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what causes a tire pull


goongrinch
02-01-2008, 03:30 PM
i know a seperated tire can make your car pull, but i have put alot of new tires on cars, sets of 4 and do a alignment and the car will pull to one side, when i bring it back into the shop i will cross the fronts and the problem goes away, i mean do i tell the customer that not all new tires are made perfect or equal to one another?

UncleBob
02-01-2008, 04:27 PM
yup, thats pretty much the answer

Its usually more common with really cheap tires. Which should tell you something.....

SLJ2137694
02-02-2008, 11:03 AM
Radial tire pull is usually caused by a tire construction issue. You can have a pull for other reasons, unbalanced spool valve, alignment settings, tire pressure, etc. A lead/pull is usually offset with an adjustment of the caster or camber depending on vehicle design. The only problem with that is when it comes time to rotate the tires. The offending tire will eventually end up on the opposite front wheel position and you will have your pull again. If it was my car I would insist that the offending tire be found and replaced.

Polygon
02-02-2008, 05:24 PM
Lots of things can cause tire pull.

1. Uneven tire wear.
2. Out of alignment.
3. Directional tires put on the wrong way.

Those are the most immediate offenders. Here's a tip for you. When you rotate your tires always rotate them from front to back. The criss-cross method was used for bias ply tires. Also, you CAN'T rotate directional tires criss-cross or it will mess up how your car rides.

UncleBob
02-02-2008, 05:35 PM
Lots of things can cause tire pull.

1. Uneven tire wear.
2. Out of alignment.
3. Directional tires put on the wrong way.

Those are the most immediate offenders. Here's a tip for you. When you rotate your tires always rotate them from front to back. The criss-cross method was used for bias ply tires. Also, you CAN'T rotate directional tires criss-cross or it will mess up how your car rides.

what he is refering to is a pull that goes away when you cross rotate the tires. Alignment isn't the issue when that happens

SLJ2137694
02-02-2008, 09:07 PM
Lots of things can cause tire pull.

1. Uneven tire wear.
2. Out of alignment.
3. Directional tires put on the wrong way.

Those are the most immediate offenders. Here's a tip for you. When you rotate your tires always rotate them from front to back. The criss-cross method was used for bias ply tires. Also, you CAN'T rotate directional tires criss-cross or it will mess up how your car rides.
Vehicle and tire manufacturers have approved of swapping radial tires side to side for many many years. Obviously you don't want to rotate directional tires in the wrong direction though.

Polygon
02-03-2008, 12:51 AM
what he is refering to is a pull that goes away when you cross rotate the tires. Alignment isn't the issue when that happens

Yes, it just one of the reasons I listed. I wasn't just answering the OP. Other people might come in with the same question from a different cause. His problem was #3.

Vehicle and tire manufacturers have approved of swapping radial tires side to side for many many years. Obviously you don't want to rotate directional tires in the wrong direction though.

Approve, but don't recommend. Ask any tire place worth their salt and they rotate front to back. The criss-cross method came about because bias ply tires had to be and radials do not. If you always rotate front to back with radials you won't have to worry about the OPs problem.

UncleBob
02-03-2008, 03:11 AM
Yes, it just one of the reasons I listed. I wasn't just answering the OP. Other people might come in with the same question from a different cause. His problem was #3.
how did you deduce he was referring to directional tires?

Assuming he has the tires on in the right direction, cross rotating the tires would still keep an even patern....how could that cause an uneven pull? Makes no sense

What he's talking about isn't uncommon at all you know. I see it all the time. If you sell a lot of cheap ass tires, you deal with more pull issues.


Approve, but don't recommend. Ask any tire place worth their salt and they rotate front to back. The criss-cross method came about because bias ply tires had to be and radials do not. If you always rotate front to back with radials you won't have to worry about the OPs problem.
Um, I work at a tire store. I guess I'm not worth my salt. We don't do it as a general rule but (you'll like this.....) we DO cross rotate tires often when trying to diagnose why a car is pulling....

There is no real issue with cross rotating radials, but its just not necessary 99% of the time

I fear I'll need to ask where you've gained your vast knowledge, if we are going to continue this conversation. It doesn't appear to me you've ever worked at a tire store, or done alignments for a living.

Polygon
02-03-2008, 11:56 AM
how did you deduce he was referring to directional tires?

Assuming he has the tires on in the right direction, cross rotating the tires would still keep an even patern....how could that cause an uneven pull? Makes no sense

What he's talking about isn't uncommon at all you know. I see it all the time. If you sell a lot of cheap ass tires, you deal with more pull issues.

Alright, I'm sorry I just went back and read and he didn't say anything about directional tires. Also, yes you can cross rotate as long as that's the way you've been rotating from the start. I know you can't switch between the two mid-point. I understand that. I guess it slipped my mind since I refuse to buy cheap tires. That is just one of MANY reasons.

Um, I work at a tire store. I guess I'm not worth my salt. We don't do it as a general rule but (you'll like this.....) we DO cross rotate tires often when trying to diagnose why a car is pulling....

There is no real issue with cross rotating radials, but its just not necessary 99% of the time

I fear I'll need to ask where you've gained your vast knowledge, if we are going to continue this conversation. It doesn't appear to me you've ever worked at a tire store, or done alignments for a living.

You would be right, I've never worked in a tire shop. However, I do know that it's a bad idea to cross rotate, unless you have a situation like what you're talking about, simply because you wouldn't want to cross rotate if they had been going front to back or had directional tires because it would cause a lot of problem. However, I didn't really think about it until you said something. I also know there is no issue with cross rotation beyond that.

SLJ2137694
02-03-2008, 01:11 PM
Way too much old out of date information handed out as current information. I was in charge of Chassis Systems and handled Tires and Wheels for General Motors Corporation for over 20 years. When radial tires first came on the market you were advised not to reverse rotation on them because of the way they were constructed. That was fixed 30 years ago!!! Too many people passing on old information and just confusing the issue. YOU CAN cross rotate todays radials and not think anything about it, I do it all the time. This can be done at any time during their life. How many of the guys working in tire shops have had training from people with an understanding of current technology, (current being at least in the last 20+ years). Most likely some guys are trained by the old timers who learned you shouldn't cross rotate radial tires. Do you think General Motors and other manufacturers would recommend cross rotation if there was a chance it would cause a problem? Common sence comes into play here.

goongrinch
02-03-2008, 03:29 PM
just for more input when i put a set of four brand new directional tires on, set the alignment, and the car pulls, lets say in this case to the left, i will rotate front to back the right side, that is the general rule i was taught and a majority of the time this will fix the problem with the directional tires ...sometimes, now as i work for a shop that installs alot of tires, we sell alot of dirt cheap tires, and as i am now the mechanic and the salesman i want to be able to explain to the customer why i had to bring their car back into the shop and fiddle around with the new tires, without telling them that they put garbage tires on there car.

SLJ2137694
02-03-2008, 04:07 PM
just for more input when i put a set of four brand new directional tires on, set the alignment, and the car pulls, lets say in this case to the left, i will rotate front to back the right side, that is the general rule i was taught and a majority of the time this will fix the problem with the directional tires ...sometimes, now as i work for a shop that installs alot of tires, we sell alot of dirt cheap tires, and as i am now the mechanic and the salesman i want to be able to explain to the customer why i had to bring their car back into the shop and fiddle around with the new tires, without telling them that they put garbage tires on there car.
Doesn't that tire manufacturer allow you to replace a tire that is causing a pull? I would be replacing the offending tire if it was my call.

UncleBob
02-03-2008, 04:26 PM
just for more input when i put a set of four brand new directional tires on, set the alignment, and the car pulls, lets say in this case to the left, i will rotate front to back the right side, that is the general rule i was taught and a majority of the time this will fix the problem with the directional tires ..

this may work, but the problem is you are mix-matching tires and hoping the overall end result will counter the problem that was there.

The most reliable solution is to pull the 2 front tires, reverse the direction of the tires, and reinstall them. This way there is no guessing on what the rear tires are doing, and more importantly, you won't have to re-diagnose it the first time you rotate the tires front to back.

UncleBob
02-03-2008, 04:31 PM
Doesn't that tire manufacturer allow you to replace a tire that is causing a pull? I would be replacing the offending tire if it was my call.
the simple answer is, if you want to buy cheap ass tires, then you get the wonderful negatives that go with it. How would you know which tire was causing the problem? Who's paying for it?

I can think of one car, no matter how we rotated the tires, it would pull. The amusing thing (to me) was it was on a prestine, gorgous BMW M3. The owner was just a tight wad. I spent hours mounting and dismounting tires trying different combo's to get it to stop pulling with no luck. I should add, we didn't install the cheap tires, he got it done elsewhere.

Finally he took our advice and replaced all 4 tires with good tires. Problem was fixed.

bobss396
02-04-2008, 10:12 AM
I've seen the "radial pull" or "dominant belt" in mainly new tires regardless of whether they were top shelf or economy brands. For new tires, if the customer agrees to it, we could switch them to the rear. I've seen some pretty severe pulls and have replaced the tire and sent the defective tire back to the wholesaler.

If the car comes in for an alignment with the tire purchase, we always road tested the car afterwards. On the older GM cars with shims, we would bring a wrench with us on the road test and jockey the upper control arm shims around to eliminate a minor drift condition.

Bob

2.2 Straight six
02-05-2008, 01:01 AM
Lots of things can cause tire pull.

1. Uneven tire wear.
2. Out of alignment.
3. Directional tires put on the wrong way.

Those are the most immediate offenders. Here's a tip for you. When you rotate your tires always rotate them from front to back. The criss-cross method was used for bias ply tires. Also, you CAN'T rotate directional tires criss-cross or it will mess up how your car rides.

very rarely does a directional tyre running backward cause a pull effect. you only really encounted adverse effects when a directional tyre is running backwards in heavy rain. in the dry there is little difference. as directional tyres (like non-directional tyres) are symetrical the sidewalls and carcass are the same either side.

inside-outside tyres can cause problems if fitted the wrong way round, as some are manufactured differently side to side, for example stiffer outer sidewalls for cornering ability.

most cars will pull to one side when you let go of the wheel for a simple reason. roads are built with a camber, to direct water towards the pavements. in my shop i had customers return to the shop after having alignment done, claiming the car pulled to the left when they let go of the wheel. of course, in the US it would pull to the right.

tyres alone don't usually cause a car to pull, unless odd sizes are used on the same axle.

bobss396
02-07-2008, 10:25 AM
...most cars will pull to one side when you let go of the wheel for a simple reason. roads are built with a camber, to direct water towards the pavements. in my shop i had customers return to the shop after having alignment done, claiming the car pulled to the left when they let go of the wheel. of course, in the US it would pull to the right....

Yeah, the road crown thing you describe is right on. After alignments, we always would road test the cars on this long level stretch of parking lot that was close by. Get up to 30 or 45, do a "hands off" test and see how it went.

Most of the time we were able to fend off a complaint by explaining the road crown thing to the customer and having them drive it on our private "test track" or the bigger highways, as they were built with no crown.

Bob

UncleBob
02-07-2008, 03:22 PM
thats why there should always be around half a degree less caster on the left side for right side driven cars. Corrects for most crowns

Some cars are more sensitive than others. I've seen cars with as much as two degree's caster difference that didn't pull. Lot of geometry factors and stiction in the steering system.

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