: Front Strut Replace, Requires Alignment?
07-25-2006, 11:46 AM
So, at 6000 miles the drivers side front strut is leaking badly and requires replacement. Here is a question for those with the service manuals (haven't ordered one yet)..... does changing the strut require the camber to be reset by a front end alignment?
07-25-2006, 12:22 PM
Don't have the SM in front of me, but I wouldn't think so.
07-25-2006, 12:29 PM
Strut replacement should not cause an alignment shift. If it was a tie rod being replaced, that is another story. And that story was just experienced by me with my new Volvo SUV which had a tie rod recall, seems they were bending when too much weight was put on the SUV. Not to worry though, no reported deaths.:eek:
07-25-2006, 12:38 PM
Thanks for the input.
I forgot to look closer before dropping the truck off last night. I know on the VW stuff, the lower strut mount is also the camber adjustment via an eccentric bolt and replacement requires a realignment.
07-25-2006, 01:44 PM
I also had to have my right front stut assembly replaced back in June of 05and mine did require an alignment. When I picked up my RL after the strut was replaced the steering wheel was slightly off center and it pulled slightly to the left. The dealership acknowledged it and said they needed to do an alignment but after they put it on the machine and a group of about 5 techs gathered around it they came back and told me they didn't have the spec's yet for the Ridgelines and politely asked if I could bring it back in a week.
It was not real bad so I said no problem. No problems since then.:)
07-25-2006, 02:22 PM
I cant speak specifically for Honda, but factory alignments in general are notoriously poor. I would insist on a complementary computer alignment and also to have the print out after any major warranty suspension work. An alignment check after a few 1000 miles is always a good thing on any vehicle, especially when there is legitmate reason to have it covered under warrenty.
I had both struts replaced not due to leakage, but the boing issue. I cant say what the condition of the alignment was before any of the work was performed, but initial values after the struts were replaced out of spec. I dont know, haven't looked for marks, but I guess they could disassemble the suspension\connecting rods by pressing things out or by unscrewing connecting rods.
Poor wear patterns develop so fast on tires and they quickly become impossible to correct without shaving the tread, that in my opinion checking the alignment is always necessary. my 2 cents
07-26-2006, 09:23 AM
The strut was replaced... actually I'm not sure if it is a complete strut or an insert. No alignment was done but I insisted on a note on the work order specifying that an alignment was note done. The drive feel is the same as before but I doubt I would feel a small offset in camber.
thanks again for your input
07-26-2006, 01:03 PM
The service manual does recommend to check and adjust, if needed, the wheel alignment after strut installation.
And to the person who said factory alignments are notoriously bad - you must have been a GM, Ford, or Dodge person. I think the dynamic method of wheel alignment used at the Honda factories is superior to the static methods used in shops.
07-26-2006, 02:36 PM
Hello, I made the comment about factory alignments. Good call and I appreciate the confirmation that my previous experience doesn't necessarily apply to Honda. In my situation, both struts along with springs and all the various parts, top bearing, etc were replaced due to the boing issue. Didn't look closely enough at all the mounting hardware, but the strut assy as a whole was replaced. I was told this was the case, that they don't mess with rebuilding these(I do trust the local dealership mechanic) but I also did a through inspection before and after the work and can verify that everything, springs and all were shiny new, no waterspots, no nothing. After this amount of work, I did require an alignment.
07-27-2006, 11:28 AM
I cant speak specifically for Honda, but factory alignments in general are notoriously poor.
I agree. The RL is the first vehicle I've ever purchased that came properly aligned from the factory.
I followed my standard new-car procedure - offered to pay for the alignment check if all was good. Otherwise they would correct under warranty. Cost me about $40 but well worth it. They even invited me back while it was on the machine to talk with the tech, observe the readings, and compare to the specs myself.
07-27-2006, 12:14 PM
They even invited me back while it was on the machine to talk with the tech, observe the readings, and compare to the specs myself.
My dealership would never allow anyone "in the back" for insurance reasons and I can understand their stance. However, my dealer does let the techs come up front and talk with the customers and I always have them do this. If you mistrust your dealer, you might as well find another.
07-28-2006, 11:44 AM
I take that "you can't come back due to insurance regulations" with a grain of salt. Heck, they took us all for a half-hour tour of the repair area during the new owner's group orientation - they must have gotten special permission from their insurer for that, eh?
I didn't ask to go back, they invited me. They were justifyably proud of their new alignment machine and the fact that the RL was indeed in spec.
08-24-2006, 09:48 PM
After the long wait for the struts, my RT is finally fixed..struts wise. An alignment is defintely needed. The steering wheel is off center when going straight and pulling to the right when not handled. Next up for repair, front driver window rattle/noise....