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    Thread: Alignment Problems from the Factory

    1. Moderator bravocharlie's Avatar
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      04-21-2004 09:54 PM #1
      There is no TSB on what I am about to post, so please don't ask.

      Many of the early (I'm not sure what the VINs are) Touaregs have been shipped from the factory with incorrect alignment specs. This has resulted in abnormal tire wear regardless of tire type.

      Based on my limited discussions with other Touareg owners and posts on this site, it appears as though the most common alignment problem is "toe out" which results in abnormal inside treadwear. In my case, I had all four tires replaced at 12,000 miles due to poor tire wear. They replaced all four because I rotated mine every 5,000 miles and bad wear occurred on all four. There was no debate or discussion with the VWoA rep. who came to authorize replacement. He just signed off.

      To make you feel better, Porsche had the same problem early on with their Cayennes. It was worse than the VWs because Porsche couldn't figure out what the alignment specs were supposed to be so they used the Touareg spec until they figured it out. The two specs similar but NOT the same.

      Also, there are specific instructions for your service garage to do the alignment; particularly if you have air suspension.

      Some of the more important instructions are:

      The front and rear wheels must be measured and aligned each time. (The rear wheels have adjustments just like the front)

      Vehicle must be empty; fuel tank full; windshield/headlight washer reservoir full.

      Difference in tread depth on a given axle to be no more than 2mm

      Tires must be inflated to specific pressure.

      For air suspension vehicles: Manually measure distance between center and underside of fender.

      Perform basic setting of steering angle sensor G85 with VAS 5051 (VW's VAG-COM computer).

      For vehicles with air suspension: After verifying ride height and/or conducting level compensation of ride height sensors with special tool VAS 5051, select raise for 7 seconds and press lock. Then, install break pedal depressor, start engine, set vehicle to off road, then to sport, then to normal ride height. Turn engine off. Remeasure ride heights to confirm they are within specs. If ride height measurement is incorrect then adjustment with VAS 5051 is required.

      Specs for air suspension are as follows:

      Front: 497mm +/- 3mm or 19.57 inches +/- 0.12 inch
      Rear: 502mm +/- 3mm or 19.76 inches +/- 0.12 inch

      Now, here's where my story gets interesting.....

      My dealer didn't have their alignment machine set up for my wheel size yet. So, he sent my vehicle off to the Chevy dealer down the street for alignment. I picked it up, took it home and got a call from my SM who said they didn't do the alignment. Well, no **** they didn't do it, because they can't. So he said to bring it back in tomorrow morning and he would take it to the Porsche dealer and have it done. Well, I thought, cool, the Porsche guys can do it right. (never thinking about the requirement of the VAS 5051 which the Porsche guys don't have). So I took my TReg to the Porsche dealer and actually watched the mechanic do the alignment. Yes, my vehicle is within specs, but he didn't follow any of the instructions listed above and I now have a vehicle that pulls right.

      I should note that even though my tire wore unevenly, I had a vehicle that tracked straight as an arrow before the alignment.

      So, tomorrow should be an interesting phone call to my SM and ask him to explain how the Porsche guys could have done my alignment. Plus, I had only a quarter tank of fuel in it when I took it to Porsche.

      Moral of the story: Go check your tire wear (on all 4 tires) and make sure your vehicle is tracking straight. If you have uneven tire wear, make an appointment.....now. Don't wait. Rotating tires will NOT solve / resolve uneven tire wear problems. And, don't let them tell you you knocked it out of aligment when you drove over the curb last time you were at the post office. The bottom line is the factory screwed up and they need to fix it. Don't let them pass the buck on the alignment issue.


      Modified by bravocharlie at 9:42 PM 4-21-2004


    2. 04-21-2004 10:27 PM #2
      I have steel springs and on the third visit for alignment (after driving 700 miles for the steel springs to "settle"), they finally sent it to the Porsche dealer a block away. They aligned all 4 wheels (they also really liked the car!). It still pulled to the right, so the VW dealer cross-rotated the tires. Better, but still a slight pull.

      At 1,100 miles replaced the 18 w/Contis with 20"Cayenne rims w/Yokohama AVS S/Ts. It tracks like an arrow now!

      I still don't understand what was going on!


    3. Moderator bravocharlie's Avatar
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      04-21-2004 10:30 PM #3
      I would question if the Porsche dealer used the VW spec or the Cayenne spec. I would also read the instructions I posted above and ask yourself the fuel tank question and the tire pressure question. If neither were the way they are supposed to be then that could be the reason for your alignment problems.

    4. 04-22-2004 12:04 AM #4
      Wow--I wonder if a "toe out" position could also result in worse than expected gas mileage and acceleration. (?) Seems like with wheels pulling slightly against each other you're wasting power.

      Quote, originally posted by bravocharlie »
      The front and rear wheels must be measured and aligned each time. (The rear wheels have adjustments just like the front)

      Are you saying that VW has instructed the dealers that every time a treg is brought in that they must check the alignment using this very long and complicated procedure?? I just got my treg back after a week or so in the shop and they didn't mention doing anything like this. They seem to be *very* current on the details of the tregs and I suspect they have everything they would need to do just about anything to a vehicle that needed doing... but they didn't do this.


    5. Moderator bravocharlie's Avatar
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      04-22-2004 12:07 AM #5
      Quote, originally posted by xplay »
      Wow--I wonder if a "toe out" position could also result in worse than expected gas mileage and acceleration. (?) Seems like with wheels pulling slightly against each other you're wasting power.

      I doubt it or at least not enough to really notice.

      Are you saying that VW has instructed the dealers that every time a treg is brought in that they must check the alignment using this very long and complicated procedure?? I just got my treg back after a week or so in the shop and they didn't mention doing anything like this. They seem to be *very* current on the details of the tregs and I suspect they have everything they would need to do just about anything to a vehicle that needed doing... but they didn't do this.

      No. Its part of the aligment process. If they adjust the front, they have to check and readjust the back to make sure everything stays in alignment. It doesn't have anything to do with each service visit.


    6. 04-22-2004 12:09 AM #6
      Bravo: I'm totally confused on this alignment issue. vwao has issued a "final" dicission NOT to re-align my suspension. The vehicle has NOT been abused in any way...how can I make contact with a regional rep? in NM

    7. Moderator bravocharlie's Avatar
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      04-22-2004 12:30 AM #7
      Quote, originally posted by tierraman »
      Bravo: I'm totally confused on this alignment issue. vwao has issued a "final" dicission NOT to re-align my suspension. The vehicle has NOT been abused in any way...how can I make contact with a regional rep? in NM

      I don't know. My service manager was the one that put in the request for the tire issue. He told them they needed to be replaced because of poor wear. VWoA is aware of the alignment problems from the factory.

      My guess is that your problem lies within your own service deparment. You need to get the Service Manager to go to bat for you. If you have uneven tire wear, document it with the dealer......everytime.

      From about 4,500 miles on, each time mine went in for service or a repair, my punch list had "tires have uneven wear" on it. I continued to keep it on the punch list until it was resolved. No fighting or nashing of teeth was required.

      Or better yet, print this thread and take it with you.


    8. Moderator bravocharlie's Avatar
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      04-22-2004 12:34 AM #8
      This thread may also be of assistance.

      http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=1261768


    9. 04-22-2004 08:53 AM #9
      I have a later VIN and only 1700 miles. I'm not noticing any pull or abnormal tire wear as of yet. But, I have noticed since I bought it that when I hold the steering wheel absolutely level and straight, the car will go to the left a little bit. To get it to go straight, I have to keep the steering wheel compensated to the right just a hair. What do you think? Problem or normal?

    10. Moderator bravocharlie's Avatar
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      04-22-2004 09:06 AM #10
      Without having your vehicle checked on the alignment rack, I don't know if you have a problem. By the time they put it on the alignment rack and get it all set up, you may as well just do an alignment.

      Its probably too early to tell, but it doesn't sound like you have a problem.


    11. 04-22-2004 10:12 AM #11
      I just got my TREG 2 days ago and has about 200 miles on it. I've already called VW dealer to check alignment. Here is the scenario.

      On flat pavement, The vehicle drives straight sometimes pulling a little to the right but the steering wheel stays off center to the left. Some say this is sign of bad alignment some say re adjust steering wheel to center if vehicle is going straight.

      What are your thoughts on this? Can the this be bad alignment? Or just steering wheel needs to be recentered? or Are they one and the same?

      Just got my new replacement Treg and the dealer trips start - AGAIN!


    12. Moderator bravocharlie's Avatar
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      04-22-2004 10:26 AM #12
      Not to point out the obvious or insult you, but if the road is canted to one side (for drainaige for example) there will be some bias for pulling in that direction. For example, if the road is angled to the right (as most are) you will have to input some left pressure to keep it straight. That is normal.

      However, in my case, if I'm in the left lane with left sloping road, my vehicle still pulls to the right.


    13. 04-22-2004 12:51 PM #13
      I understand what you are saying about the road being canted to one side that's why I made sure to mention "Flat Pavement" in my post. My steering wheel stays off center to the left even when it's going straight and I don't have my hands on the wheel. KIDS, DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME!

      This time I made sure to "DO A SEARCH" before posting and getting blasted at!

      Sandman!


    14. Moderator TREGinginCO's Avatar
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      04-22-2004 01:23 PM #14
      To TIERRAMAN:

      If you are in the Rocky Mountain Region for Volkswagen, the person in charge of this region at VWoA in Auburn Hills, MI is:

      Christina Rogers

      She can be reached by calling the VW Customer Service number. She helped me out with a couple of the initial problems with my 'T' and was great!


    15. 04-22-2004 01:38 PM #15
      I also had an alignment issue, pulling to the right while the wheel was to the left. The wheel was off center ccw a few degrees.

      Christina Rogers took care of contacting the other dealership in town (since the dealer where I bought it didn't have the equipment) and took care of everything to make sure it was covered under the warranty. In one word: great!


      Modified by steverhoeven at 10:42 AM 4-22-2004


    16. 04-22-2004 05:16 PM #16
      My confusion is over why the car would track straight simply by changing wheels and tires. The original set had only 1,100 miles and had been cross-rotated. No alignment work was done when I switched the wheels and tires. Fuel level, etc. during alignment would not explain the later improvement.

    17. 04-23-2004 12:53 AM #17
      ah, the mysteries of life. maybe two wrongs sometimes do make a right

    18. 05-06-2004 11:15 AM #18
      For others that have or will have this problem: 10,000 miles and the inside fronts are now racing slicks. As usual, took the dealer two weeks to let me know what they were going to do about it. As usual, after two weeks, dealer decided to do the right thing and replace all four. HOWEVER, they said replacement tires are on backorder since there have been so many Conti tire problems and had no idea when tires would be available. My nice all-weel-drive-offroad-capable-drive-in-any-weather vehicle is now consigned to dry pavement conditions only until further notice. Still love the thing though.

      Hopefully this, along with bravocharlie's far more informative post, will help anyone else with this problem.


    19. 05-06-2004 11:23 AM #19
      I have this problem as well.

      Tires on order. My dealer has stated that they don't know why this happens. They seem uncertain that alignment will solve the issue, but that's the current strategy.

      I don't understand how the rear tires wear evenly (but very fast) if it is alignment. It makes sense for the fronts, but the rears seem to wear evenly.

      I suspect the 4 wheel drive system is doing something to the rear tires - traction control when it is not necessary perhaps?


    20. Moderator bravocharlie's Avatar
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      05-06-2004 11:26 AM #20
      Quote, originally posted by jim.bresee »
      I don't understand how the rear tires wear evenly (but very fast) if it is alignment. It makes sense for the fronts, but the rears seem to wear evenly.

      I suspect the 4 wheel drive system is doing something to the rear tires - traction control when it is not necessary perhaps?

      The rear wheels get aligned too. There are adjustments for them as well. Mine were out of alignment.

      Are you planning to come to the October event? Email me if you want more info.


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      05-06-2004 11:34 AM #21
      Dealer just postponed my alignment/tires visit until Wednesday next week because he wasn't sure he would have the tires by Monday. Don't really need the tires right away as I would rather wear the old ones away.

      mdjak, you need an alignment and tires too. According to my dealer there is a service circular letter on this issue.


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      05-06-2004 11:46 AM #22
      I am wondering whether the alignment issue isn't due to the car lowering itself at speed and changing the alignment. Correct me if I am wrong but most everyone who is complaining about inner front alignment has air suspension. And I know bc, mdjak and I all drive pretty fast.

      I asked my service advisor about this possibility but he thought the computer would compensate for this. Frankly, I don't know or see how but I would imagine that VW would have figured the air suspension issues out by now since they are putting it on nearly every high end car they sell in the VW/Audi lineup.

      Anyone have any other thoughts on this?


    23. Moderator bravocharlie's Avatar
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      05-06-2004 11:48 AM #23
      Quote, originally posted by spockcat »
      I am wondering whether the alignment issue isn't due to the car lowering itself at speed and changing the alignment. Correct me if I am wrong but most everyone who is complaining about inner front alignment has air suspension. And I know bc, mdjak and I all drive pretty fast.

      I asked my service advisor about this possibility but he thought the computer would compensate for this. Frankly, I don't know or see how but I would imagine that VW would have figured the air suspension issues out by now since they are putting it on nearly every high end car they sell in the VW/Audi lineup.

      Anyone have any other thoughts on this?

      According to the VWoA regioinal rep who looked at my tires and approved the replacement, there were alignment problems coming out of the factory. The "toe out" which causes the inside tread wear problems apparently is the most common flaw in the factory alignment.


    24. Member escaflowne_song's Avatar
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      05-06-2004 02:22 PM #24
      Anyone can post pictures of unevenly worn tires ?


    25. Moderator bravocharlie's Avatar
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      05-06-2004 02:28 PM #25
      Quote, originally posted by escaflowne_song »
      Anyone can post pictures of unevenly worn tires ?

      Sorry, mine are gone.

      Close your eyes, image smooth rubber with no evidence of treads or grooves.

      That's the best I can do.


    26. Senior Member
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      05-06-2004 02:30 PM #26
      I will post pics a bit later.

    27. Senior Member
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      05-06-2004 03:36 PM #27
      OK, late enough:


    28. Member escaflowne_song's Avatar
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      05-06-2004 05:19 PM #28
      WOW. Crystal Clear difference in between the inter & outer rim!

      Just out of curiosity, is it taken from your T-reg?

      Thanks!!


      Modified by escaflowne_song at 3:20 PM 5-6-2004


    29. 05-06-2004 05:44 PM #29
      I sympathize with you BC... my TReg had the same problem.. It's ok now... but the steering wheel is about 4 degrees turned to the right and I'm about $400 bones in the red.. .. I'm going to get them to fix that on the 15K service... next week.... here's my story.. http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=1293142...

      VWoA sucked on my claim.....


    30. Senior Member
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      05-06-2004 05:58 PM #30
      Quote, originally posted by escaflowne_song »
      WOW. Crystal Clear difference in between the inter & outer rim!

      Just out of curiosity, is it taken from your T-reg?

      Thanks!!


      Modified by escaflowne_song at 3:20 PM 5-6-2004

      Yes, this is on my car which is why I am getting it aligned.


    31. 05-07-2004 05:57 PM #31

      Hope this works, first time trying to post an image. But if it does - Spock, you call that tire wear?


    32. Moderator bravocharlie's Avatar
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      05-07-2004 06:06 PM #32
      That's called a racing slick. You're cool. You've got tires just like the nascar drivers do.

      That's exactly what mine looked like.


      Modified by bravocharlie at 5:08 PM 5-7-2004


    33. Member escaflowne_song's Avatar
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      05-07-2004 06:07 PM #33

    34. Senior Member
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      05-07-2004 07:34 PM #34
      Sorry idiot, I can't see your picture. The tires measure 2/32" on the inside and 5/32" on the outside.

    35. 05-07-2004 09:44 PM #35
      Just an update on this thread....

      I spoke with a regional field rep today. He said that VW produced a TSB for this on May 4th, available to dealers on the 5th.

      The TSB references a list of VIN ranges that are known to be shipped from the factory with a mis-alignment condition. If your Treg falls into the VIN range, you can get the tires replaced and a four wheel alignment.

      I have not verified with the local dealer that they have the TSB, but this is what I was told Today.


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