Premature Tire Wear? - Camry Forums - Toyota Camry Forum


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Old 05-18-2013, 02:51 PM
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Default Premature Tire Wear?

In August 2012, I bought a certified pre-owned 2011 Camry V6 SE with 16k miles on it. I was told by the dealership that part of their reconditioning included putting 4 new tires on the vehicle (Grand Prix Tour RS 215 / 55 R17). I now have 23,500 miles on the car, and admittedly, I should have already rotated the tires and plan to do that shortly. But before I did that, I wanted to ask about some tire wear I'm seeing on both of the front tires especially - tire wear that appears slightly on the inner edge of the front tires but especially noticeable on the outer edges of the front tires.

Could someone take a look at these photos and tell me if this is normal for less than 7.5k miles of wear?

Thanks,

Jonathan

Front Left:



Front Right:



Rear Left (for reference):



Rear Right (for reference):



Alignment numbers (the circled numbers were numbers the dealership told me they could not adjust - don't know if that's really true):

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Old 05-18-2013, 03:58 PM
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One reason to rotate tires is to equalize the wear patterns. However, if the tires were new then the wear patterns are not normal for 7500 miles.

A typical rotation interval is 5K miles, yet these wear patterns have already shown up. A suspicious person might ask why the tires were replaced at 16K miles as this cost the dealer money.

It is possible to adjust camber but requires some work.

There may be an aftermarket camber kit available allowing adjustment. Basically a specially designed bolt that replaces a bolt on the cars suspension. The bolt can be rotated to adjust camber.

Replacing the strut may bring the alignment back into spec.

It may be possible to loosen the suspension parts and push things around in an attempt decrease camber then re-tighten the bolts.

Suggest you find a competent shop that has the capability to do a wheel alignments beyond the typically tire store and the dealer. Perhaps a shop that does chassis straightening. Show them the tire alignment sheet plus tires and ask if the can do something fix the problem.

Rotate the tires to equalize the wear patterns. Don't install new tires until you do something about the alignment.
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Old 05-18-2013, 04:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toyomoho View Post
One reason to rotate tires is to equalize the wear patterns. However, if the tires were new then the wear patterns are not normal for 7500 miles.

A typical rotation interval is 5K miles, yet these wear patterns have already shown up. A suspicious person might ask why the tires were replaced at 16K miles as this cost the dealer money.

It is possible to adjust camber but requires some work.

There may be an aftermarket camber kit available allowing adjustment. Basically a specially designed bolt that replaces a bolt on the cars suspension. The bolt can be rotated to adjust camber.

Replacing the strut may bring the alignment back into spec.

It may be possible to loosen the suspension parts and push things around in an attempt decrease camber then re-tighten the bolts.

Suggest you find a competent shop that has the capability to do a wheel alignments beyond the typically tire store and the dealer. Perhaps a shop that does chassis straightening. Show them the tire alignment sheet plus tires and ask if the can do something fix the problem.

Rotate the tires to equalize the wear patterns. Don't install new tires until you do something about the alignment.
Thanks for the reply! Couple followup questions for you:

1. When you mention needing to get a camber kit or new struts, were you referring to the front suspension where I'm seeing more wear on the tires? or the rear suspension? or both?

2. After driving about 900 miles on the new alignment, I had some work done at a different dealership. They did a free alignment check (even though I told them it had just been done) and they measured the numbers a bit differently (see below). Is it surprising that the numbers would be different after 900 miles?

3. The car is still under warranty until 36k miles and I was debating whether I should pay to extend the warranty, so I'm not really wanting to pay to customize the car just yet as that could affect the warranty. Is this a problem I should be pursuing with Toyota to have fixed under warranty? And if so, given that most of these numbers appear "green" within supposedly normal ranges, how do I argue this with Toyota as being "out of spec?"

-- Do I tell them they need to replace the shocks?
-- Do I tell them they need to install the camber kit?
-- Should I complain about the premature tire wear?
-- Or how do I tell them their alignment equipment is wrong?

Here's the second set of alignment numbers after 900 miles of driving from the dealership that is closer to where I live:

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Old 05-18-2013, 05:53 PM
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Neither dealer made any adjustment in the alignment?

The first dealer stated they were not able to adjust the camber into specs. The kit or other suggestions would be addressed only to the specific suspension location (F or B, L or R) the dealer could not get camber into spec.

A new strut may or may not help in getting the camber into adjustment as would loosening the suspension bolts and moving things around. There are attempted fixes. The camber kit should fix the problem of lack of adjustment.

A cars weight can change the camber as in more fuel, baggage, etc.

Of the list of questions you posted 1 to 4, suggest you ask why the tires are wearing as they are then listen to their response? Best not to state you are getting feedback from car sites, just listen. Your position being the tire wear pattern seems strange given the low mileage and concerned that tire life will be short. What is their response to this problem?

If the specs are in the green my guess is the dealer will state there is no reason to do anything. You might have another dealer do an alignment (if free) asking about the toe-in being in the red.

Personally I would abandon the dealer at this point and as suggested go to a shop that can actually do something. Have them look at the tires (assuming you did not rotate them yet and if you did point out what tire went where before the rotation) plus the two alignment results.

A well equipped alignment shop would know a lot more then dealer or myself as to what is wrong and what is possible to fix it.

Installing a camber kit is not going to void the warranty. The dealer must prove any changes to the car caused any warranty problems you incur in the future.

Try to be polite with dealer as this can affect future interactions with them. They have no real obligation to do anything under warranty as many car owners have found out.
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Old 05-18-2013, 06:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toyomoho View Post
Neither dealer made any adjustment in the alignment?
The first dealer did charge me for an alignment - the first sheet I posted shows before and after numbers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by toyomoho View Post
The camber kit should fix the problem of lack of adjustment.
Do you have a rough estimate or cost range that I can expect for this type of fix? I don't want to get overcharged, and I'd like to have a rough idea for budget purposes before going to the shop.

Quote:
Originally Posted by toyomoho View Post
If the specs are in the green my guess is the dealer will state there is no reason to do anything. You might have another dealer do an alignment (if free) asking about the toe-in being in the red.
So which number(s) should I be most concerned about? The front camber, or the the front toe? And what about the back negative camber? Is that a problem?

So what kind of numbers should I be looking for after a camber kit is done? Zero?
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Old 05-19-2013, 10:23 AM
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The numbers should be in the green range. Since the camber numbers in the second alignment check were in the green there is no reason to add a chamber kit.

Not sure if 0 degree camber is good. Some negative camber helps car handling.

On the second alignment check only the toe in was out of spec.

The camber kit is a bolt swap. Suggest doing an internet search on "Camry camber kit" and reviewing posts. Installation time is stated to be 0.6 hours per side of car plus the wheel alignment time.

What tire pressures are your using, 28 PSI? If so, might increase pressure in tires with side wear 10-15%.

Suggest you talk to a shop having more in-depth knowledge of suspension and tire wear issues. The may be able to advise what suspension settings are needed rather then just getting the readings into the factory spec range.
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Old 05-19-2013, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by toyomoho View Post
What tire pressures are your using, 28 PSI? If so, might increase pressure in tires with side wear 10-15%.
I checked my tire pressure and it's 34-35 psi - the door jam recommends 32psi, so I think that's all good.

Let me ask you this, the front bumper has some scrape marks on the under side (like someone accidentally hopped a curb or at least pulled too far forward when parking or something). The service records on the car says 1 tire was mounted and balanced at 10k miles (prior to all 4 being replaced at 16k). Do you think there's any chance the frame could be damaged that never got reported to CarFax causing that kind of tire wear?

Anyway, I definitely appreciate all the advise you've given and will try to find a suspension shop and see what they recommend.
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Old 05-19-2013, 01:29 PM
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Pulling forward and dragging the bumper should not cause frame damage, this happens frequently to cars.

Depends on what the problem was with the tire. Sometimes tires fail due to improper manufacturing or there was a tire puncher that could not be repaired such as on the sidewall (more likely).

If something was hit hard enough to damage the tire beyond repair suppose the suspension parts might be damaged but doubt the frame, the damage showing up as alignment issues.

A shop should be able to inspect the car frame and suspension or state given your tires condition and alignment reports if the problem was frame or suspension part related or something else.
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Old 05-20-2013, 05:16 PM
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So, I wasn't totally sure what kind of shop to take my car to, so I picked an auto garage whose website says they install lift kits for 4x4s, and the guy there was convinced that with the car being this new, it couldn't possibly be anything wrong with the car. So all he could offer to do was to rotate the tires for $20.

Not knowing where to go next, I took my car to Discount Tire. They apparently don't do any repair work there - just tires. But the guy there thought it was a problem with the car and referred me somewhere else.

I then took the car to Tire Kingdom which does do alignments, camber kits, shim kits, etc. The guy at Tire Kingdom was very friendly and even put the car on his alignment rack for free. He said the left front toe was -0.08 (somehow it shifted back into spec from the number Toyota gave me in January -0.10) but he said the right front toe was now -0.15. His assessment of the wear issue was that the tire wear took place before the first alignment I got in December. Of course he wanted to sell me an alignment package. But as I thought about his conclusions, I don't think he can possibly be right. Here's why. If you look at the first alignment sheet I got from Toyota in December - it shows the Before and After numbers. If you look at it, they hardly made any adjustments at all on the front. So I don't think his assessment that the wear took place before my first alignment could possibly be correct. It has to be either bad tires or something wrong with the car.

So, any other ideas of shops I can take the car to or where to go from here? Should I try a body shop next?

Thanks in advance,

Jonathan
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Old 05-20-2013, 06:14 PM
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Check the Yellow Pages or internet for a shop that does chassis straightening or works in depth with suspension issues on passenger cars or perhaps performance cars.

Of course all may want to sell you an alignment but if you have the spec sheets and the tires to show then you can at least pick their minds.
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