Same car, two shops, 2 different alignment readings - Unofficial Honda FIT Forums


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Old 10-10-2017, 12:46 PM
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Same car, two shops, 2 different alignment readings

I had my alignment checked by place where I bought my tires:



The "before" out of tolerance toe reading, according to them, was due to the steering wheel "not centered for the measurement"
Second reading was taken few days later at the different shop (Just Tires)
Look on the rear readings!!!



I could imagine how many alignment stations are out of alignment (nice pun) themselves!
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Old 10-10-2017, 02:28 PM
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An even more interesting data point would be to take the same car back to the same shop and have a different technician use the same machine. As a mechanical engineer, I've never been convinced that these readings are at all repeatable. I'd be interested to know statistically how repeatable they actually are.
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Old 10-10-2017, 02:58 PM
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yah alignment is tricky. i only take my cars to this privately owned alignment shop that i trust. they do race cars and exotics too so they have the alignment rack embedded into the floor. it is very cool as my cars in the past rode very low and most regular folk alignment shops could not get my car on their rack.

for a fit, including my wife's GK, who cares. as long as the steering wheel is pretty straight and it tracks straight it's fine. only the front toe is adjustable anyway.
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Old 10-11-2017, 10:37 AM
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Align Your Car With SmartStrings, SmartCamber | Smart Racing Products

I refuse to fight with alignment shops and sloppy techs anymore. The $449 may give sticker shock to some, but mine has easily paid for itself in the past two years and will only continue to.

It's even compact enough to use in a single car garage (if you're flexible!).
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Old 10-12-2017, 02:37 AM
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If you use a shop the small niche guys are the best option..

The big Firestone/Goodyear/etc can suck it.

I have had good luck taking cars to Porsche Audi dealers for alignment, adn they give me free coffee and pastry,,, LOL
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Old 10-12-2017, 02:45 AM
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how about dealerships ..
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Old 10-12-2017, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by phenoyz View Post
how about dealerships ..
Your best bet for a good alignment is from a small independent shop. Find your local SCCA region or autocross group such as a Miata, Porsche or BMW club who has autocross and ask them who they use. Avoid dealerships and especially chains. Chains make their money by only moving the parts necessary to make the box go from red to green. If a box is green and within tolllerance but not perfect they’ll leave it. An independent shop will actually adjust all the stuff to match the listed specs. Obviously there are exceptions to both chains and independent shops. That’s where recommendations and Yelp reviews come into play
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Old 10-12-2017, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by kenchan View Post
only the front toe is adjustable anyway.
Actually, rear toe and camber can be adjusted with a product called EZ-Shim. I used these on my 2008 with much success, my rear tires had excessive toe, one of the tires looked like this /----| It goes behind the axle mounts.
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Old 10-12-2017, 12:15 PM
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It is not a question how to align a rear end but which reading is accurate. I can speculate that if the second (out of tolerance) reading is correct for the rear wheels, the left rear tire will be eaten at inner edge.
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Old 10-12-2017, 12:19 PM
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First of all, which reading is accurate?
Without accurate reading before any adjustment is useless!
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Old 10-12-2017, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Rob H View Post
Your best bet for a good alignment is from a small independent shop. Find your local SCCA region or autocross group such as a Miata, Porsche or BMW club who has autocross and ask them who they use. Avoid dealerships and especially chains. Chains make their money by only moving the parts necessary to make the box go from red to green. If a box is green and within tollerance but not perfect they’ll leave it. An independent shop will actually adjust all the stuff to match the listed specs. Obviously there are exceptions to both chains and independent shops. That’s where recommendations and Yelp reviews come into play
Tire chain stores suck at alignment. Their machines may not be calibrated correctly & the guy doing the alignment may not know what he is doing.

Like Rob H said call your local SCCA chapter & find out who they recommend for a good custom alignment. It will cost more, but it's worth it.
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Old 10-12-2017, 02:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bassguitarist1985 View Post
Actually, rear toe and camber can be adjusted with a product called EZ-Shim. I used these on my 2008 with much success, my rear tires had excessive toe, one of the tires looked like this /----| It goes behind the axle mounts.
i believe kenchan was talking in stock form. sure camber can he adjustable too for front if one gets camber bolts.. etc
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Old 10-12-2017, 02:56 PM
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Worth it more how? Will getting the more expensive alignment increase tire life and by how much? Not trying to be combative, just trying to quantify that statement. For example, I've used Firestone for my alignments and I was able to get 40K out of the stock Firestone tires with 3/32 left.

Let's be honest the Fit is the cheapest model in Honda's line-up so most people who buy it aren't looking to spend a lot of money on the car. For 99% of the people who don't track their car, the chain places will be "good enough" IMO.
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Old 10-13-2017, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by ashchuckton View Post
Tire chain stores suck at alignment. Their machines may not be calibrated correctly & the guy doing the alignment may not know what he is doing.

Like Rob H said call your local SCCA chapter & find out who they recommend for a good custom alignment. It will cost more, but it's worth it.
^^^ This.

PS: To doctor J: You have no choice but to have EACH shop check your specs again, see if the results are repeatable.

Last edited by Carbuff2; 10-13-2017 at 09:12 AM.
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Old 10-13-2017, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by 2Rismo2 View Post
Worth it more how? Will getting the more expensive alignment increase tire life and by how much? Not trying to be combative, just trying to quantify that statement. For example, I've used Firestone for my alignments and I was able to get 40K out of the stock Firestone tires with 3/32 left.

Let's be honest the Fit is the cheapest model in Honda's line-up so most people who buy it aren't looking to spend a lot of money on the car. For 99% of the people who don't track their car, the chain places will be "good enough" IMO.

I think you're missing the point? I pay $125 to a small independent alignment shop to align my WRX to my custom specs for racing. They let me sit in the vehicle during alignment to compensate for my weight/ Basically it's alignment is how it will be when I'm driving the car, not how it was on the alignment race.. If my Fit needed an alignment that's where i would go for OEM alignment. The owners son races motorcycles. My tech has an LS swapped 240. They're gear heads that take pride in their work. My local chain alignment shops charge about $90. So for an additional $35 I can have someone actually gives a F__K align my car to the manufactures alignment specs or whatever specs I want. If I save $35 then the "tech" will most likely not touch those components if the box is green or within tolerance. For me it's worth the additional $35 for the peace of mind that everything is what it's supposed or where it's supposed to be and the car handles and drives as designed. Tire life is secondary.

Last edited by Rob H; 10-13-2017 at 12:20 PM.
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Old 10-13-2017, 02:27 PM
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Am I missing the point or is the lifetime alignment from a chain within specs and drives just as good for an economy car? It's not like the Fit is racing spec Corvette...
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Old 10-13-2017, 02:56 PM
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Originally Posted by 2Rismo2 View Post
Am I missing the point or is the lifetime alignment from a chain within specs and drives just as good for an economy car? It's not like the Fit is racing spec Corvette...

You just don’t get it. Racing is irrelevant. For the most part lifetime warranty is also irrelevant. It’s about a ASE certified mechanic performing the alignment to the OEM specs on all four wheels. Not some $10 an hour employee driving your car on a rack and all boxes are green so he drives it off. They are not aligning your car every time you bring it in with your “lifetime” alignment. The are just checking that the box is green or within tolerance. Whereas a real shop will re-align to the factory specs, when the car changes as the suspension wears from use. The chain makes their money from the “lifetime” warranty by doing as little to your car as they can.

Last edited by Rob H; 10-13-2017 at 03:08 PM.
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Old 10-13-2017, 03:30 PM
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Right. Bushings wear, springs sag.

Age affects EVERYTHING. (Said as he looked in the mirror at the increasing number of facial wrinkles.)
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