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Old 12-27-2009, 15:09   #1 (permalink)
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01 Focus: Alignment soon, what to ask??

Greetings - I had $1300 of work done to the front suspension on my Focus in the Spring of 09. This was to correct creaking / popping in the front end when cornering & going over bumps. As that problem was getting worse and worse, my alignment & tire noise was going up and up.

After the $1,300 in work, I thought, "great, my tires will be back to normal now.." This wasn't the case. My tires are still noisy, and pretty much roar at ~50Mph. Significant wear on inside edge of front tires. Also, steeringwheel is off-center. While going down a straight, flat road, the car wil run off the RH side of the road unless my hands are on the wheel. Lastly, when I'm stopping in front of a red light (2-3Mph), and something causes me to jam on my brakes, the wheel will want to pull out of my hand to the RH side about 1/4 turn almost. NOTE: Car does not pull to either side when braking at high speeds, so it shouldn't be the brakes causing this issue.. I bet the front tires will need to be replaced before they'll attempt an alignment, they're worn so much...

Question: What points can I bring to the attention of the mechanic when I take the FOcus in for a 4-wheel alignment?
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Old 12-27-2009, 17:24   #2 (permalink)
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Re: 01 Focus: Alignment soon, what to ask??

Did they align it with all the work they did? The alignment should always be done with suspension work. A reputable alignment shop will know what to check after a test drive and from the readings on the alignment equipment. With wear on the inside, it usually indicates toe-out. If the caster is set higher on one side, it will make the car pull to one side.
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Old 12-31-2009, 12:18   #3 (permalink)
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Re: 01 Focus: Alignment soon, what to ask??

Given that tires that are [already] ruined will prob make noise for the rest of their lives, I don't know if the car is actually in alignment or not, or if I just have noisy tires. The shop that did the $1,300 of work did bill me for an alignment, but the tires never got any quieter....
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Old 12-31-2009, 12:24   #4 (permalink)
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Re: 01 Focus: Alignment soon, what to ask??

Wen tires start a wear pattern, they will continue, even when the alignment is in specs. If it pulls to one side, it could also be tire pull. Swittch the tires front ot rear and see if there's a change. Has it done it ever since the work was done? Have you told them about it?
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