Suspension ALignment

wd5iqaed1wd5iqaed1 Member Posts: 1
edited March 2014 in Volkswagen
I have a 2001 Passat GLS 5M with 6000 miles. It has been aligned twice by dealer. I just changed the tires from the OEM Continentals to Michelins Pilots.....much better but I still find it drifting to the right, favoring the right side and changing.

Has any one had similar exdperiences ? Otherwise I love the car


  • q45manq45man Member Posts: 416
    There is typically a broad spec [range] of acceptable numbers in front and rear camber, caster, front and rear toe. [to compensate for the variances in car builds/and or wear]
    A real alignment places everything at the exact center of the range with devations of no more than 0.2 degrees side to side and a perfect 0.000 degree thrust angle.....this is extremely difficult to achieve and the time required [maybe parts replacement]. For warranty purposes they want wide tolerances so they don't have to pay!
    A perfect alignment assumes a perfect road unfortunately roads have crowns and camber to drain water [drift from the high to low side--], heavy trucks make ruts in lanes [dartiness] many designs favor a drift to the right as a safety measure in left hand drive cars to avoid inattention and crossing the medium with a head on collision.
    If you post all the numbers from the alignment we can better analyse!
  • paquetpaquet Member Posts: 5
    I'm at 56k on my '96'. I think it's time to consider adjustments since my driver's front side is wearing on the outer edge. Can I do it myself or need to rely on special wheel alignment equipment?
  • edwardh5edwardh5 Member Posts: 130
    I had the same problem. 3 trips to the Infiniti dealer w new car over 1 1/2 years- they aligned it twice. Still pulled right. Dealer said it was road crown (but other cars I drive do not pull right)

    Took it to a good independant. He said that alignment was in spec, but a big difference between front right and front left specs.
    Note there is only toe in/out adjustment on many cars - when you pay for an alignment you get a toe adjust.
    This indep tech cut a small slot in the left strut hanger and that cured it - $59 for align and $30 for the slot cutting. Car drive straight and actually ignores the crown (drive like a Honda).
    Your dealer is jerking you around - go elsewhere.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,482
    Precise front end alignment is a bit of an art, and your dealer may not employ an artist, but rather just a journeyman. Most of the time, a "good enough" approach will work, but there are situations where careful use of the equipment, and even some time-consuming trial and error test driving, is necessary.

    One problem with all this is that one good smack on a pothole and an afternoon's good alignment work can go down the drain.
  • 0patience0patience Member Posts: 1,712
    Here is an article that may help give some insight into the alignment stuff.

    Alignment article
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,482
    Thanks Opatience, interesting article and really shows how much the alignment shop needs to consider when attempting to solve an alignment problem.
  • dafeverdafever Member Posts: 2
    I have a '99 Camry that started pulling hard to the right after I put new tires on it. I just had it aligned and while it doesn't pull hard anymore, it still slightly "drifts" to the right. I'm being told by the shop that did the alignment that this is pretty common on Camry's because of the specs Toyota uses? Sounds kind of suspect to me.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,482
    So all the hundreds of thousands of Camrys in the world are simultaneously pulling to the right as we speak?

    Tell them to try again.
  • blkmgkblkmgk Member Posts: 54
    That is funny.
  • oldharryoldharry Member Posts: 413
    started pulling when the tire were put on, he has a defective tire in all likelyhood. Try crossing the front tires, and see if it pulls left. I had an Intrepid in for alignment for a right pull yesterday. I crossed the front tire, and it pulled as hard left as it did right before. This problem - tire conicity- was fairly common in the seventies, then the tire companies seem to have fixed it. Now it is coming back with a vengence.

  • urchin34urchin34 Member Posts: 70
    My Toyota dealer told me the same thing about my Celica drifting to the left - that this was pretty common for Celica's. So between a Celica and a Camry, we should be able to go straight down the road. Let me know when you figure out how we can do that.
  • seeligseelig Member Posts: 590
    regarding 4 wheel alignment. in the article it says that manufacturers set the rear toe to offset torque. is this to say that the axle on 2wd vehicles or pickups are not square to the frame on purpose?
  • oldharryoldharry Member Posts: 413
    On some the axel is "square" to the frame, but offset to one side. Ford's early Twin I Beams, had the center of the rear axel to the right of the center on the vehicle. The first year or two of Chevy Citations were the same. I seldom find rear toe and tracking on rear drive vehicles to be other than "zero" (plus or minus the tollerance), unless there is uncorrected collision damage.

  • seeligseelig Member Posts: 590
    i'm thinking that since my rearend checked out at the left rear with -.07 and the right rear at .18 toe, that it may be the cause of the slight drift to the right i'm experiencing even though i just had the frontend realigned.
  • seeligseelig Member Posts: 590
    based on what you said in another topic, i switched the front tires around this morning, and sure enough, the truck pulled to the left. two new michelins are on the way. thanks again.
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