This LRO reader emailed LRO.firstname.lastname@example.org to ask David Long about wheel alignment on his Land Rover Discovery 4.
I am hoping you can shed some light on a problem I have encountered regarding wheel alignment. I took my 2012 Discovery 4 HSE to a well-respected wheel alignment specialist because the steering wheel wasn’t level when travelling in a straight line: I’d also noticed some scrubbing on the tyres’ inside edges. I’ve taken the vehicle back to the main dealer several times to fix the steering wheel but they haven’t sorted it, saying it is a common fault with the D4.
The alignment check showed that some measurements were well outside of the specified range, in particular the front and rear camber angles, but they couldn’t adjust it because a ‘kit’ is required. How difficult is it to adjust the camber? I don’t want to spend money on new tyres if they’re going to wear quickly because of poor alignment.
Reg Goodrum, Nottingham
Not every alignment ‘specialist’ has the equipment to carry out accurate four-wheel alignments. Even if you find one that does, make sure it has experienced staff who know how to use the equipment properly. I’m not suggesting the company you’ve used falls in to this category, simply that you carry out checks rather than just assume everything is fine.
I know of tyre fitters who, without the necessary specialist knowledge, unknowingly round-of the adjusting egg shaped bolt/washers; the result is that the vehicle then can’t be aligned correctly unless these parts are replaced. If there’s any play in any of the bars or rods, or if the adjusting washers on the bolts are spinning or loose, alignment will certainly be out. Some Land Rover dealers will say there’s an ‘acceptable’ level of play, especially in the suspension arm bushes.
I say that any play will ultimately lead to premature wear on the edges of the tyres.
This workshop advice appeared in the August 2015 issue of LRO. Back issues are available to download on digital devices here.