A (maybe silly) wheel alignment question.

pbm

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While changing my All Season tires (with about 20K on them) over to my snow tires last week I noticed some wear on the inside edges of the front tires (more so on the passenger side where it's harder to avoid potholes etc...). This 14' Ford Focus has 67K and has never had an alignment done. My (maybe silly) question is should I remount the All Season tires when going for an alignment or can a proper alignment be done with the snows which show no wear on the edges. I know that only 'toe' can be adjusted but I'm not sure if the worn tires would make a difference in the readings that the shop needs to do a proper alignment. Thanks in advance.
 
I have seen tires wear unevenly and it was more of a tire issue than an alignment problem. My boat trailer had one tire wearing very unevenly on one side of the tire and I replaced the tires with new ones and the problem did not occur again. You should be able to align the vehicle with any kind of tires.
 
Make sure your tie rods and ends are nice and tight before the alignment. Otherwise it might be a waste of money.
This. If its only really wearing on one side then its likely tie rod or ball joint worn out.

You could do a lifetime alignment at Firestone. That way if something does need fixing you can bring it back there later. Of course they will pressure you to fix it there - but you don't have to.
 
May have high negative camber on that side - if its not a tire issue.

I just had the tires rotated on my new Ford at 9k miles. Got rid of an odd pull and poor on center feel it had since new.
Likely a tire issue - could it be belt and cord layer off center or ??

If you watch a video of tires being "built" its a miracle they work at all :)
 
If both sets of tires and wheels are the exact same size with the two sets of wheels having the same offset, then you should be able to have the alignment done with either set.
 
Thanks guys...I'll get it done with the snows in place. After 67k on NYs terribly maintained roads it's probably time anyway.
 
After the original set of tires are replace and new installed, I always get a 4-wheel wheel alignment BUT ask the technician to set them up for a flat road, NOT to manu. spec. Manufacturer's spec. compensates for the natural curve in the road's cross-section to enable rain to run off. Learned from the early days of tracking cars that this was preferrable for my driving style and allows for more even wear on the tires, adding life.

For what it is worth, I have the alignment done with me sitting in the car and place a few heavy items directly behind the passenger seat to represent the passenger's weight. I know this is more than a bit anal but has worked for me for both track and road cars/SUVs of all types.
 
have the alignment done with me sitting in the car and place a few heavy items directly behind the passenger seat to represent the passenger's weight. I know this is more than a bit anal but has worked for me for both track and road cars/SUVs

This. Our bigger patrol guys with tactical gear would definitely be asked to sit in the car fully outfitted to ensure proper alignment. It makes a difference.
 
Remember - if the alignment is out it's usually due to bent or worn parts - so gotta fix THAT first. Unboxed LCA usually "give" easily after a hit.

Back with frame/subframe chassis using ULCA and shims, the CA could move if not tightened up. Not much to move on a strut car if the flange clamps were tight to spec torque.
- Ken
 
Get the suspension checked as well. At 60k if it's all original it will likely need something.

It doesn't make sense to align, find worn suspension, and then align again.
 
While changing my All Season tires (with about 20K on them) over to my snow tires last week I noticed some wear on the inside edges of the front tires (more so on the passenger side where it's harder to avoid potholes etc...). This 14' Ford Focus has 67K and has never had an alignment done. My (maybe silly) question is should I remount the All Season tires when going for an alignment or can a proper alignment be done with the snows which show no wear on the edges. I know that only 'toe' can be adjusted but I'm not sure if the worn tires would make a difference in the readings that the shop needs to do a proper alignment. Thanks in advance.
Sometimes you can get a kit that will allow for additional adjustment. Also find a place with a Hunter alignment machine as from what I can tell those are the best but really expensive.
 
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Here's an update a year later....I left the snow tires on since I originally posted because they are starting to get old even though they had little miles on them (the car has been garaged in NY for the past several winters while we are in Florida and doesn't get the miles on it since I retired.) The snow tires are wearing perfectly so I think my original issue was a bad tire since I still haven't had an alignment done and there is now over 75K on the car.
 
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