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  Reply # 1872495 25-Sep-2017 15:11
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Here's the alignment report, for those who understand these things better than me.

 

In regards to the caster being out of range on the front left, wouldn't this actually be raising the left higher than the right? If anything wouldn't that cause drift to the right, not left?

 

Click to enlarge:

 

Click to see full size


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  Reply # 1872497 25-Sep-2017 15:19
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If it was aligned but still same tyres you may still experience problems. Swap tyres front to rear and try again as that sometimes helps


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  Reply # 1872511 25-Sep-2017 15:33
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The alignment looks OK from the chart provided.

 

I'd be looking to other causes that can make a vehicle pull to one side or another. Check the tyres to make sure the wear is even on all 4 - one that is different can cause the vehicle to drift, but can also indicate an alignment problem!

 

A dragging brake is another possibility. A quick and dirty check is to see if any of the wheels are hotter than the rest after having been for a drive - the hotter one will be on the side of the car that it is pulling to.

 

Another possibility is the tyre pressure is too high, so the car is just more sensitive than normal to normal road camber - 36psi may be too high for that vehicle - while it's often beneficial to run a slightly higher pressure than the recommendation, check the placard to see what the maker recommends.

 

EDIT: Actually, see how there's a little less caster on the left than the right - some aligners will from memory go for up to 1/2 degree more on the left on a right hand drive car to counter the normal road camber. Given this is the opposite in your case, it may be causing that drift to the left.


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  Reply # 1872542 25-Sep-2017 15:45
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As I read it, the OP's didn't notice a problem but someone else drove the car and thought it pulled left.

 

It is possible that the other person is used to their own car which could be what is actually different or faulty (different power steering, different alignment, incorrect alloy well off-set, pulls right slightly etc).

 

Don't get too carried away with detailed trouble shooting without first getting a mechanic or alignment guy take it for a test drive. It might be perfectly normal as it presently is.




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  Reply # 1872565 25-Sep-2017 15:53
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RunningMan:

 

The alignment looks OK from the chart provided.

 

I'd be looking to other causes that can make a vehicle pull to one side or another. Check the tyres to make sure the wear is even on all 4 - one that is different can cause the vehicle to drift, but can also indicate an alignment problem!

 

A dragging brake is another possibility. A quick and dirty check is to see if any of the wheels are hotter than the rest after having been for a drive - the hotter one will be on the side of the car that it is pulling to.

 

Another possibility is the tyre pressure is too high, so the car is just more sensitive than normal to normal road camber - 36psi may be too high for that vehicle - while it's often beneficial to run a slightly higher pressure than the recommendation, check the placard to see what the maker recommends.

 

EDIT: Actually, see how there's a little less caster on the left than the right - some aligners will from memory go for up to 1/2 degree more on the left on a right hand drive car to counter the normal road camber. Given this is the opposite in your case, it may be causing that drift to the left.

 

 

Placard says 230kpa, which equates to 33.35psi, but when Bridgestone fitted my new tyres the recommended 36psi. I could drop them to 34psi as a test, but I have tried driving right on the crown of the road it it stills drifts left so I don't think it's a case of just exaggerating the normal drift from the road camber.

 

@RunningMan I thought the less caster on the left would result in the strut being more vertical on the left hand side, so if anything resulting in drifting to the right? Am I not understanding this correctly?


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  Reply # 1872572 25-Sep-2017 16:02
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Pressure wise, 36psi should be fine then - it's not significantly higher than the recommendation. As for the caster, I'd have to look it up to be certain. From memory it was half degree more caster on the left (left strut leaning back slightly further) to counter road camber, but I may have that backwards. Worth checking though as the amount is about right for it to be an issue if I do have it the right way around.


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  Reply # 1872600 25-Sep-2017 17:19
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Paul1977:

 

MikeB4:

 

Has the vehicle been involved in an accident to a degree that the chassis alignment is compromised? Also do you have matching tyre brands an all axles?

 

 

It's hasn't been involved in any accidents that I am aware of. It's a Japanese import and I am the first NZ owner.

 

All 4 tyres are the same and were replaced at the same time.

 

 

I would expect that straight roads are built with a slight slope to the left so water runs off instead of forming dangerous pooling - so shouldn't a slight left drift be expected?

 

 


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  Reply # 1872603 25-Sep-2017 17:32
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ubergeeknz:

This happened to me, I had an alignment and the car pulled left.  Only when I went back, the second alignment tech pointed out that one of the outer tie rod ends had excessive play.


You may have some worn suspension or steering part which means no matter how much someone sets the alignment (only the toe, usually) it will be out of alignment.  Uneven caster is a clue IMO.  Get it thoroughly checked by a mechanic.


It could also be tires.  Actually swap the front tires and see what happens.



If pulling to the left, I'd look for worn joints on the front left quarter of the car. The tell tale sign is fast wearing left front tyre. Get it on the hoist and get a mechanic to make sure the joints do not have excessive play.

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  Reply # 1872608 25-Sep-2017 17:48
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Try and swap the 2 front tires.
I had a car that would drift to the left and a tire place (idiots as I happened) told me it was a serious alignment issue. Took it to a chassis alignment specialist expecting bad news and they said it was just tire wear, they swapped the front tires around and it then had a slight pull to the right. It was a front drive however. As they explained the front left tire on a front drive car gets harder wear than the right. Left turns are sharper and scrub the left tire more. After a few hundred kms it was all neutral again.




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  Reply # 1872636 25-Sep-2017 19:00
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Drifting slightly is one thing not to be too concerned about, but may indicate wear and imbalance somewhere ..

 

What does the car do when you do a hard braking?

 

What does the car do when you jab the brakes very hard?

 

The car should pull up reasonably straight.

 

Any instability, veering to one side and steering wheel pulling to one side would be of great concern and needs expert attention.

 

 

 

 

 

 





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  Reply # 1872762 25-Sep-2017 22:35
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Another test (Although I cant think of an easy way to test it) Is to drive the car perfectly straight ahead. And check that the rear wheels exactly run over the tracks created by the front wheels.






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  Reply # 1872855 26-Sep-2017 08:39
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kryptonjohn:

 

Paul1977:

 

MikeB4:

 

Has the vehicle been involved in an accident to a degree that the chassis alignment is compromised? Also do you have matching tyre brands an all axles?

 

 

It's hasn't been involved in any accidents that I am aware of. It's a Japanese import and I am the first NZ owner.

 

All 4 tyres are the same and were replaced at the same time.

 

 

I would expect that straight roads are built with a slight slope to the left so water runs off instead of forming dangerous pooling - so shouldn't a slight left drift be expected?

 

 

 

 

YES! a car should follow the camber of the road, and veer to the left with hands off the wheel. NO it should not pull sharply to the left. 

 

On a straight road design minimum 2% crossfall with asphalt surfacing, 3% with chipseal, 5% unsealed.

 

Sometimes a 10% more pressure in the tyres can improve the driving feel, although some people prefer softer for ride comfort.


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  Reply # 1872860 26-Sep-2017 08:57
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What car are we dealing with here?
If it is a low to the ground performance orientated vehicle with low profile big wheels its gonna tug left on pretty much any road. 
It should still brake straight and not pull too hard but any uneven surface will cause some form of resistance. 
After I replaced all the bushings and ball joints in my car I was over sensitive to pretty much everything!

Your alignment does not look bad.  
There was a site you could enter your specs into and it would show you everything, what way it tracks, camber all visually and clearly so it can give an idea of what you might be experiencing.


Personally I would be looking at worn out ball joints and bushes first. An alignment shop passed my WoF (Bridgestone Select Albany) and I have 4 lower ball joints with excessive play and flogged reaction bushes. They pinged me on brakes that didn't even need replacing. So I replaced them myself for 1/3 the cost to piss them off.
But it goes to show, someone who does wheel alignments and tires for a living did not recognize that play in the geometry of the vehicles suspension would not pass a WoF and also that any alignment would be worthless due to the play in the suspension. 





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  Reply # 1872866 26-Sep-2017 09:14
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Toyota Mark X with 215/60R16 tyres. So not low profile tyres, or a particularly low ride height.

 

A lot of posters still suggesting that the road camber is the likely cause, but I have ruled this out by driving on a few roads dead on the crown.

 

Lots of good advice here though, so I have a few things to look at.

 

As I mentioned some posts back, it is due for it's yearly service in about a month which will be a good opportunity to get them to check many of the possibilities that have been suggested.

 

I'm not fighting the steering wheel trying to keep it on the road or anything, just one of those things that once you notice is very hard to unnotice!


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  Reply # 1872867 26-Sep-2017 09:22
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Aren't cars designed to gently pull to the left due to the camber of the road? A road is not straight, it slopes gently for rainwater run off. If your wheels are straight, it will follow the road sloping left, so will slope to the left.


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