Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Testing for wheel alignment

My 08 Nissan Sentra has a service bulletin re alignment - it pulls to the left after 3 seconds on a straight-away. The local dealer just made a second attempt to repair it and told me they test drove it and it went straight. I think it should hold a direct path for more than 3 seconds. Does anyone care to chime in on their preferred way to assess alignment, short of taking it in for a measured assessment? Of course, I will be taking this back to the dealer. Only one more attempt to correct, and this falls into lemon law territory (unfortunate for I really like the car).

Whether it pulls or not depends on the crown of the road surface. If it pulls the same direction on all road surfaces then I would say there’s a problem.

Since most roads have a crown to one degree or the other about all I can suggest is to find a deserted parking lot that is level (mall or something), drive it across there, and note if it pulls in a place like this.

Other than that, it would take the printout specifications from an alignment to guess any further.

Rotate your front tires side to side and see what happens. You can do this yourself in your driveway in about 15 minutes…Sometimes it’s the tires that cause steering pull.

A quick way to check for four wheel alignment is to drive slowly straight thru a water puddle onto dry pavement. Then look at the tire tracks. If there’s more than two tire tracks coming out of the puddle, there’s something amiss with the four wheel alignment.



I’m confused by your post. They test drove it and it went straight, then you said it should hold a direct path for more than 3 seconds.

So does it hold a direct path for 3 seconds?

If not, how many seconds?

And what about the “Service Bulletin”? What did you mean by it “has a service bulletin”? Did you recieve a notice in the mail? Did you find one one the internet?


We had a “problem” with my brother’s car, where the car would drift.

Eventually we realized that when he was in left lanes, the car would drift left- when in the right lanes it would drift to the right.

Turned out to just be the crown of the road pushing the car one way or the other.