Just had a tire job done, but still pulling left


#1

So here’s the whole story:

We bought a car that had previously been damaged to the right rear. They had fixed it up and all. When I got it, the car was already pulling left so I eventually took it to get an alignment.

After the alignment the technician told me that it still might pull because of how the tires were worn - and it still pulled left.

This past Saturday I decided to get a lot done: 4 new tires, an alignment, break pads changed, and the rotors were resurfaced.

I tested the alignment on the freeway and local flat roads and it still pulls left.

I’m thinking this problem still has to do with the previous damage, which parts could be causing it so I can pitch it to the shop I’ll be taking it to?

Thank you for your help.
-Mr. Z


#2

New tires and an alignment , and it still pulls.
I’d take it back to the alignment place.
Either they didn’t do it right, or there is other damage from the accident. They should have found that it was too far out of tolerences that they couldn’t do an alignment in the firsat place.
Or something is knocked loose and the alignment is thrown off again because that part moved as soon as you went down the road.
Another alignment will do nothing until they find the damaged part.

Yosemite


#3

If you told us what type of vehicle this is, it cold be determined if it has rear independent suspension.

Tester


#4

I agree, but I’d take it to a different shop that specializes in chassis work for a thorough check.

I hope you got a really great deal, because that should be the only reason to risk buying used car with an obvious running problem.


#5

It’s a 2004 Honda LX


#6

So, was it aligned on both the front and rear ends? Since it was hit on the RR, there could well be a bent component back there. For that matter, it could have been knocked across the street into the curb when it was hit, bending components on the left side. Did you see any “before pictures”? Who did the “rebuild”? Was it the people you bought it from? They may have cut corners. It happens.


#7

I agree with the others

Something is still bent, even though everything may look okay to the naked eye

A qualified body shop should measure the vehicle very carefully, comparing the measurements to factory specs. Something’s surely out of whack


#8

Another detail that I noticed while driving today was that the steering wheel doesn’t seem to move, but yet, the car pulls to the left.


#9

And one word of caution:

Many alignment shops think that if the factory didn’t provide alignment adjustment, then you can’t adjust the alignment - and may be that is the real problem. The shop knows it is out of spec, but won’t adjust it.

But don’t be surprised if they ask about installing shims, plates, or something like that - at an extra cost, of course. Those maybe needed to get the thing in spec.

So ask for a printout of the alignment. Make sure everything is within the inner half of the tolerance.

Oh and maybe the steering wheel wasn’t centered when it was aligned.


#10

I have the spec print out and will post it when I get a chance.


#11

“After the alignment the technician told me that it still might pull because of how the tires were worn - and it still pulled left.”

This comment hasn’t been addressed yet, so I’ll take the liberty. If you haven’t realized it by now, the apparently poorly worn tires were a symptom and not a cause. Unless the root cause gets addressed, your new tires will wear poorly too.


#12

Now that you have new tires it should not pull. Take it back and tell them it pulls. The wheel does not turn left, because the car is tracking left without input. It’s either out of alignment or a component is bent as stated above. Who fixed it. Was it insurance job? I’m not sure if they would cover their work with a new owner. Do you know the old owner well enough to get them to take it back for warranty repair at the body shop?


#13

Here are the alignment specs that were given to me - before and after. I’ll be taking the car in tomorrow morning since I am currently away from my home city.


#14

The alignment sheet shows that the car should have been pulling to the right, not to the left. There are two possible causes I can see here, one is that the alignment machine is itself out of alignment and needs to be calibrated. Considering the cars history though, I don’t think that is the real cause.

I think you have a frame problem or a bent rear control arm. If the shop does a cross check of the distance between the wheels, RR to LF and LR to the RF, I think you will see that the two measurements are different. This will cause the alignment machine to give false readings.

You will need to find a shop that does frame straightening to take these measurements and make any necessary repairs and adjustments. You may also need a new right rear control arm if it is bent.

Can you provide any details of the damage caused by the accident. Was the RR hit from the rear or the side? Was there damage around the wheel itself? Is the car in fact a Civic as shown on the attachments, the Civic and the Accord have completely different suspension systems so it is important.


#15

The RR was hit from the rear. As far as I can recall, the damage did not reach the rear wheel well but did affect the rear quarter panel. Yes, my car is a 04 Civic LX.


#16

A hit from the rear lessens the chance that the control arm was damaged, but it could have still flexed the body. Try this, either have someone else drive your car and you follow in another vehicle, or have a knowledgeable friend follow your car to see if the car is going straight down the road or if it is crabbing, aka doglegging. This is where the rear tires are in a different track from the front tires, i.e. the car is pointed in a slightly different direction than it is going. That is a sure sign of a bent frame/body.


#17

My bet is the rear end suspension needs to be adjusted.


#18

@keith, I disagree with your assessment… There is more negative camber on the RF than LF forcing a left lead, the rear has more negative camber on the LR than the RR causing a right steer condition of the rearend which feels like a left lead… They may be in spec but the settings are not correct. It may be a bent unit body or bent suspension component. It is small enough that the bent body could be corrected by offset camber bolts, shims or eccentric bushings.


#19

Mustangman, I was referring to the first set of specs when I made that statement but I didn’t say that. In the before, the front tires were both toed to the right by a lot, the camber would not have overridden that much toe. Hands off, the car should have steered hard right, not left. The camber was not that far off. I think the body/frame is bent and until it is straightened, none of the alignment specs will be valid.


#20

OK, Keith, I agree with you on that. Seems like they set toe on this and did nothing else since it was “in the green”. The OP needs an alignment man who actually understands what all the numbers mean to understand what actually needs to be done.