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pulling to one side


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19 replies to this topic

#1 ReBiker5141

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Posted 09 November 2005 - 09:50 PM

My daughter & son-in-law recently purchased a 2005 Outback with 10,000 miles on it. They've had trouble with it pulling to the left & found wear on the tread. Dealership switched tires left to right after doing an alignment. Then it started pulling to the right. Dealership then put 4 new tires on it & aligned it again. At 1st in ran ok but now it's pulling left again. They asked me if that's a typical characteristic of the Outback. I don't think so but I said I'd try to find out. How 'bout it? Anyone got any suggestions as to what the problem might be? Thanks!

#2 tunered

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Posted 09 November 2005 - 10:23 PM

in the tire business its called a radial pull,new,old it dosent matter any one can have it,if the tires are new they should replace it,putting it on the rear is a bandaid fix.that tire will be the first to break a belt and cause a wobble.

#3 grossgary

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Posted 09 November 2005 - 11:09 PM

don't think it's tire related. old tires did it, then new tires installed and it still did it.

the DEALER asked you if outbacks typically do this? i'm confused why a dealer is asking you what their own brand does? 10,000 miles...isn't this still under warranty?

when they do the alignments is everything in spec, are they needing to do major adjustments when doing the alignments? a 10,000 mile car should not need an aligment. i never get my car aligned, it's merely a way for them to make $$$$. 220,000 miles and if mine was ever aligned it was 100,000 miles ago and i don't think it was since i've owned it (for 120,000 miles). i buy new tires and go, i rotate them often and so long as they keep wearing evenly i'll never get an alignment.

have they checked the ball joints and tie rod ends? i suspect they would know those are bad when tey do the alignment. the front control arm could also be slightly bent. they are very easy to replace but a dealer will absolutely rape you for something like that. a car that's been slid into a curb or run into somethign with the front wheel can sustain damage to the control arm, typically it'll be bent and can cause the problems you speak of. i would expect the car to pull or somethign but if it's small enough damage i might be able to imagine a scenario where it still drives fine but is off enough to wear unevenly. have them inspect the control arm on the side that is wearing unevenly. make sure it's not bent....and they are looking for a very minor bend, so they better look closely.

do a car fax check on the car and make sure it's never been wrecked. although then it would have a salvage title and you'd already know that probably. check all the body lines and make sure all the gaps are even (gap around front door and hood, etc should all be the same width all the way around). a wrecked and fixed car will have differences in gap width around the circumference. this is all to check for previous damage. it would likely show around the bad tire area - the fender, hood, door on that side.

#4 zooma37

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Posted 10 November 2005 - 01:51 AM

Interesting thread because I have encountered the same problem with my 03 Forester, and it's driving me nuts. I went through the same process with the dealer, and now the car pulls to the left, but only during acceleration. I don't know what's going on.

#5 fishhead

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Posted 10 November 2005 - 09:35 AM

i went through a similar scenario with my nissan pathfinder. i bought it used and didn't check carfax. it had a damaged upper control arm and pulled hard to the left. the dealer and 2 "alignment specialists" raped me and didn't fix the problem. they only adjusted the "toe in" because that's easy, and not the caster or camber, which require some effort.

this link explains the theory pretty well:
http://www.ozebiz.co...eory/align.html

i found the specs in the chilton's manual and aligned it myself. i basically took the measurements off the good side (the side that had nice even tire wear) and made the tweaked side match.

as for the "only during acceleration"
hmmm
i'd guess something is loose, a ball joint or bushing is bad, and the torque of acceleration causes the geometry to change and it misaligns itself. do you also hear a clunk when you let off the gas?

good luck to both of you

there!
if i see this message again:

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i'll be really mad

#6 unibrook

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Posted 10 November 2005 - 04:48 PM

I have a 2001 Forester L with 79,000 miles on it. I am second owner. The old tire wear and eyeball told me there was slight positive camber to driver front wheel. I took it to a computer alignment shop, and the printout confirmed the lf wheel was +1.0 and the rf wheel was -.07 camber. They adjusted the toe which was out also, but said don't bother to put car on a guardian rack to pull the camber out unless it is 2.0 or higher. Anyway, new tires on it and I notice a very slight pull to the left as I drive. So, your camber might be off. Did your wife or kid slide into a curb and not tell you perhaps?

#7 ReBiker5141

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Posted 10 November 2005 - 08:06 PM

Thanks for your response to my query. No accidents that I know of, but I will pass on your info to them. Hopefully it will give them some direction on what to check for next.

#8 nipper

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Posted 10 November 2005 - 08:52 PM

You may want to take it to an independet body shop and pay them for an hour of thier time and have them check the chassis to make sure it is straight.
When we used to have tough alighnmnets in the shop, we would empty the car of everything, set all the tires at the factory specs. we would er um ..politly ask the drivers weight and any passengers (one guy had a car pool buddy that i swear outweighed the car) and would put dead weight in the car and then align it, explaing to the customer that all that weight in one side of the car could make it not track right. The laod weight of a weighted vehical is meant to be distrubuted between all the seats and the trunk, and not one seat. Al we could do was the best of both worlds, which did satsify the problem. Most shops will not go through this extreem (hence the differnce between a mechainc and a true technician..we liked the challange). Eventually the guy didnt car pool anymore so we rest everything and all was well.
nipper

#9 murphsubaru

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Posted 14 January 2006 - 11:11 PM

I have a 99 forester that pulls to the left only during acceleration, it is iritating to say the least.

#10 tunered

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Posted 15 January 2006 - 01:07 AM

I have a 99 forester that pulls to the left only during acceleration, it is iritating to say the least.

i have found that fwd cars will pull to the side that something is wore,tierod,wheel bearing. check the lf wheel for play.

#11 cookie

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Posted 15 January 2006 - 01:29 PM

A key point here is automatic or manual. An automatic behaves mosty like a front wheel drive-90% front after all. Sure it is going to have a bit of torque steer.
A manual really should not. I am sometimes amazed that shops have great difficulty with tire and basic alignement issures. I have had a car to three shops with the same complaint until someone found a tire cord seperating on a new tire.

#12 blitz

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Posted 15 January 2006 - 04:05 PM

I've had brand new tires pull a bit. My solution has been to throw them on the rear 'cause it seems like the problem goes away after the cord loosens up.

#13 shaggywerewolf

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Posted 15 January 2006 - 10:33 PM

I've noticed something similar in my '03 OBW with 25K. However, it's not so much a "pull" as it is a drift. On a straight & relatively level road, the vehicle will drift to the right if you let go of the wheel. This requires me to constantly correct to the left by a few degrees - it's not substantial, but enough to be noticable. My old '94 Saturn used to do the EXACT same thing. An alignment seemed to help that car, so I was wondering if the same could apply to my Subie.

I've checked the tire pressure, and brought the front up to 31 and the back to 30. Didn't really help. I'm guessing this could be a slight alignment issue, but I haven't really noticed any uneven wear on the tires. I imagine it is possible the previous owner (used only for daily commutes to work) could have run it up on a curb or something.

It also doesn't help that I live in Michigan, where we have some of the worst roads in the nation.

#14 cookie

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Posted 15 January 2006 - 11:15 PM

If it is a drift to the right do you have crowned roads? Most snow states do, and a good alignment person should be able to compensate for that if you explain it to them.

#15 shaggywerewolf

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Posted 16 January 2006 - 12:10 AM

If it is a drift to the right do you have crowned roads? Most snow states do, and a good alignment person should be able to compensate for that if you explain it to them.


Yeah, I wondered if that could be a cause, but it's difficult to tell. On one way streets, or on median divided multilane highways, which should be crowned similarly as 2 way, there is no left drift if I'm in the far left lane, which I would expect. Instead, the line of travel becomes centered, as if the the leftward angle of the left lane is compensating for the right drift, if that makes any sense. The drift also manifests itself off public roads as well, such as in parking lots.

Anyway, I'm having the alignment adjusted tomorrow, so I'll ask the tech there if he's got any other ideas. Hopefully it should fix, or at least reduce the drift.

#16 shaggywerewolf

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 12:04 AM

Well, got the Sube back from the dealer today to have the alignment done. Other than the fact that it took nearly all damn day to have it finished (apparently the Subaru half of the dealer is at the mercy of the Toyota half when it comes to using their alignment machine), all seems well. The drifting is virtually nonexistent, and the steering just feels a bit firmer/tighter to boot. Let's see how long it'll take for the local Michigan roads to reverse all that. Dealer seemed to be pretty competent and the overall experience was pretty good. Only paid for the alignment, even though they tore down the dash to reseat a loose instrument panel bulb.

#17 cookie

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 01:43 AM

Thanks shaggy, nice to hear about a win!

#18 Lawsonmh15

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 01:31 PM

My daughter & son-in-law recently purchased a 2005 Outback with 10,000 miles on it. They've had trouble with it pulling to the left & found wear on the tread. Dealership switched tires left to right after doing an alignment. Then it started pulling to the right. Dealership then put 4 new tires on it & aligned it again. At 1st in ran ok but now it's pulling left again. They asked me if that's a typical characteristic of the Outback. I don't think so but I said I'd try to find out. How 'bout it? Anyone got any suggestions as to what the problem might be? Thanks!


No offense my good man, but is your Daughter a "Curb-Clipper". Perhaps the Son-in-law? If so, until they quit clipping medians, this will just keep happening. Perhaps the smartest thing, considering the vehicle is brand new, is to pony up the dough for lifetime alignments.($180-$280) Shop around for the best price.

#19 Lawsonmh15

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 01:33 PM

I've noticed something similar in my '03 OBW with 25K. However, it's not so much a "pull" as it is a drift. On a straight & relatively level road, the vehicle will drift to the right if you let go of the wheel. This requires me to constantly correct to the left by a few degrees - it's not substantial, but enough to be noticable. My old '94 Saturn used to do the EXACT same thing. An alignment seemed to help that car, so I was wondering if the same could apply to my Subie.

I've checked the tire pressure, and brought the front up to 31 and the back to 30. Didn't really help. I'm guessing this could be a slight alignment issue, but I haven't really noticed any uneven wear on the tires. I imagine it is possible the previous owner (used only for daily commutes to work) could have run it up on a curb or something.

It also doesn't help that I live in Michigan, where we have some of the worst roads in the nation.


Now THAT sounds like road crowning... Provided air pressure is constant in all tires.

#20 Chef

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 05:14 PM

I set an appointment for my car to have a 4 wheel alignment, as I recently had four struts installed (air to spring conversion) and two front CV axles. It is generally fine, but on the highway it tends to get a bit loose at high speeds, usually when there is a notable crosswind. It was hell out there today, high winds and freezing rain, and the car was all over the place. PLus the steering seems to intermittently feel tight and and resistant or loose and leary.




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