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Tire damage due to excessive negative rear camber that can't be adjusted

32612 Views 130 Replies 44 Participants Last post by  Jonnylowkon
On a recent road trip our 2019 RAV4 Hybrid began vibrating on the highway. We pulled over and discovered that the left rear tire was damaged as it was cupped and missing much of the inside shoulder. The rest of the tire had approx. 5/32 tread wear. (3/32 is the minimum according to the tire manufacturer) We have been getting rotations every 5K miles at the dealer. All 4 tires had similar uneven wear, the current left rear being much worse.

We replaced it with our full size spare and took it to a dealer in the area, they attempted an alignment; however, we were told that the left rear had excessive negative camber, this was not adjustable, and something was defective. They advised that we take it to the dealer where we purchased the car to see if they could do something. (Car is still in warranty)

The dealer where we bought it new changed the struts and springs in an attempt to increase the ride height and decrease the camber with little effect. They said that it is now just within the "Acceptable" limit from Toyota so all is OK; however, at this camber the tire wears unevenly as evidenced by the tire in the photo above. We would expect it to be in Toyota's "Recommended" or "Preferred" alignment as represented by the smaller center green range. I understand that angles out of the recommended range can cause uneven tire wear. The replacement is also starting to show similar uneven wear after less than 1,000 miles.

What does a normal alignment report on a RAV4 Hybrid look like? Has anyone else had issues with uneven tire wear?
Would be very helpful if some of you could also post pics or results of your last alignment reports if you have them.

Thanks in advance.
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I have a 2021 RAV4 Hybrid GX ( 2x4 )
I noticed noise comming from my tires the were never there.
Then I see the rear tires. Badly damaged on the rear on the inside ( both sides)
A week later the car went in for its 30 000km service. Ipointed this out to Toyota and they sent the car for alignment. ( I had to pay out of my pocket for the b.t.w)
All was apparently within spec. They just said nothing. ( my pervious alignment check also showed all within spec)

Now , look at the one picture. As the rear camber does appear to be in spec , they have used the WRONG spec. Its for a 4th gen RAV4.

I took my car to another alignment shop far far away from my town and they reported a -2° rear camber !!

They said they can put shims in , but it will most likely affect my warranty and they did not advise to do it without Toyota's concent.

Will be going back to the dealership tomorrow to talk to them , but by the looks of it , it wont help.


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I installed Hard Race toe arms to my RAV4 Hybrid. Alignment can now be perfectly adjusted. Camber was way out and at 42000km , all four my tires were shot. Toyota also ignored my concern about a brand new car not in spec.
The reason I went for toe arms and not upper control arms was the ease of installation and ease adjustment. The reason I went for HardRace and not Godspeed was because the welsds looked better on the pictures and, mainly, they use rubbers and not bearings. Rubber bushings will transmit less noise and vibrations and requires no maintenance. I hope this help. 13000km later and I am still happy!
Automotive tire Bumper Motor vehicle Vehicle Rim
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Just read through the whole thread. After seeing all the pics shared regarding inner tire wear it's very easy to see that this is a toe problem, not a camber issue; the pic OP posted makes it definitive. If this were camber related at least 1/4 of the inside tire would show uneven wear compared to the outside tire. Since the excessive wear is focused only on the inside shoulder though, this is 100% an issue caused by lack of sufficient toe-in.

Contrary to popular belief, ~1.8* of camber isn't all that excessive; certainly not excessive enough to cause any appreciable amount of wear on the inside edge of a tire (not on it's own, at least). My last 3 vehicles ran -2* of camber and went 60k+ miles on the same set of tires with zero issues. The only time I had an issue with inside tire wear was when, you guessed it, there wasn't enough toe-in being accounted for. In that case, going from 1/32" toe-in to 3/32" toe-in completely solved the issue, even with the seemingly high amount camber specified.

For those that would feel better about having less negative camber in the rear though, go for it; all that's needed is an adjustment to the cam bolt located inboard on the lower control arm. Yes, the service bulletin will tell you that bolt is only meant to adjust toe; that isn't entirely true though. To avoid another 4th gen RAV4 adjustable toe arm fiasco, in Toyota's infinite wisdom, they decided to do away with toe-specific adjustment altogether on the 5th gen. Now all you're left with is direct control over camber instead.

As we all know though, when you adjust camber, toe values also change, which is why you always adjust camber before you begin setting toe. So now if you want to adjust toe in the rear using only factory pieces, you first play with the camber cam bolts until toe is where you want it...then cross your fingers and hope that you end up with camber figures that are fairly close from side to side after the fact. Any mechanic, technician, or service writer that tells you anything different from the above is either lazy, inept, or both...but given the single point of adjustment meant to correct two entirely different variables, I can kind of understand why they usually don't even bother attempting to adjust anything in the rear to begin with.

To sum up, here's the most effective/efficient way to solve the issue of inside tire wear on rear tires:
1. Adjust camber to whatever you feel most comfortable using the factory cam bolts. They have a massive range of adjustment, so they are more than capable of hitting any value 'within spec' or otherwise. Although adjustable Cusco upper arms are high quality components, there is absolutely no reason to spend money on those when factory bolts will easily get the job done here.
2. Replace the toe arms with the Hardrace versions mentioned above. These seem to be the only adjustable toe arms made for this platform that have a rubber bushing as opposed to spherical units. If anyone else happens to find another solution here, please share.
3. Now that you have complete independent control over toe, without the side effect of adversely affecting camber, add as much toe-in as necessary to offset your respective amount of inner tire wear; I'd start with the most conservative value mentioned as Toyota specification (0.10*) and go from there, knowing full well that additional toe-in beyond that spec may be required to get the job done...and I suspect it will. By my calculations, the above figure should translate to 3/64" (per wheel). Adjusting for overall load, bushing deflection, etc. you will likely need more than what Toyota typically calls for in order to achieve completely even tire wear.
4. Profit.
This is a very detailed and long answer, thank you. However I dont totally agree with everything.

Youbmention original camber bolts. Where does one find this? If you install non stock parts , you might as well install a adjustable camber arm or toe arm. Its not like you can adjust the camber with original filled equipment.

Yes , if you adjust toe, camber also changes. But brining the yoe more inn, cause even more negative camber.

And find, I actually did bring the toe more inwards than mentioned. I but my better looking tires at the back and the tire damag was there.

Adding the toe arm, I can now adjust toe and camber and put them within spec. I guess only time will tell then....
The service manual says this bolt is for adjusting toe, this was confirmed by the dealer and Tires Plus who where kind enough to demonstrate this to us. We did notice that this bolt has a small effect on camber; unfortunately, when adjusting rear toe enough to meet specs, the camber only got worse. See below from the manual:
Product Automotive tire Font Gas Automotive design

Rotate the rear suspension toe adjust cam sub-assembly to adjust the toe-in.

The manual also says that the only way to fix camber is to replace parts. Toyota replaced the springs under warranty, but that wasn't the problem (ride height was fine) then said they spent enough on us (literally, that's what the service manager said).
No , that is Toe, not Camber. If you get in under tha car an look at how the wheel is attached. Its like a triangle. One mount on top and 2x on the bottom. The bolts you pointed out adjust one of the bottom connection points. That must mean toe. If it was camber, it would be adjusted on the top point.
Adjusting these bolts will turn your wheel left to right, aka toe.
Yes , it does affect camber, but its a secondary effect.
More toe toe the inside will give even more negative camber.
I think thats why excessive toe inn did not help me , because the camber that was already out of spec, was even further out.

Just dont understand why Toyota wont give us a factory camber adjustment.
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I'm from Slovakia and I have the same problem with rear wheels. I bought my car in June 2021. It has 23000km on the clock now and is still under 2 years factory warranty. I also bought extended waranty for additionlal 3 years. I had issue with straight driving. My car was pulling to the left slightly. At my verry first car maintenance (13700km) I mentioned that and they checked wheel allignments. With the result that they have to made some adjustment and everything is fine. But I haven't noticed that one walue on rear left was out of the allowed range (different protocol without any highlighting). As my car was still pulling to the left, not as much as before, but still, I decided to made another wheel alignments check and I decided to go to another dealer.
Today I visited 2nd Toytoa dealer to check wheel allignments and results are terrible. Even worse then the first time. I'm looking for solution how to fix this as Toyota refuse to fix it under warranty. It looks like there are 2 options, change upper arm for adjustable one (I found that Hardrace also have one for RAV4 2021) or another option is to use adjustable toe arm also from Hardrace. Does anybody has an experience with any of this? Is it a really solution for this issue? Or what should I do to get the rear wheels properly alligned? I will be glad for any tip, thanks.

Here are my results, but measurement is made in degress and minutes, not in decimal degrees!
View attachment 192098
Yes. My reply here is post #105.
Toe arms does adjust camber also. There is an original toe adjustment. So if you add another, the 2x together adjust camber.
Yes, Hardrace does have upper arms dedicated to camber, but I went for toe arms for 3x reasons.
1)It looks like is much easier to adjust the toe on the bottom rathere than the camber arm on the top.
2) Judging by pictures , the toe arms looked stronger than their camber arms. Just my opinion looking at pictures.
3) Should the aftermarker part break while far from home, it will be easier to replace the arm with the original by a general mechanic. ( I have 1x original arm in my bood. If I have my tools with me, I can even change it myself next to the road)
I didnt buy a Toyota just to breakdown because of aftermarket parts.

My alignment is perfect now. I now have 40 000km on my new set of tires with no damages yet ( note that I had to replace the 1st set on 41000km because of the alignment)

Take note of your pulling angle aswell. Even if your toe and total toe is correct, if the total pulling angle is wrong you will have problems.
Alignment is easy when everything is ok. But it can just be as complicated. I have see lots of shops not known what they are doing.

Good luck mate.
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