'O6 Outback manual calls for a Left Front to Left Rear, Left Rear to Left Front and Right Front to Right Rear, Right Rear to Right Front rotation pattern. Always keeping the tires on the same side of the car doesn’t seem to do such a great job of promoting even tire wear though. As long as these aren’t directional-tread tires (tires in question are the stock Bridgestone Potenzas), is there any reason I can’t do a diagonal or side-to-side rotation instead?
No, there’s no reason you couldn’t do an X pattern, but a side to side isn’t really going to gain you much since the real reason behind rotating tires is to even out the wear front to rear. On the other hand any front to rear rotation pattern would do that - even the one Subaru suggests.
Which brings me to the next point. If you are having uneven wear problems, then the problem is probably the alignment - and no amount of rotation is going to fix that.
At the very least get the alignment checked.
Thanks for the reply. I had been assuming the alignment was ok because the car doesn’t pull to one side and track straights with the steering wheel centered… maybe those aren’t always an indication of proper alignment though?
The wear is on the outer edges of the driver’s side tires, and it was suggested to me that it’s from taking corners–particularly the right-side-of-the-road exit ramps I hit on my commute–to quickly. So that’s what I was hoping to correct with an X-pattern rotation. Since posting, I’ve read elsewhere about circa-'06 Outbacks not holding their alignment…or the factory specs for alignment being a little off, resulting in the same wear pattern that I’m seeing. Anyone here drive a Sube and/or know anything about that?
As long as these aren’t directional-tread tires (tires in question are the stock Bridgestone Potenzas), is there any reason I can’t do a diagonal or side-to-side rotation instead?
Just so you know, it’s not just the tires. There are directional WHEELS too and you don’t necessarily have to mount directional tires on them. I doubt your Outback has them but it would be worth checking to be sure.
Well, that’s one explanation, but bad alignment is another, and worth checking. You can have bad alignment without obvious pulling.