Question about 2000 Ford Focus

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Persistent Wheel Alignment Problem

2000 Focus SE 4dr has had three separate 4 wheel alignments and the shop noted no structural issues. However it consistently "chews up" one of the four tires. Serious scuffing occurs. Just took back from daughter after her using it 6 years. Incredible howling at speed and rumble/vibration low speed. Was a long 120 mile trip home last night! This morning I looked over the tires and see it's the driver's side front this time. Tire has about 3/8 inch deep angled scuff pattern across tire tread surface.
It also feels like the suspension in front is being restricted. When hitting a bump I can feel torque in steering wheel and their is limited compression of front end.
Any ideas on what's been missed by the pros? Any ideas on what has been in this vehicle for the past 112,000 miles? I purchased it with 19,000 and it now has 132,000 miles. I've replaced two sets of winter tires and 3 sets of summer. Each set had three usable tires and one that was just destroyed with similar wear pattern as displayed today.
The last identified tire location with the perverse wear was passenger rear. Now it's driver front. The interim locations were not noted/identified.
Any ideas are encouraged.
Would like to correct it and use it for a few miles myself. Daughter is happy to be in her first new to her rig a 2005 Jeep Cherokee. I'm happy she's out of this Focus! The drive home last night was not good!

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  • jamieleebush Feb 14, 2009

    I have the same problem... I have to put new tires on constantly. My driver side rear tire gets chewed up non-stop. I was told that my camber was negative to give better performance on the road. That if I made sure to have regular (every 3k to 5k) wheel rotation and balance that the problem wouldn't be so problematic. 

  • KnucklesDrag Feb 14, 2009

    chuck943 thanks for considering the problem.
    I share your thoughts on strut age and condition concerns. That's why I'm here with the Problem description. The shocks/struts are due for replacement and here I am thinking back of the tire costs and the present howling/rumbling of this thing going down the road.
    Do I sink any more money into this thing?
    Shocks, struts, wheel bearings, control arms, tie rod ends, sway bar linkage pads, 4 wheel align, another set of tires, cv joints?
    All items could be due for change and then I have this nagging review of the car's history, this So Far Mysterious appetite the unit has for Rubber Products!
    But she is a lady - only chews on one tire per meal. She could be a hog and chew em all up.

    Appointment scheduled Monday morning to have it put on lift and onto 4 wheel alignment plates to assess the present condition.

    I'll post the results of the undercar inspection.



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I have had a problem like this before. Only one tire at a time would get chewed up and it would move around and be at different positions on the vehicle. Alignements didn't help, nor did shocks or wheel balancing, although typically that is the problem.

Finally found that one rim was slightly bent, which of course explains why the problem would be at different locations on the vehicle, since the Tires were Rotated and therefore the problem rim constantly moved. Damn cheap steel wheels and curbs don't get along too well.

Posted on May 22, 2009

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Hard to tell here without seeing some kinda specs from your alignments. There were some issues on rear tire wear on these. It was mainly inner wear on rear tires and the rear camber specs were beyond the negative end of the specifications(max -2.3). They had a revised +1.0 degree upper control arm to address that. If you are not feeling any rebound in the travel you could have a worn or damaged strut,with this many miles that is certainly a possibility.

Posted on Feb 12, 2009


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