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Tyre tracks

Community Veteran
Posts: 7,154
Thanks: 54
Fixes: 2
Registered: 30-08-2007

Tyre tracks

Following a major repair to the suspension of my car recently, I found, the the steering wheel, when held in the straight ahead position (12 O'clock) on a straight road (when you can find one) was slowly but firmly heading the car towards the middle of the road, only by setting the steering wheel to something around 11 O'clock would the direction correct.
Now this is a small problem, but I find it very annoying and distracting. My garage advised that any suspension work should be followed by a wheel alignment check, however his equipment was in for repair at this time, but if I took it to a local tyre bay for setting up, he would refund the cost, as it should have been done by him (very reasonable attitude I thought)
Well it took four visits to a tyre bay to get it almost right, first they managed to set it to the 10 O'clock position ("Who set this up" he said with disdain, "you did" I observed) he then set it up at 1 O'clock. On returning it for another reset, it went back to 11 O'clock. On the last visit, he managed about 11:57, I decided to leave it at that and live with it. My garage paid up, and had a look underneath to see if there was another reason why it was taking so much trouble to set up (there wasn't) it was purely down to the heavy-handedness of the "mechanic" in the tyre bay. 
Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.
5 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 16,862
Thanks: 1,141
Fixes: 13
Registered: 06-11-2007

Re: Tyre tracks

On my car, (Skoda Fabia) the car tends to very slightly  drift to the left... when driven on a flat (no camber) straight road.... there has been some discussion on the Briskoda Forums, and the general consensus of opinion is that the steering geometry was designed with the prospect of the car being driven on the right side of the road ( wrong side to us) and the slight drift to the left, was to compensate for the camber of the european roads, therefore making the car tend to drive slightly "uphill" towards the centre of the road, and therefore in a straight line.....
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,291
Thanks: 2
Registered: 10-08-2007

Re: Tyre tracks

I got the same cock and bull story explanation from Audi about  a (brand new) Audi 80 I had years ago.
pbower
Newbie
Posts: 5
Registered: 17-07-2007

Re: Tyre tracks

This is a strange one.  After liaising with a few mechanics (the joy of reliable cars  Tongue) I was advised that the mis-allignment of the steering wheel is a simple issue that can be resolved by wheel allignment.  I guess it beats the scenic route you had to go through Petlew.
Any other input on this would be welcome.
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 25,789
Thanks: 1,134
Fixes: 47
Registered: 14-04-2007

Re: Tyre tracks

I have usually done my own tracking after a repair to the steering gear such as a track rod end and either used one of these which I found very accurate or a fairly simple adjustable gauge which measures the distance between the rims.
When I have tyres fitted I usually ask for tracking included.
Customer and Forum Moderator.
Product of the Tyrell Corporation
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Tyre tracks

My Strat, you must hit a lot of Kerbs (Or is it Curbs) to pay that much for a do it your self piece of equipment
to line up the steering correctly takes a lot of equipment, it is not just toe in, the front and rear should be aligned to ensure that the vehicle is not crabbing, ie the front should be in the same line as the rear.
With some sorts of rear suspension you can also alter the rear wheel toe in.  If you had a vehicle like the old Truimph Herald you aslo had the camber angle of the rear wheels to contend with.
It is important to get the set up correct as it can lead to either the inner or outer edges of the front tyres wearing and shortening the tyre life.
It is a very complex task to do correctly and unfortunately there are a lot of bandits out there.