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Poor handling, excessive tire wear 2004 Jaguar X-Type

My 2004 Jag has in the past couple of years been eating tires, wearing them through to the belts in 10-12,000 miles. I keep the car aligned by a mechanic I trust (all four wheels) to Jag specs. In addition, the car will give the feeling of “sliding” when the pavement is wet and I hit a patch of pavement covered by that tar crack filler. I’ve had the lower control arms replaced. At that time, I would get that sliding feeling going over a hill on dry pavement. My regular mechanic did not do the lower control arms - I was out of town and went to someone highly recommended - but he did say he felt that the diagnosis and repair were the right call. I’ve also had a major break job in the last 18 months. With these two symptoms, and a brief repair history, I hope someone can give me some ideas. I prefer to be more informed when talking to a mechanic for such things.

Look at the link below and see if your tire wear patterns resemble any of those shown.

http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=tire+wear+patterns+chart&qpvt=tire+wear+patterns+chart&FORM=IGRE

In addition, can you describe what that “major brake job” consisted of? Were the front brakes involved too?

One more idea is to jack up each corner of the car with the car in neutral and the parking brake off (NOTE: chock the car and be CERTAIN that it’s secure), spin each wheel by hand, and see if any seem to be not turning easily.

Also, try doing a search for any TSBs on Jaguar alignment specs.

Post back with the results.

The wear is on the inside of the front tires. The picture from the above link that most resembles it is “irregular shoulder wear.” The brake job consisted of all the brake stuff being replaced. If I were a mechanic, I wouldn’t be asking these questions. My search of TSB’s showed nothing for the X-Type. See the part about not being a mechanic. I’m trying to have enough info that I can ascertain whether the mechanic who will be looking at the car is making guesses, wild guesses or a reasonable diagnosis. If you don’t know, there’s no harm in not commenting on the post.

This type of wear is generallly indicative of the camber angle being off or of wear in the suspension components. Not all vehicles have adjustable camber angles without the purchase of a “camber kit”, which is basically usually eccentric bolts and/or a specially designed plate, or in many cases so some shops consider the manufacturer-created camber to be “all there is” on these vehicles.

Compounding the above fact is that suspension systems are designed to induce camber when the wheel travels up the suspension above its static point. This induced camber keeps the track constant for better handling and prevents “scrubbing” of the tires. If there’s a problem with the suspension causing a sagging effect,and it isn’t compensated for in a camber adjustment, there will be the wear you’ve described.

Or, you could simply ignore my posts and keep wearing out your tires. Your choice. But I will tell you that this problem cannot be solved over the internet. All we can do is suggest possibilities. Fixing the problem requires an actual hands-on look-see.

Mountainbike is correct about camber (negative) eating up the inside edges of the tires along with sagging suspension being a factor. Too much toe-out can do the same thing.

If you were given a printout of the alignment then you should review the toe and camber specs and post those specs if in doubt.

The Same Mountain Bike: I don’t know why the communication here seems to be so difficult: 1. I don’t know much about cars other than to do maintenance and find/take to a reliable mechanic. 2. I am planning a very near term trip to a mechanic who comes highly recommended. 3. I’d like to be able to try to evaluate the mechanic’s ability by having a range of possible things that might be causing my issues. 4. you have not mentioned at any time whether any of your suggestions would also be responsible for the poor handling that is a relatively recent event (I’ve owned the car 5 years). 5. You seem to either ignore my point that I don’t know much about cars or you like to sound superior: I have not the slightest clue what “inducing camber” means, “traveling above the static point”, “scrubbing”, "sagging effect (unless it literally means looking at the car and seeing one side/quarter lower than another). I’d love to make use of your posts as soon as you speak in layman’s terms.
ok4450: see above, trying to make sense of the above. I drive the car, tell me what will sound reasonable from a mechanic as to the repairs (which I obviously want done in spite of The Same Mountain Bike’s apparent Smartxxx comment about ignoring him) that make sense. Toe and Camber to me mean another $70 alignment, like I do every 6 months. Regarding the specs of the alignment, is this some interpretive exercise? I wouldn’t know whether the car was set to the specs or not, hence why I take it to a mechanic.

Both camber angle and toe out (OK4450 is right about that) will affect handling in exactly the manner you describe. Either can cause those “sliding” feelings.

Apologies for the use of the technical terms.

“Inducing camber” means causing the wheel to lean. Leaning inward is called “negative camber” and leaning outward is called “positive camber”.

“static point” is (in this case) that point in the up and down movement of the wheel that it’s designed to sit at relative to the car when the car is at rest. “sagging” is when the car sits lower than it was originally designed to.

“scrubbing” is when a tire tries to slide slightly sideways, at a slight angle, while rolling. It causes excess wear and “feathering” of the tread blocks…“feathering” being when the blocks are worn in slants when looking straight on at the front of the tire, like saw teeth only not as deep, or like the edge of a feather.

I’m not trying to sound superior in any way. Much like the jargon in your industry, the car industry has jargon too. I have no way of knowing your level of knowledge. Your discussion of lower control arms suggested to me that you had at least some knowledge, so I used some common jargon. No disrespect intended.

Mountainbike has been around here quite a while and I can assure you that he is not a smartxxx and is simply trying to be helpful.

The sliding around feeling you describe can certainly be caused by a worn or bent suspension component and/or an alignment problem.

Mountainbike covered the negative camber with the tire leaning explantion. If it’s caused by too much toe out then think of that as walking along with the front of feet splayed outwards.
Keep in minid that toe is also affected by camber and when that changes so does toe.

Either scenario has a list of things that could cause inside tire wear but what needs to be known is how thoroughly the suspension has been checked and what the alignment specs are. Most alignment facilities have a printout sheet and it’s strange to me that these shops have not explained all of this to you in layman’s language if nothing else.

Negative camber can be caused by:
Worn ball joints, worn control arm bushings, bent subframe, sagging springs, worn strut mounts, loose wheel bearings, bent steering knuckle, etc, etc.
Excessive toe can be caused by:
Improper adjustment, worn or bent tie rod, worn tie rod end, loose wheel bearing, bent steering knuckle, etc, etc.

Without car in hand, and more importanty, knowing what the current alignment specs are, makes it near impossible to be precise about the exact cause of the problem. However, the sliding and rapid tire weard does point to a problem that should not be hard to detect.

Thank you for your support and your assistance. I can understand the OP’s confusion. I personally was having a computer problem today and couldn’t understannd a word the computer person was saying! It definitely isn’t my field.

Now I only hope we can help the OP.

Thank you both. I am a computer programmer, and I realize I probably am guilty of using industry jargon far too often. I knew about the Lower Control Arms because I had to have the car fixed by one mechanic in another town where I was working and I remembered so that I could ask the guy who had been doing my car work for years. Unfortunately, he has sold his business and I don’t like the new ownership. I just get the impression that they’re all about the quick $ and don’t seem to know what they’re doing. I’ve had another guy suggested to me, and I figure if I have the slightest idea about what might be wrong, I’ll be in a better position to judge. “Scrubbing” sounds exactly like what I’m describing on wet pavement w/ the rubber crack filler - I may notice it more because I drive over so much of it in my current commute. I apologize for my frustration, but I didn’t take the comment about letting tires wear out or doing something well. I am going to do something, and bottom line, the first time the new guy fixes the car I’ll need to take him at his word to a large degree. At least, I have some of where he should be looking.

You are very welcome. I hope we’ve been able to at the very least focus you on the fundamentals of what may be happening. I hope the new shops get it all fixed for you.

Now, about my computer…(just kidding).

Have a beautiful weekend.

Why did you need to replace the lower control arms? Were they damaged, and if so how?