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  #1  
Old 11-23-2011, 01:26 AM
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Alignment Question / Help Needed

I recently changed out my run flats for Continental ExtremeContact DWS on my 2012 X5 35d (with 20-inch wheel option). After changing the tires, I noticed my vehicle has been pulling/drifting to the right.

Based on the advice of some well respected people, I decided to get the alignment checked at a trusted shop. The shop confirmed the alignment was very slightly off (but within spec) and adjusted it slightly. Even after the adjustments, the car still pulls/drifts to the right, and I feel like I have to turn the wheel ever so slightly to the left, just to go in a straight line on the freeway.

I'm debating whether or not to go to the dealer and insist they check the alignment. On the basis that the car has only 650 miles, this should be covered. Even if it is not covered, I'm confident I can cause enough of a scene to get it done for free. Obviously, I'm not going to mention that I already had it checked, since they will obviously blame the other shop.

I've attached an image showing the before and after specs of the alignment (top half is the before, bottom half is after) and would welcome comments. Any help would be much appreciated. I'm having a very hard time making any sense of the numbers, and want to make sure the shop didn't actually make things worse rather than better.

PS: I have checked all the tire pressures and they are normal.
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  #2  
Old 11-23-2011, 02:07 AM
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I've noticed mine do the same thing, but I'm pretty sure it's the way the road is cambered.
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Old 11-23-2011, 02:14 AM
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Cool

I have the very same problem. After installing winter tires the car started to drift to the right, and teh steering wheel is inclined slightly to the left. Alignment is checked and ok. The dealer blames tires, but I am not sure it is the case
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Old 11-23-2011, 02:18 AM
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Can anyone comment on the specs in the image above. Did the shop improve things or make them worse?
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Old 11-23-2011, 02:52 AM
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If I'm reading your alignment sheet right, the after is way out of spec for every measurement. The numbers above, and the arrow bars below, the actual measurements, are the spec range, and your final measurements are all out of spec. That's why the fat bars are all red and the black line on the narrow bars are all in the red also. You need to find a different alignment shop and go get a refund for this alignment.

Edit: the only I thing they got right is the thrust angle (the bottom, middle measurement).
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Old 11-23-2011, 03:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boyce89976 View Post
If I'm reading your alignment sheet right, the after is way out of spec for every measurement. The numbers above, and the arrow bars below, the actual measurements, are the spec range, and your final measurements are all out of spec. That's why the fat bars are all red and the black line on the narrow bars are all in the red also. You need to find a different alignment shop and go get a refund for this alignment.

Edit: the only I thing they got right is the thrust angle (the bottom, middle measurement).
I thought the same thing, however, the guy at the shop did tell me to ignore the red. He told me the actual measurements were correct and in spec for my car, but the spec ranges on the printout were actually for a 2010 X6. I guess they didn't have the specs in their system yet? Regardless, this did nothing for my confidence also.

The guy only charged me $65, as he admitted it was still pulling to the right even after they were done. I got the impression, in spite of numerous recommendations, that they were clueless.

So, seeing as we are all confused, what should I do now?
1) Go to the dealer and see what they say
2) Go to another alignment shop and get them to look at it

Assuming I go with either option, I'm going to get my $65 back. I paid with AMEX, so if he refuses (unlikely) I will just dispute the charge.

If I choose option 2, how do I find a reputable place? I was thinking of giving one of these places a try:
Southwest Alignment - Automobile Alignment
DriverSource : Fine Motorcars | Houston, TX

Thoughts?

Last edited by Matt_UKTX; 11-23-2011 at 03:31 AM.
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Old 11-23-2011, 09:40 AM
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If your car ran straight before the new tires, it has to be the tires. I had to return my new Contis because of the same problem. The Michelin Latitudes I then installed, tracked perfectly straight. I think the Contis have some kind of issue, since I've seen threads like this numerous times now.
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Old 11-23-2011, 11:08 AM
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Matt,

The numbers actually do not look bad in your alignment sheet. They improved some of the settings: LR Camber and Toe.

BUT, without knowing the BMW specs for a 2012 X5, this exercise is kind of pointless.

As for a shop in Houston, I don't know many, but I do that Bavarian Specialties does top-notch work: Bavarian Machine Specialties - exclusively BMW service, parts and performance since 1980

Good luck!
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Old 11-23-2011, 01:02 PM
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UPDATE: I e-mailed Steve Ott at Drivers Source in Houston. They are a shop specializing in high end autos. I got his contact info from the forums. He seemed to really know his stuff and said he was confident he could fix it - emailing me back right away and following up with a call - very professional. He looked at the specs and actually said the shop could have made things worse. He also commented that he had never seen a spec sheet like that.

Anyway, I felt comfortable with the guy so I have left the car there for him to look at. He said that the problem may be resoved (after the alignment is put back to spec) by swaping the a wheel or two from left to right. Sometimes tires don't track perfectly, even when the specs indicate they should.

I'm going to ask for my money back from the other place, once I have the updated print outs showing the alignment was out of spec.

Drivers Source was a little more expensive ($140), but they do pickup and delivery and were also able to fit me in today, even though they have a backlog. I'll let you know how my experience works out. Fingers crossed...

BTW, I seriously doubt it's a set of bad tires. There may be one or two people that have issues, but given the waitlist to get these tires and their glowing reviews/popularity, I doubt they are bad. Possible, but unlikely...
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Old 11-23-2011, 01:53 PM
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I commented over at bimmerfest....

I'm going to try and find specs to post here....

A
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