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Q: Alignment issue

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Hello, I seem to have an alignment issue on my camaro. The front right tires are wearing down significantly more than the other tires. Specifically on the outter rim of the tire. Every time I get it aligned, about a week passes before I start seeing the uneven wear return on the same front right tire. I got it looked at by multiple mechanics to try and find the problem on why it keeps getting unaligned. They said all my bushings looked good and they even replaced my front shocks but none of that fixed the issue: it still gets out of alignment everytime. The mechanic that put in the new shocks said that its just because my car was old and it would need to be aligned often. But every week? Any possible solutions? Thank you

-Joseph Weaver

My car has 97000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: Hello. The age of the car is not relevant, ...

Hello. The age of the car is not relevant, at all, to it being properly aligned per FSM (Factory Service Manual) specifications or the longevity of an alignment. The condition of the wheel bearings, control arm bushings, tie rod ends, and other key parts would be relevant. Those components should all be tested. If they are not worn beyond what is allowed per the FSM, then the car is alignable. If the shop is unable to do it and thus you are seeing this result, your only option is to find a shop that can do this kind of work. If YourMechanic has an ASE Certified front end specialist in your area, I encourage you to go that route because they can get this resolved for you without further nonsense.

As an aside, I myself got tired of the type of results you are reporting (30 years ago!) and so just simply got my own alignment equipment. Although I use technology from the 1960’s (AMMCO optical gauges and track flags), but also some modern stuff like digital caster/camber (Intercomp), I can align my own cars within tens of thousandths of an inch and consequently have had almost no wear on the tires. My point is you will have to find a shop staffed by people who are both capable and interested. A person who tells you that mere "age" necessitates "more frequent" alignment is giving you incorrect information. The car could be 100 years old but so long as the key components of relevance here, again wheel bearings, tire rod ends, ball joint, strut mount, and bushings, are in good condition the car can be aligned perfectly. Finally, of course, check for accident damage and bent parts...that of course would have to be addressed as well and also look for wheel damage (excessive runout).

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