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Old 07-25-2014, 01:36 PM   #1
Deepdoodoo
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Car pulls to the left

I bought a car a year ago that had been hit in the front right. There was minimal frame damage. The repair shop didn't repair the frame so I could see it was minimal. The car has always pulled slightly to the left. I put new tires on it and it still pulled to the left. I had the tires rebalanced and rotated yesterday after about 6k miles. They were wearing normally. I took it to the alignment shop this AM. (all the guy does his whole life (and he's in his 60s) is front end work and has a reputation for being honest and the best at what he does.)He said he had to adjust the toe in but otherwise it is OK, but still pulls to the left (maybe a little worse). He says it's a tire problem. He didn't charge me a nickel (wouldn't even take a tip). So I think he's being honest. I asked about the front end damage and he said that couldn't be it. I'm wondering if he's right. In my logic if the was damage on the right and something was bent it would pull to the right. When they do an alignment do they check the distance between the front and rear tires? Thanks
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Old 07-25-2014, 04:12 PM   #2
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Re: Car pulls to the left

What kind of car? Alignment readings would be helpful. I know you have rotated the tires, but a quick check is to swap the front tires side to side and see if the pull changes.
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Old 07-25-2014, 04:38 PM   #3
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Re: Car pulls to the left

2004 Toyota Solara. I haven't swapped the 2 front tires but it pulled exactly the same before and after I put on the new tires 6k miles ago, and it pulls exactly the same as when they rotated them yesterday. So I'm thinking it's not the tires. Is it true, as the front end mechanic says that it can be only the tires and would he know that just by aligning it and having it still pull? I'm sure he would have checked other front end parts. Would a damaged frame cause it to pull? He said no, it had nothing to do with the accident.
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Old 07-25-2014, 04:41 PM   #4
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Re: Car pulls to the left

I wouldn't say it's a bad pull, maybe it would be classified a drift.
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Old 07-25-2014, 07:38 PM   #5
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Re: Car pulls to the left

OK, a couple of things here. First, a slight drift left may be a normal condition. Most manufacturers call for a negative caster split to the left, meaning lower caster setting on the left side, to account for road crown. I obviously have not driven your car, so I have no idea how bad the pull is. Yes, damaged frame, bent and worn suspension parts can cause a pull. A readout of the alignment settings with SAI and IA readings would be helpful to get an idea of what's going on with your car.
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Old 07-25-2014, 07:52 PM   #6
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Re: Car pulls to the left

I've been driving 20+ years and know this isn't normal. I also know it's not drastic. I wish I had those readings for you but don't think that's something he would be willing to give me. Like I said, he didn't charge me anything so I don't want to ask for too much. He seemed pretty convinced that it was the tires, but maybe he's not as good as I have heard because I really doubt it. You never really know who to trust with mechanics, I know there are honest ones but how do you know that they know their stuff? I'm always afraid to ask too much because I don't want to insult anyone. His idea was for me to go right to the tire shop but I don't think it would help. When they rotated and rebalanced yesterday wouldn't they have noticed a tire problem?
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Old 07-26-2014, 12:11 PM   #7
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Re: Car pulls to the left

Lots of places have free alignment checks. Maybe find one of those and ask for the readout?
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Old 07-26-2014, 01:00 PM   #8
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Re: Car pulls to the left

Someone on another forum suggested that the control arm may have gotten bent in the accident and it's so slight that you can't see it. Wouldn't this show up in the alignment? I'm going to take your suggestion and try another shop. I'll let you know what I find out and I'll try to get the readings. Do people come back and read these same forums after a couple of months?
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