Bad tires, bad alignment, bad bushing, and leaky strut

Have I been had? About 5 months ago I purchased 4 new tires and got an alignment. Immediately after I got my car, I noticed it pulling to the right. I took it back, and the mechanic said that the alignment is fine, although he drove it and noticed the pulling. He said that the alignment was good, and that probably the tires were defective. He gave me new tires, but then he said that I had to replace the lower control arm bushings. After I got my car back I still thought it was pulling to the right, but I had spent way too much $ already. Now, I go in for an oil change and tire rotation, and he says that my right front strut is leaking. Did he miss this before? Does a leaky right strut lead the car to pull to the right?

Probably not, but it may make the tire “cup”, that is wear in a fashion that will make it appear to have any number of small “sides” rather than being completely round. THAT might make it pull to the right. To test the struts, bounce each corner of the car up and down three times. When you release it, each corner should rebound once, and not bounce anymore.

I’m surprised that the lower control arm bushings were bad if the alignment was within spec.

If you switch the front tires from side to side, does it still pull to the right?

Simple test: Swap the front tires side to side.

  1. If the pull completely changes direction, it?s 100% the tires.

  2. If the pull doesn?t change at all, then it?s 100% in the vehicle, usually alignment, but it?s possible that it?s a dragging brake.

  3. If the pull disappears or changes ? other than completely changing direction - it?s both the tires and the vehicle.

Thanks for the advice, I’ll do the bounce test. After I got the tires and had the problems, my mechanic changed all of the tires out for new ones.

Thanks for the advice. I have new tires, and the mechanic re-checked the alignment and said that it was good. That’s when he said the bushing needed to be replaced. A buddy told me that my mechanic should have known it was the struts if the tires and alignment were good. He recommended that I get a new mechanic.

The fact that you changed tires points to alignment, but there still exists the possibility that some or all of the pull is in the tires. Do the swap test to eliminate it. That way you will know for sure.