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In Feb. of 2008, I purchased a new set of “80,000 mile” tires for my 2006 Toyota Highlander Hybrid. In Feb. of 2009, I returned to the tire store to get them aligned, only to find that they had worn unevenly and needed to be replaced. The guy said there were problems with my car beyond a simple alignment and I should check with my dealer, and in the meantime he gave me a very good deal on another set of tires. I went to the dealer, who informed me there was a brand new recall and that the fix should solve my problem. I took it back a month later to confirm that the alignment was still good, and it was. It is now 6 months later, and I have noticed that my back tires are horribly worn on the side. I’d welcome any advice to arm myself with as I go back to my dealer and tire shop this week.

If you can demonstrate through invoices that you have had the tires rotated according to mfr’s specs, then that information, coupled with the dealership’s verdict that your alignment was good, should cover most of the possible questions regarding abnormal tire wear.

However, I am wondering about how carefully you monitor your tire pressures. If you are relying on that tire pressure monitoring system, I can tell you that this is not sufficient.

Ask your dealer when his wheel alignment equipment was last checked for accuracy. Alldata’s recall and Techical Service Bulletin list, although extensive, covers your model only to Sept 08 as of today, Aug 22, 2009.

Did he check the rear wheel alignment as well as the front?