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Discussion Starter #1
I read somewhere in this forum that one should get an alignment after having new tires installed. I did just that within a day of purchasing
4 beautiful Michelin Premier A/S tires for my 2015 Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid Touring. My vehicle is still under warranty.

Background: This vehicle has had not ONE, but TWO front axles replaced under Warranty because of a slow speed "wobble" during acceleration.
They said it 'was' possible that the 1st set of replacement axles were bad also. (Red Flag).

NOW when Big-O tried to align all four wheels, the LEFT REAR wheel CANNOT be aligned within tolerance (or green - on their readout).
It was pretty far out of spec and of course they commented that I must have hit some pretty big potholes!

I told them I HAD NOT, as I baby this vehicle and it doesn't go off road, and I do not ever recall hitting a pothole that would make me take notice.

They said take it to Subaru because it looks like you need TWO adjustable arms for the rear of the vehicle (easy arms?) in order to correct the TOE
on the left side and CAMBER on the right side of the vehicle (since that was only slightly outside of tolerance and recommended specs). This they said
was because the non-adjustable arms could not fix the issue - probably due to a bent (?) part or manufacturer defect (!).

Subaru's answer: Alignments aren't covered under Warranty.

I told Subaru the same thing. I haven't had a situation where I could have caused this issue from driving over potholes. I have NEVER had a vehicle
where I would have had to purchase aftermarket parts in order to compensate for its inability to be aligned properly.

Subaru did say they would 'take a look' at it and put it on their alignment rack NEXT week (after I end up putting about a 1,000 miles on new tires
that are not aligned properly. (grrrrr).

I feel like they are going to simply tell me that I need to purchase new parts and that the issue is owner caused. I NEVER let anyone else drive this
vehicle and for the life of me can't understand how it came to be so out of whack regarding non-alignment.

Have any of you had issues similar to this, or any suggestions as to how I proceed? I feel like it is my word against theirs, and even though they DID
replace the front axles under warranty (as they should have), I feel like maybe I got a lemon when I purchased it NEW in 2016.

I especially feel this way because I have NEVER heard of anyone else having front axle issues like I have had with this model vehicle; or any for that
matter....

Thank you for taking the time to read throught all of this, and perhaps, provide me with some assistance.
 

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Before getting to deep in the weeds, are you sure that BIG-O's equipment actually works and the tech knows how to do an alignment?

The reason why I'm asking is that alignments seem to be a 'difficult' thing for shops to get right especially on Subarus - ie the ghost walking thread where so many members had to go to different shops before it was properly aligned. Also, if the alignment was that far off (ie can't get adjust it so that it's close), you should be seeing the tell tale signs of needing an alignment - ie. car pulling in a direction, uneven tread wear, poor handling... - way before this point in time.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Thank you for your reply. I did get feedback from Big-O that Subaru's are complicated. It will be interesting to see if Subaru has different findings next week when I take it in. One thing I did find out (and not from my own dealership!) was that under the 3/36 warranty, you can get a complimentary adjustment (alignment) free of charge. I had been assuming all along that my Subaru shop would have -duh- brought it to my attention that there was an issue with treadwear on my vehicle. NOT THE CASE. It wasn't until I took it to Big-O about 6 months ago that they mentioned I had some 'Siping' in my tires. I never experienced ANY pulling and was assuming that those Geolanders were just wearing out since it is only a 34k mile tires (at best). Thanks again. Hopefully someone else who reads this will take their vehicle to the dealership and get their alignment checked while it is under warranty.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
WOW, I have never experienced this before...

So as the above post indicated, Big-O said I needed adjustable arms due to the rear wheels not being able to be adjusted to within specs.

I then just took the vehicle to my Subaru dealer. They put it on THEIR rack (I guess it just lifts it up from the ground). They found everything to be within specs!
They did a little bit of tweaking but found that there was NOTHING bent/wrong structurally with the vehicle.

I took it BACK to Big-O, and I showed them the new printout of the wheel alignment from Subaru. The Manager said it looked like Subaru did some 'tweaking' of the numbers!

Now I am standing there not know WHO to believe. They said they would put it back on their rack and SEE. Low and Behold, THIS time Big-O came pretty close to Subaru's numbers.

Soooo, after 25 years of going to Big-O for services, I asked for a refund on my 5 year alignment package ($200) - The owner, thankfully, was responsive to that and gave me the refund.

They never said they made a mistake or anything. They just said - 'watch for signs of uneven wear after 7-10k miles and only THEN will I know if Subaru was lying to me....

What a strange and disconcerting world we live in these days when no one wants to admit wrong-doing or take the responsibility for their work/deeds/'mistakes'?

:jackie-chan-meme-sm
 

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WoW. Just wow.

First BIG-O get it completely wrong (which made sense as you didn't 'feel' anything was wrong). Then they kind of said that the Subaru dealer did something funny to the numbers. Even after they verified the numbers on their equipment, they still think that the Subaru dealer lied. WoW.

I wonder if they even understand the logic of their argument if it turns out that the alignment really is off. How would Big-O explain that the second time showed that the alignment was correct?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
They couldn't - and didn't. But yet they never admitted that they made a mistake and/or their equipment was off.

That is why I will no longer go back to Big-O after more than 25 years of providing them business. Yes, W0W, Sad. Thank you for your comments.
 

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I wonder if the problem is based on the fact Subaru puts "Run-Flat" tires on the 2015 tires. Run-flat or zero-pressure tires can support the weight of a vehicle for a short time, providing the driver with about 100 miles of range to find a repair shop. You need to replace the tire with a "run-flat" tire otherwise, you will need some major adjustments to the vehicle. I wonder if that is the problem you are having?
 

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Ummm,what difference does it make what tires you are running when doing an alignment?Absolutely nothing,that's what.The only way a tire can effect the readings when doing an alignment is if the tires are not worn evenly or if the tires are mismatched.That's why they say to get the wheels,not tires,aligned after installing new tires as the OP did.Also,every competent car owner and/or tire shop knows that when replacing "a" tire,singular,especially on a Subaru,that you replace it with a tire that is exactly the same as the one being replaced.Yes,replacing one tire with one that's is not an exact match to the other three will cause a need for major adjustments.Adjustments such as,in a Subaru,a new drive train,or,as with any car,major body work because the odd ball tire caused you to lose control in adverse conditions and you crashed.So no,run flat tires have nothing to do with the OP's alignment issue.Because the Subaru dealer was able to get it right after big O could not and after Subaru adjusted it and big O confirmed they made the proper adjustments means that the tech at big O did something wrong the first time and got it right the 2nd time.
 

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Actually, I read where it does matter. If purchasing run-flat tires and adjustment needs to be made. Check with the Subaru dealership if you don't believe me.
 

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Where did you read that?If you read this then obviously the dealer didn't tell you this.If the dealer did tell you this then he's just trying to make more money for service that's not needed.When installing new tires,run flat or otherwise,you should always have the alignment checked,as the OP did,to insure you don't ruin a new set of tires because the suspension wasn't aligned properly.The only difference is that some run flat tires have some sort of inner liner as well as a much stiffer sidewall that doesn't collapse when deflated.If I still haven't convinced you then there's this fact.There's no way a new set of tires,run flat or not,can make it so the alignment can't be set properly on one machine,able to on another and then read good on the first one.It was clearly operator error by the tech at big O's that caused this issue which wasn't really an issue at all.At least not with the car.
 
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