Alignment didn't fix anything



All the studies that have been done say that the typical values of concitiy do not result in wear issues - that things such as toe in have a much, much greater effect.

To try to explain why this may be so, think of what is happening when a tire has excessive toe in: Not only is there is a sideways force being generated, but the tire is distorted from the straight ahead position. With conicity, there is only the sideways force, and no tire distortion. Plus the amount of force generated by toe in is much. much larger than conicity values.

Don’t forget, it is slip angle (tire distortion) that is causing the multi-ton vehicle to change direction. With conicity, the change in direction is relatively small over the same distance.

Now I am sure that vehicles with a pull will develop some wear issues over the long, long haul, but that is due to the steering correction, not the conicity level itself - and I am also sure that the tire wear described in the previous sentence will be completely obscured by the amount of tire wear that occurs during cornering. In other words, the wear will be there, but it will largely be undetectable.


Thank you ALL for your wonderful and helpful ideas! A simple cross rotation of my tires fixed it. :slight_smile: I am curious though if it’s possible that it’s because I’m a mail carrier that caused this. The tires only have about 4000 miles on them…


Thank you for posting your good results from rotating the tires.

I question any alignment shop failing to road test their work though.


Take a careful look for any unusual or asymmetric wear patterns appearing on the tread surfaces, including comparing one tire to another. That could provide a clue why the tires seem to be the cause of the pull. The cause might not be visible on the tire tread of course, but easy enough to do. It’s hard to say whether your crv’s job as a mail truck is related or not. I suppose if you drove on roads that were tilted or highly cambered, that could have an effect. I don’t see how a lot of low speed starting and stopping would cause it though, at least not in terms of the effects on the tires. You’re not peeling out and skidding to a stop I presume.


Why has your “avatar” changed?

You went from green to pink, and now you’re #1 . . . don’t let it get to your head, though :smirk:


I noticed the extra number “1” today appearing too. There might have been an editing mistake somewhere at Car Talk Plaza.


Perhaps you are no longer the only George from San Jose on this forum . . . ?


Thanks for the info.

  • BUT -

Did your pull start when you got new tires? Or was it OK at first and gradually get worse?
Do you know if they adjusted anything during the alignment? If so, what?
How long ago (timewise) did you replace the tires? (You already told us it was 4,000 miles).
Do you drive from the center of the vehicle?
Do you make mostly right hand turns?

If you answer those questions, we should be able to tell you if your job is doing this to the car.


I’m definitely not peeling out or skidding to a stop :sweat_smile: But I am half off the road most of the time. Actually getting off and back onto the road, I don’t stay half off the road the entire time.


I’m almost certain the pull was there long before I got the new tires, because I wasn’t surprised when they said my alignment was off. But I think it got worse with them. I got the new tires August 20th. I don’t think they adjusted anything. If they did, they didn’t tell me. I drive pretty much sitting in the passenger seat, and I would say I do make mostly right hand turns.


If the pull was there before the tire purchase then it could be there’s a problem. The new tires could have exacerbated it and the cross-rotation of the tires is simply masking it to some degree.


It is doubtful either of these people drove you vehicle far enough to experience a pull, their advice may have been from observing uneven tire wear. Uneven tire wear and a pull are seldom related.

When buying tires that come with a tire wear warranty you can expect an alignment to be recommended and the mechanics at the Firestone shop will up-sell alignments every chance the can, there is not money to be made in oil changes.

With your vehicle usage perfectly even tire wear can’t be expected, you may encounter wheel alignments recommended more often than is necessary.


I agree with OK4450. You’ve got both an alignment problem and a tire problem - but they are cancelling each other out. That doesn’t mean that things are fine - it means you can’t detect that problems that exist. You’ve got 2 choices:

Leave it as it is. The downside is that you should expect your front tires to wear funny and prematurely. Hopefully the wear won’t be so bad that it will happen quickly. Plus you won’t be able to rotate the tires unless you are willing to live with the pull.

The other choice is to fix the 2 problems that you have. The tire problem is going to be the more difficult as you can’t go back to the tire shop and complain because the tires have 4K on them. At best they might give you a discount on a new set ( or pair!)

The alignment problem may require some parts as many alignment shops will only adjust the alignment if the factory gave the car the ability to do so. I forget if Honda does that or not.

And - No! - your job isn’t the cause of this problem. It may be making it difficult to keep a good alignment, but we don’t know that yet.

Oh and the next time you get an alignment, have them print out the before and after measurements. Those will help us give you better guidance.


Alright all you helpful people, I’m back! My car is still pulling, borderline violently, to the right. Here’s all the info I can recall:

  1. Alligned at Honda, still pulled. They then cross rotated the tires. Still pulled.
  2. Took it to Big O where I had gotten the new tires, they just cross rotated the tires also. (Don’t know why I cant stand up for when I know something wont work. :stuck_out_tongue: ) Still pulled.

3.Took it to independent shop to have all brake pads replaced. Still pulled.

  1. Took it to same independent shop, said they’d try an alignment. (They actually take their customer’s cars to an alignment shop, they don’t do it themselves.) That shop also installed a camber bolt on the left front. Still pulled.

5.Took it to same independent shop due to clunking in front wheel. They replaced both struts, one of which was severely bent, and the sway bar link on the left front. Then had it aligned after that work obviously, and it seemed to drive straight for about 3 miles.
What am I missing?? Would it be stupid to suggest they look at the calipers they put back on when they changed the pads? They always give me the alignment specs when they’re done, and I don’t doubt the ability of the alignment shop.
Thank you all!


Here are the latest specs I have. Not sure why they left the rear camber at -2.5, but every other alignment I had looked perfect and it still was pulling.


Have you felt the wheels after a drive to see if there’s a hot one (dragging brake)?


I haven’t. I’ll do that though, thank you!


Yeah, no kidding that thing is pulling to the right! The front camber will push the car LEFT while the rear camber will steer it to the right. That -2.5 camber reading on the right rear is steering the car right. This is ALL fixable with crash bolts to fix the out of spec camber as well as the out of spec toe settings. Find a GOOD independent alignment shop to set the car to spec instead of the mish-mash you have here.