2003 Oldsmobile Alero • 160,000 miles

When changing the front struts on my car does the tires need to be straight?
January 12, 2013.

Are you talking about steering left or right or tipped in or out on top? Most GM struts are not adjustable from the factory. The lower bolt hole has to be ground to an oval shape. Replacement struts usually come with that lower hole already elongated. That is the "camber" adjustment and it is critical for good tire wear and handling. The best you can do is to get the camber somewhat close, then take the car to the alignment shop. Drive it carefully and slowly because the handling will be miserable and the steering wheel will be off-center. The two front wheels will be steering in different directions due to "toe" changing as a result of camber being different. The car will follow the tire with the most weight on it. That's usually the right one since roads slant to the right so rain will run off, but when the left one hits a bump, the car will momentarily follow that tire.

Jan 12, 2013.