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Old 05-06-2003, 08:53 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Posts: 5
Question Is this an alignment problem?

Hello everyone,

I have an '89 300TE with 157K on it. I recently installed a full set of new tires and this car has gone haywire! As I drive it down the road, it moves left and right (back and forth) by about 6-8 inches. I can hold it still but the back and forth pull is definately there. I haven't had an alignment in a couple of years, and the old tires were definately worn, but I always thought that an alignment problem would pull one way or the other. Is this something more serious?
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Old 05-06-2003, 09:10 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: S. Texas
Posts: 1,237
Get an alignment, rat now. Once you start scalping or cupping a new set of tires it is nearly impossible to straighten them out. Why would you spend that kind of money on a new set of tires and not an extra $60 on an alignment? If the car wanders it is probably your toe in/toe out adjustment.

Too much toe in and the car plows (difficult to streer but goes in a streight line like a mother). Also toe in will scalp your tires on the outside edge. You can feel this by running your hand across the top of the tire backwarss towards the rear of the car. With too much toe in you will feel a 'feather' on the leading edge of each tread segment. A few thousand miles like this is enough to ruin a good set of tires for life.

Too much toe out and the car wanders and won't hold the road. Toe out will also scalp the tires (on the inside edge) but not as quickly as toe in. You notice toe out much faster than toe in, but over the long run toe in will do more damage.
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Old 05-06-2003, 10:23 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Southern California
Posts: 2,011
So this problem started immediately after the new tires were installed and we're talking about alignment? I think there may be another message.

I'm curious. What is the make/model/size of the old and new tires?

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Old 05-06-2003, 11:52 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Miami, FL
Posts: 645
This sounds like at least one of your tires has a tread separation problem. Run your hand over the tread and sidewalls and check for bulges.

Usually they bulge, then the tread comes off. This is not safe.
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1990 300D 2.5 Turbo sedan 171K (Rudolf)
1985 300D Turbo TD Wagon 219K (Remuda)

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