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Only Tesla can do the alignment??

Discussion in 'Model 3: Driving Dynamics' started by cstork, Oct 14, 2020.

  1. cstork

    cstork Supporting Member

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    I got new tires and asked for an alignment. The tire shop said they can't do the alignment because they need the OEM scanner specific to the Tesla, which they don't have. They said to do the alignment at the Tesla SC. Anyone know anything about this? My model 3 is from Sept, 2018, VIN 059xxx.
     
  2. Need

    Need Active Member

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    Well I have "done" alignment on my Model 3. They told me that my alignment was slightly off in 2 of the wheels. They said I don't have to do alignment but they would recommend it, so I decided to do it. It is possible that they charged me for alignment and actually did not do anything and I really have no way to know. This was done at a Les Schwab tire center.
     
  3. EASpot

    EASpot Member

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    Had my M3 alignment here in SD. They did a good job. They use Hunter. So to answer your question, yeah it can be done.
     
  4. P3D-R

    P3D-R Member

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    That's BS, nothing special about aligning these cars. I've done many. In fact it's the first mod anyone should do on a brand new Tesla. Take delivery and go straight to an alignment shop to preserve your tires and improve range. Rarely have I ever seen a properly aligned Tesla come out of the factory and my shop is across the street. The only thing you have to do is remove the rear under paneling so some shops get lazy but just know you should be paying extra to align these cars. We charge $120 in Fremont for just toe but we are a specialty race shop. If someone thinks getting a lifetime alignment from Firestone pays off then more power to you. I have not experienced that. In fact I avoid franchise alignment shops at all costs. I'd rather support local race oriented mom and pop shops.
     
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  5. cstork

    cstork Supporting Member

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    #5 cstork, Oct 15, 2020
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2020
    I've called 4 alignment places in Denver, Colorado, and they call can't do the Tesla. 4 of them said they can't do it because of the lane departure info and the need to pay Tesla for the info. I took it to a 5th place who said yes, but then they said my M3 VIN was too old (105xxx)--they could only do newer VINs? ?!?
     
  6. davetm33

    davetm33 New Member

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    +1.. best to get your alignment done at a professional shop vs franchise alignment shops, the attention to detail and possibly higher standards will make a difference.
     
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  7. Dolemite

    Dolemite is my name

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    Alignment on the Model 3 is extremely straightforward.
     
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  8. Teedub21

    Teedub21 Member

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    While it may seem like a spaceship it really is just a car. Especially where the suspension is concerned. Any alignment shop can do it.
     
  9. cstork

    cstork Supporting Member

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    Funny how many people say "any shop can do the alignment" and all the shops say "we can't do the alignment on this car".......
     
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  10. HarleyW

    HarleyW Member

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    Maybe they just don't want to? Restricted access to parts and tech info could have something to do with it. That said the Model 3 at work has had it done twice from an independent shop. So I think they can but choose not to.
     
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  11. Dolemite

    Dolemite is my name

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    Because most shops are dumb, scared, don’t care, or don’t have the alignment specs in their system yet. The last one is fairly legitimate since they probably don’t want to deal with people bringing in specs they found on the internet.
     
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  12. XLR82XS

    XLR82XS D M C

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    Exactly. Really simple hardware.
     
  13. P3D-R

    P3D-R Member

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    OK looks like I'll have to start my youtube channel to show independent shops they need not be scared to work on the Model 3. lol. It's like a lego. If you clap your hands three times the whole car will take itself apart. lolz. But seriously, maybe we need to make a video showing shops how to remove the underpanels to access the toe only adjustments.
     
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  14. Dolemite

    Dolemite is my name

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    I think I heard Rich Rebuilds talking about fixing something relatively simple on his Audi RS7 and it took him ~9 hours to do... and followed-up w/ there was nothing that took that long on his Model S. Teslas are stupid simple cars. I had mine in pieces the second day of ownership without any manuals or anything - all using a flat-head screwdriver & 10 mm socket.

    The things that make these cars complex, we can't eff with anyway - all that stuff is modular/plug & play.
     
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  15. imola.zhp

    imola.zhp Member

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    Keep looking, when you find the right shop you'll know and the hunt will be worth it in the long run.
     
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  16. derotam

    derotam Member

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    That's a good point, any shop that says they "cant" do an alignment just because it is a Tesla, you probably don't want them doing anything to your car anyway.
     
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  17. P3D-R

    P3D-R Member

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    OK so for those facilities that are too cheap to update their alignment software you can simply give them the specs.

    Tesla calls for Toe out up front from the factory but I'd prefer you guys set it to zero toe up front. This way it will feel better under braking where it induces even more toe out.

    In the rear Tesla calls out for +0.20 degs per side. (+) is toe in btw so total toe of +0.40. While this might seem significant to many you must consider that the location of the toe arm in the rear, fore of the axle, means that it will toe out under compression. Considering all cars will have front end lift due to inertia and drag it will toe out under driving conditions and then under braking will want to help keep the car straight.

    Camber is slightly adjustable up front but requires the removal of the frunk and an intelligent tech who doesn't get frazzled.

    Front toe = zero, iirc tesla wants -0.05 but I just do zero.
    Rear toe = +0.20 per side, or +0.40 total toe

    That's basically factory spec. I have set mine up different and is always evolving based on my driving/testing needs.

    Personally I was able to equalize my front camber to meet at -1.0 degs per side at my current ride height. Factory caster at my ride height tends to be between +5.5 and +6.0degs. Again, not really adjustable so it's moot. At least this will let you know if your car has signs of subframe shifting or damage.

    I hope this helps.

    No issues with lane departure or anything. Our cars use cameras and not radar. Should be no issue.
     
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  18. P3D-R

    P3D-R Member

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    Yup, it's a freaking lego. If it wasn't Tesla wouldn't be profitable and our stocks wouldn't be worth a dime. lol.
     
  19. moridin2002

    moridin2002 Member

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    It's my understanding the car auto calibrates steering wheel position relative to straight for Autopilot. I need an alignment after hitting some nasty potholes and the steering wheel is now slightly to the right to keep the car straight. The car adjusted and learned that slight misalignment and goes into Autopilot just fine.
     
  20. TLLMRRJ

    TLLMRRJ Active Member

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    I did my own alignment on my Model 3 after Tesla SC and an shop that specializes in alignments couldn't get the steering wheel straight and the toe correct. I use special laser tool for the toe that is incredibly accurate, and a super accurate camber/caster tool.

    There's nothing that needs to be done with a scanner. The Tesla is self calibrating for the centering of the steering wheel. I have the actual Tesla Model 3 Shop Manual that confirms there's nothing that needs to be done to calibrate the car after an alignment.

    I went with specs very close to zero toe on the front and rear, and the car drives and brakes great. And with the toe set properly, my tires got a lot quieter. I was rubbing away tread with the toe settings those "pro" bozos had on my car.
     
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