Do I need an alignment? - 2004 to 2016 Mazda 3 Forum and Mazdaspeed 3 Forums
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-21-2017, 03:32 PM Thread Starter
rmajor
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Do I need an alignment?

Hey guys, quick question:

Do I/ should I get an alignment done every time swap wheels/ tires? Ie. Going from winter wheels to summer setup.

I'm on eibach springs. Got an alignment done after those were installed last spring.

Summer setup: enkei raijins 18*8 40et with Conti dw's. 225/40/18

Winter setup: stock Mazda 16" alloys with winter rubber 205/60/16

Thanks.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-21-2017, 03:40 PM
arathol
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No. Not unless you think there is a problem.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-21-2017, 04:03 PM Thread Starter
rmajor
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arathol View Post
No. Not unless you think there is a problem.
No I don't think there is it more of a preventative tire wear precaution. Just wasn't sure.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-21-2017, 08:12 PM
Road Trip
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arathol View Post
No. Not unless you think there is a problem.
Totally agree with @arathol . Alignments are only needed rarely after a tire/wheel switch. Here's the process I do to determine those rare occurrences.

I take each tire off (again regarding a winter-to-summer wheel/tire switch and reverse), and then mark each tire inside with a grease pencil as to the location from where I took it off and the mileage at that point. I visually inspect the tire closely, then run my fingers side-to-side also front-to-back along the outside and inside tire tread to see if I can feel any unusual wear patterns (our fingers are much more sensitive to uneven wear than are our eyes). Almost all of the time, I find nothing wrong, and just put them aside for the next season they will get used, but inflating each one to 40 PSI to avoid flat spotting while they are on vacation.

If I find or feel anything unsual, again rarely, I have my alignment checked by a professional alignment shop I trust. I have traded with them for years and if they find all "within specs," there is no charge, but almost all the time I take a set in, they confirm an alignment is necessary on at least one corner.

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Last edited by Road Trip; 02-21-2017 at 08:30 PM.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-21-2017, 10:36 PM Thread Starter
rmajor
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Road Trip View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by arathol View Post
No. Not unless you think there is a problem.
Totally agree with @arathol . Alignments are only needed rarely after a tire/wheel switch. Here's the process I do to determine those rare occurrences.

I take each tire off (again regarding a winter-to-summer wheel/tire switch and reverse), and then mark each tire inside with a grease pencil as to the location from where I took it off and the mileage at that point. I visually inspect the tire closely, then run my fingers side-to-side also front-to-back along the outside and inside tire tread to see if I can feel any unusual wear patterns (our fingers are much more sensitive to uneven wear than are our eyes). Almost all of the time, I find nothing wrong, and just put them aside for the next season they will get used, but inflating each one to 40 PSI to avoid flat spotting while they are on vacation.

If I find or feel anything unsual, again rarely, I have my alignment checked by a professional alignment shop I trust. I have traded with them for years and if they find all "within specs," there is no charge, but almost all the time I take a set in, they confirm an alignment is necessary on at least one corner.
Thanks for the great reply. I'll keep this in mind when I swap out my winters for summers next month.
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