Camber set outside specs after new tire and alignment


#1

My wife’s friend went to a tire chain and got new tires. They did an alignment but afterwards she told us the car constantly pulls to the left. I had her show us the spec sheet and the specs come out mostly ok except the right front which shows:

Actual Before Spec
-2.1 -0.8 -0.8 0.7

We are trying to figure out why the mechanic would have turned the camber so far out of spec and sign off on it? I’ve suggested she take the spec sheet to a mechanic listed in the mechanics files section here for a second opinion to find out why they would have adjusted it so far out of spec. With a valid second opinion, we think she should take this knowledge back to the original tire shop and make them put it right. I just want to make sure this is the correct course of action before we turn her loose on this shop to make it right.


#2

I think the numbers say the alignment tech didn’t adjust it - he left it alone. I think he thought that if the OEM didn’t provide a way to adjust the camber, then you can’t (or shouldn’t, or it would be too expensive to) adjust it.

Sure, take the spec sheet to another tech, but your friend should be prepared to pay something to get the thing back in spec. It might be that the vehicle is damaged and needs to have the frame bent to get it right. That could be pretty pricey.


#3

Pulling to the left? I can’t make heads or tails of 3 titles and 4 numbers. Is the "Actual left to right -2.1 and -0.8?? And the spec -0.8 to 0.7?

If the tech measured correctly, and many can’t, that car should pull right, not left. In any event, its wrong, the tech should have told you and suggested a way to fix it either by fin ding what’s bent or using “crash bolts” which allow camber adjustment to set this back to spec.

The real problem here is; [quote=“skywiseguy, post:1, topic:101824”]
went to a tire chain and got new tires
[/quote]

Which is synonymous around this forum for “sub-par service” and we have the many, many posts by people such as yourself to prove this.


#4

The actual is -2.1, the before is -0.8 and the spec listed is -0.8 to 0.7

We live in different parts of the same state, and had no problem with our local version of the same chain, which is why we suggested to her to go there. I know there is going to be a vast difference between locations but part of the reason we went to this one was they have a guarantee on the alignment as long as the tires are on the car, and they will check/re-do the alignment for free once per year. We’ve told her they may try to brush her off, I’m mostly curious why it would be adjusted so far or why this one measurement would be so far off when all the rest were brought in line supposedly correctly.


#5

So this is only one side?? Or both sides? I need both numbers to assess leads or pulls. Setting both sides to -2.1 would cause the car to drive straight but would prematurely wear out the tires. If the before was -0.8 why would the tech even touch it?

The car should go back with the complaint that it pulls left. If they argue, ask them why the “after” readings are set out of spec and that you’d like them corrected to the way it was when it was first up on the alignment machine. Simple.


#6

Sorry about that. The only other setting that was obviously changed was the front left toe, which was brought to spec.

Left front:
camber: actual 0.5 before 0.1 spec -0.8 to 0.7
caster: actual 4.8 before 4.8 spec 3.0 to 6.0
toe: actual 0.10 before -0.06 spec 0.00 to 0.20
SAI: actual 12.9 before 13.6 no spec
Included angle: actual 13.6 before 13.6 no spec

Right front:
camber: actual -2.1 before -0.8 spec -0.8 to 0.7
caster actual 4.6 before 4.3 spec 3.0 to 6.0
toe: actual 0.06 before 0.13 spec 0.00 to 0.20
SAI: actual 6.4 before 6.9 no spec
Included angle: actual 4.8 before 6.1 no spec

Left rear:
camber: actual -1.2 before -1.1 spec -1.9 to -0.6
toe: actual 0.08 before 0.07 spec -0.08 to 0.32

Right rear:
camber: actual -1.2 before -1.3 spec -1.9 to -0.6
toe: actual 0.19 before 0.20 spec -0.08 to 0.32

Edit: I thought that she should get a second opinion on these numbers before going back because I wanted her to have something behind her words in the event this place tries to brush her off. She knows she needs to go back to them to get the work done regardless.


#7

Here we go again. Person one has work done. Calls person two. Person two goes online to forum. Why didn’t person one just return to place where work was done first ?


#8

Because person two gave advice to person one, who lives in a different city from person two and cannot help person one go to the shop themselves in person (so to speak). So person two wants to make sure person one is armed with the correct info before person one goes back to the shop, because person one was not sure she was treated well but the shop ultimately has to make their work right so that person one is satisfied.

And also because person two has enough time to spend on online forums where person two is able to speak more closely to the issue than person one, who does not do much online besides shopping and email.


#9

Thanks for those numbers. If accurate, and I have my doubts, that car should push left by quite a bit. Negative camber on the right pushes the car to the left. Positive camber on the left pushes the car to the left. The rear toe, however, would steer the car to the right but only by a small amount.

The bottom line is, the car pulls to the right and a test drive should confirm it. I’d be willing to bet when the car is put on the alignment machine, the numbers will NOT match the “after” numbers you have. And the settings are wrong in any event.

Either way, alignment is the 2nd place I’d check for pulls. Swap front tires left to right, if possible (some tires are directional), and see if it corrects itself.


#10

The type of car is not mentioned and I can’t say what they’ve done, but this car needs to be corrected ASAP. It won’t take long with that much negative camber before the inside edge of the tire is scrubbed off.

It’s hard to fathom an alignment tech getting the camber that far off unless he was interrupted in the middle of the process by someone.
Those in the mechanic world know what I’m talking about. Some manager breathing down your neck about some real or perceived problem with something else… :frowning:


#11

So she has not yet had time to go back to get it fixed, but she did inform me that the car had once been in an accident on that side before she owned it. I think the general consensus seems to be that the alignment or the alignment tech is the problem here, but we wanted to make sure that this old accident doesn’t affect the alignment at all.

Also, it’s a Ford Fusion 2007.


#12

Now that it’s known the car has been in an accident on that side I tend to think something is bent and can’t be corrected on the alignment rack. The most common culprit is a bent control arm.

The slightest tweak unnoticeable to the naked eye can cause huge variations in alignment specifications.


#13

I tend to think that if it was in an accident, I’d look closely at the strut, they are not as strong as a control arm and are much easier to bend, especially if the wheel itself took any of the impact.