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I accidentally drove my right rear wheel over a curb (at very slow speed) the other day, and now I'm noticing that the steering wheel sets itself very slightly to the right. Can any alignment shop handle this car or do I need to go back to my (awful) dealer?
 

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Discussion Starter #22
I accidentally drove my right rear wheel over a curb (at very slow speed) the other day, and now I'm noticing that the steering wheel sets itself very slightly to the right. Can any alignment shop handle this car or do I need to go back to my (awful) dealer?
If it is an alignment issue, any good front end shop will be able to handle it as a routine alignment.

I've been told by other Porsche owners that these cars go out of alignment very easily. I don't know if that's true or not, but this may become part of my annual maintenance routine.
 

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If it is an alignment issue, any good front end shop will be able to handle it as a routine alignment.

I've been told by other Porsche owners that these cars go out of alignment very easily. I don't know if that's true or not, but this may become part of my annual maintenance routine.
Okay, thanks!
 

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I accidentally drove my right rear wheel over a curb (at very slow speed) the other day, and now I'm noticing that the steering wheel sets itself very slightly to the right. Can any alignment shop handle this car or do I need to go back to my (awful) dealer?
The car needs to be aligned. I would recommend a dealer but if the one you have near you is awful and you prefer to not use the dealer then you'll have to search out an indy that knows these cars.

My experience with indy alignment shops -- with the exception of one -- is they suck. I wouldn't trust one to align my wheelbarrow.

Anyhow, I brushed a curb with the right rear tire of my Boxster not hard enough to scuff the wheel (thank goodness) and not even hard enough to really mark the tire sidewall, but afterwards the right rear tire wore unevenly. Not bad but noticeable.

At new tire time and given the wear patterns of the tires I had the car aligned and the right rear toe was out.

Absent doing what you did, and I did, and avoiding bumping the front tires against the parking lot curb stone and such my experience is with my Porsches they do not go out of alignment all that easily.

While I would not recommend it I've hit a few potholes so bad and so hard that had me fearing a tire or even a wheel would be ruined and of course the alignment affected but the tire, the wheel, and the alignment were unfazed and unaffected.
 

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The car needs to be aligned. I would recommend a dealer but if the one you have near you is awful and you prefer to not use the dealer then you'll have to search out an indy that knows these cars.

My experience with indy alignment shops -- with the exception of one -- is they suck. I wouldn't trust one to align my wheelbarrow.

Anyhow, I brushed a curb with the right rear tire of my Boxster not hard enough to scuff the wheel (thank goodness) and not even hard enough to really mark the tire sidewall, but afterwards the right rear tire wore unevenly. Not bad but noticeable.

At new tire time and given the wear patterns of the tires I had the car aligned and the right rear toe was out.

Absent doing what you did, and I did, and avoiding bumping the front tires against the parking lot curb stone and such my experience is with my Porsches they do not go out of alignment all that easily.
Funny, I just got back from getting it aligned at a (not particularly high end) tire shop that happened to be open today. When it was on the machine the guy showed me that the alignment was way off (and maybe not just from my "curb expedition," but possibly since delivery). Driving the car afterwards it still seems a tiny bit weird, in that when I take my hands off the wheel it seems to track nice and straight, but now the wheel seems to be turned the tiniest little bit to the left rather than to the right; however, it's so slight I'm not sure if perhaps it's an optical illusion. If it still doesn't seem right when I drive it again next weekend, I guess I'll bring it in to a Porsche specialist.
 

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Funny, I just got back from getting it aligned at a (not particularly high end) tire shop that happened to be open today. When it was on the machine the guy showed me that the alignment was way off (and maybe not just from my "curb expedition," but possibly since delivery). Driving the car afterwards it still seems a tiny bit weird, in that when I take my hands off the wheel it seems to track nice and straight, but now the wheel seems to be turned the tiniest little bit to the left rather than to the right; however, it's so slight I'm not sure if perhaps it's an optical illusion. If it still doesn't seem right when I drive it again next weekend, I guess I'll bring it in to a Porsche specialist.
I'm surprised that some people are having problems with alignments since they aren't that difficult to do. I always have my tires balanced and wheels aligned by the Porsche dealer because I have confidence that they won't damage my wheels when the tires are balanced. Otherwise, I would think that any tire shop should be able to do a correct alignment, but apparently I'm mistaken.
 

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Discussion Starter #27
I'm surprised that some people are having problems with alignments since they aren't that difficult to do. I always have my tires balanced and wheels aligned by the Porsche dealer because I have confidence that they won't damage my wheels when the tires are balanced. Otherwise, I would think that any tire shop should be able to do a correct alignment, but apparently I'm mistaken.
You're not mistaken. Any competent shop with decent equipment can do an accurate alignment on any car. Porsche is no different than any other car.
 

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If you do a search you'll learn that out of spec (sometimes way out of spec) factory alignment is not uncommon. You have a limited period of time after delivery to have the car properly aligned under warranty. It may be manifested in excessive/unequal tire wear without any obvious street handling problems and so may not be discovered until after the free alignment period has expired.
I also asked the dealer when I took delivery of my custom ordered R about the alignment. I also received the same story- 'they are rarely out of alignment from the factory.'

I really don't know why a good dealer wouldn't spend 15' to check it. Better to keep the customer happy, than deal with warranty issues when the tires are abnormally worn. :crazy:

John
 

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I also asked the dealer when I took delivery of my custom ordered R about the alignment. I also received the same story- 'they are rarely out of alignment from the factory.'

I really don't know why a good dealer wouldn't spend 15' to check it. Better to keep the customer happy, than deal with warranty issues when the tires are abnormally worn. :crazy:

John
Probably because Porsche wouldn't pay for it. Virtually every tire dealership offers a free alignment check, but they only get paid if they do an alignment. It would be interesting to see if someone who just had their wheels aligned would then take their car to another dealer for the free alignment check. I wouldn't be surprised if some dealers would recommend another alignment, but maybe that's just the cynic in me.
 

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Funny, I just got back from getting it aligned at a (not particularly high end) tire shop that happened to be open today. When it was on the machine the guy showed me that the alignment was way off (and maybe not just from my "curb expedition," but possibly since delivery). Driving the car afterwards it still seems a tiny bit weird, in that when I take my hands off the wheel it seems to track nice and straight, but now the wheel seems to be turned the tiniest little bit to the left rather than to the right; however, it's so slight I'm not sure if perhaps it's an optical illusion. If it still doesn't seem right when I drive it again next weekend, I guess I'll bring it in to a Porsche specialist.
The alignment probably is good without driver but with driver there are extra weight on the left so your car will pull slightly to the left. Also check the road as most road will incline a little for drainage so in the slow lane you will pull right and fast lane you will pull left.

I brought my car to "West End Alignment" here in SoCal and the shop aligns the car with you sitting in the car so it's perfect.
 

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Funny, I just got back from getting it aligned at a (not particularly high end) tire shop that happened to be open today. When it was on the machine the guy showed me that the alignment was way off (and maybe not just from my "curb expedition," but possibly since delivery). Driving the car afterwards it still seems a tiny bit weird, in that when I take my hands off the wheel it seems to track nice and straight, but now the wheel seems to be turned the tiniest little bit to the left rather than to the right; however, it's so slight I'm not sure if perhaps it's an optical illusion. If it still doesn't seem right when I drive it again next weekend, I guess I'll bring it in to a Porsche specialist.
Way off is relative. The dealers have alignment machines that have the alignment programs for every model stored. The operator brings up the program the settings are displayed and following the proper procedure he brings performs the alignment.

This involves revisiting various settings as changing one setting can affect another.

I always get -- except for the times I've gotten a bad alignment -- the before and after printout of the alignment settings.

In the case of the shop you don't know what his basis was for stating the alignment was off.

Also, you have no way of knowing what the settings are.

Even if the alignment is ok there are a couple of things to note. Be sure the tire pressures are correct. These should have been checked/set before the alignment.

Be sure you give yourself enough time to acclimate to the car and the various roads you travel upon. Given the road surface contour my cars can pull in either direction or otherwise act strange enough I've pulled over suspecting a flat tire.

Depending upon how much the alignment was out and how many miles you drove with it out the tires can have taken an odd shape due to abnormal wear. In this case the alignment can be subpar simply because the shape of the tires is not conducive to a better alignment outcome.

Last, some shops adhere to the old school way and dial in a bit of misalignment to reduce the amount of correction one must apply when driving on roads that are severely crowned down and to the right. Years ago this was common but nowadays with newer roads less crown is used and the on multi-lane highways the lanes can be crowned in the other direction. I always insist that no alignment adjustment be made to compensate for road crown.
 

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Way off is relative. The dealers have alignment machines that have the alignment programs for every model stored. The operator brings up the program the settings are displayed and following the proper procedure he brings performs the alignment.

This involves revisiting various settings as changing one setting can affect another.

I always get -- except for the times I've gotten a bad alignment -- the before and after printout of the alignment settings.

In the case of the shop you don't know what his basis was for stating the alignment was off.

Also, you have no way of knowing what the settings are.

Even if the alignment is ok there are a couple of things to note. Be sure the tire pressures are correct. These should have been checked/set before the alignment.

Be sure you give yourself enough time to acclimate to the car and the various roads you travel upon. Given the road surface contour my cars can pull in either direction or otherwise act strange enough I've pulled over suspecting a flat tire.

Depending upon how much the alignment was out and how many miles you drove with it out the tires can have taken an odd shape due to abnormal wear. In this case the alignment can be subpar simply because the shape of the tires is not conducive to a better alignment outcome.

Last, some shops adhere to the old school way and dial in a bit of misalignment to reduce the amount of correction one must apply when driving on roads that are severely crowned down and to the right. Years ago this was common but nowadays with newer roads less crown is used and the on multi-lane highways the lanes can be crowned in the other direction. I always insist that no alignment adjustment be made to compensate for road crown.
These are interesting points, Rockster... Thanks. I did see the guy first check the tire pressures and his machine did say "2013 Boxster S." I'll drive it some more this weekend and see how it feels. Again, when I take my hands off the wheel the car does seem to track quite straight-- it's just that the wheel itself now sometimes seems to be rotated the tiniest little bit to the left (and I do mean "tiny").
 

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So I'm finding that while the car tracks almost perfectly straight, the steering wheel is still around one degree pointed to the left. (I mean it's a tiny amount, but still noticeable.) I called what is probably the top independent Porsche shop here in New York City and he told me that on these electric steering cars it's almost impossible to get the steering wheel re-aligned 100% straight on, even with the chassis itself in perfect alignment; he thus said I'd be wasting my money trying to get that rid of that one degree of steering wheel offset. Have any of you guys heard this before?
 

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Getting alignment done was one of the things someone suggested in the taking delivery thread so I asked my SA about it. She said that the dealer techs check the car/take it for a ride and if the alignment is off they will do one, if its fine then they don't touch it.
That was probably me. I did alignment right upon car arrival and it was spot on, I have the printouts...somewhere. But I would not mechanics butt to check the alignment. They have better tools now :)
 
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