Alignment Issues and Discussions

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Well-known member
Dec 6, 2011
Tacoma area, WA
Ok gang, I'm past 6600 miles now and am seeing feathering on the outside leading edge of my front tires. :? (Rounded rear edge of the tread block, sharp, extended front edge, the edge that makes first contact with the road.) It's most pronounced on the drivers' side, ans most of my miles are solo. That outside corner is going to look like a sick goldfish pretty soon.

Feathering like that's usually a sign of excess toe-in, eh? Could also be hard cornering, which may be exacerbated by the tall skinny tires. I drive some twisty hills every day.
I'm also running 60 psi, which would make the tire 'stand on it's corner' more during a turn.

Anybody else seeing such? The rears are looking great. Of course, no rotations have been done.
Sounds like an alignment problem; more than inflation issues? If it is on both front tires, on their outside edges, then it sounds like a toe-in problem. Or, maybe a slipped belt in the tire, if it is only on one side?

High inflation would cause a bulge in the center of the tread, not an asymmetrical feathering. High inflation of steel belted radials almost never causes any issues directly.

Having said that, I'd try dropping the pressure to 50PSI (if the sidewall max is 51?), as I think there is diminishing returns of rolling resistance, and you would lower the risk of damaging the tire.
I really doubt it's a toe problem . . . . unless you've hit something and thrown the alignment off - These cars are set up with next to no toe to reduce rolling resistance

The car does tend to understeer a bit, probably partly due to the front end being light and the tires so narrow, compund that with agressive driving in the twisties and 60 psi in the tires which doesn't allow them to flex and I think you've created the 'perfect storm' for tire wear. If you don't want to change what's causing it, I think your only solution is to buy new tires every 10K or so

jray3 said:
Ok gang, I'm past 6600 miles now and am seeing feathering on the outside leading edge of my front tires. :? (Rounded rear edge of the tread block, sharp, extended front edge, the edge that makes first contact with the road.)
Feathering like that's usually a sign of excess toe-in, eh? Could also be hard cornering

Anybody else seeing such? The rears are looking great.

I saw the exact same wear last week, only I am seeing it over the entire surface of the tread. My mileage is at 6700 right now. I am running at 40psi.
It was bad enough that I noted it on the concerns of Mitsubishi's customer survey that I received by email.
Thanks for the bad news corroroboration, John. One typo- I'm only running 50 psi (48 on this chilly Seattle morn).
I'm bringing the pressure down to 45, based also on the percentage load that's on the tire (about 680 lb of 780 lb capacity). Am also rotating side-side. (Yeah, if this were science-tiffic I'd only change one variable.)
Don't know if rotating them will do you much good - The outside edge will still be the outside edge, just turning the opposite direction so it may make it feather the other way

A better solution might be to wear them to about 40% and then dismount them from the wheels and install the tires on the opposite wheels . . . . that way your worn outside edge would then be on the inside and they would be turning the same direction again

Yep Don, that reverse remount will be on the option block. I went ahead with the rotation because the feathering was bad enough to start a bit of chunking/tearing on the sharp edges. Time to reverse that. Another thing I noticed when rotating the tires was that the rubber seems softer than I'd expect on a LRR tire- perhaps a high silicone compound. A shard of glass had buried itself deeply in a tread block without getting started in any sort of groove. There's lots of pebbles stuck in the grooves, but I haven't seen any glass penetrate solid rubber and stay there in quite a long time... (not since I was in the glass recycling business 15 years back!)
HI Joe,
Could it be the really good turning circle causeing it ? with the ability to turn tightly, it could scrub more than say if still using the same amount of turning circle as a usual car ?

We used to do deliveries and noted the increased tyre wear from the constant U turns to get to the correct side of the street to do the delivery and then another to get back to the shop.

Changed jobs and found the tyre wear back to normal.

On the subject of jobs, could you advise me on how to turn approx 20 buckets of 2 gallon size, full of broken window glass, into say a sculpture or large ball made of glass.?. The recylcing place here does not accept window glass for recycling..

What temperature would it melt at ?. could we get a big steel mould made and heat it up with the broken glass in it with a blowtorch ?. A big one or maybe a welding torch ?.
Heya kiwi, how'd ya know I'm really a Joe who works in the recycling industry and not a JRay :lol: ? I'll PM ya on glass.

SO, I stopped by my dealer and they thought the tires looked like bad alignment and agreed to redo the alignment under warranty. Not happening 'till Monday, so I'll report back on the results then. I think it helps when I bought a cargo mat from the parts counter first.. ($60, but it's not loop carpet like the OEM floor mats, instead it's cut pile. Has nice cutouts for the child seat anchors and an iMiEV embroidered logo..)
If you rotate them side to side, then you should be remounting them, as all tires have a correct direction of rotation. The tread pattern is also (possibly) designed to rotate in one direction.
If that was true, the tires would have a direction of rotation arrow plainly marked on them, and they don't. He should be fine rotating them side to side

And non-directional carcass construction? This would be a good thing, since obviously you cannot rotate them on one side like on most cars.

Then, I'd go back to a camber and/or a toe issue. Or, maybe the road crown is wearing the passenger's side because the car is leaning slightly over to the right most of the time? My motorcycle tires always showed wear slightly left of center.
Hi jray3 - just got back from a 2500mile trip (in the Insight, not the iMiEV). Checked my iMiEV's tires with a magnifying glass and see absolutely nothing abnormal other than perhaps more pebbles trapped between the treads than my other cars. 60psi and about 4500 miles.

Dug into the "i" Service Manual, and here's what they say:

Standard value: 3 ± 3 mm (0.1 ± 0.1 inch)

Standard value: 0°00' ± 0°45' (Difference between right
and left wheels must be 0°30' or less)

Standard value: 3°50' ± 0°45' (Difference between right
and left wheels must be 0°30' or less)

Standard value: 15°15' ± 1°30'

JoeS said:
Dug into the "i" Service Manual

Please share the source of yon mythic manual! I asked my dealership service manager, and he said it's all online now, he couldn't get a book even if he wanted to! Of course, why would help me learn to do his job....
JoeS said:
...TOE-IN ... 3 ± 3 mm (0.1 ± 0.1 inch)

CAMBER ... 0°00' ± 0°45'

CASTER ... 3°50' ± 0°45'

KINGPIN ANGLE ... 15°15' ± 1°30' ...
The Euro model is:
TOE-IN: 0 ± 3 mm 0° to 0°18’
KINGPIN ANGLE 15°20’±1°30’
I would expect zero toe-in for minimum rolling resistance; however, like on my Insight, this can result in increased vehicle responsiveness to things like grooved road surfaces. Doesn't bother me, as efficiency is higher on my priority list.

Although I haven't tried it myself, here's the link to Mitsubishi's website for service information:
So, it was indeed set with too much toe-in from the factory (well, no damage visible and the wear came in so quick). A free alignment turned out to be worth the price, as the pros didn't have the i specs in front of them so they used the settings for an Eclipse instead! (Now the dealer's rep said that the alignment computer required 'something as a starting point', and it was actually reprogrammed for the iMiEV. )
Plus, the rears were out of alignment as well and they didn't touch the rear axle!
The front Left toe was -0.26 deg before, and they set it to +0.05 deg.
the front Right was -0.18 deg before, and they set is to +.06
Total toe before was -0.43, reset to +0.11.

Caster is 3.5 deg on the left and 3.2 deg on the right.

Rear left toe remains at -0.26 deg. and Rear Right was untouched at -.16 deg.

The rear thrust angle is 0.21 deg.

Now to translate that into mm or inches...

BTW- the service manager got a bit indignant and wanted to know where I got my specs from- said I bought the service manual from HELM online... ;-)
Strange that the alignment from the factory was off. :shock:
For completeness, here are the Rear Suspension specifications:
Toe-in mm (in) 0 ± 3 (0 ± 0.1)
Camber 0°00' ± 0°30'*
Thrust angle 0°00' ± 0°15'
NOTE: *: Difference between right and left wheels must be 0°30' or less.