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Old 02-17-2004, 12:33 AM   #1
wwso
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Default Subaru vehicles and Wheel Alignment issues

My 04 outback slightly pulls to the left. The dealer checked the
alignment and said it was O.K. They blamed the pull on grooves in the road, and uneven road surfaces. The official response on the work order stated...."the condition described is characteristic of the vehicle".

I noticed the 04 Forrester pulled to the left when I test drove it, but did not notice a pull in the outback when test driving.

Questions: Does anyone else have this problem? If so, is it
causing uneven tire wear?
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Last edited by wwso; 02-17-2004 at 12:43 AM.
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Old 02-17-2004, 12:46 AM   #2
joubtt
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Do pay attention to road conditions because those grooves will do it but there is a steering rack bushings kit that whiteline sells(IIRC) that will remedy it.

Also, again IIRC it does slightly on some but for some hasn't been an issue. Search for threads related to steering rack bushings and you may find some info.
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Old 02-17-2004, 12:42 PM   #3
alacrity024
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okay, i am REALLY glad that someone posted this..

so far, I have owned three subaru vehicles. ALL THREE of them have pulled to the left, even immediatley after a four-wheel alignment. I have to hold the steering wheel slightly to the right in my WRX, as i had to do in my SVX and my RX. I attribute it to wide wheels and uneven road surfaces, but it's annoying as hell. i'm considering taking the WRX to the dealership and seeing if they can do anything about it, because even though you're SUPPOSED to keep a hand on the wheel at all times, it would be nice to be able to take them away for a moment (on a straight stretch, of course) and not have to worry about the car veering into the oncoming lane..

-adam
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Old 02-17-2004, 12:50 PM   #4
Kyguy
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my '97 L doesn't have a problem at all with drifting or pulling while accelerating.
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Old 02-17-2004, 02:12 PM   #5
Fusionpnoy
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This may sound dumb, but could it also be the weight in the car? If you are the only one in the car, your placing about 160+ on the left side.
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Old 02-17-2004, 02:41 PM   #6
Roy Lin
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Hey all!

I have this problem too, even though i had my car aligned by a "hunter" laser alignment machine by a professional race shop (Group 2 Inc. for Seattle-ites) for all four wheels... but i still have this exact same problem, where the car pulls to the left, and i have to keep the wheel cocked slightly to the right

it IS annoying. annoying as hell!

I was hit in the rear at 5 mph once... do you think it might be frame issues?

PS: I've also carefully noted tire wear through the last 10,000 miles, and it seems to be even. I check my tire pressure every week too.

Last edited by Roy Lin; 02-17-2004 at 02:49 PM.
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Old 02-17-2004, 04:15 PM   #7
lawn boy
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mine pulls SLIGHLTY
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Old 02-17-2004, 05:32 PM   #8
alacrity024
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Quote:
Originally posted by FuSioNpNoY
This may sound dumb, but could it also be the weight in the car? If you are the only one in the car, your placing about 160+ on the left side.
that thought has crossed my mind.. it would make sense, i guess.. but 160lbs to a suspension designed to deal with 3,200 shouldn't have too much fo an effect.. i dunno, maybe it breaks down more at the corners.. i'm just thinking in circles.. ow..

-adam
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Old 02-17-2004, 10:40 PM   #9
wwso
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Adam,

How are the tires looking? Are they wearing evenly?
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Old 02-18-2004, 12:55 AM   #10
WRXCSTI
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A lot of STi pulls to one side even though the alignment is perfectly fine. In a lot of the cases, it has to do with the OEM steering wheel bushing. Many STi owners have change it to aftermarket bushing and the steering wheel is center now. Your alignment may be ok, it's the offcenter feeling of the steering wheel that may be the issue. It is very annoying!
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Old 02-18-2004, 02:48 AM   #11
DrivenByWhatsInside
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I have the same problems, except my wheel is tilted to the left while the car pulls to the right. I don't like it at all
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Old 02-18-2004, 04:18 PM   #12
pdippel
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I have the same pull, dealer said "the condition described is characteristic of the vehicle" also.
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Old 02-21-2004, 11:37 AM   #13
Mike Wevrick
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I've had 4 Subies over 18 yrs and none of them have pulled. I can take my hands off the wheel and they will go straight.

Try increasing the tire pressure slightly on the front tire on the side that it is pulling towards.

Quote:
Originally posted by Roy Lin

I was hit in the rear at 5 mph once... do you think it might be frame issues?
No; a 5 mph hit should not affect the frame.
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Old 02-21-2004, 03:01 PM   #14
Patrick Olsen
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In my opinion, going to the dealer for alignment issues is the wrong answer. If it's in spec (and the specs are very wide), they'll say it's fine. Go someplace that you can give specs to, and they'll give you a print out when they're done showing you what the car is aligned to. I've used Sears with good luck for the past few years - may not be glamorous, but I write the specs I want (not what their computer says is acceptable) on the sheet, and then I check their printout when they're done. Easy.

I have heard of some people having "memory steering" issues due to soft rack bushings, particularly on the STi with its higher rate steering rack. Can't say I've ever felt that on my car. Both of my Legacys, when aligned properly, track perfectly straight.

If you have to hold the steering wheel to the side in order to go straight, then you're steering wheel wasn't aligned properly when the alignment was done/checked. It's as simple as that.

Subaru's seem to come from the factory with a crappy alignment. Take your car to a decent alignment shop, ask for 0 toe all around and max equal negative camber up front, ask for a printout of the alignment results, and let us know how it turns out. Make sure the shop knows the car pulls to one side or the other, and that the steering wheel is off center a little bit.

Pat Olsen
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Old 02-21-2004, 06:35 PM   #15
mywrx2002
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I have noticed one thing in my opinion overlooked in all of these threads, no where does anyone take in to account the crown of the road or roads you drive on. If all roads were perfectly flat then water would pool everywhere, thats why all roads no matter what state, province or munacipality you live in is highest in the center of the road ( not specific lane) and tapers off to the sides.
I sure hope no one lives where the roads are perfectly flat as I'd for one sure as heck have issues with the department of highways, or highway engineers.

I am proud to say all my vehicles(5) pull to one side or the other depending what lane i'm in and on what road I'm driving.


Last edited by mywrx2002; 02-21-2004 at 07:00 PM.
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Old 02-21-2004, 06:48 PM   #16
Plasteredcat
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My car does the same thing and I drive at leat over 100 miles a day . doesnt seem to matter on the type of road conditions . they pull to the left .
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Old 02-21-2004, 09:58 PM   #17
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AWD vehicles will be affected by the crown in a road. If you're to the left of the crown, the car will pull to the left. If you're to the right of the crown, the car will pull right. The car will always pull away from the crown.

This is normal behavior.

Craig
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Old 02-22-2004, 08:46 PM   #18
riverarob
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Quote:
Originally posted by c_hunter
AWD vehicles will be affected by the crown in a road. If you're to the left of the crown, the car will pull to the left. If you're to the right of the crown, the car will pull right. The car will always pull away from the crown.

This is normal behavior.

Craig
Perfect explanation.
Alignment gets questioned on these forums every now and then.
People think it's a Subaru quirk. Meanwhile it has everything to do with the road your driving on.
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Old 02-24-2004, 03:39 AM   #19
makofoto
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Mine doesn't pull ... besides aligned by Master Darrin at WestEnd Alignment ... I'm also corner balanced, which I think would take care of the drive weight difference ...

currently running 1/16th total out, front and rear ... -1 camber in the rear, -2.5 in the front with NRX camber plates ... this WRX gets AutoX'ed

Last edited by makofoto; 02-24-2004 at 11:57 AM.
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Old 02-24-2004, 10:36 AM   #20
Patrick Olsen
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He said the car pulls to the left, which (last I checked) would mean the car is pulling to the center of the road. Every crown I've seen is higher in the middle of the road and lower on the shoulders, so I don't see how a pull to the left could be explained by the crown of the road.

Pat
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Old 02-24-2004, 02:08 PM   #21
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My buddy said his STI, never been wrecked, has a wider wheel base on the left. Left side is greater than the right!! I didn't believe this until I measured two new STI's on the dealers lot and saw it for myself. I have no idea why but this might be an issue for the pull.
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Old 02-24-2004, 05:34 PM   #22
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I just wanted to add my input to this thread. My STi's steering wheel is also not aligned properly. Easy way to test:

1. Drive up a small incline when no one is around.

2. Roll backwards straight down the hill.

3. What does the steering wheel do?

In my case it confirmed that it was off to the left, i.e. the wheel is turned to the left when I am going straight. It just doesn't annoy me enough to fix it at this point.

Definitely a good idea though to give the shop in question specifics and request a print-out at the end.

-st
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Old 02-24-2004, 05:35 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally posted by AMG Eater
My buddy said his STI, never been wrecked, has a wider wheel base on the left. Left side is greater than the right!! I didn't believe this until I measured two new STI's on the dealers lot and saw it for myself. I have no idea why but this might be an issue for the pull.
I don't understand this statement, can you explain in a little more detail? It's probably my lack of vocab : )

-st
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Old 02-24-2004, 05:39 PM   #24
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ST, the distance from the FL to the RL wheel is more than the RF to the RR. Hope it makes sense.
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Old 02-24-2004, 05:47 PM   #25
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Exact same issue exists with my '02, now with 35K on it. Always has since the beginning. At 20K, I put Prodrive Springs on and had it aligned to Prodrive's specs. Still, the left pull persists...

BTW, regarding the road-crown issue, it sounds logical (I think). However, if this is true, then the car should ALSO pull right from time to time. Of course it never does!

Zounds like a conzpiracy!
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