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Old 06-07-2013, 12:36 PM   #1
Napalm3nema
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Default Are AWD cars prone to pulling to the right?

My new 2013 STi pulls to the right, which I just dropped off at the dealership to address, however this is after it pulled to the right brand new and after they already did one alignment. (noted the pull on test drive, they said they'd do an alignment asap which they did) The odd thing is, my 2008 STi pulled to the right, however I attributed that to some mishaps that befell it which may have adversely affected the steering by a minor amount.

I even tried with the 2008 to get the pull addressed by the same dealership, and they basically gave up on it and said it's older (had 100k on it), and has had some bumps and bruises.

When I brought the new one in to the service manager after the first alignment to take him for a test drive so he could see if I was crazy or not, I said 'Now just so you know, I've taken the proactive troubleshooting step of replacing the entire car. So hopefully this will narrow things down on determining why my car pulls to the right with less than a thousand miles on it.':

He did the test drive with me and agreed the pull was excessive, so they are looking at it today.

So what's the deal, is this just a Subaru AWD thing or what? Honestly curious. (Pull is hard enough that my car will change lanes within 50 yards or so, and I have to keep fairly constant corrective pressure on the wheel to stay straight)

Love the car, but it keeps trying to exit the highway without my say so.
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Old 06-07-2013, 12:48 PM   #2
mechatricity
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nope. There is however a physics phenomenon dealing with rotational inertia that could cause this, but likely only at high speed, and probably not with the severity you're describing.
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Old 06-07-2013, 12:48 PM   #3
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I've had probably 100 cars in my lifetime. Of those, maybe 20 have been AWD. None have pulled anything but straight. I believe aliens have cursed you with a magnetic field.
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Old 06-07-2013, 12:55 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by mechatricity View Post
nope. There is however a physics phenomenon dealing with rotational inertia that could cause this, but likely only at high speed, and probably not with the severity you're describing.
Coriolis deflection due to earth's rotation?
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Old 06-07-2013, 12:58 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Napalm3nema View Post
Love the car, but it keeps trying to exit the highway without my say so.
Solved your problem. Listen to your car it does not want to drive on the highway it wants the twisties so it creates its own.

Good luck solving the issue.
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Old 06-07-2013, 02:04 PM   #6
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the casters on the car may be off or bent from the manufacture?

worst case, ask for a new one
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Old 06-07-2013, 02:20 PM   #7
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The road is likely sloped a bit. Not all roads are completely flat. This wil lcause your car to feel like it is pulling one way or the other.

Example:
___
/___\ - and you're driving on the side of that
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Old 06-07-2013, 02:23 PM   #8
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Coriolis deflection due to earth's rotation?
You really went there lol
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Old 06-07-2013, 02:30 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Napalm3nema View Post
He did the test drive with me and agreed the pull was excessive, so they are looking at it today. (
If they do an alignment, get the numbers. This is less so you have the numbers and more to keep them honest. Tell them this before they do the alignment, so that the numbers can be printed out as the alignment is done.

A coworker had a car consistently pulling to the right. He took it back to the dealer and they did alignments on it twice and "checked out everything else." It kept pulling to the right. I gave him the above advice, and suddenly the pulling to the right was fixed. The "before" numbers showed a rather uneven alignment, less than a week after the prior attempt, and the after numbers were even and conservative (which is appropriate for the car's owner).

That certainly won't fix it if there truly is a mechanical issue. But if the issue is a shoddy alignment done by a lazy tech, and if the service writer can get them to print out the values honestly at the right point, that can help.
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Old 06-07-2013, 03:13 PM   #10
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Same thing on my 2013 STi. I took it to the dealership for its first service and I brought it up, the idiot gave me the "all roads slant right" spiel. I responded will "ah, ok so its normal for a car to change lanes within 1 second of letting go of the wheel". Anyway they said they would look into it. When I got the car back from the "service" it now pulled to the left under acceleration and to the right under decel

Needless to say I took my car to a well reviewed alignment shop and had him go at it. Don't remember what he adjusted, but after a couple of test drives he nailed it. They even gave me a nice printout map of the specs. best $60 I've spent in quite awhile. Car goes straight as an arrow now.

I now change my own oil, screw the dealership dumbasses, this isn't the first time they messed up either. I had them install the SPT boost gauge a week after taking my car home and they broke all kinds of sh_t.

I see you are from Houston, please tell me you aren't having gilman southwest "fix" it? PM me and I can tell you where I went. Dude is good.

Last edited by ALOKIN; 06-07-2013 at 03:20 PM.
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Old 06-07-2013, 03:22 PM   #11
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I've gotten really into feeling out my alignment on my 07 STI and pretty much all of my previous vehicles (AWD, FWD, RWD, manual, auto) to the point of feeling kinda OCD about it and often being frustrated that even after an alignment, or taking it back after an alignment to have it verified that it still pulled to one side.
While there are lots of unknowns here is some info I've been able to glean:
All roads are sloped so rain runs off them.
Most vehicles are setup from the factory to go slightly to the right, this is a measure to avoid accidents when stupid people let go of the wheel, aren't paying attention, etc. Most places that do alignments for day to day consumers (people who use a car as an appliance) continue this on every alignment they do. You will have to find a performance shop to do your alignments, or just some where that will do more of an aggressive street setup.
Factory alignment settings are CRAP. Not just talking about the slightly right hand alignment, I'm talking about the toe and camber... and of course gov't mandated under steer. I like to run 0 toe all around, 0.75-1 degree camber up front and 1.5-1.75 in the back. After trying a number of various alignment settings I was given this setup by a local shop as their Subaru aggressive street setup... if you're gonna track it more than a little you'll want some toe...
Buy Whiteline steering rack bushings. The stock bushings feel like chewing gum. They're like $35 and will give you a noticeable improvement on steering feel and consistency.
Lastly I'd suggest adding a little more caster will improve your tracking. ALK, front top hats/camber plates, etc. This is a topic often debated and I don't want to get into that, IMO it improves turn in, out, and over all feel of the car.
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Old 06-07-2013, 03:32 PM   #12
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After moving to Phoenix I noticed my STI pulls to the right pretty much everywhere I go here, even after getting new tires, alignment and everything it was the same degree of pull. I eventually realized it is due to the higher degree of slant the roads have from the center --> out to deal with more common flooding issues here. It has nothing to do with the car at all.
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Old 06-07-2013, 03:33 PM   #13
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Your car is clearly broken. You should sell it to me. Or just rack it up and check your alignment, but I'd guess its something else.

Also, what tires? Aftermarket wheels? Different offset? Lowered/lifted? Changes in any/all of these things have made my car pull weirdly in varying ways, but usually just the result of tramlining.
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Old 06-07-2013, 03:34 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JH1304 View Post
After moving to Phoenix I noticed my STI pulls to the right pretty much everywhere I go here, even after getting new tires, alignment and everything it was the same degree of pull. I eventually realized it is due to the higher degree of slant the roads have from the center --> out to deal with more common flooding issues here. It has nothing to do with the car at all.
One can test this by driving on the center of the crown (when legal to do so) and/or by finding a flat road (one with minimal crown). OP is in Houston. There are plenty of opportunities for either of those here. Of course, it should be done if it hasn't been.
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Old 06-07-2013, 03:53 PM   #15
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It's not road slant, this happens on any road I drive on regardless. Even a flat parking lot will generate aggressive pull. <shrug>

At one point my 08 drove straight so I know I'm not crazy!! 2013 should be straight from the factory imo.

Car is 100% stock in terms of wheels and struts etc.. Only suspension mods it has are swaybars and endlinks, but the car was pulling the same before and after install.
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Old 06-07-2013, 04:23 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cocoa Beach Bum View Post
Coriolis deflection due to earth's rotation?
Actually it's called Gyroscopic Precession:

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Old 06-07-2013, 04:39 PM   #17
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My car pulled to right and I installed whiteline steering rack bushing and got a alignment zero toe all the way around and -0.3 camber up front. Problem solved!!!

. Oem steering rack bushing suck and they tend to shift because they are soft which causes your vehicle to pull.
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Old 06-07-2013, 04:47 PM   #18
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Oh PS I see your from Houston. I bet pull is worse when it hot outside.
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Old 06-08-2013, 01:38 AM   #19
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this is probably dumb, but have you checked your tire pressure?
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Old 06-08-2013, 01:39 AM   #20
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OP, your car should track straight, outside of tracking or crowned roads.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Enlefo View Post
Most vehicles are setup from the factory to go slightly to the right, this is a measure to avoid accidents when stupid people let go of the wheel, aren't paying attention, etc. Most places that do alignments for day to day consumers (people who use a car as an appliance) continue this on every alignment they do. .
REALLY, you serious?? where have you found this info?

All my cars have driven straight, even both WRX's and a LGT, using various alignment shops.

Last edited by 575rider; 06-08-2013 at 01:47 AM.
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Old 06-08-2013, 02:19 AM   #21
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Got it back from the dealer it seems greatly improved. Will see how it goes but if it becomes an issue again I'll try taking it to a better shop than the dealer I suppose.
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Old 06-08-2013, 06:44 AM   #22
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Does your state have so called "Lemon Laws?" It's a 2013 so I'm assuming you bought it new. It could be an oversight in build quality. If this problem continues, make sure its documented every time you take it in to be fixed. If it keeps happening it might be time to swap it for another car.
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Old 06-08-2013, 01:15 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OUScooby View Post
Does your state have so called "Lemon Laws?" It's a 2013 so I'm assuming you bought it new. It could be an oversight in build quality. If this problem continues, make sure its documented every time you take it in to be fixed. If it keeps happening it might be time to swap it for another car.
Yup, just hoping I don't need to go down that road. I think it's ok.
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Old 06-08-2013, 01:35 PM   #24
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It should not be pulling to the right or left at all. If the alignment is done correctly and nothing is damaged or broken you should be going straight.
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Old 06-08-2013, 07:34 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Napalm3nema View Post
It's not road slant, this happens on any road I drive on regardless. Even a flat parking lot will generate aggressive pull. <shrug>
Best way to prove this would be to find a road on which it pulls to the right. Drive down it. Now turn around and drive the other way on the same side of the road. Remember to avoid the cars coming directly at you, if possible.

Seriously though, I've not noticed any pulling to the left or right in my car. Keep us posted on how yours does since the dealer visit.
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