a better tire.

Now I don't know if I just have inexperenced mechanics at this shop who haven't delt with too many Subarus, but when I first got the car back, the car was pulling to the left a great deal. To go straight you had to have the well off by at least 10 degrees.

I immediately took it back and told them to fix it. Right now it seems ok, but maybe I'm just paranoid and it's in my head, but it could be pull just a tad to the left.

After they "fixed" it they told me that the car was intially within tollerances, but they switched the wheels around and re-aligned again for a tighter spec. They told me if I'm still noticing problems bring it back, but it could be the tires (in terms of brand and size)

These tires should work fine, right? The other thing I should mention after 43k miles I also needed to replace the front brakes and had the alignment done.

I don't want to start my tire search all over again. I think all these guys just want me to buy their preferred expensive tires, when the Potenza RE960 Pole Position are rated high here, on ConsumerReports.com and other places.
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Old 08-30-2009, 08:10 PM   #2
Scooby Specialist
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Join Date: May 2004
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Location: Raleigh, NC
2009 WRX 5-door
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Those are good tires. Find a shop that has a hunter GSP9700 road force machine that can measure lateral force (straight track). This could cause the car to drift. Their website has a shop locater. http://www.gsp9700.com/pub/search/findgsp9700.cfm
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Old 08-31-2009, 06:41 AM   #3
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Location: Near Cleveland Ohio
2006 OB Impreza Spt
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Default Thanks for the help

Thanks Peachangelmusic for the info.
The Firestone is listed as a GSP 9700 location but does not have the StraightTrack LFM icon next to it. I'm assuming that is what I need.
The first shop I went to for tires of course is. They didn't have the price on the tires that Firestone had.
I'll see how it goes. I probably will have a friend test drive my car to prove or disprove my paranoia.
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Old 08-31-2009, 10:35 AM   #4
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Tires are manufactured by assembling components made of rubber, fabric cord and steel wire that are cured together in a mold. Under intense heat and pressure during the curing process, the rubber reaches a near liquid state before vulcanization takes place finalizing the tire's exact size, structure and shape.

If a tire's internal components are misaligned as it cures, it is possible that unequal internal forces may cause the vehicle to pull to the side, even when it is steered straight ahead. When this occurs with a brand new tire it is typically due to conicity, a manufacturing glitch where a tire's tread has cured slightly cone shaped rather than in the desirable uniform cylinder shape.

A tire that has conicity due to a manufacturing error will be apparent right after installation or immediately following the first time the tires are rotated. Because of this, tire manufacturers warranties only cover this condition early in the tire's life.

If tire pull first becomes noticeable after many miles of driving on a tire, it is typically due to driving conditions or vehicle misalignment that has caused the tire's tread to wear on an angle (with one side wearing faster than the other), or allowed the tire on the left side of the axle to wear faster than the tire on the right side of the same axle.

If a vehicle has a pulling problem, the alignment should be checked (including cross camber, cross caster and thrust angle settings). If the alignment is at the manufacturer's preferred settings or appropriately within the range.

That said the Potenza RE960 A/S Pole Position is a very good tire ans is quite popular among Subaru owners. I know of hundreds of Subi's running the RE960 with zero issues.
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Old 09-01-2009, 10:20 AM   #5
drivin blind
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Just a quick check, switch sides on your fronts (if not directional) and see if that corrects it. Otherwise switch front to rear. My .02 RP
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