dj06482 GRM+ Memberand Dork
8/11/13 9:08 p.m.

My friend has an '02 Saturn Vue with 275k on it. He just had a shop replace his left lower control arm, put two new tires on front, and it was supposedly aligned at the same time. That was about one month and 3,000 miles ago. In that time, the tread on the inner rib of both tires is just gone, and the tread itself looks like it's been scrubbed away. The inner part of the tire is the worst, and then it progressively fades to the outer edge. Both front tires show identical wear, it's like the tread has just been scraped off. Even the outside edge is probably down to something like 4-5/32nds of tread.

Here's a picture of one of the tires:

 photo SaturnVueFrontTire-3kmiles_zpseceecf06.jpg

The front struts and rear shocks are admittedly shot, but at least visually the camber looks normal. I've done some reading, and toe out seems to be one thing that can cause this (in addition to negative camber). Worn suspension components can also be a cause. I drove the car today and was expecting horrific pulling, etc. but in driving it I couldn't feel anything obvious that would make me question the alignment.

I'm taking it back with him on Saturday to the shop that did the control arm, alignment, and new tires. My thought was to have them check the alignment, and then I'd really press for them to replace the tires at no cost to him, and fix the alignment. Am I crazy to think a set of tires should last more than 6k? He's not an aggressive driver at all, I've never seen such unbelievable tire wear in my life!

What does the hive think?

dj06482 GRM+ Memberand Dork
8/12/13 7:37 p.m.


Ranger50 PowerDork
8/12/13 7:44 p.m.


Mmadness Reader
8/12/13 7:54 p.m.

The guy at the shop could have forgot to tighten the toe adjustment.

dj06482 GRM+ Memberand Dork
8/12/13 8:06 p.m.

Thanks for the suggestions, guys - I've never seen a tire wear so dramatically so quickly. It seems like incorrect toe can wear tires much quicker than incorrect camber.

I'll have them check the toe on Saturday, my guess is that he has pretty significant toe out up front.

dj06482 GRM+ Memberand Dork
8/19/13 11:37 a.m.

Toe was definitely an issue, and the tech mentioned that the wheel was pretty far off center, which wouldn't help the situation.

The owner of the shop tried to convince me that 0.53" wasn't that much off in terms of toe, but I wasn't having it. They ended up replacing the front two tires under warranty (with only 4k on them), and re-aligned the car. Both were completely bald on the inner rib of the tire. In the end the shop owner did the right thing. The car has 275k on it and has been hit, so I wouldn't be shocked if there's some other issue going on, in addition to the alignment. Time will tell!

Thanks for everyone's help!

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