Alignment question?

On the camber for the rear wheels, the + .03 to - 2.3. So if you had it aligned and the camber measuremet came it at + .4, would you expect the tech to set it to the
specification's midpoint? Firestone told me if it's in spec, they are taught not to adjust it. They also said the ajustment from .3 to mid point is very small. Agree/disagree?
The reason I ask is that I'm going thru tires in 25 K miles and I want my car aligned as good as it can be.
Thanks,
Frank
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Sorry, I meant to say:
On the camber for the specification for the rear wheels is + .03 to - 2.3. So if you had it aligned and the camber measurement came it at + .4, would you expect the tech to set it to the specification's midpoint? Firestone told me if it's in spec, they are taught not to adjust it. They also said the adjustment from .3 to mid point is very small. Agree/disagree?
The reason I ask is that I'm going thru tires in 25 K miles and I want my car aligned as good as it can be.
FYI it's 2003 ZTS
Thanks,
Frank
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

I'm in the UK, where we don't normally swap tyres around, and tyre wear rates are high due to the nature of our roads. My experience may be different to the US. However, front tyres on my Focus can be worn out in as little as 10K miles, and rears in 25K.
If you are rotating your tyres when part-worn, and getting 25K miles from a set of four, that's pretty good by my standards!
Chris
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Depends on what tires you purchase. When my tires needed replacing I bought Bridgestone Potenza G009. Check tirerack.com, they received excellent ratings, and I love them too. Also spend the money and find a shop that uses a Bear Robotic Alignment machine, or any newer model Bear. They're the best machines IMHO.
If that doesn't make a difference the roads where you live are swiss cheese and you're SOL.
wrote:

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<Top posting corrected>

K2NNJ wrote:

From the post you are replying to:
"I'm in the UK"
The tyres, and tyre alignment machines that are available in the US will not be the same as used in the rest of the world. Even tyres of the same make and type will use different compounds in their construction.
IME, the quality of alignment has much more to do with the standard of the operative than the type of equipment used.

I'm assuming you have never driven in Europe?
Tyre wear will generally be much higher here mainly due to the much higher traffic volumes (meaning lots more stopping and starting), and the numerous bends. Have a look on Google Earth at some of the roads in Cumbria (UK)!

Quite possibly. WTF does it mean?
Chris
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Chris Whelan wrote:

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I appreciate the responses. However, noww that I have all kinds of advice on tires, anyone able to address the questions on the the alignment?
Thanks,
Frank
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Are you looking for someone to align your wheels even though a tech has told you you don't need to?
I wouldn't think that we be hard as you as you're willing to pay for it. It sounds like your nitpicking.
If the wheels are aligned I would "focus" on the tires you're buying and the roads you are traveling on. But you only have control of one of those.

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No, I was hoping someone with the expertise could confirm if the tech was correct.

With all due respect, I'm not interested in opinions

I have on my 3rd set of tires now with all 3 being a different brand. Tires for the Focus are not cheap. Seems reasonable to me to seek advice from someone who has the expertise to answer. Thanks for your reply though.

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Newsgroups are almost always opinions. How many techs have you gone to?
If you've gone through that many tires, I would investigate other areas like the suspension, steering everything. Sounds like a there is something wrong with the car physically other than alignment.

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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

If the alignment is within the maker's specification, then it's not the cause of what you perceive as excessive tyre wear. It would have to be a long way from spec to significantly affect tyre wear, and if that was the case the wear pattern would show the problem.
Bear in mind that the Focus is a road car, and all the suspension mountings have to be capable of absorbing road shock. To this end, the bushes and bearings are flexible. There has to be a range of acceptable settings because the same car may not settle to exactly the same position each time it is tested. That's why, when road cars are adapted for competition purposes, one of the modifications is to replace all the suspension bushes with much less compliant ones.
WRT the replies on tyres, I think this was to try to reassure you that your tyre wear is not perhaps really excessive. The Focus is a small car, at least by US standards, with relatively small wheels. It also has terrific roadholding and handling. These factors are bound to have a payoff in increased tyre costs.
HTH
Chris
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For reference:
I don't rotate tyres on my UK 2001 Focus.
In my experience a pair of front tyres around 20k/25k miles and a pair of back tyres around 35k miles. (Firestone fuel saver tyres at around 45 ($90) each including valves, balancing and Value Added Tax @17.5%)
I replace tyres before they get to the legal minimum tread depth.
Tyre wear also depends on driving habits.
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wrote:

I used to rotate the tyres on my Focus front - back once at about 12k miles, and regularly got 25k out of them. I was using Pirelli P6000's at the time.
Tim..
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Tim.. wrote:

By 12K, the fronts on mine would be below 3mm. That's the lowest I will go.
I've used Continental Eco-Contacts, apart from one one set of NCT5's that I hated. The wear pattern is always pretty even; I get the tracking checked every other tyre change, and it's only needed one very small correction in the life of the car. (1999.)
I do live in an area with a *lot* of roundabouts, and I like to exploit the handling of the Focus, so I'm not too upset!
Chris
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Tim.. wrote:

By 12K, the fronts on mine would be below 3mm. That's the lowest I will go.
I've used Continental Eco-Contacts, apart from one one set of NCT5's that I hated. The wear pattern is always pretty even; I get the tracking checked every other tyre change, and it's only needed one very small correction in the life of the car. (1999.)
I do live in an area with a *lot* of roundabouts, and I like to exploit the handling of the Focus, so I'm not too upset!
Chris
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wrote:

Not many round-abouts "around" here!
Tim..
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Does the tire tread wear pattern give you a clue to the problem?
http://www.procarcare.com/includes/content/resourcecenter/encyclopedia/ch25/25re adtirewear.html
http://tinyurl.com/tug7e
http://www.familycar.com/alignment.htm
Have you checked the front-end suspension including ball-joints, tie-rod ends, shocks, etc. for any signs of looseness?
What kinds of roads are you driving on?
I replaced my Focus tires at 40 K miles. That's decent, but not great.
-- Don
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote in

I have had to replace both rear wheel bearings and three sets of tires in 75k miles. The factory settings on the rear are stupid and guarentee that the tires will wear out in 20-25k miles. I have had mine set to 0 degree toe-in with me sitting in the car and the feathering/wear has been reduced to a more normal pattern. Current tires have over 30k miles and still have 50-60% tread left. The excessive toe the factory quotes is probably the cause of the wheel bearing failure as well.
Another issue with the factory toe-in is VERY dangerous. With such a light car, while driving in weather, it is possible to unload one side of the car or the other. That is, get one tire to plane on water or slush and the other side of the car stays planted. When that happens, the tire on the loaded side of the car, (the side NOT planing) will push against straight travel and can (did in my case) cause a spin. At the factory setting (as recieved 2.5 degrees toe-in on both sides!) it shot the rear end to the right when the right tire unloaded on slush. Compounding that problem is that on most roads, the big semi's typically have left slight depressions in the tarmac that collect a bit more water than the crowns. A small car like the Focus does'nt ride equally in both depressions so the likelyhood of having equal ammounts of water/slush under both sides of the car is less than that of an bigger car/truck and increases the likelyhood of a spin because of the above. Add to that the tires wearing very rapidly (worn tires plane much more easily than fresh tires) you have a great recipe for disaster.
Other than the above I am extreemly happy with this vehicle. A bonus for us BIG guys, 6ft 3in tall is that I actually fit in the damn thing and my brother, same size can travel with me. Loads of interior room, (Head and Foot) in the front seat and with the two door entry/egress is not the twist, bend, lurch activity typical of most small cars-big people matings. Don't even talk about the rear seats.... My five year old grandson does'nt fit now, I can't wait until he is ten. lol.
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