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Discussion Starter #1
Car: VW Passat 2003, 1.8T, FWD, manual, 181,000 miles.
Two years ago replaced CV axles, two front tires, two outer tie rods and alignment service.
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This are the measures before and after. Today I checked my front tires and found out that the passenger side tire is in perfect condition but the driver side tire is worn out unevenly at the inside edge. I think it can be an alignment error maybe in toe in or probably camber? The rims and tires are not OEM for this car. These are 235/40/18.

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Any word of advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks. IMG_0558.jpg IMG_0554.jpg
 

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Have you rotated the tires at every oil change interval?

Have you maintained proper and consistent tire pressures?

Worn out suspension systems could also contribute to such problem.
 

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Wow. I am not sure that's an alignment issue. It almost looks like that tire was rubbing on something. Its basically gouged out on that inner sidewall.

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Discussion Starter #4
Haven't rotated, the car came with wider rear tires which won't fit at the front. Tire pressure have been consistent. I am thinking on suspension also but why only one side is affected!?
 

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No rubbing at all, tires move freely.
Sure. They rotate freely now, they have essentially clearanced themselves.

How is the wheel bearing on that side? I have to imagine the alignment shop checked the bearing and the suspension before aligning but this almost looks like under load the tire is rubbing on the spindle right at the point where the pinch bolt goes through.

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Discussion Starter #7
Wheel bearing I assume is okay, no noises or wobbling. The tire is not touching the spindle or any other part, there is almost an inch between tire and spindle and no signs of parts touching each other.
 

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Wheel bearing I assume is okay, no noises or wobbling. The tire is not touching the spindle or any other part, there is almost an inch between tire and spindle and no signs of parts touching each other.
Wow. I'm stumped then, the near perfect wear pattern on the rest of the tire and then that gouge are incongruous.

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Discussion Starter #9
The tire worn out on a period of time of two years if there was any rubbing it would have blown the tire in weeks not years.
 

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The tire worn out on a period of time of two years if there was any rubbing it would have blown the tire in weeks not years.
I respectfully disagree.

But to be sure that I am indeed wrong, I would take the opposite side wheel and put it on this side and take the car for a short drive. If there is no rubbing with the other tire then you can eliminate that possibly and focus elsewhere.

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Remember to keep a cost/benefit attitude. If you can get another two years just by rotating, who cares what the issue is. The rest of the tread looks fine, so as long as the tire isn’t compromised, keep using it. Otherwise you may spend a lot more chasing suspension gremlins just to try to get a little more tread life out of your tires. Not saying don’t look for things, but don’t play “parts basketball” until it’s a free throw.
 

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spins freely....when jacked up....... when on the ground rubbing on the tie rod
correction, WAS rubbing on the tie rod
this.

Tires are too wide for the front. The previous owner was too lazy to get some spacers.
Needed some 8 or 10 mm spacers.

I had the same issue when I got winter tires for my b5.5. I bought a set of one-year-old blizzaks on aftermarket rims. The guy told me the offset of the rims wrong.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
It still spins freely jacked up and on the ground. No spacers needed, wheels offset is 21, a lot of room between tires and suspension parts. Here some pictures.

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I have to agree that it sure looks like it was rubbing, but I also agree there is a lot of room in those pictures. I assume the pics were shot with the steering straight ahead? What happens in a turn?

If the tires were rubbing I'd guess there would be a burnished part of the suspension that was doing the rubbing. Any shiny spots on any of the hard parts of the suspension?
 

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I highly doubt the tires were rubbing on the steering knuckles. Remember, what ever the wheel does the steering knuckle does the same. That is all part of a rigid assembly. It all travels together.
I ran P235/35 R19's on my fronts (my 98 GLS and my 2004 GLX) for thousands of miles with no rubbing. There was a lot less room than what you have. About the thickness of 2 quarters (coins) between the tire and steering knuckle. No issues.

Rub your hand around the circumference of the tire, if it is smooth one way but rough the other way, that is what is called feathering. Feathering comes from misaligned wheels usually from improper toe in - toe out and or loose ball joints.

Jack the car up so the wheel is off the ground, whack the side of the tire with a heavy rubber mallet or a 4x4 / 2x4. There should be a very dead thump when you hit the tire. If there is any clunking noise, one of your ball joints and or wheel bearing is the culprit.

Also check the inside of your wheel well liners. Either from a missing belly pan or missing hardware to hold the front lower portion of the wheel well liner, the liner will rub on the tire.

Check your clearance with the steering wheel turned all the way to the left and right. Make sure your tire isn't rubbing on the inside of the front and rear inner body/fender well area.
Likewise check with the steering wheel turned all the way to the left. Depending on the offset of the rim, the inside edge of the tire can rub on the fender flare lip.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Pictures were taken at the maximum point of turning to both sides. No physical contact with anything. No burnishes or shiny spots nowhere.
 

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Also check the inside of your wheel well liners. Either from a missing belly pan or missing hardware to hold the front lower portion of the wheel well liner, the liner will rub on the tire.

Check your clearance with the steering wheel turned all the way to the left and right. Make sure your tire isn't rubbing on the inside of the front and rear inner body/fender well area.
Likewise check with the steering wheel turned all the way to the left. Depending on the offset of the rim, the inside edge of the tire can rub on the fender flare lip.
Just to add a bit to this, it also might be something that is loose due to missing hardware...but only rubs at higher speeds like highway speeds. You might not even really notice or hear it.

are all the brake lines, WSS wires, brake pad wear sensor (if it has them) wires, etc all in their proper places?
 

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That is excess camber wear, I've seen it multiple times on Passats. You may also have some worn suspension parts after 2 years and the alignment could be out because of that. Note, there are no front camber readings on your printout. Is the car lowered? From the front camber, I would say it should be at least 2" or more below stock. If it's not lowered, you have worn parts in the suspension.
 
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