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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Tires or alignment: Which one first?

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9 replies to this topic

#1 Martinjmpr


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Posted 21 August 2003 - 12:32 AM

My '99 OBW just turned over 60k and the stock Michelins are getting really worn. I want to replace them but I also need an alignment (wheel pulls slightly to the right when driving on level streets.)

So, which one, do you think, I should do first? I can see the argument that says "get the tires first, then the alignment, that way the alignment will match the tires", but I can also see the argument that says "get the alignment first, otherwise your new tires will begin to wear unevenly when you put them on."

Due to cost considerations (i.e., me being a cheapskate) I can't get them at the same time/place.

Any thoughts? :confused: :confused:

#2 Setright


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Posted 21 August 2003 - 01:05 AM

Well, I see your point. However, there is a third argument you may have overlooked:

The tyres on the car have worn themselves to match the present alignment. If you have the alignment done first, then the tyres will tend to pull the suspension out of alignment again. So, I don't think thats a good idea.

I say, get the new tyres first. The car might just track straight on new rubber. Odd things happen at toward the end of a tyre's life, and maybe carcass wear/damage is pulling the steering off the straight-ahead.

Of course, I would recommend doing them at the same time - beg or borrow, but don't steal the money :D

Oh, and don't pinch the pennies and get crappy tyres! Don't replace just one set of tyres, AWD centre diff won't like it.

#3 Caboobaroo


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Posted 21 August 2003 - 02:14 AM

it doesn't matter. If you drive around with the toe completley out for 10,000 miles, the tires will start to show signs of wear. But if you get an alignment then a few days later, get tires, it doesn't matter. nothing will change unless they forget to tighten down the nuts on the adjusters on the tie rod ends. Me, I would get the alignment when I get the tires. Do it all at one and you don't have to worry about it. If you have to get one or the other, get the tires first, then the alignment.

#4 Outback Jack

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Posted 21 August 2003 - 06:56 AM

I would get the alignment first before buying the tires. This way the new tires go on properly tuned components.

Thats what did the spring. Alignments only need doing if you've replace a component or you live in a pot hole infested city. And of course, the tires will be the first thing to show this.

#5 Legacy777



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Posted 21 August 2003 - 07:25 AM

Alignments will start to loose their accuracy over time, due to normal wear and tear, bumps, and other stuff.

Do tires, then alignment, but do them back to back, or relatively close.

If you have an alignment that is off, and chewed down one side of your tire, and they do an alignment, the tire may not be sitting flush, they get a bad reading, and set the alignment specs to it, and when you get new tires, that bad setting will prematurely wear the tires.

How much extra wear or movement will happen by the worn tire......probably not alot, but it doesn't take a lot for the wear to happen.

#6 DerFahrer


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Posted 21 August 2003 - 07:34 PM

Get an alignment right after the new tires are put on, I say. Now maybe I'm being paranoid, but I wouldn't have an alignment done on worn tires and then expect the exact same settings to be in place when new tires are installed. I could be wrong on that though.

Needless to say, if you have an alignment done before tires, you obviously want to put tires on of the same size. Otherwise it's useless :rolleyes:

#7 1 Lucky Texan

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Posted 21 August 2003 - 10:51 PM

Doesn't the alignment gear clamp onto the wheels?
I think they could do an alignment with NO tires at all.
Hey! It'd be a hoot to haul your car down there with 4 donut spares on it and ask for an alignment! Film it like candid camera - cool! Ok who wants the assignment?

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#8 canajun2eh


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Posted 22 August 2003 - 07:02 AM

Our local alignment specialist will NOT do an alignment if the car needs new rubber.

Therefore: Replace the tires first, and then do the alignment on all four corners.

#9 canedog18


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Posted 22 August 2003 - 12:45 PM

Ideally I have always tried to throw in an alignment when I get new tires. Something else to consider would be condition of shocks/struts when looking at new tires. Old , worn out struts can shorten the life of tires as well.

#10 GeneralDisorder


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Posted 24 August 2003 - 04:20 AM

Do both at the same time. Tires are PART of your alignment. If you change the tire - you change the alignment. It's that simple. Different brands of tires - while they may be marked the same for size, will differ slightly. It's all very logical really.


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