Torque steer, What causes it?

I have a 1993 Dodge Grand Caravan LE with All Wheel Drive. This van has the worst torque steer I have ever experienced. I have replaced all of the engine mounts except for the transmission mount. I read that there is more to replacing this mount than to just take the old one out and bolt the new one in. Could this be the cause of the torque steer? While driving a steady speed down a level road it is fine. If I am driving down the highway and have the cruise set at the speed limit (70 mph) and encounter a hill, the van will downshift to maintain the set speed. When this happens the van will pull moderately to the right needing a little left steer to keep the van going straight. Once the hill is topped and the speed returns to the set speed and the transmission up-shifts back into overdrive, the torque steer goes away. Once in a while, when it downshifts, it will pull right, then left, and then right again almost like whatever is causing this to occur is “floating”.

Check the tire pressures. A pressure difference on an axle can cause torque steer.
Also, having different tires on an axle can cause the problem.
Look for tread separation, as well.

Part of torque steer is just a characteristic of ft wheel drive vehicles due to uneven length of ft drive axles. Manufactures designed an extra CV joint in the longer axle and this helped.

Torque steer is caused by having a front wheel drive car that has axles of uneven length. It can be made worse by other issues, but it might just be a characteristic you have to live with. It’s been eliminated on newer cars, but yours is old enough you may just need to live with it. Maybe you’ve lost a counter-balancer that was attached to one of the axles.

Is the torque steer something new, or has the vehicle always had it?
Your attempts to fix it seem to indicate that it is something new.

Here is some more information, and a little history, on the problem I am having with this van. I bought this van back in 2001, literally days before the World Trade Center attacks. I drove it up until about 2004. It has made two trips from Virginia to Michigan and a few vacation side trips. It didn’t have the torque steer when I first bought it. I towed a u-haul trailer from Virginia to Michigan and then a car on a tow dolly on a second trip from Virginia to Michigan in 2002. I didn’t notice the torque steer then. Now, if I hitch up my empty utility trailer, the torque damn near pulls me into oncoming traffic. The van has just a hair over 222,000 miles on it of which I put about 120,000 of that total. It was a daily driver until around the winter of 2004. That is when I had to replace the engine in it because the pipes that feed engine coolant to the rear heater core blew out one day while I was driving on the freeway. I parked it for about five years before getting it repaired out of necessity. It has four matching brand new BFGoodrich tires with less than 4000 miles on them. The tire pressures are all even. The only other thing I had to have replaced since I bought it was the power transfer unit that supplies power to the rear wheels. That went out in early 2003. I believe that the front wheel drive torque steer explanation is plausible, however this is All Wheel Drive, would this still make a difference? Any other suggestions are appreciated.

I would have the ball joints and tie rod ends checked. My '87 Ford Escort had a lot of front end problems, and when it had a bad ball joint, it would jump right and left when I pressed and lifted off the throttle.

Thank you to all who have submitted a suggestion.

-doubleclutch - After reading your reply a though had occurred to me. I have noticed that sometimes when I am applying the brakes I get a terrible wobble from the front end. I know that my rotors have a slight warp to them but this wobble is far more than just warped rotors. I sort of questioned in my own mind if the ball joints could be bad but failed to make the connection until reading your post. I will have to get under the thing and check those out. The last thing I want is to have them fail while traveling down the road!!

If the camber of the front wheels is wrong and the contact point of the tires is not in line with the steering pivot point, you can experience torque and brake steer. Worn suspension components can cause this.

AWD on the Caravan still puts more power to the front wheels in most situations, so torque steer is similar to a FWD van. I think your natural torque steer tendency is aggravated by lots of worn out front suspension parts. Sloppy front suspension and worn steering components will not hold the wheels steady and the torque steer will not be managed well. Likely not one part only, but the combination of lots of miles and wear on lots of front end parts.

This spells lots of money for a car near the end of its life.

I’ve never driven a Caravan, but I’ve owned several front-drive cars. I have never had a problem with torque steer. I would think that by '93 a lot of those problems were engineered out to the point of being barely noticeable, if not nonexistent. The unequal length half shafts have always been designed so as to have the same torsional characteristics. That is why I think you may be having trouble with tires or suspension parts.

When you got the new tires, did you have the alignment checked?

My '88 Accord once developed excessive torque steer.
Turned out to be a dried out ball joint due to a busted rubber boot.