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2003 Matrix Suspension

I have a 2003 Matrix with 115000 miles on it. The guys who rotate and balance my tires tell me the inside of the tread is “cupping”. I can feel an irregularity there. First approach is to align all four wheels. Do the rear wheels really need alignment? Second approach is to replace the entire suspension. OK, What does this involve? What all parts should be replaced? What should I expect to pay for it? I do not experience and change in performance, handling, or fuel consumption.

I thought cupping was the result of bad struts. But, only being on the inside of the tread, could also be a bad alignment. When was the last alignment?

I’m not sure how the rear suspension is designed, but I’m imagining a solid beam axle. This would require a 4 Wheel thrust angle alignment. The 2 front wheels are aligned with the thrust angle of the solid rear axle. If the Matrix has independent rear suspension, a true 4 wheel alignment would need to be done. I would not just rely on a 2 wheel front end alignment if there is noticable handling problems.

Get another opinion.

4-wheel-alignment is the way to go (there are adjustments for the rear wheel alignment, too), but it does NOT require replacing the entire suspension system.

That’s one of the craziest things I’ve ever heard, and would cost many thousands of dollars to actually do.

There’s no way they were really going to replace the “entire suspension.” That’s not realistic.

I have to agree with BK. I would install two new front tires, replace the front struts, and have an alignment done. Cupping of the tires is caused by worn out shocks or struts.


OK, I probably shouldn’t have said “entire suspension”. I meant shocks and struts. I was told step one was alignment but “that probably wouldn’t fix the problem”. Next step was shocks and struts. Sounds expensive. How urgent is this? I always thought you could tell bad shocks by the way the car handled - like excessive bouncing, etc.