CX5, firestone alignment specs off compared to dealer

Pew

Joined
Mar 12, 2018
Messages
4,138
Location
IL
Hi folks,

So I have the lifetime alignment from Firestone for the CX5 but it seems like their specs, machine, or something is off in their system. The last alignment I got from them was right before Christmas but real-world resulted the steering wheel cocked over to the left by a good amount. I've had 5 alignments from 2 different firestones and they all ended up with the same issue despite the printout showing it "good". I got fedup and went to the dealer 2 weeks ago for them to check for any bent suspension components and they said the only thing wrong was the front alignment, by a huge amount. It actually drove straight after the dealership was done fixing the alignment and I'm enjoying driving it again. It's nice not having to fight the car and do micro-adjustments.

How do I bring it up to Firestone that their specs are wrong without sounding like a know-it-all?

Firestone Cx5.jpg
Dealership CX5.jpg
 
Firestone Stores are notoriously bad at alignments. The only thing they are good at is up selling to gullible people.
Hello. (me)

I had to learn the hard way, 2 of our cars have lifetime alignments. Years, and years, of incompetence as a result. Interesting how all the shops in my area in a 30 mile radius ran out of paper for the alignment machines, at the same time, lasting years.

Put it this way, I've said it before--pull a BMW into the dealer and pay what was once $140 it's likely more today. Go in all green. Even if that is true, all of the settings are placed in the middle of the range.

Firestone, anything that is green, means good. It doesn't matter what part of the range the particular setting is at. The intial alignment is one thing, anything after that, is another. It even shows on the printout. Subsequent alignments are simply "checks." my .02

I would suspect based on the paperwork there are no rear adjustments, but could be wrong

All this alignment talk makes me think of the sopranos episode where Chris puts a matchbook into the fish monger's scale and the guy in the shop can't figure out whats wrong with the scale
 
Firestone Stores are notoriously bad at alignments. The only thing they are good at is up selling to gullible people.
They were (generally) good with the focus, although they more or less just put the specs in the green whether or not the toe matched but if the focus didn't drive straight then I'd bring it back until they fixed it or find a different firestone. It sucks because I bought the lifetime alignment, so I don't want it to go to waste but I don't want any extra tire wear and really hate it when it looks like I'm driving drunk from trying to adjust the steering all the time.

Pose it as a question. "Can you help me understand why these two reports differ?"
That's a good idea. They'll probably blame me but let's see what they say.

Put it this way, I've said it before--pull a BMW into the dealer and pay what was once $140 it's likely more today. Go in all green. Even if that is true, all of the settings are placed in the middle of the range.

I would suspect based on the paperwork there are no rear adjustments, but could be wrong, and that's the dealer. It would be helpful to see the Firestone paperwork as well. How does anyone know the dealer results are in fact calibrated?
Around me the alignments everywhere went up in price; $180 at the Mazda dealer per alignment. I ended up paying about $380 for inspection and alignment. It sucks but it is what it is and gotta pay to play. I always ask for the printout though - any places that say they don't have the printout is a red flag for me. But it's not the rears that were affected, that seems good from firestone and the dealer. The fronts are crazy off from firestone though.
 
They were (generally) good with the focus, although they more or less just put the specs in the green whether or not the toe matched but if the focus didn't drive straight then I'd bring it back until they fixed it or find a different firestone. It sucks because I bought the lifetime alignment, so I don't want it to go to waste but I don't want any extra tire wear and really hate it when it looks like I'm driving drunk from trying to adjust the steering all the time.


That's a good idea. They'll probably blame me but let's see what they say.


Around me the alignments everywhere went up in price; $180 at the Mazda dealer per alignment. I ended up paying about $380 for inspection and alignment. It sucks but it is what it is and gotta pay to play. I always ask for the printout though - any places that say they don't have the printout is a red flag for me. But it's not the rears that were affected, that seems good from firestone and the dealer. The fronts are crazy off from firestone though.
Why I ended up with Firestone lifetime alignments...I bought a used Lexus in 2016 and the steering wheel was way off to the left. Took it to them, did the upsell, and voila! My steering wheel was now perfect! So I said gosh, I better get my wife's car under that lifetime deal too! But I noticed that upon returning, name is in the computer, no receipt needed. And now across 5 shops, their printers aren't working, which is a joke....or...call in, and the entire machine is down! lol Better off paying $150 etc....I suspect there have been many times they didn't do the work when I've left the car all day.
 
My mechanics said that it depends on the person that does the alignment.
Apparently, the Firestone probably does not train their people properly or they just don't know how to do it in that particular car.
 
It appears that firestones alignment machine needs calibration, simply looking at the After Firestone and Before Dealership numbers you can see how off the firestones machine is with Toe.

I'm not an expert just an observation, If you look at Caster at firestone 5.8/5.9 vs the dealerships 6.2/6.1 that's exactly the Toe you were off by .4/.2


Also to note, you can also take your lifetime alignments to Tire's Plus as well you may have better experience there.
 
Chuck it up to a lesson learned and avoid Firestone in the future. I'm not a fan of any tire/muffler national chain other than Discount Tire....
 
If firestones specs were out of date the car would still drive in a straight line with the steering wheel centred, a lazy tech who doesn’t use a steering wheel clamp to keep it straight is most likely to be the issue here.
 
Hello. (me)

I had to learn the hard way, 2 of our cars have lifetime alignments. Years, and years, of incompetence as a result. Interesting how all the shops in my area in a 30 mile radius ran out of paper for the alignment machines, at the same time, lasting years.

Put it this way, I've said it before--pull a BMW into the dealer and pay what was once $140 it's likely more today. Go in all green. Even if that is true, all of the settings are placed in the middle of the range.

Firestone, anything that is green, means good. It doesn't matter what part of the range the particular setting is at. The intial alignment is one thing, anything after that, is another. It even shows on the printout. Subsequent alignments are simply "checks." my .02

I would suspect based on the paperwork there are no rear adjustments, but could be wrong

All this alignment talk makes me think of the sopranos episode where Chris puts a matchbook into the fish monger's scale and the guy in the shop can't figure out whats wrong with the scale
My indy shop even asks me if I want the alignment setup for handling or tire longevity. He knows that my Tundra and RX 350 tend to chew up the outside of the front tires because the Toyota/Lexus specs have too much positive camber so he adjusts them accordingly. I have always used him for the second set of tires and all tires after that but depending on the next new vehicle I'm thinking of bringing him the vehicle new since I only seem to manage 25k miles out of the OEM tires. FWIW...all my tires after the OEMs last much much longer.
 
Hi folks,

So I have the lifetime alignment from Firestone for the CX5 but it seems like their specs, machine, or something is off in their system. The last alignment I got from them was right before Christmas but real-world resulted the steering wheel cocked over to the left by a good amount. I've had 5 alignments from 2 different firestones and they all ended up with the same issue despite the printout showing it "good". I got fedup and went to the dealer 2 weeks ago for them to check for any bent suspension components and they said the only thing wrong was the front alignment, by a huge amount. It actually drove straight after the dealership was done fixing the alignment and I'm enjoying driving it again. It's nice not having to fight the car and do micro-adjustments.

How do I bring it up to Firestone that their specs are wrong without sounding like a know-it-all?

View attachment 134917View attachment 134918
The dealership before just has the steering wheel off center. Total toe is good, move the steering wheel to 0 and the toe will fall in.
 
The dealership before just has the steering wheel off center. Total toe is good, move the steering wheel to 0 and the toe will fall in.

Old thread, but the dealership aligned the wheels properly compared to Firestone and the twitchy steering is gone; but the wear from the bad alignment has already gone into my winter set.
 
All alignments depend on the skill of the tech. I've had alignments done at an NTB. Meh!
 
Back
Top