Wheel Alignment problem, Altima

Purchased brand new Falken Tires

205 60 R 15 for Nissan Altima 1994 model.

Balanced and did 4 wheel alignment.After alignment i noticed a slight sway to the right. The alignment technician said , its not your alignment, it has to do with your new tires, “due to radial tires”. Told me to take them back to tire store and ask them to “rotate side to side”

I took it back to the Tire Store, first they rotated the rear and front tires.(Swapped tires from the same side front to back and vice versa). After that we went for a test drive and noticed no change.

The tire technician mentioned , these tires can go only one way because of thread pattern and mentioned he can try to switch the tires from right to left and said for that he had to dismount the tires from the rim and re-install.

He took the tires off , rotated side to side, balanced and installed with proper orientation of the threads. Even then the car “sways to the right” while driving.

New Tires, balanced tires and did proper alignment.

Q. What can i do to fix this problem. The alignment company offered to re-do or check alignment again next weekend . Please help me to understand “What the heck’s going on”? I am really upset in the fact that . despite spending $400, no body could tell me whats causing it?

Brand of my tire is FALKEN zeix-512

Could you define “a slight sway to the right.”

While it could be due to the tyres, it is not due to them being radials. They are correct that some modern tyres are directional so they can not be switched from side to side without dismounting the tyres from the rims and reinstalling them the other way.

Are you saying you need to turn the steering wheel slightly to the left to keep the car going straight? Many highways are crowned, so on a two lane road you will on a road that is tilted to the right and will, to some extend, pull the car that way. On a divided highway you can try moving to the left lane and see if that changes things. Once you know what the cause is, then you can try a fix.

If these are indeed directional tires, then the technician was correct when he stated that it was necessary to demount the tires from the rims and then remount them in order to achieve proper orientation of the tire TREADS when switching the tires from one side of the car to the other.

Hopefully there are no “threads” protruding from the carcass of the tires!

But, to get back on topic…
If switching tires from side to side did not correct a tendency for the car to veer to one side of the road, that would seem to rule out the tires as the source of the problem. As a result, we need some additional information from the OP, namely:

How many miles do you have on the odometer of this car?
Did you purchase it as a new car, or as a used car?
If purchased as a used car, how long ago did you purchase it?
To the best of your knowledge, has it ever been in a collision?
Have you had the front end components checked for wear and/or damage?

In case you don’t see where I am headed with this line of questioning, your car is now at least 16 years old, and its suspension and steering components likely have a lot of wear on them at this point. Ball joints, tie rod ends, rack & pinion, and control arms that are badly worn or damaged will definitely make it difficult to do an accurate wheel alignment. And, if the car has ever been in a collision, proper alignment can be very problematic.

There can be a big difference from one alignment shop to another, and it is possible that the shop that did your alignment did not verify the condition of the car’s front-end components prior to doing the job. It is also possible that their alignment equipment is not calibrated properly, or that they used incorrect alignment specs. If that shop continues to maintain that there is nothing more that they can do with the alignment, I think that you will just have to “bite the bullet” and visit another alignment shop.

If you take the car to a different alignment shop, be sure to tell the tech in that shop that you are having a problem with the car veering to the right, and ask him to do a thorough check of the front end prior to checking the aligment. More than likely, he will find a problem with the condition of the front end components and/or incorrect alignment.

First of all ,i thank you for your reply. I really appreciate it

“Slight Sway” in the sense on a Level pavement on a freeway if I take the hand off from
the steering, the car goes to the right with in half a mile. You were right on super -elevated or tilted roads, i understand that.
Since tires are balanced, my Steering is not shaky anymore and the drive is definitely better. I will check the alignment one more time.

Hi there, Thanks for your patience and descriptive E-mail

No threads protruding.
Odometer 147,000
Bought it used at around 80,000 miles in 2002.
It never had been in any accident.

I replaced my CV boot (both sides) in the front last year. My previous tires where
Hankoock. I do oil change regularly and maintained it fairly well. Paints peeling off, its common in Nissan, changed alternator and Distributor cap once.
Try to change Timing belt, interestingly my car doesn’t have one. Its a chain with links and the mechanic said you don’t need to worry about it.

I may have to try one more alignment Shop, if i couldn’t fix it again next weekend.
Man! its expensive $79 with coupon.

I once again appreciate your time and valuable input