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Guest Message by DevFuse
 

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97 Impreza pulling side to side


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9 replies to this topic

#1 Pgh_Scoob

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 02:15 PM

Hi,
I was just wondering if anyone might have a idea about what my car is doing. It feels as if the car is swerving or being pulled from one side to the other. This just developed today when I was driving to school and just had to keep correcting the steering wheel. My car does need an alignment and my tires are starting to get a little worn but it seems like I would have had this problem a while ago instead of it starting now. I think that my suspension is in need of some attention but I dont think that suspension could do this.
For a little more detail on my problem.
I noticed that it gets worse at higher speeds 55-65 was a little nervous at points driving back from school
You can feel it in city driving but it not that severe.
I had a really bad rumble in my car a few weeks ago which would only happen when I hit 55-65 again. I re-balanced my tires and it made no change a first but now it seems a little more intermittent.
I dont know if this helps or not but figured I would see if there is any relationship.
I havent had a chance to get my car on to a lift and check out my suspension, but was going to try and jack up my car and look around today.
I was just wondering what things I should look out for that would tie in my complaint.
If you have any ideas I would really appreciate it.
I know this is a vague description but for right now this seems to be the best description I can think of.
Thanks,
Greg

Edited by Pgh_Scoob, 05 April 2010 - 02:20 PM.
Forgot to add something


#2 lmdew

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 06:25 PM

Sounds like a wheel bearing has gone out. Jack the wheels and grab the outside of the tires and try to move them back and forth. Even if they pass this check, the bearing may be bad. Spin the tire and listen for any roughness.

Even if it passes this check the bearing may be bad.

If the noise gets worse in a turn, L or R you have a bad bearing. Get a good used hub from a yard.

#3 Fairtax4me

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Posted 06 April 2010 - 01:58 AM

Lots of things can be wrong there. The noise could either be the tires or a bad bearing as already said. The "loose" feeling can be bearing related, worn struts / springs , bad tie rod ends/ball joints, worn steering rack boots. It doesn't even have to be in the front end the rear suspension can get out of whack and cause some funny handling as well. Worn springs can throw the toe angle off which will make the car pull to one side or the other as the COG shifts from the left to the right or vice versa.

Get the front end up in the air on jack stands. Check the inner and outer tie rod ends for play by "wiggling" the wheels. Grab each one at about 3 and 9 o'clock and try to push/pull each side back and forth in a quick rocking motion. If you see any movement or hear/feel a clunk sensation then get a friend to wiggle the wheel while you look to see where the movement might be coming from.

If you know it needs tires, you might save yourself the trouble and have the shop that puts the tires on check the alignment for you. They will check over the whole front end and if anything is loose that will prevent a proper alignment from being done they'll tell you what it is (and want you to let them fix it). If you got the money, it's up to you whether you let them fix it for you. If you're on a budget find out exactly what needs to be replaced and post back here or search around the boards for info on what to do.

#4 Pgh_Scoob

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Posted 06 April 2010 - 02:06 PM

thanks for the replies.
Yea I do need new tires and im considering doing the legacy outback suspension for a little lift and getting a little more aggressive tire.
As for getting my car looked at I go to school as an automotive technician so its just a matter of getting my car into the shop. for now we are in theory until next week so there is no shop work which sucks because I have this problem Oh and for for the ball joints being bad I dont think it is, I had to replace the left front lower ball joint when I got my lower control arm replaced, the threads stripped off while the guy was unbolting it. I had then take a look at all of my ball joints and the instructor said everything is good. That was a little over a month ago so in that time one of the other ball joints could have failed.
My car definitely needs an alignment the steering wheel is cocked to the left a bit. But it has been like that for some time, but I guessing that this problem could be because of putting off getting my car aligned.
I took a look yesterday with my car on drive up stands took look around at the front suspension and steering. Everything looked ok, rusty but nothing really popped out at me. I need to lift my tires and try to wiggle then around but the floor jack I have is broken and I dont trust trying crawl under my car with the jack that came with the car.
The wheel bearing could be the issue but on my old outback sport when the wheel bearing went I just noticed a deep rumble you could say but no drive ability problems.
One last thing I have noticed a high pitch squeal when I am making turns. I notice it when I'm driving in the city but not on the highway. Not like you would be able to hear it anyway.
Thanks Again
Greg

#5 Fairtax4me

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Posted 07 April 2010 - 12:30 PM

That was a little over a month ago so in that time one of the other ball joints could have failed.


I replaced both inner tie rod ends on my car within a few weeks of each other. The one I didn't replace seemed fine at the time I replaced the first one, but about 3 weeks later it started clunking too. :mad: Lucky for me I work at a shop and have access to an alignment lift.

Go buy a set of cheap jack stands from autozone or something. You should never trust ANY jack to stay up when you're under the car. Always put it on stands.

Can you hear the squeaking when the car is sitting still or is it only when moving?

#6 Pgh_Scoob

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Posted 07 April 2010 - 08:02 PM

Yea I need to get another pair of jack stands, the ones I had gotten were to tall for my jack
No I can not hear any squeaking while sitting still. I think that its my brake pads getting bad. It kinda sucks I got my car inspected a little while back where a friend of mine worked. I was expecting things needing some attention but it went through with no problem. So I dont know how hard he looked while inspecting it. It kinda sucks if he did just skim through it and wrote it off as a pass.
And why I think its my brake pads is because the guy I took my car to last year to get inspected said that the rear drums were getting kinda low and would most likely need replaced next inspection and now the squealing is becoming intermittent while I'm driving straight down the road.

#7 Fairtax4me

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 02:43 AM

Probably brake pads.

You would be surprised what can pass a safety inspection. You'd think your buddy would have told you what wouldn't pass or what was close to not passing though, even though he passed it. :lol:

#8 OB99W

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 07:48 AM

Besides alignment, excessive rotational friction can cause pulling to one side. A bad bearing might be the cause, but so can a sticking brake caliper, even when the brakes aren't being applied.

#9 Setright

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 03:23 PM

When the dampers go out, the handling gets very wayard. I vote dampers.

Are they old? Like more than 60 k miles? Or 8 years?

#10 Pgh_Scoob

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 04:59 PM

When the dampers go out, the handling gets very wayard. I vote dampers.

Are they old? Like more than 60 k miles? Or 8 years?



Yes the dampers are old the car has 95k on it. It has had close to 6 owners I think so trying to find out what work has been performed is a pita. I find out by what does go wrong. I had my suspensions about the suspension but thought that I would be alright for a little bit longer.

I have also developed a deep rumble that I finally notice while driving, it sounds a lot like when my wheel bearing went in my 98 wagon.

Greg




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