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Re: Alignment Question

In a message dated 96-12-08 01:49:07 EST, SOP8920@Siena.edu writes:

>    I understand that Alignment is supposed to be performed to
>  However, I had an experience once with a non-Audi vehicle that made me 
> wonder greatly about where one should go for this service. I took the car
to two
>  different shops, all having the supposed necessary "computer alignment"
>  equipment. Neither could get my car to stop pulling to the right, and one 
> guy  told me that it was the car. He said that somebody had probably railed
> curb and bent the car out of wack. This speculation didn't anger me for the
> had  previously been in the possession of my older sister, who
unfortunately is 
> not  known for her driving skill. The massive dent on the nose of the car
>  testament to this fact.

Osman, sorry to tell you this, man, but your sis has probably whacked the
An easy check: take a measuring tape and compare the distance between certain
arbitrary chosen points on your front and rear wheels (say, the front edges
of the rims) on both sides of the car. If you find any appreciable difference
(3mm and up), the shorter side has a Caster whacked in. If it's the case,
only a frame machine will remedy it, since the Caster is not adjustable on a
44 type body.
Generally speaking the Caster is said not to influence the tyre wear. You can
live with it if you can deal with the fact that the car constantly pulls to
one side. I've been living with this for 2 years on my wife's Fox (the poor
car spent first 6 years  of it's life in NYC, that counts for 12 and I am not
sending a $1200 car for a frame stretching! Your case is different, though).

>Should I take it to my usual mechanic or find a shop that performs
alignments routinely?

Without any disrespect for your regular mechanic I suggest that you go to a
best speciality shop in town and ask to check the Caster angle. A must on a
quattro, where toe and camber are adjustable for both front and rear. Yes, I
know, it's expensive, but I'd still do it.
BTW, my positional sensors can be found in the majority of alignment
machines, made either by Hunter, Bear or Bee, but I never get a break in
price when I get my cars aligned! 8(

Igor Kessel