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Discussion Starter #1
So I have had front tires that appear to be underinflated on my 98 deville.
I bought new tires and they also appear the same. It has 30psi in it just like the rear, but looks like its either overloaded or underinflated....

I've had it for about 2 years, driven about 34,000 miles now (total is 98k miles) and never gotten any alignement done.

Do you think its an alignment issue?

BTW How do you know you need an alignement when the car tracks straight and exhibits no handling problems?

PS the edges of the old tires were worn (up front) but I attributed that to the fact that I'm howling around the highway onramps everyday.....sidewalls seemed scuffed from rolling too.

Thanks!

PS You think I should get 4 wheels alignment while I am at it? (rears are fine)
 

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94 Eldorado, and a 99 ETC
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Well if each tire is wearing only on both the outer and inner edges, then it IS under-inflated. If each tire is wearing only on one edge then your alignment is off. If each tire is wearing only in the middle, then it is over-inflated.

The front weighs more than the back, so it will require more psi for the tire to lift it. A lot of people don't take into account the weight of their car when they are buying tires. Maybe your new tires are not rated for the weight of your car.

It is normal for radial tires to have a small bulge on the bottom, but when the wear is uneven, you know there is a problem.

I would suggest you rotate your tires because the rear tires hasn't yet seen as much stress as the front has. Then adjust your pressure.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Well the old tires were worn on the outer edges suggesting camber angle may be off.

How often are you supposed to get alignments anyways...I wonder if its due?

Also, are you supposed to/recommended to inflate the fronts more than the rear? (my doorjam sticker says 30psi all the way around)

The tires are OEM for CTS so I checked the ratings and they appear to be ok.
 

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Krashed is right. Bump the pressure up to 34-36 and see how it feels. The low pressure is partially for a soft ride. If your wearing out the outside edge you need more pressure.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well its been at least 2 years probably more since the last alignment so I guess I should get a 4 wheel done?

(alignment dude said you need one about every 2 years....)

Anyways, I called around and the cheapest was a tireshop for 62$, followed by a gas station with some fancy laser alignment stuff for 72$ then the dealer actually would do it for $79 (with a coupon)

so I figured I'd let the dealer do it.......any thoughts?

BTW thanx for your input!
 

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It could be camber or toe.
Tires pointed like this / \ (top veiw) would wear on the outer edges. <- "toe in"

Tires pointed like this \ / (top veiw) would wear on the inner edges. <- "toe out"

The camber angle would have to be pretty radically off in order to noticably wear the tire down unevenly, because the sidewall of the tire will compensate for it by flexing.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
So what the rule of thumb....how often should you get an alignment done?

1-every two years
2-never until you notice strange tire wear
3-when I feel like it :)
 

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I don't know... every two years seems like its overdoing it for me... I just do it when I notice something weird like the steering wheel turned sideways while your going straight, or uneven tire wear. Otherwise I will get them aligned if I recently replaced something that could alter the alignment, like struts, or tie rod ends. But this is coming from a guy who routinely checks almost everything on his car every week, because I have to drive over 450 miles per week, not including weekends. I guess if you didn't check stuff like that all the time, two years would be a good idea, but otherwise a good alignment could last for about 7 years if no problems occur with the chassis. My 94 just got its 2nd alignment a few months ago, but only because I changed the struts, and a tie rod end. And that last one was just a front end alignment. My rear tires showed no sign of misalignment, so they are unchanged from the 1st alignment way back in 98. But they are now starting to cause the steering wheel to go slightly crooked, yes the rear wheels can do that. One of the wheels' toe is out farther than the other causing the rear of the car to drift to one side, then you have to have the wheel turned a little to compensate.
 

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1994 Fleetwood 60" Stretch; '07 Avalanche, '95 Nighthawk
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powerglide said:
So what the rule of thumb....how often should you get an alignment done?

1-every two years
2-never until you notice strange tire wear
3-when I feel like it :)
I ususally get an alignment when I replace the tires, based solely on the advice of the tire guy. Just got into the habit of doing it. Mine wear a little bit on the outer edges, but I figure it's just from cornering. It's not like the edges are shredding off of them. I rotate them as I should so they all wear evenly.

Jim
 

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I get alignments when I see a problem with tire wear, if you have the car serviced regularly, a competent tech should tell you if they see something abnormal. Some Cadis are prone to tie rod end wear so that could be a factor. If the tire wear is really bad on the edges then you need to worry about it, but if it's not much worse on one edge of the tire than the other it may not be a huge deal.
How was the overall tread wear of the tire?

Front tires will wear on the edges, period. It is totally normal for them to wear out the edges before wearing the inside nearly as much. That's because radial tires "roll under" when you turn, and since the front wheels do the turning it's quite normal to see this type of wear. If one edge wears faster than the other then you have an alignment problem. As stated you could have a camber or a toe problem causing wear on one edge. A good alignment tech will "shake down" the suspension to make sure nothing is worn before the alignment is done. If you have a worn component it does no good to align the car.
For the reson mentioned above it's important that you keep the tires rotated on a regular basis. Check your maintenance schedule or do it every 6,000 miles.

As for inflation, you should put in the tires what is on the tire plackard located on the door frame or in the trunk. On that car it should be 30, but it wouldn't hurt to run it a bit higher.
The bulge on the side it totally irrelevant and looking at the side of the tire to determine how much air in it will just make the car ride harsh and wear the tires out.

Radial tires are not as suceptible to the inflation wear as older tires used to be, but you can wear them out due to underinflation if they are excessively low.

I wouldn't recommend having an alignment on a regular schedule, you'd probably be throwing money away. The best indicator is tire wear, and tire rotation is critical to getting the most mileage out of your tires.
 

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I aligned my car only once so far and I am going on 180,000 miles so far..if the tires are wearing abnormal u have a front end part worn,replace that part and the alignment comes back...of course if u hit a pothole or 2 u might throw the alignment out instantly..go to the guy with the newer machine....
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Yup I agree with you all.

-I don't think I have any alignment issues, the front tire edge wear is probably due to the fact that I never rotated the tires (because the rears were old and had some sidewall nicks, I didn't want em up front)

-The reason why I am considering it is because of the bulge (If the camber was off and the it was sitting on the inside corners, I figured it would deform the tires some)

-I drove the SUPER BUMPY streets of Manhattan for over year and it was really rough on the car. Surprising though, the car tracks straight and the wheel is dead on center.

-finally, since I haven't had alignment done, and I just put on 4 brand new tires (that are slighly different size than the stock I think I went from 60 series to 55 in the side wall height, resulting in veeeery slight change in ride height.) .....figured it was a good time to do it


BUT, I have had bad luck in the past getting unnecessary preventive maintence on the car that resulted in more problems.....hence I am wary.
 
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