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Please Help! RE: alignment, camber, tire wear


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4 replies to this topic

#1 mccaymoran

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Posted 03 April 2004 - 12:24 AM

Hi Y'all!
I've got a 2000 Forester with 65k miles and have had trouble with tire wear since I first bought it.

History: At 9000 miles I had such extreme wear on the inside edge of the front tires (and moderate wear on the outside of the rears) that I took it to my dealer and complained. They said there was nothing wrong with the alignment, everything checked out and I had missed my rotation schedule and the front tires were shot. Huh?, said I. 1500 miles did this? Response: yep, AWD is fussy about rotation. Not knowing better (and never having owned a subaru) I went away grumbling, but mostly thinking the orig tires (Bridgstone dueler) were a rip off, and vowed the rotate frequently in the future. I bought one new Dueler and put it on the rear with the spare.

Fast forward: none of the orig tires lasted more that 30k; though a series of unfortunate mishaps (one large bolt, one large nail with side wall damage, one blowout) I've been through 2 additional sets of tires twice replacing two at a time(ok but not great tires); Alignment checked at least three times always told it was OK; my mechanic said something was up, but the dealer (1 hour away) had the car for recall work on the o2 sensor and said everything checked out at around 40K. The front tires consistently wear very quickly on the inside edge, and the rear tires wear moderately fast on the outside.

Sick of buying tires, I've held off till the last ones were "semi-dangerous" and bought and installed 4 new better quality tires just today. The tire shop (firestone) told me the alignment is good(?) but a mechnical component of the the front wheel/suspension yoke is damaged and camber cannot be adjusted. He said subaru would need to fix and expected this car had been in an accident. No, not even a fener-bender, said I.

Can the camber be adjusted at all, or is it just outside the adjustment range? I'm out of warranty, but could I make a case to subaru based on the car's history? Can the component(s) be replaced (which ones) and is it expensive work? I'm always careful of tire pressure and rotate like clockwork now. But I'm kicking myself for not being more aggresive with the dealer in the past. At this point I'd just like to have the new tires wear within a "normal range" but I'm not even sure what that is. Is the inside/front : outside/rear even a typical pattern, now I'm not sure of anything.

Sorry for the long-winded rant, TIA for any advice, Mark :banghead:

#2 99obw

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Posted 03 April 2004 - 08:57 AM

On the front camber is adjusted where the strut meets the knuckle.

Your wear sounds very excessive. I haven't been as good with tire rotation as I should have been, and all I have seen is excessive wear in the front two tires, but the wear has still been very even. Our car has 153k miles on it and has never been aligned.

#3 friendly_jacek

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Posted 05 April 2004 - 12:39 AM

I had some excessive wear also. Stock tires lasted for 25000 miles. Now, wear pattern is not ideal either.
I went through a total of 3 alignments in 45000 miles (by tire shop). I blaimed this on competence of people in the firestone shop, but not sure.

#4 mccaymoran

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Posted 05 April 2004 - 12:59 AM

Thanks guys,
I'm going to talk the the tire guy monday before I call the dealer. Browsing the archives, I haven't seen many folks complaining about irregular wear. There's my good luck working for me again.

Specs from shop: FL -2.2deg and FR -2.4deg

Car does pull to right slighly.

Cheers, mark

#5 mccaymoran

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Posted 05 April 2004 - 11:08 AM

Sorry, bad numbers (those are front caster and are positve not neg). These are the actual:

Front Camber: L -0.2deg R -0.4deg
Rear Camber: L 0.0deg R -0.2deg

He also wasn't able to get the rear toe measurment to zero:

L toe 1/32" R toe 1/32" Total 1/16"

Odd thing: he has specs that say -0.8deg to 0.3deg. Within range? Or is the real concern here that one side doesn't match the other?

Thanks again, Mark




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