[200q20v] Wheels, tramlining, and alignments (again and again)

Derek Pulvino DPulvino at agraus.com
Wed Mar 14 14:03:59 EST 2001

Hey all,

Has anybody else seen changes in gas mileage related to running bigger wheels and tires?  I've always heard about that happening, but always thought that happened to some other guy.  

And some more info on my tramlining situation, got the local shop to realign the car, and it did get better, but still not up to par.  When I took the car back down for a realignment, I was sure to give them the page out of the Bentley with the appropriate alignment numbers for my vehicle, but the knucklehead completely ignored them.  At this point in time, if anybody else is in the Seattle Metro area, I'm going recommend that you stay away from this shop (Clarks Alignment in Kirkland) unless I can get them to align the car to factory specs once and for all.  

The main reason they sighted for not using the specs I gave them was the numbers in their alignemnt machine (whatever the hell name it was, but it was expensive so it must be right) didn't agree with what I gave them.  In their favor however, they did do a very good job getting the car to exactly the numbers their machine gave them, but were completely uncommunicative, and non-responsive to any input suggesting they might be wrong.  

Doing the math, I figured the specs they gave and used (talking toe here) are at the very low side of the toe numbers (least negative number).  Previous alignment had the car set up with slight toe out (total toe -0.04) which was at the edge of their range, second alignment brought exactly on their toe numbers, slight toe in (0.04).  This did improve the driving, but it's still not there.

I've also checked my ball joints, (look good), and my rack preload (this did make a difference, it was a little loose); both do not appear to present problems.  Long and the short of it, I'm thinking our cars are very sensitive to alignment settings, and need to be spot on the specs for best driving, not half-crappy assed with in the range, but on the money!  A read of the past postings within the audifans website concerning alignments suggested the same thing. 

How sweet it is.

Derek P     

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