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Old 07-28-2009, 06:22 AM   #1
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Default Car pulls to the left even after alignment

Hey I've been dealing with this problem for a while now. My car when on the highway and cruising pulls to the left as soon as you let go of the wheel. I know that it's supposed to pull to the right a little for safety reasons but this is a very immediate and noticeable pull to the left. I've tried it in all lanes on the highway, left, middle, and right, to see if maybe it was from the curvature of the road and it did it in every lane. Now I have unlimited alignments from NTB for 1 year, and I get the wheels aligned as often as possible, the last time which was 2 weeks ago when I got new tires put on, the guy said that the car barely needed it, yet it still pulls to the left. Could this be a bent suspension part, or maybe something that is going bad and needs to be replaced?
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Old 07-28-2009, 06:49 AM   #2
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I dont think its something wrong with your ride unless you got into a previous accident. I actually think NTB is not doing there job. I hear lots of bad things about them.
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Old 07-28-2009, 06:59 AM   #3
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Hey I've been dealing with this problem for a while now. My car when on the highway and cruising pulls to the left as soon as you let go of the wheel. I know that it's supposed to pull to the right a little for safety reasons but this is a very immediate and noticeable pull to the left. I've tried it in all lanes on the highway, left, middle, and right, to see if maybe it was from the curvature of the road and it did it in every lane. Now I have unlimited alignments from NTB for 1 year, and I get the wheels aligned as often as possible, the last time which was 2 weeks ago when I got new tires put on, the guy said that the car barely needed it, yet it still pulls to the left. Could this be a bent suspension part, or maybe something that is going bad and needs to be replaced?
Sounds like they're not aligning it properly. Have you ever got a print out of the settings they've set your alignment to? I bet the rears they never even touched. I've noticed the tC is sensitive to rear toe as it has toe-compensating bushings in the back. And if the toe is out back there it can cause it to pull.

I think you need to take it somewhere else, as this place it's obvious either 1- there is something wrong with them aligning it or 2- there is something off about their alignment rack.
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Old 07-28-2009, 07:30 AM   #4
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yes ive gotten a print up of what they set it to once a while back and i noticed a few settings were in the red or outside of the recommended specs, this last time I didnt get the sheet but I saw it on the desk and all the numbers were green so I was assuming all was right, and yea I honestly dont like taking my car to them because they have done some things in the past that really turned me off, but I mean here in cleveland that's really the only tire shop franchise that has shops conviently located around the city. If firestone or some other place did I would for sure go 2 them. I just dont see how hard it is to align the car when ur using a effin machine 2 do it....
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Old 07-28-2009, 09:13 AM   #5
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yes ive gotten a print up of what they set it to once a while back and i noticed a few settings were in the red or outside of the recommended specs, this last time I didnt get the sheet but I saw it on the desk and all the numbers were green so I was assuming all was right, and yea I honestly dont like taking my car to them because they have done some things in the past that really turned me off, but I mean here in cleveland that's really the only tire shop franchise that has shops conviently located around the city. If firestone or some other place did I would for sure go 2 them. I just dont see how hard it is to align the car when ur using a effin machine 2 do it....
alignments are NOT that difficult! But there are A LOT of LAZY technicians out there!

Could you do me a favor? This is pretty simple, get yourself a ruler (in mm would be good, just because its a smaller increment, more accurate but inches would be ok) and measure the the tie rod threads on the front. You measure from where they begin to where they end at the locknut. Could you do that? it'll take you like 5 min total for both left and right front. This will help me see how they're adjusting the toe settings. And help figure out what they're doing.

If you don't know where the tie rod is, just let us know.
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Old 07-28-2009, 04:46 PM   #6
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I'm taking my car in for an alignment today..I hope this doesn't happen to me.
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Old 07-28-2009, 05:26 PM   #7
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alignments are NOT that difficult! But there are A LOT of LAZY technicians out there!

Could you do me a favor? This is pretty simple, get yourself a ruler (in mm would be good, just because its a smaller increment, more accurate but inches would be ok) and measure the the tie rod threads on the front. You measure from where they begin to where they end at the locknut. Could you do that? it'll take you like 5 min total for both left and right front. This will help me see how they're adjusting the toe settings. And help figure out what they're doing.

If you don't know where the tie rod is, just let us know.
Hey I jacked the car and did part of what you said do. (I was only able to get to the passengers side, I was busy as hell today) Also I only had a cm ruler. So for that side it was about 1cm from the beginning of the threads to the locknut.
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Old 07-28-2009, 09:36 PM   #8
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Hey I jacked the car and did part of what you said do. (I was only able to get to the passengers side, I was busy as hell today) Also I only had a cm ruler. So for that side it was about 1cm from the beginning of the threads to the locknut.
hey thanks for the pics. if you want to you can jack the car up, but you can also just steer the wheel all the way out and measure too, it's quicker. but the pics help.

What the other side should be is the same amount of thread that you measured on the passenger side. My thinking is that you'll find a lot less over there, because they just adjusted one side of the toe to compensate for the other side. This is how they are lazy, i've seen it before.
And it would account for the pull you're seeing. It will look "good" on the machine but in reality it's not good at all.
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Old 07-29-2009, 12:58 AM   #9
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It could be numerous things from a tire pull to them not aligning it properly. Rear toe will not cause it to pull, but will make the vehicle dog track. The only thing that will make it pull would be camber and caster (it takes 3 times as much caster to pull like camber), toe can cause the steering wheel to be off center, but should always find its center and drive straight down the road (though the steering wheel may not be straight).

I would put money on a bad tire if they are aligning it correctly. An easy way to tell is to swap the front tires side to side. If it changes, you know what it is, if it doesn't, then it is an alignment issue.

Oh, and if something was bent, it would show up in your printout, something would be off.
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Old 07-29-2009, 04:44 AM   #10
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hey thanks for the pics. if you want to you can jack the car up, but you can also just steer the wheel all the way out and measure too, it's quicker. but the pics help.

What the other side should be is the same amount of thread that you measured on the passenger side. My thinking is that you'll find a lot less over there, because they just adjusted one side of the toe to compensate for the other side. This is how they are lazy, i've seen it before.
And it would account for the pull you're seeing. It will look "good" on the machine but in reality it's not good at all.
Hey I just got under there again because it was time for me to change my oil and clean my CAI filter. And yea u were absolutely right, the drivers side barely had any thread. Maybe about 1/2 a centimeter. My only option though as of right now is to keep taking it to them until they get it right, because wheel alignments aren't cheap.
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Old 07-29-2009, 07:51 AM   #11
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Hey I just got under there again because it was time for me to change my oil and clean my CAI filter. And yea u were absolutely right, the drivers side barely had any thread. Maybe about 1/2 a centimeter. My only option though as of right now is to keep taking it to them until they get it right, because wheel alignments aren't cheap.
yep, that's what I suspected. They're compensating for aligning it by overly adjusting one side. And when it rolls down the road both tie rods are not even and you see this "pull". Where when you put it on the alignment rack, it "looks" OK. When the physics of it, it's not.

Now let's say they adjust BOTH sides to the correct amount of toe, the threads are an even amount, and the steering wheel is crooked after that when going straight down the road. That means the steering wheel wasn't put on the steering column straight from the factory. I've seen Camrys that have had that problem. It's an easy fix. Just have to take the airbag out of the steering wheel, then move the steering wheel over one notch.

But.. one thing at a time. Just helping you understand the whole thing.

Was there ever a time when the car did drive straight and the steering wheel was straight?

And yes alignments are NOT cheap, which is why we help each other here to figure it out before spending money. I just don't like the way this NTB has been working on your car, taking the CHEAP and LAZY way out of alignments. I've been through this before with other cars and it makes me mad these lazy people are still aligning like this.

No worries about all this, it IS fixable

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Old 07-29-2009, 08:05 AM   #12
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yep, that's what I suspected. They're compensating for aligning it by overly adjusting one side. And when it rolls down the road both tie rods are not even and you see this "pull". Where when you put it on the alignment rack, it "looks" OK. When the physics of it, it's not.

Now let's say they adjust BOTH sides to the correct amount of toe, the threads are an even amount, and the steering wheel is crooked after that when going straight down the road. That means the steering wheel wasn't put on the steering column straight from the factory. I've seen Camrys that have had that problem. It's an easy fix. Just have to take the airbag out of the steering wheel, then move the steering wheel over one notch.

But.. one thing at a time. Just helping you understand the whole thing.

Was there ever a time when the car did drive straight and the steering wheel was straight?

And yes alignments are NOT cheap, which is why we help each other here to figure it out before spending money. I just don't like the way this NTB has been working on your car, taking the CHEAP and LAZY way out of alignments. I've been through this before with other cars and it makes me mad these lazy people are still aligning like this.

No worries about all this, it IS fixable
It really makes me angry that I can come on here and get answers from people who actually know what they are talking about, people who arent getting paid to tell me this stuff, or even know, but I pay them $99 for 12 months worth of alignments and they act like they either dont know what they are doing or dont care...now if you know that both tie rod threads are supposed to be the same, then why wouldn't they???? It makes me sick. And I am pretty sure that the car at one time did drive straight, im pretty certain of that. Im just gonna most likely go to the same NTB that I did last time and demand that they fix the problem and if it isn't and I get under the car and see they did the same thing, I'll definitely file a complaint to corporate, even though nothing will probably happen, at least I'll know I did something....
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Old 07-29-2009, 09:07 AM   #13
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It really makes me angry that I can come on here and get answers from people who actually know what they are talking about, people who arent getting paid to tell me this stuff, or even know, but I pay them $99 for 12 months worth of alignments and they act like they either dont know what they are doing or dont care...now if you know that both tie rod threads are supposed to be the same, then why wouldn't they???? It makes me sick. And I am pretty sure that the car at one time did drive straight, im pretty certain of that. Im just gonna most likely go to the same NTB that I did last time and demand that they fix the problem and if it isn't and I get under the car and see they did the same thing, I'll definitely file a complaint to corporate, even though nothing will probably happen, at least I'll know I did something....
yeah I know it makes ya sick, but the truth is.. there are a lot of LAZY mechanics out there who really don't care about much of anything. It's sad but true. They don't care what is perfect, or exacting. They think anyone doing the job "right" is being too "picky" when they're the lazy ones.

Personally I understand you paid $99 for 12 months of alignments, but you're definitely getting what you're paying for at $8.25 worth of work per month. Which isn't much. I know of tire shops around here that charge $65 for one alignment. And the dealership is like $80-90 for one. I'm not judging you at all, just pointing it out.

My thought is how about trying another NTB location? Maybe look up reviews online through BBB.org (better biz bureau) see who has complaints. Just trying to help. I personally would be too scared to "Force" a uninformed, non-caring person to do work on my car! But that's me.

Oh and if you want to know where to get the info about the tie rods to be the same length, Toyota themselves in the service manual for alignment say it right there! I'll post the link. TrdSparks has it. On top of the third page, you'll see it describes how the tie rods are supposed to be measured at.

http://www.trdsparks.com/install/tCFWheelAlignment.pdf

and the rear wheel alignment specs are here (if you wanted them)
http://www.trdsparks.com/install/tCRWheelAlignment.pdf
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Old 07-29-2009, 05:57 PM   #14
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take ur front 2 tires and swap them if the car pull's to the right after that then rotate ur tires front to back it could be a tire pull i go threw this so many times were i work
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Old 07-29-2009, 06:23 PM   #15
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Is your tire pressure within spec on all four corner?

After they do the alignment have them take a test drive with you in the car. Dont leave until it drives straight
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Old 07-29-2009, 07:48 PM   #16
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Is your tire pressure within spec on all four corner?

After they do the alignment have them take a test drive with you in the car. Dont leave until it drives straight
yea im almost obsessive compulsive when it comes to tire pressure, I check the pressure every single day and adjust it to the factory spec, how I do run the rear tires at 30 psi instead of 29, but that wouldnt cause the car to pull would it???
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Old 07-29-2009, 10:50 PM   #17
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No, your tire pressures like that wouldn't cause a pull. Tire pressures have to be off a considerable amount side to side to cause a pull. Doesn't matter if the tire pressure is 1psi over spec, tire pressures constantly change with temperature changes anyway. Just make sure your side to side is equal and your at or around spec.
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Old 07-29-2009, 11:53 PM   #18
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wow thats a lot of bad news! now you have multiple problems...one, we all know now that ur alignment is not done properly and two...if you keep driving like this, your tires will deform especially internally *meaning the "skeleton of the tire* and the pulling will NEVER go away as long as you own those tires as the tires have been "forced" to abnormal wear and extra rolling resistance due to bad alignment.

if you have any damaged or bent suspension parts, it doesn't matter how good the alignment tech is, that car will never track straight...you should ask for a print out and post that printout on here for us to take a look at it is what i think =) it would be very interesting to see what ur specs are at right now. this is a problem that needs to be fixed ASAP before it ends up costing you a lot more money unless they are gonna buy you tires!!! imagine that

and yes it is true...there are lazy technicians out there who just dont care anymore or just wanna get the job done and get paid for it...i know i seen it happen. its sad and a shame because it puts a bad name to all the other good techs out there who actually try to make a difference. personally, i love it when i work on a customers car and they end up leaving with a smile on their face and want shake my hand or want to give me a tip no matter how much i resist to take it. makes me feel like i actually made a difference and made their day better. so i really hope you get this problem resovled. there are lots of great ppl on this community here to help too!
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Old 07-30-2009, 03:43 AM   #19
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wow thats a lot of bad news! now you have multiple problems...one, we all know now that ur alignment is not done properly and two...if you keep driving like this, your tires will deform especially internally *meaning the "skeleton of the tire* and the pulling will NEVER go away as long as you own those tires as the tires have been "forced" to abnormal wear and extra rolling resistance due to bad alignment.

if you have any damaged or bent suspension parts, it doesn't matter how good the alignment tech is, that car will never track straight...you should ask for a print out and post that printout on here for us to take a look at it is what i think =) it would be very interesting to see what ur specs are at right now. this is a problem that needs to be fixed ASAP before it ends up costing you a lot more money unless they are gonna buy you tires!!! imagine that

and yes it is true...there are lazy technicians out there who just dont care anymore or just wanna get the job done and get paid for it...i know i seen it happen. its sad and a shame because it puts a bad name to all the other good techs out there who actually try to make a difference. personally, i love it when i work on a customers car and they end up leaving with a smile on their face and want shake my hand or want to give me a tip no matter how much i resist to take it. makes me feel like i actually made a difference and made their day better. so i really hope you get this problem resovled. there are lots of great ppl on this community here to help too!
Wow...I just thought a bad alignment would cause un-even or premature wear, I had no idea it would as you said "deform" the tire...And what makes me mad is that I just got the car aligned because I had to put new tires on my car. General Exclaim UHP's. They have been excellent so far, and even though the car pulls to the left like crazy I haven't noticed any wear on the tires at all, I was supposed to go get the alignment today, but was unable to wake up....(it was my day to be lazy I guess), but thank you to everyone for you advice and help
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Old 07-30-2009, 12:56 PM   #20
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i remember working on a camry one time who had put new tires on all around but never had the alignment done. 4 months after he had the tires put on he came to us to get an alignment performed. he said the car pulled to the left. no mater what i did the car would not track straight! cross rotate, tried a different alignment rack, still pulled left.... flipping the tire on the rim caused it to pull to the right... so 4 new tires later, the car was tracking straight.
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Old 07-30-2009, 12:56 PM
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