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Tire wear, front end alignment ?


boatboy

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Hello fellow Caddy owners!

My 96 Deville w/ 123K miles is suffering from uneven tire wear. About 2 weeks ago, I noticed the car pulling to one side while driving. I figured the alignment got out of whack from all the potholes I hit while I was working in NYC for 3 weeks.

This past weekend I replaced the stabilizer bar bushings and in doing so found that the inside of the front tires was severely worn. The L/F was worn down to a point where the belt was showing. The R/F also had some wear on the inside of the tire... but not as bad. So I replaced the two front tires and took in down for an alignment today. They said that the R/F was more out of whack than the L/F... even though the L/F was showing the signs of all the wear. Only minor adjustments were made to each side. I believe the book calls for a setting of 1/8 toe in. The L/F was 1/16 off while the R/F was ~ 3/16 off. The guys at the shop had a hard time believing that the Left side had more wear than the Right.

The shop measured the tire tread depth and told me to stop back in ~ 5K miles so they can check it out again. I do all my own maintenance on this car so I know that the tire showing all that wear had been on there for quite some time.

Can you guys figure out what is causing this misalignment... or lack of misalignment that is causing my tires to wear? Would the replacement of the stabilizer bar bushings help with the front end alignment? Their replacement quieted things in the front end down a lot... but is there something else I should be checking. I noticed the car still pulling to the right on the drive home today.

I am quite certain of the shops ability in alignment. They have a very good reputation in the area. I take all my cars there. They even work on the anitque vehilcles, which noone these days seems to know how to align.

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I had the same thing happen to my 94 Concours, wore the inside of the tires out to the belts. Had it aligned and all has been well ever since.

I would take it back to the shop and mention the pulling to one side. They could have missed something.

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To have such inside wear on the left front, I would expect the left front to be toed out (or "dragging" while you drive down the road), or cambered way in, meaning as you look at it from the front or rear, the tire is leaning in towards the vehicle at the top. You're right -- the alignment results don't seem to agree with the tire wear. Hmm...

Jason(2001 STS, White Diamond)

"When you turn your car on...does it return the favor?"

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You know, it's funny you should mention this. I put new tires on last June or July and noticed it pulling to the left. Never did that before and the original tires had 86K on them and were worn evenly. Left rear was out a bit and all others were within specs. After the alignment it still pulled left so I took it back. It was with in specs but they made an adjustment anyway. It is much better but still pulls a bit on the highway. No other front end work ever done and it is tight and quiet. I know this does not help you but I thought it would be worth mentioning since they are the same cars with the same symptoms (except tire wear) and serviceing.

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Wow... this is exactly what I had

I was wearing out the inside of my drivers side front tire badly, I had a groan and I was pulling right. My driver side ball joint was bad. I could tell this when I jacked up the front end with my floor jack, the bottom of the wheel went in substantially the car was kind of squatting. I would have the ball joints checked first.

The stabilizer bar bushings have no effect on the alignment, pulling, tire wear, etc.

I just say this, it was NOT easy to detect that the ball joint was bad until I got it out, you will need a sharp mechanic to detect it. Look closely at the side that is burning up your tires....

Early on sailors navigated by the stars at night and the North star became the symbol for finding ones way home. Once you know where the Northstar is you can point your ship in the right direction to get home. So the star became a symbol for finding ones way home or more symbolically even finding ones path in life.

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Boatboy,

I agree with all the previous posters, but had a couple of queries:

1. Were the tires rotated in any particular pattern?

2. Was this a 4-wheel alignment? (and were the previous ones)

3. Have you changed where/how you drive? This seems kinda dumb I know, but is there any reason to consider tire damage from an improperly construct road, bridge, parking ramp, paring curb-stops or whatever?

Just tossing ideas out there...Good luck :)

Add power to leave problems behind. Most braking is just - poor planning.
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Boatboy,

I agree with all the previous posters, but had a couple of queries:

1. Were the tires rotated in any particular pattern?

2. Was this a 4-wheel alignment?  (and were the previous ones)

3. Have you changed where/how you drive?  This seems kinda dumb I know, but is there any reason to consider tire damage from an improperly construct road, bridge, parking ramp, paring curb-stops or whatever?

Just tossing ideas out there...Good luck :)

Wow,

you gotta love this site! I post something and within an hour have a half dozen responses! Now that's what I call service!

So to answer some questions TDK had:

1. Tires are always rotated Front to Rear... but I haven't rotated them in a while since I was trying to wear down the fronts so I could put some new tires on. I really hate those whitewalls.

2. I tried getting a 4-wheel alignment... but they couldn't attach the rear jig because of the skirt on the fender... Anyone else ever have this happen? How do you get an alignment on these cars w/ the skirted fender

3. My car took a serious beating while working in NYC for ~ 3 weeks, but total mileage since my return has been < 500 miles. I wouldn't think that there could be that much wear in that amount of time... Would ya?

Oh Scotty, I will have to check out the way the wheel sits while I have the front end jacked up! I do not have any groaning in the front end, but I wonder if the ball joint could be suspect too? I wonder if that would be good preventative maintenance to do? Was that an expensive venture for you?

Thanks everyone!

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No the ball joint being bad put additional pressure on my hub bearing. One the ball joint was replaced and the front end aligned the groaning noise was lessened greatly. But I think the bad ball joint caused me to wear out the hub bearing and I need to replace it asap. If you are still getting pulling after an alignment something is not right. However, your rear suspension also could be out, did they check the rear suspension also? Mike

Early on sailors navigated by the stars at night and the North star became the symbol for finding ones way home. Once you know where the Northstar is you can point your ship in the right direction to get home. So the star became a symbol for finding ones way home or more symbolically even finding ones path in life.

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No the ball joint being bad put additional pressure on my hub bearing. One the ball joint was replaced and the front end aligned the groaning noise was lessened greatly.  But I think the bad ball joint caused me to wear out the hub bearing and I need to replace it asap. If you are still getting pulling after an alignment something is not right.  However, your rear suspension also could be out, did they check the rear suspension also?  Mike

No, the rear suspension was not checked. I have noticed though that the a$$ end of the car seems to sit a little lower than the front. Almost like I've got a load of something heavy in the trunk.

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No the ball joint being bad put additional pressure on my hub bearing. One the ball joint was replaced and the front end aligned the groaning noise was lessened greatly.  But I think the bad ball joint caused me to wear out the hub bearing and I need to replace it asap. If you are still getting pulling after an alignment something is not right.  However, your rear suspension also could be out, did they check the rear suspension also?  Mike

No, the rear suspension was not checked. I have noticed though that the a$$ end of the car seems to sit a little lower than the front. Almost like I've got a load of something heavy in the trunk.

Thats histerical, I just saw that you wrote, I worked in NYC for 3 weeks... and you may have thrown your aligment off.... I know exactly what you mean... :lol:

Your car requires a four wheel alignment, it should be checked as the rear being out could cause you to pull. It sounds like the front is within spec..BUT, since the alignment shop did not consider the rear, I would be a little suspect of them..

Turn your key on and listen to the rear suspension compressor, it should start, run for a bit and then turn off, let me know if that happens, Mike

Early on sailors navigated by the stars at night and the North star became the symbol for finding ones way home. Once you know where the Northstar is you can point your ship in the right direction to get home. So the star became a symbol for finding ones way home or more symbolically even finding ones path in life.

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