Alignment Problem


I own a 2007 Acura TL (3.2) with 130K miles. Last October I hit a pot hole which blew my front driver side tire and bent my rear driver side wheel and upper control arm. After replacing both tires, wheel, control arm and having the car realigned twice by two different Acura mechanics over the past 6months, my car still pulls left at highway speeds. I’ve noticed that the tires have gotten louder while driving and that both passenger side tires have worn significantly but only on the outer most edge (left side facing car). Before I buy any more tires and spend more $ on alignments, why is the car pulling left? What else could wrong with my suspension?

Thank you, YDubbs

Replaced “both tires”? Does that mean that you have two new tires on one side of the car and two worn tires on the other side? That could be the problem. Check tire sizes as well, make sure the new ones are the same size as the old ones.

Correct, I had replaced a pair of tires after the incident and bought another set 3 months later. Same tires (yokohama avid envigor) all the same size. The tires that I bought in Oct are now in the rear and are scalloped/balding on the edge. The newer tires were installed up front. Alignment was done this past Sat. sheet indicated the rear camber was off. Could the subframe be off?

If alignment is good now then subframe is most likely ok too right?

The camber is not adjustable on this car, so if it is off, then something is still bent. The issue is that alignment machines have to be calibrated and if they haven’t been calibrated recently, the specs they spit out would be suspect.

Unfortunately a problem like yours requires “eyes on” and “hands on” by a suspension expert. The suspension expert should have a good understanding of geometry.

Somethings the alignment rack does not check, the front to rear, center to center spacing of the tires, the cross spacing of the tires. These are caused by bent frames or parts and can affect how a car drives, even though the alignment is to spec.

It’s not possible to say, an alignment shop measurement is required. But you could possibly eliminate the tires as the cause by switching them from one side to the other. If the pull direction goes with the tire, you’d know it was a tire problem. Also, if the tire size is different than the tires that came originally w/the car, that could be the cause. Some of the alignment is adjustable, and some is built in. And the built in part assumes the tire size specified by the manufacturer for the car.

Thank you for the feedback. I’ve scheduled an appointment with a suspension expert. He said since I had my upper control arm fixed the frame mounts may be bent too (I don’t recall if the dealer replaced them). He’ll check geometry too.

I have directional tires on so I don’t think I can switching them from one side to the other. I also did not change the size of the tires, they are the same size as OEM just different brand.

Correction to my earlier post. The toe was off, not camber.


Switching tires side to side is for testing purposes, not a permanent fix. The idea is to find out if swapping tires changes anything.

If the pull completely changes direction, then the problem is 100% tires.

If the pull doesn’t change, then the problem is 100% in the vehicle.

If the pull changes (other than a complete reversal) or the pull disappears, then both the vehicle and the tires are contributing to the problem.

If the wheels can not be properly aligned, sometimes a frame-straightening machine must be used to get the car squared up…

You really need another alignment shop. Aligning a Honda (Acura) is not easy to get right, probably the most difficult car on the market to get right.

The rear toe being off makes it very difficult. Most alignment machines use the tires in front as a reference for the tires in the rear and the rear tires as the reference for the front. If one set is off, then it is a balancing act to get all four tires aligned properly.

But before the alignment can be successful, the spacing between the front and rear tires on each side of the car must be measured and must be the same, then the diagonal measurements must also be taken and they must be the same (LF to RR and RF to LR). If they are not, then it needs to be determined if a suspension component is bent or the frame is bent. Most likely in this case to be a component or component mount.