Does bad tire alignment cause this type of tread wear?

#1

I have a 2007 Toyota Corolla with 25,000 miles on it. I have had the tires rotated every 5,000 miles. In between the last tire rotation I have noticed that one “section” of tread on the tire has worn completely bald while the other two “sections” of tread along with the outermost edge of the tire are still with good tread depth. Also , on the driver’s side tire the worn section of the tire is on the left side and on the passenger side tire the worn “section” is on the right side of the tire. I took it to a tire and wheel place for some advice before I go back to the dealer and they told me that this is caused by the tires being out of alignment. Now I have a set of tires that are worthless at 25,000 miles. Also, its been a while since I have purchased tires and am shocked at how much the price of tires and alignment have gone up. Any input would be appreciated. THANKS

#2

Based on what you said, I think the tire shop is correct. And yes, you need to purchase tires and an alignment.

I generally try to get an alignment within the first 20K when I buy a new car. As you can see, quite a bit of incorrect wear and damage can occur despite regular tire rotations. No need to go back to the dealer to have replacement tires and alignment done. My recommendation is to use a tire place that will do the tires and alignment, and let them do any suspension work in the future that may be needed. That way you avoid any potential finger-pointing between different dealers or suppliers.

Yes, alignment fees and tires are all more expensive now.

#3

Bad wheel alignment will chew up tires in no time at all. Based on your description you need new tires and a good wheel alignment.

Nothing is cheap anymore, but maintaining proper balance and alignment is less expensive than replacing tires every 25K miles.

#4

When you buy an RV, the manual warns to get an alignment after you load it. They align it at the factory while it is empty. So maybe the same should apply to your car. Think about it. When they align it at the factory, it doesn’t have your stuff in it yet. Some people drive around with their trunks loaded with things like golf clubs, baby strollers, a suitcase with a change of clothes, etc. So getting an alignment on a new (or new to you) car isn’t a bad idea.

However, if this was the issue with you, I think the wear would be symmetrical. In your case, it sounds like you might be making right turns too fast. It could also be a real problem with suspension components that have failed. Get it checked out at the dealership ASAP since it is probably still under warranty.

After you get it fixed, approach turns the same way motorcyclists do. Learn to separate braking and turning. Apply the brakes as you approach the turn while the car is still straight. Then as you enter the turn, stay off the brakes and either keep a steady throttle or slightly accelerate through the turn. Applying the brakes as you turn can lead to uneven brake wear and uneven tire wear.

#5

They aren’t worthless…just worn out…and they’ve told you that you need an alignment!

Yeah, sticker shock is common now. The cost of producing and transporting the tires has gone up dramatically. However, if you shop around you should be able to get something affordable.

#6

No question - it’s the alignment.

Tires do not wear irregularly or on one side without there beng a problem with the alignment.

And if you’ll look above, CircuitSmith’s problem is the spec, not the brand. The Toyota Matrix has problems with other tire brands as well.

#7

I don’t see CircuitSmith’s post. Do I need to get my bifocals checked?

#8

My post was censored. Maybe because I included a link to another forum with a discussion about tire wear on Toyotas with Continental tires. Maybe I’m just not welcome on this forum. Maybe the moderator is on a power trip.

#9

Hey CapriRacer,

All four wheels on my Matrix have less than 1.5 degrees of negative camber. You feel that’s enough to cause uneven wear? I have a co-worker with the same car and Goodyear tires and she has even wear. I posted a link to another forum where virtually everyone complaining has Continental tires.

As an aside, the moderator could have removed the link if he didn’t like it. Instead he erased my entire post. Let’s see if he erases these posts too.

#10

what is going on with all these threds being cencored.let the post tell and explain their situation .without being censorded.let us explain our expericence,without car talk flaging the anwsner

#11

We did BMW alignments with the back seat and trunk loaded with sand bags, on the down side more than one car went out with the sand bags still in the trunk,OOPS

#12

CiruitSmith,

Yes, 1 1/2 degrees camber sounds HUGE!!

As I said, tires don’t wear irregularly or unevenly by themselves. The alignment has to be faulty in some way.

To be fair, some tires are more prone to this than others, and of course, once the uneven or irregular wear begins, it becomes difficult to remove entirely. Rubber just doesn’t magically get put back on the tire, so even if the alignment problem is fixed, the wear pattern remains and the new wear pattern is applied on top of the old one. If the old one is uneven or irrgular, then the new one will tend to be uneven or irregular.

If you google a bit, you’ll find that not all Matrices (Latin plural version) get this problem - which makes diagnosing the source of the problem a statistcal game - and once the original tires are replaced (they all come from the factory with the same tire), that some folks still get the uneven wear with different brands of tires (and that brings us back to the statistical game). I suspect the variation in camber / toe is the source of the problem, but I’m not in a position to verify it. In other words, the vehicles that get this problem are at the edge of the alignment tolerance.

#13

“Yes, 1 1/2 degrees camber sounds HUGE!!”

My memory failed me. The spec limit is -1.3 degree. The highest figure was -0.8 degree.

Some of the cars, like me co-workers, came with Goodyear instead of Continental.

#14

Its been my experience with cars I have owned that good tire wear requires camber settings of less then -0.5 to 0.5 degrees. I try to get it to -0.2 to 0.2 degrees on the rear wheels. The front can tolerate a little more negative camber. IMHO some car manufactures are allowing themselves loose tolerance to make up for sloppy manufacturing.
On McPherson strut suspensions the camber setting is dictated by the bolt holes on the bottom of the strut that the knuckle bolts to.