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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Best tires for Outback & Costco tire replacement policy

tires michelin potenza turanza costco warranty

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7 replies to this topic

#1 mountainwalker


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Posted 05 July 2013 - 04:10 PM

Happy 4th of July holiday weekend to everyone!

I have a 2003 3.0L H6 Outbackicon1.png VDC in excellent condition. At about 84,500 miles in 2007/8 I picked up a full set of new Michelin Primacy MXV4 tires, 225/60HR16 98H which Costco said were the best available for this vehicle and Costco offered a warranty to 60K miles. I drive this vehicle much less than the national average, and as of last month June 2013, only added about 30K miles, bringing mileage to 115K. I've always kept the tires properly inflated (measured when hot, 35 front and 34 rear, or cold 33 front and 32 rear) and rotated on time, with the wheels aligned each time. We do most of the driving in the temperate Silicon Valley/SF Bay Area.

I just did a tire rotation at Costco, followed by an alignment at Firestone as part of a lifetime alignment. During the alignment the technician pointed out some cracking along the outside edges of the tread, though there was still plenty of tread depth left. I then went back to Costco and asked about this. They said they now typically warrant their tires for 60,000 miles or 5 years (used to be 6 years), whichever comes first. 

They said that since I've just crossed 5 years, but have only driven half of the 60K mile warranty, they offered to replace the set now with a brand new set for 50% off the regularly $133.99/tire price, with free installation. They said that the Primacy MXV4 225/60HR16 98H is still the best tire they have for this model caricon1.png.

A) Is it possible that the warranty was 6 years at the time of my original purchase, as the Costco rep noted they recently changed to 5 years, in which case they would have to replace the tires free? How would I find out what the policy was back then? I keep all my records but can't find the tire purchase receipt.

B) What do you think of these tires, and do you recommend any others instead? Note that I have never had to use them, but want the ability to be able to fit a light chain set for harsh snow conditions if ever needed. If it's a tire Costco doesn't carry, I of course don't get the 50% off the cost and free installation. These are the tires they have that fit thisvehicleicon1.pnghttp://tires2.costco....a-2c6cc6fd0de2 The better tires include:

Bridgestone - Potenza RE92 P225/60R16 97H $177.99
Michelinicon1.png - Primacy™ MXV4 225/60R16 98H $133.99
Bridgestone - Turanza Serenity Plus 225/60R16 98H $133.99

C) If 50% off with free installation, do you consider this a good/fair deal for these tires, given that Costco is already offering $70 off any purchase of 4 Michelin tires, and Costco often has tire dealslb_icon1.png at various times throughout the year.

I like to always keep quality tires on my vehicle ever since driving my old Volvo in college in light rain I did a 180 turn around a bend at only 25-30mph on used just fine but nothigh performance tiresicon1.png. And that wasn't the first rain of the season surfacing oil. I immediately got the best tires I could after that and it never happened again.

Thanks for your advice and have a great weekend.

#2 john in KY

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Posted 05 July 2013 - 09:52 PM

Your tires are 5 years old and the offer is a new set at 1/2 price and free mounting and you are wondering if this is a good deal? I'd jump all over this. At 5 years your tires regardless of tread wear are at the end of their useful life. 

#3 mountainwalker


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Posted 06 July 2013 - 12:18 AM

LOL John I know it's a good deal for Costco right now - but was wondering if it's a good deal relative to what's available out there at other places or to Costco sales at other times of the year as I've only shopped for tired twice ever and only once at Costco. Also I'm 99% sure the Costco or Michelin warranty when I bought my set was 6 years and 60K miles. I've only driven 30K miles and the car has been garage kept and in relatively mild conditions, and even the Costco tire rep thinks they should have held up better. Based on what I've read now I think it's a good idea to replace your tires at 5 years anyway - rubber just doesn't hold up.

#4 Rooster2


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Posted 06 July 2013 - 07:07 AM

The last set of Michelin tires on my 98 OBW developed some side wall cracking. I don't know how many miles on the tires, or when tires were manufactured, but I do remember the tires were getting old.  A friend of mine, who works for Discount Tire, said that Michelins frequently develop sidewall cracks, but it is a benign situation, and not a problem leading to tire break down. He recommended "driving on,"  which I did for another 3 more years, with no problems from the tires.

#5 bratman2


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Posted 07 July 2013 - 06:03 PM

Mountainwalker, I would consider those Michelins to be a steal at what, $67.00 a tire. You will not find anything that will compare at that price. I would be slightly put out by the cracking but if I could replace Michelins with Michelins every 5-6 years at $67.00 a tire mounted I would be very happy!!!

#6 later, Peter

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Posted 07 July 2013 - 07:48 PM

love the Michelins... (Use the X-Ice for the winter months... lasts YEARS)

#7 WoodsWagon


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Posted 07 July 2013 - 08:10 PM

The potenza re92's have a pretty poor all season performance. They came stock on a lot of subarus and are known for absolutely sucking in the snow. That may not be a problem in silicon valley, but if you plan on heading up into the mountains it could be.


The rubber in tires does have a finite life. High temperature or high ozone can make them deteriorate quicker. The formulation of the rubber also changed sometime in the 9O's and they crack up way sooner than they used to. The cracking isn't a problem per se, but if they go deep enough for contaminates to get into the carcass of the tire the cords can start breaking. That can lead to a sudden blowout.


So the gamble is do you keep running them and risk totaling the car after having a blowout and loosing control, or do you spend the $3OO for a set of new tires and not have to worry about it?

#8 matt167


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Posted 07 July 2013 - 11:52 PM

DOT only rates tires for 5 years as recommended service. I personally do not let a tire get past 5 years before they are dis mounted and discarded. A 50% warranty discount on 5 year old tires is not something you get every day. Jump on that before the offer is up.

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