Alignment before getting new tires

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But the tires could affect the wheel alignment just like a bent tie rod would. I could see if the old tires are worn unevenly they would sit differently on the alignment rack's turntables then new tires. Align with the old tires and then install the new ones and it then may wander or pull to one side or the steering wheel may not be centered again.
Nope. The alignment apparatus attaches to the wheels, not the tires.

OP, just get an alignment. Doesn't matter if it's before or after new tires are installed. How about get it done the same time as the new tires are installed by the tire shop? Maybe they will give you a discount since you are buying new tires from them?
 

Jimmy_Russells

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Nope. The alignment apparatus attaches to the wheels, not the tires.

OP, just get an alignment. Doesn't matter if it's before or after new tires are installed. How about get it done the same time as the new tires are installed by the tire shop? Maybe they will give you a discount since you are buying new tires from them?

Well I currently have my winter setup on, I'll put my summers on in a month or so and get it aligned then. Then when the tires are done, they're done and will get changed.
 

hrv

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I have found that my 2021 Honda Hrv sport has a quick ratio steering. I noticed that you need to turn the tie rods very little like 1/8 of and inch to make the steering wheel move...I had to adjust them just slightly to center the wheel on a FLAT road....now on a crown it will tilt very slightly...but goes straight....The steering on the HRV Sport is very sensitive and the slightest movement on the wheel will take you in that direction...Much more sensitive then my old 07 Honda Accord...Also this has 225/50/18 tires on it...
 
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The alignment itself won’t change before or after new tires, but, if the current front tires have uneven tread depths (between left and right tires) that can affect the steering wheel being straight. We always roadtest after the alignment, and the steering wheel may not be perfectly straight, due to uneven tread depth of the front tires. So we make a small adjustment to straighten it. If new tires are installed after that, then the steering wheel will be off center the other direction afterwards. Only takes a 1mm difference in tread between the left and right front tires to makes a noticeable difference.

This correct. Any thoroughly performed alignment is followed by roadtesting on an even road
and quite often there are some minor corrections required. What looks perfect on paper doesn't
neccessarily led to a happy customer who is looking at his steering wheel on every drive.
You'll guess it, here's my however: If the steering is apparently straight with the factory alignment
both front (and both rear) tires are likely worn the same and it's unlikely new tires will alter this.
Rear toe is equally important as front toe, not a tiny bit less.


I don't know how stupid this is but I've actually adjusted the tie rods to straighten the wheel quite a few times on various vehicles because I am kind of OCD about it. My understanding is that as long as you mark the rods and turn them the same amount (lengthen one and shorten the other), the alignment wouldn't really change. Sometimes I will turn them as little as like 1/32 of a turn and it makes a noticeable difference. I don't know how much you need to turn a tie rod to make a substantial change like say 0.2°.

Again, I agree. If you turn both sides the same front toe will remain the same and just the steering
wheel will move as long but only as long as you don't measure toe with the steering wheel center,
which of course is the way to do it.
You'll easily feel the slightest changes on toe. Just five minutes more or less will result in an difference
you'll notice immediately, much more (earlier) than you'd feel camber.


According to Google, one minute is .0167 degrees so you'd really have to move the rods a fair bit to affect the actual alignment a significant amount. That is good to know.

This is probably a good moment to remember that 1° is 60' (minutes). So one and a half degree
(of negative camber) is -1°30'. Or a total toe in of ten minutes is +0°10' (ideally +0°05' each wheel).
I don't like millimeters and inches as it varies with wheel diameter. Degrees and minutes are universal.
Lastly, I'd strongly recommend to keep the factory settings. Do you have the factory data on hand?
I'd bet it won't be that different compared to a GTI or S3.
.
 

Jimmy_Russells

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This correct. Any thoroughly performed alignment is followed by roadtesting on an even road
and quite often there are some minor corrections required. What looks perfect on paper doesn't
neccessarily led to a happy customer who is looking at his steering wheel on every drive.
You'll guess it, here's my however: If the steering is apparently straight with the factory alignment
both front (and both rear) tires are likely worn the same and it's unlikely new tires will alter this.
Rear toe is equally important as front toe, not a tiny bit less.




Again, I agree. If you turn both sides the same front toe will remain the same and just the steering
wheel will move as long but only as long as you don't measure toe with the steering wheel center,
which of course is the way to do it.
You'll easily feel the slightest changes on toe. Just five minutes more or less will result in an difference
you'll notice immediately, much more (earlier) than you'd feel camber.




This is probably a good moment to remember that 1° is 60' (minutes). So one and a half degree
(of negative camber) is -1°30'. Or a total toe in of ten minutes is +0°10' (ideally +0°05' each wheel).
I don't like millimeters and inches as it varies with wheel diameter. Degrees and minutes are universal.
Lastly, I'd strongly recommend to keep the factory settings. Do you have the factory data on hand?
I'd bet it won't be that different compared to a GTI or S3.
.

I am not going to deviate from factory setting. Looks like RS specs about .75° more of both camber and caster in front. I realize those aren't really adjustable (I think rear camber might be) other than moving the subframe so it's obviously baked into the design.

RS3:
1643746139187.png



S3:
1643746337656.png
 
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hrv

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This correct. Any thoroughly performed alignment is followed by roadtesting on an even road
and quite often there are some minor corrections required. What looks perfect on paper doesn't
neccessarily led to a happy customer who is looking at his steering wheel on every drive.
You'll guess it, here's my however: If the steering is apparently straight with the factory alignment
both front (and both rear) tires are likely worn the same and it's unlikely new tires will alter this.
Rear toe is equally important as front toe, not a tiny bit less.




Again, I agree. If you turn both sides the same front toe will remain the same and just the steering
wheel will move as long but only as long as you don't measure toe with the steering wheel center,
which of course is the way to do it.
You'll easily feel the slightest changes on toe. Just five minutes more or less will result in an difference
you'll notice immediately, much more (earlier) than you'd feel camber.




This is probably a good moment to remember that 1° is 60' (minutes). So one and a half degree
(of negative camber) is -1°30'. Or a total toe in of ten minutes is +0°10' (ideally +0°05' each wheel).
I don't like millimeters and inches as it varies with wheel diameter. Degrees and minutes are universal.
Lastly, I'd strongly recommend to keep the factory settings. Do you have the factory data on hand?
I'd bet it won't be that different compared to a GTI or S3.
.
Just curious how do you easily feel a slight toe adjustment??? I thought that toe just affects tire wear and not steering tracking straight. If you have a slight pull and it is not tire related would not the camber be the issue???
 
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Contrarily, it's toe (in) what hugely contributes to both straightline stability,
turn in and steering feel.

Thanks for the data. Yes, it seems the RS3 comes with slightly increased front
camber just like the limited edition GTI Clubsport S and the Mk8 R, which is a
good thing for spirited driving even though it explains why you see elevated
inner edge tire wear. I'd accept that to some degree. That common +0°10' to
+0°15' toe in on front and +0°15' to +0°25' on rear seems pretty reasonable
to me. I'd retain it (or adjust it to the upper limit of the suggested range at the
very most).
Same with camber. Between -1°10' to -1°20' on front and about -1°30' on rear
is appropriate or even pretty ideal for a quick daily driver. I'm not familar with
the RS3 8V in particular but I guess it'll lack front camber adjustment as most
MQB cars do. The TT 8S is the only exception I'm aware of. The outer ball joints
are adjustable via slotted carriers sitting on the LCAs. No idea if they fit to RS3
swivels and subframe.
Is the PS 4S available in both RS3 sizes? If so I'd consider the PS 4S as an ideal
tire for this car. Or the PS 5S if it'll hit the market this year.
 

Jimmy_Russells

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Contrarily, it's toe (in) what hugely contributes to both straightline stability,
turn in and steering feel.

Thanks for the data. Yes, it seems the RS3 comes with slightly increased front
camber just like the limited edition GTI Clubsport S and the Mk8 R, which is a
good thing for spirited driving even though it explains why you see elevated
inner edge tire wear. I'd accept that to some degree. That common +0°10' to
+0°15' toe in on front and +0°15' to +0°25' on rear seems pretty reasonable
to me. I'd retain it (or adjust it to the upper limit of the suggested range at the
very most).
Same with camber. Between -1°10' to -1°20' on front and about -1°30' on rear
is appropriate or even pretty ideal for a quick daily driver. I'm not familar with
the RS3 8V in particular but I guess it'll lack front camber adjustment as most
MQB cars do. The TT 8S is the only exception I'm aware of. The outer ball joints
are adjustable via slotted carriers sitting on the LCAs. No idea if they fit to RS3
swivels and subframe.
Is the PS 4S available in both RS3 sizes? If so I'd consider the PS 4S as an ideal
tire for this car. Or the PS 5S if it'll hit the market this year.

Now you're in my area of expertise.

PS4S is available, but it's not my favorite tire, I went with Conti ECS instead. I could try the Michelins I guess but I have driven them and I preferred the previous Super Sport by a wide margin. The PS4S is more comfortable, quieter and better in the wet but those are all things I don't necessarily buy a pure summer tire for. The SS held up to heat and abuse better, and felt better on initial turn in. The ECS has really good response and feel as well which is important to me.
 
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Just curious how do you easily feel a slight toe adjustment??? I thought that toe just affects tire wear and not steering tracking straight. If you have a slight pull and it is not tire related would not the camber be the issue???
Total front toe affects straight line stability. Will have no affect on a "pull", that is a tire issue.
 

hrv

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Total front toe affects straight line stability. Will have no affect on a "pull", that is a tire issue.
Or a camber issue...I believe that the front camber is slightly different on each side for the crown of the road...
 
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Or a camber issue...I believe that the front camber is slightly different on each side for the crown of the road...
Needs to be a big difference for camber to be an issue. Even half a degree difference left to right is barely noticeable. I can usually tell, but I am looking for it specifically. Need about a full degree difference to be noticeable by the masses, and at that point, it is very obvious to the naked eye.
 
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My issue with tire testing facilities that test tires in this fashion is:
They hold the vehicle speed, in this case, 45 mph, without slowing down(as we would as drivers) when negotiating a turn. They keep the speed steady to prove their point. I CERTAINLY DON'T DRIVE LIKE THIS.
They keep the speed steady while in heavy water and sharp(er) turns than a normal driver would just by nature of the bad weather.

I personally don't drive my vehicles at a steady speed during hard rain while going into a turn...without slowing down in order to negotiate the next turn/curve in the road or obstacle. I mean, they talk about tires that are NEW and tires that are HALF WORN. What about all 4 tires that are HALF WORN? Hello!

In winter conditions, I want the tires with more tread depth on the front. My tires are only about 1-2 32nds different between the front & rear anyway and typically I don't buy just two tires. If I have to replace two tires and my other two are HALF WORN, I'm replacing all 4 and selling off(or giving away) the other two.

I mean, I know $#!+ happens but in over 50 years of driving, I have never seen a car spin out like what they've showed in their testing, even though they've mentioned what I just said above. SLOW DOWN !

And don't get me wrong. I've seen a lot of foolishness(being kind here) in people but I don't think that even 4 NEW tires would help these people.
 
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Tire chains mostly suck for alignment. I had to fix mine after alignment shop got done. Learned to do a pretty good toe in alignment in the driveway with a tape blocks and levels
 

Jimmy_Russells

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I went to the dealer and got this done today. I am glad I did as the front toe was quite messed up, one side too positive and one too negative. I am not sure if this is the cause of my hard inside edge front tire wear but at least now I know if it continues that is just the way it’s going to be.

I’ve only driven like 30 miles but I do believe I feel a little less turn in response with this more positive toe setting both front and rear, but I’ll need to get some more seat time. Before sometimes it would almost catch me by surprise sometimes when driving hard it would really turn in quite hard sometimes and be a little unpredictable.
 

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I wouldn’t put the Michelins on when you have staggered wheels, can/ will cause traction warnings and power cut.

You can email Michelin and they will confirm this.

Also I would suggest that the front toe reading either indicates that the steering wheel was off centre before the alignment or they did not have it centred when saving the reading. It look’s like it was out about 5 degrees which would be split between both sides.
 
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.
Surely not '5 degrees' which would be horribly off. But yes, the steering wheel
would have been noticeably off center or it wasn't centered correctly during
this alignment.
Anyway, front toe has been off obviously and less so on rear. After alignment
values look as perfect as it gets (too good to be true) which even makes me
conjecture if this could be real/true. If it matters. What actually matters is what
you feel while driving and if the steering wheel is straight on most fairly even
roads.
Btw, this alignment data does give little reason for inside edge tire wear. While
both negative camber and toe out (negative total toe) may cause this, however
it wasn't that excessive to actually explain it. Nevertheless, the quite high toe in
the shop aligned today should help to decrease this issue. Camber both front
and rear is still on the lowish side - good for even tire wear, but not so good for
high-g cornering speeds. As often it's a compromise between performance and
wear.
.
 

Jimmy_Russells

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I wouldn’t put the Michelins on when you have staggered wheels, can/ will cause traction warnings and power cut.

You can email Michelin and they will confirm this.

Also I would suggest that the front toe reading either indicates that the steering wheel was off centre before the alignment or they did not have it centred when saving the reading. It look’s like it was out about 5 degrees which would be split between both sides.

I may have played with it on my own once or twice... lol. It was dead centre but obviously the alignment was not.

.
Surely not '5 degrees' which would be horribly off. But yes, the steering wheel
would have been noticeably off center or it wasn't centered correctly during
this alignment.
Anyway, front toe has been off obviously and less so on rear. After alignment
values look as perfect as it gets (too good to be true) which even makes me
conjecture if this could be real/true. If it matters. What actually matters is what
you feel while driving and if the steering wheel is straight on most fairly even
roads.
Btw, this alignment data does give little reason for inside edge tire wear. While
both negative camber and toe out (negative total toe) may cause this, however
it wasn't that excessive to actually explain it. Nevertheless, the quite high toe in
the shop aligned today should help to decrease this issue. Camber both front
and rear is still on the lowish side - good for even tire wear, but not so good for
high-g cornering speeds. As often it's a compromise between performance and
wear.
.

I was there for four hours :cautious:. They may have fudged some numbers but I doubt it, the guy doing the work even came out to ask me a couple questions at one point. He said he always puts a little more care in to RS's because customers tend to be pickier and more knowledgeable. He even told me that he would add a bit of camber in the rear.

The car does feel different. It is less darty on turn in, which is both good and bad.
 
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