Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Align my head? or my car?

heloo all. the 98 camry has steering wheel shudder after the new tires have been put on. do i need alignment. will that help now that my tires are scalloped? the guys at the tire shop balanced the tires. the shudder was there on the old tires too, which were severely scalloped. or pitted. can i do alignment myself? any tire experts/alignment out there. thanks

If you ask whether you can do the alignment it would indicate that you cannot. Get the suspension checked by a qualified and well experienced independent alignment shop.

Nope, shop needs to do alignment. And I’d be more concerned that something is worn or damaged, a bad alignment won’t usually cause a shudder.

texases, thank you. what do you think could be worn, a wheel bearing? suspension linkage? ii happens around 55 and gets worse the faster i go. and it isn’t a severe shudder, just slight, almost a quick oscillation thanks

Yes, texases. There is most likely a worn or damaged suspension component. A good front end man can repair the problem and align the car also. And he will often know every weak link and problem area in the car.

thanks guys. appreciate the help

@justin23 an alignment takes special equipment to set the wheels properly. There are several angles that need to be set, not a DIY job. If some parts are worn in the front suspension and steering then those parts need to be replaced for the alignment to “hold”. When you had old tires that were scalloped you should have had the cause of the tire wear fixed before running the new tires. Your new tires once scalloped might never be free of the scalloping.

At this point get the alignment done. The place that does the alignment will inspect the front end for any worn out or loose parts. After getting the alignment the scalloped new tires might still shutter, so your best bet is to put another set of new tires on the front and move the scalloped tires to the rear.

Scalloping is most often caused by worn out front struts (or shocks) that allow the car to bounce and the bouncing causes the scalloped effect.

Make mine another vote in support of the theory that the suspension needs a good look-see. On a 14 year old car the chances are almost 100% that the struts are shot and there are also bushings and/or joints worn out.

Re: your other question, once scallops are worn in a tire it’s pretty much impossible to get them to roll smoothly. However, having them road force balanced after you get your chassis work done should improve the ride enough to get your use out of the tires.

It is possible to build jigs and do your own alignment, I do it myself, but that is not practical for most people. You do need to have a competent professional look at your suspension and give you an evaluation. Maybe get a second opinion too.