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While getting the oil changed on a 2008 Chevy Cobalt, they performed an alignment analysis (and made the change take 1.5 hours longer >.>). The technician printed a report stating my front end had too much toe in. I've search online but couldn't find anyplace stating 0.2 degrees was anything to be worried about, or whether I need to spend some extra cash to get the alignment corrected.

alignment report

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  • FYI: it is possible to adjust toe-in at home. This older answer has a link to a video with the procedure: mechanics.stackexchange.com/a/2829/57 Summary: it's a bit of work but not intellectually challenging.
    – Bob Cross
    Nov 12 '13 at 14:46
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Found these specs here: http://www.fixya.com/cars/t14840019-toe_in_specs_2005_cobalt

It is an 2005 so it might not be perfectly the same as a 2008, but the specs have 0.20 as correct with a tolerance of 0.20 either direction. That makes me think you are right on spec and do not need an alignment.

KEY: ± = plus or minus; C/t = Cross Tolerances; Toe T= total toe; S/W A = steering wheel angle Thrust A = thrust angle
__________________________________________________ ________________________
Suspenion.......Camber.....Camber C/t.....Caster......Caster C/t...toe T.....S/W A.....Thrust A
FE1
Front ..............-1.00º .......±0.75º ......... 3.00º.......±0.75º.........0.20º......0.00º...... - -
.....................±0.75º ..........- -.............±0.75º...........- - ........±0.20º ....±3.50º ......- -
__________________________________________________ ________________________

Rear...............-0.80º ........... - - .............. - - ........... - - ......... 0.25º ...... - -.......0.00º
.....................±0.75º.............- - ............. - - ........... - -..........±0.30º ...... - - ... ±0.30º
__________________________________________________ ________________________
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
FE3 & FE5
Front............... -1.05º ......±0.75º...........3.65º..........±0.75º ..... 0.20º .....0.00º .....- -
......................±0.75º ......... - - .......... ±0.75º ............- -........±0.20º....±3.50º..... - -
__________________________________________________ ________________________

Rear................-0.80º............- -............. - - ..............- -..........0.25º.......- -........0.00º
......................±0.75º ...........- - ............ - - ..............- -........±0.30º.......- -.......±0.30º
__________________________________________________ ________________________
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  • Agreed, but the more neutral, the better your mileage and tire life. You'll probably get to go an extra 500 miles if your toe-in is neutral. Mileage you wouldn't even notice. Mind you, slight toe-in makes for a nice smooth ride. Nov 11 '13 at 17:06
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In case anybody comes across this in modern times like I did, just for the record: note how the setup is almost perfectly symmetrical. Somebody took time to do this very deliberately and more precisely than usual. A little toe in on the front and just a hair out on the rear looks like a setup for cornering performance. Possibly a daily driver and autocross on the weekends, or just a detailed enthusiast in general. As the car's weight shifts to the outside of the turn, it tracks in more of a circle than a straight line with this setup. More turn while braking than accelerating, as the weight shifts to the front while braking and vice versa. Which is pretty much exactly what you want for "brake in throttle out" race cornering.

Addendum: yes this setup slightly reduces fuel economy and tire life. This more a question of preference than correctness.

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  • It's a base model 2008 Cobalt, I doubt anyone was using it for racing.
    – mlapaglia
    Sep 27 '19 at 11:07

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