Alignment


#1

I’ve got an 09 Fusion, 11k on it with an alignment issue. I’ve had it to the dealer four times. The last time they replaced a control arm; the car continues to pull to the left. This is most evident at highway speeds.



I’m bring back today and am going to drive it with a mechanic. I don’t think I’m crazy, the car pulls to the left.



One thing to add is that the car had a tire replaced at 7,500 miles. Would that cause an issue? I’m thinking not because the car has pulled to the left in exactly the same manner since new.



Any final thoughts before I bring it in again?


#2

Yes, a tire can cause a pull to one side or the other and replacing a control arm and a tire on a vehicle with such low mileage brings up a question or three.
Why? Was this car in an accident, suffer a curb strike, or what? Buy it brand new, as in 5 miles on it or what?


#3

The tire was replaced because of a nail, the control arm because the dealer said for whatever reason they couldn’t align it without doing that. The car was new, it had about 125 miles on it when I picked it up because it was driven between dealerships. No one has ever driven it except me and the service guys.


#4

Simple test: Swap front tires left to right.

If the pull changes direction, it’s the tires.

If the pull doesn’t change direction, it’s the alignment.

If the pull disappears, or significantly changes (other than changing direction), then it’s both tires and alignment.

I’m going to guess the problem is alignment - and my experience says that the factory published alignment tolerances are too wide by half. I’m suggesting the vehicle be placed within the inner half of the spec and the problem will disappear.


#5

I agree with Capriracer about rotating the tires side to side to see if the problem is tire bias or not.

The control arm thing stinks because a control arm (with ball joint) can only be damaged by 2 things; accident or it’s worn out and the latter is unlikely.
There is no reason to replace one on a 125 mile car unless it’s bent for some reason and then one has to ask why is it bent.
Bent while unloading off of a rail car or transport truck, bent during the dealer transfer by an employee who’s an enthusiastic NASCAR wannabe, or whatever.


#6

http://74.125.113.132/search?q=cache:Jc-SRqYoFuYJ:www.fordfusionforum.com/index.php%3F/topic/3098-where-to-make-a-duplicate-key/page__view__old+Ford+fusion+manufacturer’s+TSB+vehicle+pulls&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

Go to above site & check 7th post down. There is a TSB (Technical Service Bulletin–an instruction outlined by Ford technical people for mechanics to follow for hard to solve problems)–there’s a TSB from Ford for your problem. They try various length control arms

to change the camber angle of the front wheel–as long as they stay within a certain range, they can create a difference between the L & R front wheel camber angles to overcome the pulling tendency. Apparently your dealer’s already tried this; that’s probably what he meant when he said he had to replace the control arm in order to do the alignment.

You have to keep at them until they get it right.

PS: The TSB mentioned is for a 2010 fusion; I’m temporarily assuming it applies to an '09.


#7

One other possibility came to mind.

If the pull only exhibits itself when accelerating, then this is torque steer - and there is very little that can be done about it. It is pretty much inherent in the desogn of FWD cars.