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Wheel alignment - splitting hair?

Old 09-13-2018, 03:34 PM
  #1  
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Default Wheel alignment - splitting hair?

Hi,

I recently got a 2014 A8L and decided to take it in for a wheel alignment. I don't remember it being noticeably bad but didn't want to wake up one day and realize I need new tires because it's been off for a while. So I took it to a local Firestone shop here in San Diego, here is the print-out. It all looks decent and in range. However I just couldn't stand left and right side not being the same number, or not being bang on in the middle of the range. The steering wheel also came out off by about 5 degrees too, haven't noticed this before. So I took it back and had them redo it. Below are both printouts, the second one seems better but now left front camber is out of range, in red. They gave me this whole story about European cars being special and all that, and I didn't have time to argue with anyone. Looking at printouts, front cambers were both -0.9 before they even started working on it so that tells me this is doable.

The car now pulls to the right, I have to keep pushing the steering wheel left on the freeway and it's still not centered, 5 degrees off.

Before I go back and ask them to do it again, I wanted your take on this - apart from steering wheel centering which absolutely must be fixed, am I asking for too much? Are you guys happy with numbers being in green range and that's good enough?

If they can't fix it I may need to take it elsewhere, can anyone recommend a good alignment shop in San Diego?

Thanks

First alignment



Second alignment
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Old 10-01-2018, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by SDENG View Post
Hi,

I recently got a 2014 A8L and decided to take it in for a wheel alignment. I don't remember it being noticeably bad but didn't want to wake up one day and realize I need new tires because it's been off for a while. So I took it to a local Firestone shop here in San Diego, here is the print-out. It all looks decent and in range. However I just couldn't stand left and right side not being the same number, or not being bang on in the middle of the range. The steering wheel also came out off by about 5 degrees too, haven't noticed this before. So I took it back and had them redo it. Below are both printouts, the second one seems better but now left front camber is out of range, in red. They gave me this whole story about European cars being special and all that, and I didn't have time to argue with anyone. Looking at printouts, front cambers were both -0.9 before they even started working on it so that tells me this is doable.

The car now pulls to the right, I have to keep pushing the steering wheel left on the freeway and it's still not centered, 5 degrees off.

Before I go back and ask them to do it again, I wanted your take on this - apart from steering wheel centering which absolutely must be fixed, am I asking for too much? Are you guys happy with numbers being in green range and that's good enough?

If they can't fix it I may need to take it elsewhere, can anyone recommend a good alignment shop in San Diego?

Thanks

First alignment



Second alignment
If European cars are so "special" to them so that they can't give you your car with in-spec alignment, then they should have not taken the job in the first place.
And, if they can't or couldn't get the specs correct, then they need to give you a refund or do it again PROPERLY.

Question: Double check that the alignment specs are the same for the A8 and the S8.

I can't believe they gave your car back to you knowing that the left front was not in spec.
I don't think they know what they're doing.

BTW, my new S4's steering wheel if off, tilted to the right noticeably even while driving straight.
So, it happens from the factory too.
I need to take it back to the dealer but I haven't found the time yet.
It tracks though, even though the steering wheel is not straight, that implies that they just need to adjust the steering wheel and not the alignment.

Last edited by TT-S4; 10-01-2018 at 01:21 PM.
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Old 10-01-2018, 03:55 PM
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it is virtually impossible to get left and right numbers to ever be equal - from the factory they are not equal either

That being said, it does not matter what shop you use, there are 2 factors at play.

1. Is their equipment calibrated properly
2. the skill level, and attentiveness, of the person performing the work

You could bring it to the best shop in in the country. If one, or both of the above are off, the alignment will not be correct
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Old 10-01-2018, 07:53 PM
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Originally Posted by SCarGuy View Post
it is virtually impossible to get left and right numbers to ever be equal - from the factory they are not equal either

That being said, it does not matter what shop you use, there are 2 factors at play.

1. Is their equipment calibrated properly
2. the skill level, and attentiveness, of the person performing the work

You could bring it to the best shop in in the country. If one, or both of the above are off, the alignment will not be correct
I agree with this part of the alignment assessment. But what about the car? Has it ever been damaged? Maybe it was on the edge of acceptable tolerances from the factory. Older suspension components and several thousand miles later, the car and the alignment will change. The bottom line is having the tires/wheels track true and the steering wheel centered. I would expect the settings to change as the car does.
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Old 10-03-2018, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by SCarGuy View Post
it is virtually impossible to get left and right numbers to ever be equal - from the factory they are not equal either

That being said, it does not matter what shop you use, there are 2 factors at play.

1. Is their equipment calibrated properly
2. the skill level, and attentiveness, of the person performing the work

You could bring it to the best shop in in the country. If one, or both of the above are off, the alignment will not be correct
That's a true story.
TT-S4 is offline  
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