New Chevy Prizm pulls to the left. Dealership says it's natural???

anon70anon70 Member Posts: 82
edited March 2014 in Chevrolet
i have a new 2002 Chevy Prizm w/700 miles. it pulls to the left. i didnt notice it when i test drove it. but it did when i drove it on the highway for a length of time.

took it to the largest Chevy dealership in Northern VA (koons chevy). they did a wheel alignment. now it pulled even more to the left. took it back. they said everything was in specs. they rotated the tires, but basically said it's the nature of the road. WTF?

i would blame it on the crown of the road if it pulls left when i'm on the left lane, and pulled right if i'm on the right lane. but it doesnt. it pulls left on the left lane, and goes straight on the right lane.

Any suggestions, besides putting more air pressure into the left tire?



  • zueslewiszueslewis Member Posts: 2,353
    when they come off the truck - just from having their suspension stretched and pulled during transport. That's why Chevrolet has a labor operation, covered under warranty, to perform alignments - it's covered through the 12,000 mile adjustment period. I don't know why your dealer would balk at the idea of doing an alignment.

    Ask your dealer this - will you do an alignment, or should I take it to Firestone (or whoever), have them do it and bring you the bill?

    A car should pull slighty to the right - it shouldn't pull to the left.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Take it to a shop that knows what they are doing and then send the bill to the dealer. You may or may not get compensated, but you will have made your point and your car will go reasonably straight.

    Actually, alignment is both a science and an art, and many places don't do it very well.

    Case in point, where I live some of the Porsche and even the Ferrari dealer sends their cars to just one independent place. It's expensive, it takes time but the cars are done right and there are no complaints.

    I agree-- a car will sometimes have to follow the crown of the road and veer slightly, but pulling strongly to the left is pretty weird except in very odd situations or road conditions.

    Don't expect perfect "tracking", but don't settle for something this sloppy.

    You needn't be confrontational with the dealer. It is also possible the car has some front end problem that prevents a good alignment.
  • sandman46sandman46 Member Posts: 1,798
    Ask the dealer to swap the front tires and see what happens. Could be a tire out of round. This happened on my Corolla when I bought new tires and it solved the problem. Worth a shot...!

    The Sandman
  • bretfrazbretfraz Member Posts: 2,021
    I assume all the tire pressures are balanced. I agree with the others that you should find a top notch alignment shop and have it done there. Zueslewis is 100% correct about new cars needing alignment off the showroom floor; one of my closest friends worked at a well-known wheel & tire place in So Cal and people came in daily complaining about their alignment and tracking. It was amazing how many brand new cars needed adjustment.

    I once had a Mustang that pulled to the left. Took it to a terrific shop who measured everything and said it was fine. But the tech drove it and sure enough, it pulled left. He loosened up all the front end components, respec'd them, tightened them, measured again, and did another road test. No more pulling to the left even though the measurements were identical. Weird. That's the "art" of alignment.
  • zr2randozr2rando Member Posts: 391
    On one of my trucks I have a tire that needs to stay on the left, otherwise it pulls me off the road to the right, but it has 50k miles on it already. If you have a new tire doing it, dealer should replace it. Try swapping the front tires like SANDMAN46 said, if the pull changes, then its a defective tire. Your car has less than 1000 miles on it too, suspensions will also loosen up over the first couple thousand miles and you should wait for that to happen and then get the alignment, do it too early and you may still need to do it again anyway.The car carrier trucks tie vehicles down very tight and sometimes damage vehicles suspensions during vehicle delivery.
  • ken137ken137 Member Posts: 4
    I have a 01 prizm that pulled to the left when new, after many failed attempts to get it fixed they found that I had a bad front left axle. If you hear any odd rotating sounds in the front when you are driving then that may be your problem
  • anon70anon70 Member Posts: 82
    i tried taking it to a 2nd dealer, but they said i need the car to have 1000+ miles on it for break in.

    weird that the 1st dealer only needed 500 miles for break in.

    anyway, i'll keep you informed.
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