Old collision tire alignment problem

Well over a year ago my Mazda 3 was rammed in the parking lot by a Jeep suv. The point of contact was to the body above and side of the driver side rear wheel. Note there was no damage to the wheel only the body, smashed in so that the wheel was exposed.
Not being my fault I wasn’t even in the car, it was all paid for by the other guys insurance and the repair was done at my original dealership.
I’ve just been in for my a 2nd. oil change since the repair and both my front tires are really worn down especially the outsides.
The dealership says it’s due to alignment. I have not hit any potholes etc…
How likely is this due to the accident? And if so shouldn’t the dealership caught it with the 1st oil change?

I need to update info.
The accident occured October 2012
The first Oil Change / Service was in December 2012
The Second was ten days ago.

Tire rotation is part of service, alignment is not.
At the 1st Oil Change / Service the service guy (before any tech guy looked at car) asked if I wanted to include alignment.
I said just do the service that is paid for.

At the Oil Change / Service 10 days ago, the service quy looking around the car, pointed out uneven wear between front and rear wheels and
recommended new tires.

Regarding my driving, I’m 60 I drive the posted speed limites.

Poor alignment and low tire pressure can cause this. Highly unlikely that a hit to the sheet metal in the rear is going to knock out the front alignment.

Since the accident occurred on the rear, front tire wear is not very likely caused by the accident.

It could just be your driving. Lots of turns - especially if the turns are approached … oh, let’s call it "spirited, will cause the outside shoulders to wear more rapidly than the centers.

But most likely it is alignment.

Unless you drive on perfectly smooth roads…then it’s more and likely to do with just normal driving. You don’t have to be driving over potholes all the time to get the alignment off.

And if so shouldn't the dealership caught it with the 1st oil change?

No… It may not have been noticeable at the first oil change.


“shouldn’t the dealership caught it with the 1st oil change?”

That depends on whether that oil change was just an oil change . . . or if it was a service

During a straight up oil and filter change (and nothing else) the mechanic isn’t getting paid enough to look at everything. In fact, some oil changes are done without even lifting the car, because there are devices available which suck the oil out through the dipstick tube

However, during a “real” service, the car is put up in the air, and things are visually inspected

to clarify timeline, the collision occured Oct. 2012, the first Oil Change / Service was in Dec 2012. My service plan includes tire rotation but not alignment, the tires were rotated in Dec 2012.
The service guy asked me if I wanted an alignment - but, did not stress that I needed an alignment. So I saw his asking me as a unnecessary thing meant to just make money.
This Oil Change / Service ten days ago the Service guy stressed the need for alignment and new tires.
Thanks for your response.

Have them check the alignment and re-align if necessary. This is just normal automotive maintenance. If the rear tires are worn more than half, replace all four…

@Caddyman Thank you but is there negligence here on the part of the dealership? They did the repair in October and the subsequent Service calls?

“the collision occured Oct. 2012, the first Oil Change / Service was in Dec 2012. My service plan includes tire rotation but not alignment, the tires were rotated in Dec 2012.The service guy asked me if I wanted an alignment - but, did not stress that I needed an alignment.”

In just a two month period, it is very possible that the tires did not yet show the type of tire wear that is a tip-off to alignment problems.

I am also wondering…How often during the intervening 8 months did the OP check his tire pressure?
When a car owner gets “up close & personal” with his tires every few weeks to check (and correct) tire pressure, this also affords an opportunity to look at the tread and see if any unusual wear patterns are emerging.

If the tire pressure was not checked/corrected on a regular basis–once a month, at minimum–it is possible that the pressure became very low, thus leading to accelerated tire wear. Tires don’t go from good to “must replace immediately” within a matter of just a few weeks, but not paying attention to them–in terms of both inflation pressure and wear patterns of the tread–for 8 months would certainly take a toll on tires.

How often does the OP get “up close & personal” with his tires?

Based on the inside edge wear, this means too much negative camber or too much toe-out. That could be due to one pothole or even the collision. VDCdriver is correct about 2 months possibly not being long enough for wear to show up. It all depends upon how far out of spec something is.

I can’t fault the dealer after a couple of months. There might be some question about driving habits, conditions, and going 9 months without changing the oil though.
A secondary question might be how often the hood is raised for an oil level inspection.

An oil change may work under 2 scenarios.
1.Oil change is done, nothing inspected, and the customer then wonders why not…
2. OIl change is done, inspection performed along with recommendations, and the customer then thinks the bill is being padded…

Driving: I’m 60 in Fort Lauderdale Florida, I drive to and from work total 12 miles and to local stores, Pot-holes is definitely not an issue here - I drive to slow whenever I see anything on road ahead I avoid it.
Oil Change/rotation are per plan every 5,000 miles.
I Check tires once a month so far have never gone below 35 (i prefer them hard I find that better for avoiding motion sickness).

“I Check tires once a month”

…but you never noticed an usual wear pattern on the tire treads?

May I suggest a careful visual inspection of the tire treads from now on?
You can potentially save yourself some money by doing this.

There’s a bit of confusion here.

The OP stated the excessive wear was on the OUTSIDE of the tires, not the inside. While Mazda3’s are known for INSIDE shoulder wear (because of the amount of camber Mazda specifies - which I think is too much for good tire wear), I suspect that wear on the OUTSIDE is something else entirely.

  • OR - the OP was mis-stating things.

I stand corrected after confusing or forgetting which side of the tires the wear was on. If the wear is on the outside edges that would mean too much positive camber or too much toe-in; not toe-out.

Most body shops do a 4-wheel alignment as the final step in all but the most minor of collision repairs…No matter where the car was hit, unibody cars can be knocked out of alignment very easily… But today, insurance companies are very stingy about paying for things they consider frills so it’s possible your car left the body shop without the alignment being checked…

@Caddyman, hey thanks for that info. Do you think if I call the body shop (which happens to be the dealer) and ask if they did the alignment, that they would give me an honest answer? It’s not listed on the invoice.

I bet if you ask them nicely, they will tell you to bring it in and they will check it for you…