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Thread: My car just aligned and new tires and still "pulling".

  1. #1
    Senior Member Shaffer's Avatar
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    My car just aligned and new tires and still "pulling".

    I took my 92 Buick PA a few weeks ago and had the inner tie-rod ends replaced and new alignment. I took it a few days later to the same place and had new front tires placed on it. I noticed one day that it seemed like it was still pulling to the right. I tried it on a safe highway- slightly released the wheel and it is pulling a good deal to the right. What could be wrong now? Still out of alignment? I am thinking of taking the car back and telling them something is still not right. Any suggestions as what it can be, before I go back and tell them I think they did not align it properly? Thanks
    1972 Chevrolet Kingswood Estate (Caprice) 3-seat wagon
    1973 Pontiac Grand Ville Custom 4dr hardtop
    1995 Lincoln Town Car Signature Series 4dr sedan
    1993 Mercedes 400SEL 4dr sedan
    2012 Honda Civic LX 4dr sedan

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    Re: My car just aligned and new tires and still "pulling".

    First thing to do would be to swap the tires front to back or side to side on the front. If it pulls the other way after the side to side swap on the front, it would be a "radial pull" issue. Of course, make sure the tires are aired up to about 30psi cold before attempting any diagnosis.

    Don't forget to check the brakes and make sure they are releasing completely and one doesn't have any residual pressure due to a brake hose that's going bad internally and is restricting the release of fluid pressure from the caliper. Or that maybe a caliper is not moving freely and is leaving one side in the "just a hair applied" mode that will wear out the pad on that side of the caliper pretty quick.

    Key thing in the alignment specs to look at is the caster measurement and "cross caster" or how the readings differ from side to side in the front. Also, very few roads are truly flat. There will be some angle to them so they'll drain during wet weather, not to mention a bit of crown that might not be readily apparent--even on Interstate highways.

    So, inflate the tires evenly and to specs. Swap the front tires side to side to see if the pull changes, or front to back after that. Get the alignment rechecked and get a printout of what it is. While swapping the tires around, check to make sure no brake drag exists on the front hubs. Might take a couple of hours to get all of that done and see if anything changes, but that's what it might take to determine what's happening and how to remedy it.

    Hope this helps,
    NTX5467

  3. #3

    Re: My car just aligned and new tires and still "pulling".

    do all the things mentioned above and try it again. If it still pulls then CHECK THE toe in and camber YOURSELF! USe a tape measure and a helper to measure the toe-in at the front of the tires and at the rear of the tires. Subtract the difference of the measurements and thats how much toe there is or isnt. Use a carpenters level (u might have to cut one shorter to fit under the wheel well) to measure the camber. I use a spare disk rotor to slap against the face of the wheel and put the level against the outer flange of the rotor. Of course all of this has to be done on smooth level surface as is reasonably available. I have used the above method with excellent results many times on different cars and light trucks.

    WHEN did this pulling problem start?????
    M5. Var. of D12. Amen EMinEM.

  4. #4

    Re: My car just aligned and new tires and still "pulling".

    U mite also need to check the suspension yourself for worn parts. How many miles are on the car??
    M5. Var. of D12. Amen EMinEM.

  5. #5

    Re: My car just aligned and new tires and still "pulling".

    We had some problems with our 1992 Lesabre last summer. I took it to an Olds dealer for an alignment. They called me and said they could not align because too many worn parts and quoted $1,600 for the job. I declined and they still charged me $44 for the inspection. I had the work done at reliable tire shop for a lot less. It turned out to be the mounting plates for struts were worn. New plates, struts, tires, alignment, less than $800 and been ok since. Also had a caliper hang up last year and wear out one front pad. Never knew it until the squeak started. New calipers solved that. Wish now we could do something about those rusty rocker panels. Rest of the car is fine, rockers look like an old '59 Buick.

  6. #6
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    Re: My car just aligned and new tires and still "pulling".

    You didn't say if you got a 4 wheel alignment. If not the rear wheels could also need to be aligned so the car doesn't dog track, which could cause it to pull also.

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    Senior Member Shaffer's Avatar
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    Re: My car just aligned and new tires and still "pulling".

    Thanks for the replies. To answer a few questions, they was supposed to do a 4-wheel alignment. The car has 153,600 miles. The car was pulling for a long time. I took it to have it aligned originally (due to pulling) and they too said that I had worn steering parts. I had them install inner-tie rod ends and they aligned (supposedly) the car. I took it later and had new front tires installed. I noticed one day that it seemed to still be pulling to the right. It was (is) indeed. Perhaps it is the brakes, as they said they recommended new front brake pads be placed on this car.

    1972 Chevrolet Kingswood Estate (Caprice) 3-seat wagon
    1973 Pontiac Grand Ville Custom 4dr hardtop
    1995 Lincoln Town Car Signature Series 4dr sedan
    1993 Mercedes 400SEL 4dr sedan
    2012 Honda Civic LX 4dr sedan

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    Senior Member Shaffer's Avatar
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    Re: My car just aligned and new tires and still "pulling".

    Centerman: Not to change the subject- You must live up north, or your car must have been originally from up north- since your car has rusty rocker panels. I have seen a few early 90s Park Avenues and LeSabres down here, with out of state plates from the north and seen rusty rocker panels on them. Luckily, my 92 Park Avenue is from here in the south and is still 100% rust free. I wonder why these cars are so prone to rust on the rocker panels? Even on the northern cars- it seems like this is the only place they rust.
    1972 Chevrolet Kingswood Estate (Caprice) 3-seat wagon
    1973 Pontiac Grand Ville Custom 4dr hardtop
    1995 Lincoln Town Car Signature Series 4dr sedan
    1993 Mercedes 400SEL 4dr sedan
    2012 Honda Civic LX 4dr sedan

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    Re: My car just aligned and new tires and still "pulling".

    you had the tie-rods replaced, then an alignment!
    then you had new tires put on....why...i think that's alittle backwards.
    im guessing nobody at this place really made the proper recommendations, in the correct order, unless your old tires were like new...?
    the alignment is difficult enough for a good technician,
    not to mention all these other factors that can affect it.
    so going back, and making sure you let them know that your aware of what's going on might help, if this place is talented enough!
    dennis passan
    49'roadmaster convertible

  10. #10
    Senior Member Shaffer's Avatar
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    Re: My car just aligned and new tires and still "pulling".

    Not really backwards. I did not want to put new tires on before I had the steering fixed and the car aligned. After the tie rods were installed and it was supposedly aligned- I noticed that the front tire still had a "bump", as well as a wobble to it. It obviously had a broken belt. THEN- I took it and had the new tires installed. I would not think that just changing the tires would throw it back out of alignment- would it? Also- the old tires on the front - even though they were "not very old" Michelin tires- was cracked badly and as mentioned- had broken belts. Now the same type of tire (still on the rear) is also starting to wobble and "bump". I cannot wait until I get these off of here. My front brake pads are definetely in need of replacement- which I intend to do this week. Someone mentioned my brakes may be causing it. We'll see. If not- I am not going to worry about it and continue to drive it to work everyday until the wheels fall completely off.
    1972 Chevrolet Kingswood Estate (Caprice) 3-seat wagon
    1973 Pontiac Grand Ville Custom 4dr hardtop
    1995 Lincoln Town Car Signature Series 4dr sedan
    1993 Mercedes 400SEL 4dr sedan
    2012 Honda Civic LX 4dr sedan

  11. #11
    Sr Mbr -- BCA 20811
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    Re: My car just aligned and new tires and still "pulling".

    The alignment settings themselves will not change with a new set of tires, just that if they were compensated for due to "radial pull", then with new tires and different dynamic operational characteristics, it could pull then when it didn't before. The chain of events you mention to have some merit, but any time you put new tires on the front of the car, they need to have an alignment done then.

    If you're "breaking belts", where are you driving that poor car??? And at what air pressure? When a tire starts weathercracking, then moisture can invade the tire carcass and cause problems too (probably somewhat similar to "dry rot"). No one has come up with a "shelf life" recommendation as such on tires, but regardless of the remaining tread, if they start weather cracking their days are numbered. Also, with age, the rubber will harden so traction can be compromised from what it was when the tire was new and fresh. No real need to spend the money on an 80,000 mile tire unless you're really going to drive that much before the sidewalls weathercrack and such. If the sidewalls are weathercracking, there could also be weathercracks between the tread ribs too!

    Just some thoughts,
    NTX5467

  12. #12
    Senior Member Shaffer's Avatar
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    Re: My car just aligned and new tires and still "pulling".

    Perhaps I should have mentioned that the tires that were on the car were old. These tires I mentioned were on the car when I bought it over 2 years ago. They were not broken then. I never over inflated them either, nor do I drive on bad roads. I had the car aligned only about a week before I had the tires installed, because at the time I did not know that the tires were bad as well as the tie rods. I had the front tires replaced and not too long after the rear tires started "bumping" and had a low speed wobble. 44 psi is the max for the tires and I only had about 35 in them. Perhaps defective tires? At any rate, I am currently putting brakes on the front and hopefully that was the pulling problem. Maybe one was sticking a little, because the pads are virtually worn down to nothing. I am not sure if this is the problem however, as I have not been smelling hot brakes. Will post results later.
    1972 Chevrolet Kingswood Estate (Caprice) 3-seat wagon
    1973 Pontiac Grand Ville Custom 4dr hardtop
    1995 Lincoln Town Car Signature Series 4dr sedan
    1993 Mercedes 400SEL 4dr sedan
    2012 Honda Civic LX 4dr sedan

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