Went in for my free tire rotation/fluids check etc. They gave me the quick alignment check too and marked ‘out of specs on line.’ Apparently the front total toe is off -0.17. Should I be concerned. The dealer placed didn’t actually check the 'toe out of specs needs alignment category… Confused because not used to going to dealers for service with all this high tech stuff. Doesn’t seem to bother on the road. Thanks.
That’s how many dealerships generate revenue.
Take it to an independently owned and operated shop for an alignment.
You should know, by the way, that the single most common detail that Consumer Reports finds when they prep new cars for their tests is alignment out of spec, usually modestly as yours is. So it may be a tad out. That isn’t serious. But it should be checked out. Out of alignment conditions can cause premature tire wear even if they’re not out enough to affect ride or handling.
Just my humble opinion, but .17 is roughly a sixth of an inch. That’s a bit much for my tastes.
And yes, a car can drive normal in this condition. You did not state if this .17 is toe-out or toe-in but over time that can wear the inner or outer edges of the tires; all depending upon the out or in factor.
The toe setting is 0 degrees with a tolerance of + or - 0.17 degrees so your alignment is still in range, correcting the alignment may extend the life of your tires by 1,000 to 2,000 miles.
Was this alignment check performed on the alignment rack or on a driveway alignment check system?
Watched a show on corvette production. 1 person aligns all the vettes. So how they do it affects all the vettes on the road today.
That wouldn’t seem practical from a business perspective. Are they going to shut down production if that one person is sick or on vacation?
It says a ‘quick alignment check was performed on your vehicle.’ It also said: 'Complimentary Service Drive Hunter 4 wheel alignment check.
Just my 2 cents but being in spec at .17 means by less than the skin of the teeth.
When I’ve done alignments it’s going to be exact (in this case 0) with none of that “close is good enough” business.
Take a look at the front tires. See any weird tread-wear patterns? Marks suggesting the tire surface is slightly scraping against the road, etc. If not, likely not of immediate concern. I probably wouldn’t do anything about it. But you’re right at the toe-spec limit apparently, so next time it is convenient, might want to get it fixed to extend your front tire life. It’s usually a fairly easy thing for an alignment shop to adjust the front toe. I’ve never heard of a proactive alignment check as part of a tire rotation and fluids check, but it seems like a good idea.
My experience is that the published alignment tolerances are too wide. That would make a toe of 0.17 degrees not acceptable and it also lines up with my experience that the number ought to be plus or minus 0.06 degrees. Anything above that level tends to lead to irregular tire wear.
Just curious for the posters here, what’s the manufacturer’s motivation for setting a car’s toe biased to either pointing in, or pointing out slightly? It seems like an ideal toe would be for both wheels to be pointing straight ahead. Zero toe +/- the same error margin in other words.
First, the static value determines what the dynamic value is. Some suspensions will cause more toe in when under power and some will cause more toe out, so the initial value is set such that the driving value is at least close to optimum.
Second, a little toe in makes the vehicle more stable than toe out. Excess toe out causes the vehicle to “hunt” back and forth and it never finds which tire dominates as it keeps changing as the vehicle weight shifts back and forth.
Then there is the matter of what happens at the factory. Setting the toe is a time consuming process and the less time it takes, the less money is spent = more profit. The problem here is getting the toe within the tolerance within the time allotted - hence the large tolerances.
Trying to read into all of this, I suspect the toe tolerance is set such that even at the worst setting, the vehicle is at least not terribly unstable.
For tire wear and fuel mileage, that is correct. @CapriRacer’s explanation is a very good one.
A bit of personal observation; I set the toe of my truck so the toe “feels” as close to zero at highway speeds as I can stand to get the best fuel mileage. As the suspension deflects a bit with rolling load, the toe approaches zero toe. I can feel that in the steering wheel - it gets light - but the truck starts to wander a bit and it gets tiresome to drive. So I set the toe a tiny bit more in. With the steering gear in the truck that means about a 15 degree turn on each tie rod end, or 1/4 of a flat on the nut. That’s less than 1/32 inch total toe across the truck. Tough to measure with toe plates and tape measures in the driveway but it is the feel that I want.