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Old 09-17-2018, 08:31 PM   #1
ben_7
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Default 2018 WRX STi alignment issues, I was told this is a 2018+ STi problem?

Hi everyone,

Iíve owned my 2018 STi for just over a year and Iím at around 6,479 miles. However Iíve been having these alignment issues:

The wheels are straight after the alignment has been done to factory specs, however the steering wheel is off center, a few degrees to the right. It also actually pulls slightly to the right as well.

What dealerships have been doing is adjusting the steering wheel to the left so that it would be centered to the wheel, however when I went to another dealership today with the same issue after they did an alignment, the service manager tells me that correcting the steering wheel is just putting a bandaid on the problem.

He also said that heís heard that several customers have reported this and that Subaru is aware of this for STiís with the 19Ē wheels.

So heís going to swap the tires back to front and ask me to drive for a few hundred miles and see if that fixes and if not, Iím assuming the dealership will reach out to SOA at that point.

Has anyone with a 2018+ STi experiences this issue?
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Last edited by ben_7; 09-17-2018 at 08:43 PM.
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Old 09-17-2018, 09:05 PM   #2
crick0234
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some stock tires? tread the same on each? i had what i thought was alignment issues but alignment shops found nothing. found out it was tread depth on one side different than the other.
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Old 09-17-2018, 09:47 PM   #3
Scorpius
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I have no issues that I notice with my 2019 STI's alignment.
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Old 09-18-2018, 01:01 AM   #4
ben_7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crick0234 View Post
some stock tires? tread the same on each? i had what i thought was alignment issues but alignment shops found nothing. found out it was tread depth on one side different than the other.


Yup, same tread on the two front tires I believe. The rear two have better tread depth since those two tires are newer.

When I got my STi brand new, it was not aligned properly from the factory and I had to don this dance with alignment ever since.

Iíll try the tire swap from back to front tomorrow but is it safe to just get the steering wheel corrected?
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Old 09-18-2018, 01:23 AM   #5
Dorsodurojohn
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I had my dealership correct the off center steering wheel, they MOSTLY did so. I don't really have issues with it pulling either direction too much. But it WAS the same off center on both STI's I test drove.
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Old 09-18-2018, 08:59 AM   #6
MagicDoorHinge
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I have something similar on my 2019. Sometimes, I need to turn the steering wheel about 15-20 degrees to the right to keep the car going straight. There doesn't seem to be too much of a pattern to it, like only while accelerating or only when decelerating. Most of the time I can just keep the wheel perfectly centered and it seems to be fine.

Not worth taking it to the dealership, I don't think. I was planning on waiting until I had my winter wheel and tire setup installed to see if it still happens, but I might want to tell them about it before I put those on so they don't think that it's just a problem with the winter wheel installation.
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Old 09-18-2018, 10:59 AM   #7
Wappit
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Could you keep us updated if this fixes this because you can read through like 10 threads with a number of people that have this same issue and no one has really updated us on whether anything worked to fix it.
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Old 09-18-2018, 12:05 PM   #8
Zedexgc8
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Yep, having the same problem. Steers to the right a little bit but where I live roads are just garbage in general so I disregard it completely.

Until I decide to change wheel/tire setup I'll just cope with it.
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Old 09-18-2018, 12:19 PM   #9
Charlie-III
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I will LOL if we ever find out someone ran into the alignment machine (at the factory) with a fork truck or similar and were afraid, so never said anything!
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Old 09-18-2018, 12:23 PM   #10
Charlie-III
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zedexgc8 View Post
Yep, having the same problem. Steers to the right a little bit but where I live roads are just garbage in general so I disregard it completely.

Until I decide to change wheel/tire setup I'll just cope with it.
Small highly crowned roads tend to make the car drift towards the shoulder. With issues like this, I suggest (or do) drive on a wide highway to check tracking.
Bogus alignments (in spec, but not even side to side) can also accentuate any crosswind. This may show up as "sometimes OK, sometimes drift". It may also appear as you really change loads in the car. Full gas tank and a couple hundred pounds in the trunk may make it different then sorta empty.

Even for a DD, I suggest 1/2 tank gas, maybe a few sandbags in the drivers seat, then align. This gets an average.
A "hefty driver weight" can make a bogus/poor alignment worse when the normal driver is in the car.
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Old 09-18-2018, 02:35 PM   #11
2tohnez
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Same thing happening to me. I rotated the tires and and adjusted tire pressure, seemed to help a bit.

Last edited by 2tohnez; 09-18-2018 at 08:04 PM. Reason: Too long
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Old 09-18-2018, 05:52 PM   #12
get_schwifty
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Hasn't there been some discussion that a certain batch of V105Gs on earlier production 2018s had some issues?
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Old 09-19-2018, 11:04 AM   #13
Slim_Jim
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No issues with mine so far (I have 6K on it). I've asked a few others around here that have STI's, and no issues with them either.
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Old 09-19-2018, 11:53 AM   #14
Turn in Concepts
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Stop going to the dealer for an alignment. Find a more performance oriented alignment shop near you and take it there. They will be more apt to figure out what/if anything is going on, and do a proper alignment.

Yes, it will cost more than going to the dealer. At the same time you could just continue to take it to a dealer and be unsatisfied.
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Old 09-19-2018, 11:54 AM   #15
mxbowler95
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I had an issue with my 18 pulling to the left and brought it into the dealership. The service person I was working with knew about it and said they have had several STIs with the same issue. He told me that it is the tires aren't all the same spec. The process was that it had to be aligned, but after the car cooled down to make sure the tire pressures were all consistent. Evidently the tolerances are much smaller than normal with these cars and that's why they do this. Then after the alignment, they would measure the tires to put the closest sized ones on the front and then the rear. If this doesn't fix it, they said they would order a new set of tires in and have them trimmed to the same sizes.

I'm not sure how much of this is true or not but this was what they told me the procedure is with this. I was given my car back after the alignment and it seemed okay for 1000 miles but now is starting to pull and the car will be going back to the dealership soon so I can update everyone after that also. I had about 6500 miles on the car when I initially took it in also.
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Old 09-19-2018, 03:57 PM   #16
ben_7
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Default 2018 WRX STi alignment issues, I was told this is a 2018+ STi problem?

Thanks for all the responses everyone, it looks like most of you have similar issues, so here's my update:

I went back to the dealership yesterday and spent the morning and afternoon getting an alignment done again so these are the things that happened:

- They swapped both front tires with each other (left and right swap) and found out that the car was now pulling in the opposite direction! So they told me that the tires are most likely faulty from the factory.

- The service manager told me that when he gets back from leave next week, he would assess the issue and try to warranty the front tires after checking with Subaru of America warranty and do another alignment to see if this fixes the issue.

My STi's two rear tires have been replaced in the last few weeks to a month for two reasons:

1. I went over a large pothole quite recently on one wheel which means I had to buy a brand new tire for it.

2. The other tire had a nail puncture in the sidewall which meant yet another brand new tire.

This was very frustrating since two brand new 19" OEM tires are very expensive.

To top it off, the wheel that went over the large pothole caused small damage to the rim. So one of my rear rims is now very slightly bent which I don't notice at all on the highway (no vibrations or anything at highway speeds), however when the dealership was balancing the wheel, it bounced up and down so they were able to notice that the rim had a slight bend to it. One dealership tells me that it's not bent enough to warrant a rim replacement, but the current dealership I'm working with tells me to buy a new rim which costs almost $500!

I'm thinking of just getting it repaired for around $200 since it's a very small bend, however I want to add that I noticed these alignment issues on day number 1 of picking up my brand new STi last year so I don't believe that the slightly bent rear rim is causing it.

Because as soon as I was on the highway after picking up my new car last year, I noticed the alignment/steering wheel issues. And it has been like this every time I did an alignment all the way till now.

I also called Subaru of America customer service to tell them about the two possibly faulty front tires and they will speak with the dealership's service manager to find out what can be done to resolve this issue.

So to sum it up, I'm now waiting till the service manager gets back from leave next week and to find out also from SOA whether they'll warranty my two front tire replacements.

I really hope that this will fix the issue because when you pay over $40,000 for a car, you'd expect that something like alignment and steering wheel issues would not exist, especially if the car is of performance nature and that good alignment and steering is detrimental to the car's functionality!

Last edited by ben_7; 09-20-2018 at 01:49 PM.
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Old 09-19-2018, 08:18 PM   #17
get_schwifty
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Don't spend $500 on one wheel...there was someone in the subforum for my area selling four essentially new OEM 19s with four essentially brand new tires for like $1,000. If it's not causing a huge issue, I imagine eventually a used single will pop up for sale?

When is your car's birthdate? Do the tires have a DOT code? Some others on this forum have reported luck for what they have reported to be faulty tires. However, I'm yet to see many people post the birthdates, and I think a large collection of cars/tires with essentially the same birthdates would make a more compelling case for anyone with this issue. IIRC, one video claimed this was a specific week of production.
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Old 09-20-2018, 01:45 PM   #18
ben_7
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Default 2018 WRX STi alignment issues, I was told this is a 2018+ STi problem?

Quote:
Originally Posted by get_schwifty View Post
Don't spend $500 on one wheel...there was someone in the subforum for my area selling four essentially new OEM 19s with four essentially brand new tires for like $1,000. If it's not causing a huge issue, I imagine eventually a used single will pop up for sale?

When is your car's birthdate? Do the tires have a DOT code? Some others on this forum have reported luck for what they have reported to be faulty tires. However, I'm yet to see many people post the birthdates, and I think a large collection of cars/tires with essentially the same birthdates would make a more compelling case for anyone with this issue. IIRC, one video claimed this was a specific week of production.


Iím thinking of repairing the rim for $200 at a local tire and rim shop but Iím hesitant to do that since the car has now been aligned (although off of factory specs) with the slightly bent rim, I hope it wonít throw it off alignment after the rim has been fixed.
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