I have a 2005 Malibu. After two alignments, a front wheel alignment by an independent shop and a “four wheel” alignment by the dealer, my car still pulls to the left at highway speeds. Any ideas as to what else could be the cause of this? Bought the car with 22,000 miles and now have 80,000 plus. No accidents; don’t understand what is wrong.
first thought would be didnt they drive it after they aligned it to see how it drove? i always drive them before so i can see what the car is doing then after to see if it is any better. one thought would be to make sure the tire pressures are equal on both sides which they also should have checked as well, if everything is in fact in specs the next thing i would do is swap sides with the front tires and see if pull goes the opposite direction if it does its a tire issue and an alignment wont fix it. all this assumes they checked the steering and suspension for worn out parts which they also should have done.
There could be a number of issues to cause this and one of them could be a bad motor mount. a bad motor mount can cause torque steer, but typically if this is the problem, it will pull to one side when you have your foot on the gas and it will either stop pulling to that side or pull the other way when you let off the gas. If its not this, then it will be in the tires or suspension somewhere.
This is not something that can be figured out over the internet, but that does not mean that its not a good idea to ask. Sometimes a specific model car will have a known problem and asking here, or any other car forums, especially ones dedicated to your car, is one way of finding out about them.
BTW, alignment racks themselves have to be aligned (calibrated) periodically. You might try a shop that has just had their rack calibrated.
Here is another possibility. The alignment people are adjusting what they can adjust so they can say that they did an alignment job on the car. If the car has McPherson struts in front and likely it does, caster is not considered adjustable although there are unofficial ways to do it. Unequal caster between the left and right front wheels will cause steering pull.
I had a car that was pulling to the left almost since new, an alignment did no good.
The dealer then found that the engine had shifted in its cradle. Loosening the bolts, prying the engine back where it belonged and tightening the bolts did the trick.
In all fairness to the dealer I used to engage in some rather spirited driving on rough two lanes.