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Old 07-11-2019, 11:27 AM   #1
David R
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2009 Astra XE
1997 SW2
Default Front-end Tire Wear

So I’m kind of scratching my head on this one.

Just noticed that I have excessive inner tire wear on the front end of my XE. The tires are Cooper Starfire RS-C2.0, just daily driver stuff. Tread wear rating is 400. This is the third Summer season, maybe 25K km on them. I mention this because the snows (on rims) that came off a couple months ago showed no significant wear. There isn’t any pulling on the highway (HWY 400 here in Ontario). On a level straight stretch with no potholes, off centre dips, cross breeze, the car will go easily stay in my lane over 100 meters, closer to 200 meters with hands off the steering wheel. That said my usual driving route 20 km to and from is a winding, hilly highway, with tire channeling, lots of cracks, potholes and pebbling. Little hard to tell whether something is off in the suspension when the road is noisy and rough, one handed driving is possible but not recommended.

My usual testing, does it pull? No. Does the front-end have any bounce or float? No. Any tire bounce or steering wheel shake at highway speeds? No. Any strange behaviour when accelerating or decelerating? No. Is there any uneven tire wear? No. Surprisingly the excessive wear appears balanced. Does the profile view suggest the car is sitting down lower than it should (wheel clearance)? Well the back-end looks a little low. Do the wheels look tilted in at the top from a distance? Yes. The front and rear camber look to be almost the same. Unfortunately I don’t have any level ground I can park on. Even the parking lots around here are tilted. Does the steering react poorly to road conditions? It does seem twitchy at times, and the wife says she finds it way to prone to over steering. You do have to pay attention or you will wonder on the local roads.

Now I know the struts are original (212K km), but my finances are limited these days. I’m thinking all this is do to with excessive camber on the front. I’m also thinking the cheap way out of this would be installing camber bolts. I'm assuming I can actually install camber bolts.

Any thoughts people?

...
~I'm not an authority on anything~

2009 Astra XE 5sp 200K km
2000 Honda Civic SI 5sp 172K km, AKA EX Coupe - Gone
1997 SW2 DOHC Auto 330K km - Stored for winter, used in summer

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Old 07-11-2019, 01:24 PM   #2
David R
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2009 Astra XE
1997 SW2
Default Re: Front-end Tire Wear

Thought I'd add some photos of the front tires. Viewed from the front of the car.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_5479.jpg (127.4 KB, 4 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_5480.jpg (154.8 KB, 4 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_5481.jpg (138.3 KB, 4 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_5482.jpg (148.4 KB, 3 views)

...
~I'm not an authority on anything~

2009 Astra XE 5sp 200K km
2000 Honda Civic SI 5sp 172K km, AKA EX Coupe - Gone
1997 SW2 DOHC Auto 330K km - Stored for winter, used in summer

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Old 07-11-2019, 03:40 PM   #3
AstraFasta
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Default Re: Front-end Tire Wear

On a low mileage car, I would suspect just an alignment issue.

With a high mileage car, get the shop to check out all suspension bits for health & safety ASAP; that is a lot of tire wear and worn suspension bits can be extremely dangerous. Get this looked at now.

The Astra and Golf don't seem to hold alignment very long. I don't think you can always "feel" when a car is out of alignment; power steering and weight of modern cars can dull the senses further.

The tires don't have a lot more life particularly given the extreme wear on the edges. (Once you get the suspension sorted) I suppose you could get the tires balanced but that seems like throwing good money after bad to me.

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Old 07-11-2019, 07:39 PM   #4
eric08
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2008 Astra XR
Default Re: Front-end Tire Wear

One other thing you can do at home is put the front end on stands and grab hold of each wheel and muscle them up/down, side to side and see how much wobble you find. 9 o'clock to 3 o'clock play usually tie rods. 12 to 6 usually ball joints. Slop in multiple directions is often wheel bearing. If everything feels solid the wear is probably just alignment related. Since both tires look to have uniform inner tread wear I'd lean toward alignment but even with trying to keep costs down its well worth the extra time to know you don't have a larger problem on the horizon.

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Old 07-11-2019, 08:56 PM   #5
David R
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Default Re: Front-end Tire Wear

Thanks guys for the input.

In the next day or so I'll lift the car to see what's going on.

Like I say, didn't realize there was an issue until the other day. My driveway has turned into a clay dust bowl with the lack of rain. All the dust showed me that the tread was disappearing on the inside. At first I thought it was an illusion, until I got down on the ground to take a closer look.

...
~I'm not an authority on anything~

2009 Astra XE 5sp 200K km
2000 Honda Civic SI 5sp 172K km, AKA EX Coupe - Gone
1997 SW2 DOHC Auto 330K km - Stored for winter, used in summer

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Old 07-12-2019, 01:50 AM   #6
JFS
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2008 Astra XR
Default Re: Front-end Tire Wear

Here is a video I like on checking the control arm and ball joint for wear, as well as replacing the same.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-AHB3zQzdnQ&t=9s

This Brit shows the wear on a car probably saturated a good portion of the year. I'd hate to see things further degraded with salt, like I used to encounter in Michigan and Wisconsin.

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Old 07-12-2019, 07:13 PM   #7
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Default Re: Front-end Tire Wear

Excellent video all around. I've dealt with those rivets on the control arm and concur with just replacing the entire arm for all the reasons he stated. I didn't know you were once a Midwesterner, JFS. I'd like to have road salt be only a memory one day too. 😄

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