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Camber Wear or Toe Wear? Need alignment advice...

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Old 01-24-2017, 06:39 PM
  #1
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Default Camber Wear or Toe Wear? Need alignment advice...

First - Long time reader, first time poster!

Short version:
Is the rear camber adjustable? Do I need to get the rear toe corrected here, or will it improve enough to come back to spec with more weight in the car?

Long version:
I just put my winter tires/wheels on and had a 4 wheel alignment done at a VW dealer. I figure I needed one, judging by the steel bands showing through on the summer tires I took off! The wear was on the inside of the tires, so Camber or Toe. I believe this wear occurred in the rear, where I took them off of. It had been a while (too long!) since I rotated, also.

The car: 2007 A4 Avant Quattro, 85,000 miles

The tires: I bought 4 235/45ZR-17 Continental ExtremeContact DW with rims mounted/balanced from tirerack back in May 2013, with about 54,000 on the car. Since I run winters, I'd say I got about 20-25k out of them. The front two may be good for a little longer. In the pic I labeled how much tread was left in the inner and outer grooves. And clearly, the left rear wore more than the right... wonder if that's related to the more severe-out-of-line toe on the left.

Any thoughts about the cause of the wear? Or more to the point: How do I prevent it when I get new tires??

Check out the alignment printout - before and after. Do I need to go back in there and have them fix the rear toe? Or adjust the rear camber that he said wasn't adjustable? (I told him I thought it was but he said it wasn't out of spec anyway. It sure sounds like it is adjustable after reading this: How-To: Camber Adjustment for the B6 and B7 )

You will notice the rear Toe was never adjusted! This is my fault and told them to leave it at their recommendation. I explained that most of my miles are put on the car during long trips, fully loaded with two kids, a dog, all associated gear, etc, so to account for that when doing the alignment.

Well, they called and said the rear toe was out of spec (negative), but that when weighed down with a full load, it would come back into spec... so, I agreed not to touch it. Granted, I was on the phone without any hard numbers. I should have asked for more specifics and my mistake will probably cost me another alignment.

Can anyone say whether the rear toe get more negative with weight or would swing back to positive? (And don't you just have to put some weight in the back when it's on the machine, and see if it gets better or worse??)

He also didn't say how far out of spec they were, or that they were so different! Wow I thought... I would have at least told him to take it to the edge of the spec for both. They were just trying to be accommodating so I don't want to be too hard on them, but man, I was kind of surprised.

Needless to say, I would appreciate any thoughts, suggestions, and welcome any criticism :-D

PS. I bought a nice tire gauge and plan to monitor wear quite diligently!

Thanks in advance...
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Camber Wear or Toe Wear?  Need alignment advice...-alignment.jpg   Camber Wear or Toe Wear?  Need alignment advice...-treadleft.jpg   Camber Wear or Toe Wear?  Need alignment advice...-wear3.jpg  
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Old 02-26-2017, 05:18 AM
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The toe is more likely to cause inside tire wear than the camber.
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Old 03-05-2017, 08:39 AM
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As stated, the tire wear is most likely toe related.

And I'm afraid you may have shot yourself in the foot by not getting the rear toe corrected. Is it too late to go back to them and ask them to correct it?
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