Rear alignment was out on new Prius but dealer didn't tell me!

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by sorka, Apr 8, 2011.

  1. sorka

    sorka Active Member

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    I had my alignment checked when my new prius was 3 months old with only 10K miles on it. The reason I had it checked at the dealer was because since day one the car would hunt and never follow truly straight line. The dealer checked the alignment, told me it was fine, and that what I was experiencing was normal for a Prius.

    I was an idiot for not looking at the alignment sheet. I didn't even realize it was attached to the back of the invoice. After putting on my third set of tires within 58K miles, I went back and looked and realized the sheet was there and was amazed to see that the rear alignment was out 2.5 year ago on my brand new Prius and the dealer never told. There's a warning at the bottom that says tire wear, handling and safety problems may result.

    You can see from the sheet the right rear toe was out of the maximum range of 0.17 inches (about 0.8 degrees, so this isn't a trivial amount).

    Should they have told me? Is there anything I can do now?


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  2. xs650

    xs650 Senior Member

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    Sounds like you have a piece of paper from the dealer saying your wheel alignment is out of spec and should be fixed. The dealership did tell you and you and they have the paper to prove it.

    I don't doubt that whoever you talked to mislead you ,either out of ignorance or dishonesty, but the paper trail trumps your memory of what the guy told you.:eek:

    You could try talking nice to the service manager and ask for Toyota to fix the alignment because of the circumstances even though the alignment part of the warranty is long past. You have no leverage here, so that probably won't work.

    A good alignment shop can install a tapered shim at the rear wheel to correct the alignment. It will take about 1/2 hour labor and $15-$20 in parts above a normal 4 wheel alignment check.

    If the dealer won't fix it, find a good alignment shop. Before you pay to have an alignment done, ask them how they adjust the rear alignment and if they don't say tapered shim or special shims, look for another place.

    It would help if you said where you are. Someone might be able to recommend a shop.
     
  3. sorka

    sorka Active Member

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    Except that the writeup and summary done by the service adviser clearly says the alignment is within spec completely contradicting the actual printout.
     
  4. xs650

    xs650 Senior Member

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    It would have helped if you had said you had that in writing.:eek:

    That's to your advantage and should give you a little leverage with the dealership.
     
  5. sorka

    sorka Active Member

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    I'm going to head over there today and talk to the service manager in person. Hopefully they'll decide to help out before I call Toyota directly.
     
  6. voltoy

    voltoy Junior Member

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    On my 2005 Prius, the rear alignment was out when I replaced the tires at 26K. Dealer told me that there was no adjustment, so I had them contact the factory rep, and get authorization to replace the whole rear assembly. They did!

    My argument was that if there were no adjustments, then it must have been made incorrectly from the factory.

    Hope this helps.
     
  7. donee

    donee New Member

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    Hi All,

    The rear alignment on Prius cars can be adjusted with shims between the wheel mounting flange and the hub flange. The mechanics know about it, usually, its just not profitable for them to make them. There may be shim kits now, third party. Toyota just says to replace the rear axle, which is a little rediculous. When a few pieces of die cut metal would resolve the problem.

    There are some experts on this issue here on PC. Who can take your alignment info and generate a shim list (thickness and position).
     
  8. David Beale

    David Beale Senior Member

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    The dealer is correct in that Toyota says the rear alignment is not adjustable.
    He should have told you it was out, but probably didn't want the trouble that would have caused.
    I'd get it shimmed by a -real- alignment shop, then present the bill to the dealer. If they don't pay you, take them to small claims court. With the paper trail you have, they will loose.
     
  9. sktn77a

    sktn77a Member

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    You're wasting your time at the dealer. Toyota have never aligned read wheels - if they were out within the first 12,000 miles, they would replace the rear axle beam. After that, you're on your own - they consider that "normal wear and tear". Go to an alignment shop and have them shim it back into spec. And next time:

    1. Carefully read the service summary you get back from the dealer,
    2. Don't believe them when they say something is fine unless they show you!

    :(
     
  10. sorka

    sorka Active Member

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    I know I know. I'm the one always telling everyone *else* that :(
     
  11. Skoorbmax

    Skoorbmax Senior Member

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    IF you have written conflicting reports I think you have leverage. Otherwise, no.
     
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