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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I took my '15 Volt in for an alignment after having Cinturato P7s installed. The Firestones tires had developed a very bad worn area (a deeply-worn band around the inside edge) on the passenger-side front tire, and it was clear that alignment was off by a lot. I was concerned that perhaps something in the suspension had broken.

The shop kept the car for 90 minutes, and the Service Manager returned it to me, charged me $150, and told me that there was no printout of the before/after measurements because their printer was broken. She told me that the toe-in was way off and that they had fixed it. I asked her to get me a printout from a different printer, or an emailed printout, since I was concerned about the warranty on the tires and I wanted to be able to prove that the car was aligned when they were installed. She checked with the techs, and then told me that it couldn't be done, and asked me to bring it back in next week so they can put it on the rack and start over from scratch.

I'm kind of irritated by this, because now I have no printout of what the alignment was to begin with and the work is already done. I'd think that once they hooked it up for the initial measurement and determined that the printer wasn't working, they'd let me (the guy 1000 feet away in the waiting room) know that there was a problem.

Here's where I get a bit paranoid. Does their story add up? Does the Hunter alignment machine not allow for saving the alignment data and printing it elsewhere, or at least writing down the numbers on a piece of paper? I'm kind of concerned that they maybe didn't even do the 4-wheel alignment that I paid for, and just changed the toe-in. Yelp tells me that one other customer had a problem with this dealership claiming to have done work that they didn't do. The car feels "better" but I'm not convinced that it's in proper alignment. What do you all think?

I've attached pictures of the tire in question. Pretty bad, and I'm kicking myself for not noticing it, and not rotating the tires earlier.
 

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There is more than one Hunter alignment machine. The answer may depend on which one they used.
 

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I took my '15 Volt in for an alignment after having Cinturato P7s installed. The Firestones tires had developed a very bad worn area (a deeply-worn band around the inside edge) on the passenger-side front tire, and it was clear that alignment was off by a lot. I was concerned that perhaps something in the suspension had broken.

The shop kept the car for 90 minutes, and the Service Manager returned it to me, charged me $150, and told me that there was no printout of the before/after measurements because their printer was broken. She told me that the toe-in was way off and that they had fixed it. I asked her to get me a printout from a different printer, or an emailed printout, since I was concerned about the warranty on the tires and I wanted to be able to prove that the car was aligned when they were installed. She checked with the techs, and then told me that it couldn't be done, and asked me to bring it back in next week so they can put it on the rack and start over from scratch.

I'm kind of irritated by this, because now I have no printout of what the alignment was to begin with and the work is already done. I'd think that once they hooked it up for the initial measurement and determined that the printer wasn't working, they'd let me (the guy 1000 feet away in the waiting room) know that there was a problem.

Here's where I get a bit paranoid. Does their story add up? Does the Hunter alignment machine not allow for saving the alignment data and printing it elsewhere, or at least writing down the numbers on a piece of paper? I'm kind of concerned that they maybe didn't even do the 4-wheel alignment that I paid for, and just changed the toe-in. Yelp tells me that one other customer had a problem with this dealership claiming to have done work that they didn't do. The car feels "better" but I'm not convinced that it's in proper alignment. What do you all think?

I've attached pictures of the tire in question. Pretty bad, and I'm kicking myself for not noticing it, and not rotating the tires earlier.
Take it to Les Schwab, they usually will check the alignment for free and give you a printout and if it needs alignment they will charge for that No guarantees on that but thats my experience.
 

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The tire looks pretty worn on both edges of the tread. Obviously the steel cords showing on one side, but the opposite edge looks very worn as well. Sort of like a very under inflated tire would look. What kind of pressure are you running in the tires?
 

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The tire looks pretty worn on both edges of the tread. Obviously the steel cords showing on one side, but the opposite edge looks very worn as well. Sort of like a very under inflated tire would look. What kind of pressure are you running in the tires?
Hunter software isn’t closed source but many hunter machines are running on obsolete PCs with nothing more than a floppy drive.
At the company I work getting data off the hunter machine is difficult because IT has basically put some many security gotchas on it you can’t get anything on or off the machine.


My tires on the volt look that way with 51psi+
(I did get good life from the tires despite this)

The volt is a heavy car and seems to “row” into turns,
I think this was done to give the car firmer handling in corners and also explains why the steering locks forward

Not sure if the suspension would allow the necessary camber adjustments to stop this issue and I’m uncertain what handling consequences there might be

If anyone has been able to correct it I’m all ears,
I prefer my steering a little squirrelly near zero tow because the car corners better and usually gain a few mpg
Sadly I don’t know of any old school alignment places that can be given direction to custom align the car the way you want.

Ah well
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I keep the tires at 41, and I'm very good at making sure they never get below 40. I expect those rounded edges, but the inside edge on that one tire was far more worn than the outside edge. This is after 40,000 miles. I don't drive the car particularly hard, and there are only two corners that I push it on. Everything else is stop-and-go, mostly in low gear, taking corners fairly slow after stopping.

I probably should have taken it to Les Schwab. I just feel bad going to a place that sells tires, bringing them a car with tires that I just bought elsewhere. Then again Les Schwab has nothing like the P7, and their only LRR tire had 1/3 fewer miles on the warranty and cost twice as much as the P7s I got. I also figured the dealership was the best place to be if there was something wrong in the front suspension.
 

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I didn't align my car to factory specs. Front wheel drive cars of old usually are toed out to compensate for the tires pulling in under a load. The factory specs had the car toed in .20 degrees. I set mine to 0 degrees, for better range and tire wear. Doing this, however negates some of the self centering feel and the car has a bit of wander (read: you have to pay attention) but I did see a range/mpg bump.
 

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I didn't align my car to factory specs. Front wheel drive cars of old usually are toed out to compensate for the tires pulling in under a load. The factory specs had the car toed in .20 degrees. I set mine to 0 degrees, for better range and tire wear. Doing this, however negates some of the self centering feel and the car has a bit of wander (read: you have to pay attention) but I did see a range/mpg bump.
That’s good to know, I had my Cobalt aligned to zero toe at a shade tree shop but the guy retired.


Did you set it yourself or did you get someone to do it?

Also did you set the rear toe or just the front?
 

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I believe that Big O Tires does a free alignment check and provides a record of what they find.
 

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Can't you just take a photo of the final alignment specs when its on the screen?

( I know its too late to do it for the last alignment event, but maybe they'll put it on the machine for you now and let you take a picture.)
 

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Can't you just take a photo of the final alignment specs when its on the screen?

( I know its too late to do it for the last alignment event, but maybe they'll put it on the machine for you now and let you take a picture.)
Yes you can, though you may have to do a couple screenshots

What I used to do was take screenshots and save to a flash drive but the security system now blocks flash drives
 

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That’s good to know, I had my Cobalt aligned to zero toe at a shade tree shop but the guy retired.


Did you set it yourself or did you get someone to do it?

Also did you set the rear toe or just the front?
The rear toe can't be change without shims. Wasn't too far off anyway, so I just did the fronts.
 

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Waste of money to pay for a 4 way align since there's nothing to align in back. Only toe-in is adjustable without buying special camber bolts. Caster also non adjustable. My tires wear somewhat on the inside (most fwd cars do)but nothing like that. Were they rotated regularly? Very important on fwd cars
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Waste of money to pay for a 4 way align since there's nothing to align in back. Only toe-in is adjustable without buying special camber bolts. Caster also non adjustable. My tires wear somewhat on the inside (most fwd cars do)but nothing like that. Were they rotated regularly? Very important on fwd cars
I don't think it's a waste of money. 4-wheel alignment ensures that the fronts are true to the position of the rears. It also--theoretically---gives you a printout of the measurements of all wheels so you can know if--ahem---one of the other two drivers of this car hit a pothole or curb and neglected to tell me. It lets me know if there's something wrong.

And no, I didn't rotate as often as I should have. Even so, having the front end toed out would have had the same effect on all four tires if I had rotated more often, instead of just one. I figure I lost 1000 miles of range on a set of noisy Goodyears that never handled that well in the first place, so I'm not kicking myself too hard.
 

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I'm a little confused. You said you took the car in for alignment after you put a set of p7's on the car. Then later you said was after 40k miles. The tires look like they have 40k on them and that there was a real lack of rotation. The edge wear is indicative or a slight toe adjustment, but frankly if the tires were rotated every 6k miles the side to side wear on any tire in that location would be negligible. Also I would have never aligned the car with that tire on the car. I would have insisted on new rubber, alignment and rotation. If your still driving with this tire on the car please STOP. I worked on several hunter machines over the decades mostly daily, and would have never let you get to the point of posting on forums. Get new tires(forget any warranty on old ones), get alignment checked after new tires(suggest somewhere else print out or no) and rotate every 6k miles. If you hit a pothole or "bump" a curb, take car in at least to have the alignment checked. At that time they will assess the tires and reccomend any action. Also you state that you never let your tires get low, well how about looking at the tire tread when your down there airing up? Seems to me you would catch any issues before it got to the point your at now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
I'm a little confused. You said you took the car in for alignment after you put a set of p7's on the car. Then later you said was after 40k miles. The tires look like they have 40k on them and that there was a real lack of rotation. The edge wear is indicative or a slight toe adjustment, but frankly if the tires were rotated every 6k miles the side to side wear on any tire in that location would be negligible. Also I would have never aligned the car with that tire on the car. I would have insisted on new rubber, alignment and rotation. If your still driving with this tire on the car please STOP. I worked on several hunter machines over the decades mostly daily, and would have never let you get to the point of posting on forums. Get new tires(forget any warranty on old ones), get alignment checked after new tires(suggest somewhere else print out or no) and rotate every 6k miles. If you hit a pothole or "bump" a curb, take car in at least to have the alignment checked. At that time they will assess the tires and reccomend any action. Also you state that you never let your tires get low, well how about looking at the tire tread when your down there airing up? Seems to me you would catch any issues before it got to the point your at now.
I'd say you're a LOT confused. Timeline: Bought Pirelli tires and had them installed/brought car in for alignment with new tires/didn't get printout/posted on forum.

I bought tires at a shop I trust, but they don't offer alignments. Other dealers wanted $400 to $600 more for the tires, so I bought them at my preferred store, and brought the car to the dealership for alignment. The warranty I'm concerned about is on the new P7s, not on the Firestones. And no, I did not rotate them as often as I should have. I'll do better with the P7s.

I have no idea what you mean by not letting me get to the point of posting on forums. I also have no idea why you're taking on such a hostile tone, especially since most of it is based on your misreading what I wrote earlier.
 

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I don't think it's a waste of money. 4-wheel alignment ensures that the fronts are true to the position of the rears. It also--theoretically---gives you a printout of the measurements of all wheels so you can know if--ahem---one of the other two drivers of this car hit a pothole or curb and neglected to tell me. It lets me know if there's something wrong.

And no, I didn't rotate as often as I should have. Even so, having the front end toed out would have had the same effect on all four tires if I had rotated more often, instead of just one. I figure I lost 1000 miles of range on a set of noisy Goodyears that never handled that well in the first place, so I'm not kicking myself too hard.
I don't imagine that the Goodyear's would have been very quiet with your alignment that far out as to cause that kind of wear nor would they have handled very well, as would any other brand of tire.
Your remark there tells me that your alignment has been out a long time, not from someone recently hitting a pothole etc.
I never rotate tires as that causes you to not see the alignment problems accurately and it doesn't increase the mileage of the tires enough to know it.
That alignment problem must have caused an appreciable loss of range.
 

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We had this start of a conversation at work regarding the Camber so i wanted to compare notes to some of the others.

My Camber is a little further out as listed should i be looking at getting a bolt kit installed to adjust or what do you guys think based upon your past experience's more then one opinion is ok.

The shocks / struts themselves seem and feel fine but it is possible something may be loose or a memory problem.



****


I like to ask random questions so here is one for the Car Guru's

my Volt unibody which doesn't have Camber adjustments is sitting at 96,000 KM i was curious as i had hte alignment check for the first time and the numbers are


Camber Front Driver -0.8 Front passenger -1.3 ( spec was .4 and maxed out at 1.2 ) so it's .1 of a degree out of max spec?

How significant generally speaking will this be on tire wear on average?

The shop figured the root cause may be strut on passenger side may be sitting 1/4 of a inch lower then the drivers side.

I like to get a few different opinions just to compare notes so Thanks again.

*****


I've heard of this happening on the these vehicle's and others. They undersize the struts. Think of an old VW bug looking at it from behind the wheels are always angled out on the bottom. Its because of all the weight of the engine in the back bouncing up and down, especially on our roads, the spring component of the strut get week and mnemory gets lost. Same principal on the front of yours. You have all the added battery weight. We usde to stick wedges in the spring coils to prop up our VW's, when we couldn't afford to replace parts. lol.

96000KMS on that front end is pretty good if you never had anything done.





You, Lou Carbone and Bill Woods like this




Jason Patry in reply to Chris Donovan - Sounds about right plus removing the camber adjustment...










*****


Sounds about right plus removing the camber adjustment likely doesn't help any.

Any suggestions on replacement struts with a good warranty for me to research.

And are the Cheaper made Unibody adjustments available with a Wedge or is throw aways.

( the shocks themselves are stable still just the droop which is causing the camber issue ) So i would like to get anoher 50,000km out of them.




******





Struts are a maintenance item (unless they actually break in the warranty period of the vehicle. How badly are they wearing your tires? check out pricing on supply and install from dealer and aftermarket like Kal tire or someone like that. Compare that to replacement cost of two tires same brand and type on it now. If the shock and spring are still bot good replacing tires might be cheaper. but also rotating your tires every 10,000 KM will reduce the wear cycle as well.
 
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