2003 Elantra Alignment - Hyundaitech?

Since January, 2005, I've had recurring problems with my wheel alignment. I'll make a real long story short, but now after my 5th alignment, 7th new tire, 3rd new wheel stud, I am still having
problems. I have tried three different shops, one of them recommended to me by a mechanic friend as the best out there, with similar results.
What I am asking is if there is something "special" about an alignment on this car that maybe these private shops don't know? Do I need to have the dealer do it? I suspect my dealer would just sub this work out anyway as I have never seen an alignment machine there.
I should mention that we also have a 2002 Elantra that has had one alignment since it was purchased new (preventative) without a single problem.
Any and all help appreciated.
Eric
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There's nothing really special about the alignment on these vehicles. We have technicians that do that type of work exclusively at my place of employment, so it's been a while since I've done one. However, I believe all that's adjustable is the front and rear toe. Any place familiar with alignments should be able to do one.
So, here's a few questions.
Have the alignments been done under warranty? Did you ever get a printout of the alignment after the work was done? What has been the treadwear pattern with the tires? Has the car ever been in a collision?
There are a number of possibilities. Your car may have never been aligned properly. There may be a problem with a nonadjustable setting that was never reported to you. Something could be bent from collision. Parts could be worn.
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All good questions that I should have answered:
1. Yes, all done under warranty except the very first that I paid for. The other shops that worked on the car did it under consignment from the first place I paid to do the work that they could not get right.
2. Two times I did get a printout that showed before and after. Everything was within specs according to them.
3. I am getting excessive wear on the outside edge of the drivers side front tire, and the inside edge of the passenger front tire. I guess that can indicate a lot of things, but it seems the toe is off to me.
4. The car has been in one small collision (under 4 MPH accoding to body shop estimate and repair). I had only minor bumper damage.
You mentioned the collision, which I had not thought about before. Even a small one can damamge some critical parts that could have been missed I suppose. Thanks for mentioning this. I may take it to the dealer to inspect since that would be covered under my collision repair.
Also, if I am not mistaken, the camber is also adjustable on these cars.
Thanks. I'll follow up when I get something. Any other ideas?
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Is the steering rack centered when the steering wheel is centered? i.e, is there the exact same number of turns to full right stop as there is to full left stop when the steering wheel is centered?
Bob
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I posted a reply to this, but it never appeared. It's still on my list of posts in black. I'll try again.
If you're wearing on the inside of one front tire and the outside of another, it's not a toe issue. I'd check the tie rod ends for looseness to be safe, but I doubt you'll find anything.
Gather your printouts from the alignments. Use the one from the most recent if you have it. Usually they will have the readings and specifications on them. Pay particular attention to your front camber. Camber isn't adjustable on your car, but camber too negative on one side and too positive on the other can cause the issue you describe. Also check your rear toe and thrust angle if you can. If your rear tires both point to the right (excessive positive toe on L/R and excessive negative toe on R/R, but not necessarily out of spec for total toe), then you may have your front wheels perpetually turned right for the car to continue straight ahead. I don't have much technical expertise with the more complicated alignment issues, but I think in theory what I said about the rear toe could possibly cause the condition you have. If there's someone here with more expertise in alignments, perhaps they'll chime in. In any event, if you have any of these issues, something is bent.
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