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My Elderly Dad's Car Has 2 Issues (Tire, Window Trim). Please Help


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My dad has a 2002 ES300. I try to help him as much as possible since he is nearing 78 but I'm used to different kind of cars.

1. My dad got 4 new tires at Costco a year ago. The passenger side front tire tread is almost gone on only the first 2 inches of the tire facing towards the wheel nuts. The rest of the tread is 100%. He took it back to Costco. They said its not a tire issue. It almost looks like something just scraped the 2 inches of the tire for 10,000 miles but I do not see anything that would scrape it. His alignment seems fine. It does not pull at all. Do any of you know what would cause this?

2. 2 inches of the window trim broke off on the drivers side. Should that trim be replaced as a whole piece or should the missing part just be replaced? Where would I buy that trim?

3. If I want to jack my dad's car up with my hydraulic jack in order to spin his passenger side front tire where is safe jack point?

Thanks in advance for any help.

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2002es300TX,

One tire wearing as you describe is the result of an alignment problem. Whether its the camber adjustment or something else can be determined and repaired by an alignment shop. There may also be a bad wheel bearing on that wheel causing the wear, but that is usually easy to determine due to the noise it creates when the bearing goes bad.

As for the window trim, are we talking the front windshield or the side door window?

As for jacking points, dead center under the front bumper, back about a foot is the front section of the subframe that is not covered by the plastic underbelly. You'll see that it hangs down like a door knob. Put the jack there and lift the entire front of the car. Be sure to place jack stands for safety.

The rear can be jacked the same way(only if the front is supported by jack stands) under the differential. Be sure to place the jack exactly under the differential, and not catch part of the exhaust. Again use jack stands.

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2002es300TX,

One tire wearing as you describe is the result of an alignment problem. Whether its the camber adjustment or something else can be determined and repaired by an alignment shop. There may also be a bad wheel bearing on that wheel causing the wear, but that is usually easy to determine due to the noise it creates when the bearing goes bad.

As for the window trim, are we talking the front windshield or the side door window?

As for jacking points, dead center under the front bumper, back about a foot is the front section of the subframe that is not covered by the plastic underbelly. You'll see that it hangs down like a door knob. Put the jack there and lift the entire front of the car. Be sure to place jack stands for safety.

The rear can be jacked the same way(only if the front is supported by jack stands) under the differential. Be sure to place the jack exactly under the differential, and not catch part of the exhaust. Again use jack stands.

 

Thanks for the help. I saw that jack point in the manual but I figured they might have another jack point on the sides.

The trim is on the outside of the drivers window.

I have replaced bearings before. In fact I did one last week on my own car but this one is not making any noise. I guess we will take it to an alignment shop but if it was an alignment issue wouldn't the car pull to one side at least a little?

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Once again, where on the window? The chrome trim piece below the glass, or the black plastic at the rear of the glass?

The chrome piece is slid onto the exterior door skin from the top and usually hammered down with the palm of your hand.

The black plastic trim piece is usually held in place by plastc pins on its backside that are pressed into matching plugs in the door frame. As well, there is usually an automotive grade double sided tape that is used along its longest sides to ensure it stays put.

I don't have a 330 any more so I can't say which of the two trim pieces needs to be installed first, but there will be one piece that has to be installed first. As I stated before, they won't be cheap to buy.

There are jack points on the rocker panels, but they are for the use of the jack in the trunk. Using them stands a good chance of crushing the weld seams, and removing paint. Personally I never use them.

As for tire wear, bad bearing, causing the car to pull to one side, not necessarily. They aren't always felt through the steering wheel if the out of alignment is relatively minor.

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Once again, where on the window? The chrome trim piece below the glass, or the black plastic at the rear of the glass?

The chrome piece is slid onto the exterior door skin from the top and usually hammered down with the palm of your hand.

The black plastic trim piece is usually held in place by plastc pins on its backside that are pressed into matching plugs in the door frame. As well, there is usually an automotive grade double sided tape that is used along its longest sides to ensure it stays put.

I don't have a 330 any more so I can't say which of the two trim pieces needs to be installed first, but there will be one piece that has to be installed first. As I stated before, they won't be cheap to buy.

There are jack points on the rocker panels, but they are for the use of the jack in the trunk. Using them stands a good chance of crushing the weld seams, and removing paint. Personally I never use them.

As for tire wear, bad bearing, causing the car to pull to one side, not necessarily. They aren't always felt through the steering wheel if the out of alignment is relatively minor.

After reading your posts I did a search for tire wear pictures. It looks like you may be right about the camber being the cause. We will go to Goodyear for a computerizied alignment next week.

I believe the trim is the rear black trim but its possible the silver broke off. There is a gap at the top part of the window towards the back. I will look and take a picture of it on Wed when I see him. Thanks again for the help.

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