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Author Topic: Towing alignment impact?  (Read 697 times)

Wasoki

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Towing alignment impact?
« on: March 21, 2017, 06:08:34 PM »
Our tow vehicle is a VW Jetta which is towed on a dolly.  The rear tires are showing uneven wear (more interior wear).  The local tire store says it is a matter of needing alignment of the rear (4 wheel alignment).  Given that the the car has about 24,000 miles on it, the tires were rotated once, and the rear wheels have an additional 10,000 miles, I was wondering if the uneven wear was possibly a result of dolly towing.

Anyone have any thoughts?
Jim Sullivan
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WASOKI
(We Are Spending Our Kids Inheritance)

Utclmjmpr

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Re: Towing alignment impact?
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2017, 07:05:44 PM »
  If your rear axle had a toe in problem ,towing on a dolly would "help",,,if a toe out problem it would worsen and wear the insides of the tires.>>>Dan
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Towing alignment impact?
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2017, 08:04:54 PM »
That's a tough call. It could, but I would not automatically assume that the dolly is responsible.

The nose up attitude of dolly towing does transfer some weight to the rear axle, so it would tend to exacerbate any alignment problem there. However, it's probably no different than the weight difference when you carry rear seat passengers.

Is the Jettas steering wheel either locked or unlocked, whichever is required for your brand of dolly?  That can make a difference in tire scuffing while under tow. Be sure you follow the dolly makers instructions on that.
Gary
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Old_Crow

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Re: Towing alignment impact?
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2017, 06:01:56 AM »
So, 24k driving, and 10k towing and only one tire rotation?  I think you answered your own question. 
I rotate my toad's tires every other oil change.
Wally Crow
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scottydl

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Re: Towing alignment impact?
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2017, 07:40:41 AM »
So, 24k driving, and 10k towing and only one tire rotation?  I think you answered your own question. 
I rotate my toad's tires every other oil change.

Not sure about the OP, but 24k driving would be every other oil change for me.  ;)  I used full synthetic oil rated for 10k-15k miles.

I do believe though that conventional tire care recommends rotations every 5k miles, which could fit into the oil change calculation if you follow the 3k mile intervals.

An alignment and rotation is about the best thing to try at this point.  With the front tires moved to the rear, you can then see if any uneven wear shows up in the 5-10k miles.  If it doesn't (show up), then the alignment will have apparently solved the problem.
Scott, wife, 3 boys... and the dog
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Wasoki

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Re: Towing alignment impact?
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2017, 08:47:33 AM »
Thanks for the replies.

Oil change interval on the Jetta is 10,000.  I may have misspoke about the rotation.  The dealer took care of one at 5000 mi and I did the one at 15000.  The anticipated rotation at 25000 lead to the discovery of the issue.

We don't treat the car as a trailer to haul things while towing, just the tailgater dish, so weight shouldn't be a problem.

I will do the alignment and see what happens with the front tires moved back.


Jim Sullivan
Newmar Canyon Star 3710
WASOKI
(We Are Spending Our Kids Inheritance)

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Towing alignment impact?
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2017, 09:38:29 AM »
I wasn't suggesting that the Jetta is overweight.  I was pointing out that dolly towing puts a greater percentage of the weight on the rear axle, versus what a typical Jetta has when driven with all 4 wheels on the pavement and passengers in the front seat only. That can introduce a different wear pattern. The alignment of a fully loaded vehicle is always different than a lightly loaded one, and it may be that the Jetta's rear axle is somewhat sensitive to weight changes. And if the rear axle alignment is near the spec limit in normal driving, the dolly effect might push it into "unusual wear" territory.
Gary
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RVRAC

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Re: Towing alignment impact?
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2017, 07:21:56 PM »
My wife has a 2015 Jetta Diesel. I believe last time I checked the manual, it says that it should not be towed for more than 50 miles at no more than 50 mph.  I think it has to do with the how the axle work.  I cannot double check as it is in WI and we are in TX.  But checked the manual. Have you tried to contact VW?  Hope I am wrong.
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Old_Crow

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Re: Towing alignment impact?
« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2017, 05:12:12 AM »
Just to be clear.  I used to run Mobil One in the YJ, and my change intervals were at about 4k miles, so I rotate about every 8k.  The YJ is up for sale with 373k on it, uses one quart between changes, and the current tires have around 40k driving and about 10k towed with about 50% tread left.
My new-to-me TJ will be getting the same treatment, as does my coach.

I've been in the business for 40 years, and I don't believe in 10k oil change intervals.
Wally Crow
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'03 Jeep Wrangler Sahara

John From Detroit

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Re: Towing alignment impact?
« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2017, 07:36:36 AM »
I would say rear wheel wear being uneven is NOT the result of dolly towing but of something else.

I am afraid I'm not up on that car so can't say what,, but the rear wheels are supposed to be parallel. now if the vehilce is a rear engine, or Front wheel drive (either one) the rears do require alignment to insure they are parallel.

There are two types of rear alignment.. one insures they are parallel. the other that they are also straight ahead.   That's the one you want, the more expensive one (Naturally)

Short story about "The more expensive one"
Needed to replace a U-Joint.. turns out I had two different ones that fit that vehicle.. I took the more expensive one.. it fit.. (The less expensive one would not have)  One of Murphy's laws.
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Towing alignment impact?
« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2017, 07:54:24 AM »
Front drive vehicles like the Jetta typically do not have solid axles at the rear. They typically use a multi-link, trailing arm design that is more subject to alignment problems than a rear drive solid axle.

In my opinion, rotating tires is largely unnecessary on modern vehicles unless there is some known condition that causes uneven tire wear.  Rotation  distributes uneven wear that cannot otherwise be corrected in any practical way. There are situations where rotating is a wise choice, but it doesn't need to be a standard practice for all vehicles and driving conditions. As always, your mileage may vary...
Gary
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aquadave

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Re: Towing alignment impact?
« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2017, 08:41:03 AM »
towing is hard on a vehicle, Buy a trailer eliminate all those problems

 

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