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Discussion Starter #1
Went into tire shop, for a front to back rotation (directional tires), and alignment. it was a little out, but I counldn't tell, really. It seemed to drive fine, with the steering wheel centered well ,and didn't pull.

After alignment, it pulls slightly to the right. I.e., if I hole steering wheel centered, I zoom off to the right. And to make it go straight, I have to hold steering wheel slightly to left.

Car is at shop awaiting its appointment for a recheck of the alignment. Two seperate guys there say is probaby a problem with the tires.
Tires are Bridgstone Potenza RE something. RE 92? Honestly I can't remember. Sorry. 15k on them, and I've rotated att every oil change, so every 2-5K.They were a little high performance for the car, but it was all i could get at Cosco on a sunday 2 years ago.

Shop full of crap?
 

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I would NEVER get an 'alignment' at a tire store. Those guys usually do not know a damn thing about the specific alignment of each car. They have NO expert training as an alignment specialist. It is usually some guy who is 'good' at oil changes and changing tires.

I laugh when I see cars with the tires tilted totally out of wack, as I know they had the alignment done by an idiot.
(I am not writing about lowered cars here)

Unless I had a specific verifiable problem I would NEVER get an alignment redone by anyone.
And IF I had any problem the only place I would take the car to is a FORD dealer who HAD a real alignment tool (a full size alignment system and an expert, read that certified, mechanic to use it)

And yes it will cost you at least $100.
So yes I am saying your shop screwed up your car.
They 'claim' it is the tires since they are hacks too stupid to do the alignment right. (which is the problem at 95% of those places)

What my advice. Take it to a FORD dealer who has an alignment frame, and a certified guy for it. Then send the bill to your tire shop.
 

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Gotta get some terms right, as what you said actually implies the steering wheel isn't exactly centered - quite different from actually "pulling".

Pulling is when driving on a flat road, and you let go of the wheel, the car turns to one side or the other. Another way of describing a "pull" is needing to apply steering force to the wheel to continue straight in the same flat road situation.

Tires can create a "pull", slightly misaligned steering wheel won't.

Sounds like your "toe" adjustment was off, and in adjusting that the wheel ended up not perfectly straight. Not uncommon, and the wheel is seldom exactly straight. Normal driving on a crowned road requires the wheel to be slightly turned and they're often left set slightly right so it seems straight in those normal circumstances.

I'd need to know a lot more to tell how your alignment is set up as the rear adjustments on these also affect tracking. Rear a bit off also affects where the steering wheel points when moving straight down the road.

Short description as alignment can be done slightly "off" on purpose for straight tracking on a typical crowned road.

Main point is separating "pull" from the alignment of the steering wheel - turning it to "straight" and seeing it turn as a result isn't a "pull" and that description can confuse the issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Well, a friend tried to explain the same to me, and I think I've got it now.

If I let go of the wheel, I don't think it would shoot off to the right, but I never tried that, really.
What I think I'd describe was, I had to hold it slightly to the left to go *straight*. Holding the wheel centered, it would veer off to the right.


I got the car back, and I will post scans of the alignment readings (when i get a chance), because they are interesting. Its much better, but still the steering wheel is a schosh to the left. What was interesting to me, was that the 'after' was all in the green when I left last week, and then today, the 'before' is all in the red.
 

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Slightly left is often actually dead on due to the road not being flat.

You have to find a flatter section or drive where the road is crowned to the left to actually get a feel of whether it's "straight" or not.

I've actually used the wrong side of the road (when deserted) to check this on occasion. Usually just pay more attention to the slope to see how the feel coordinates with the terrain.

"All in the red" could relate to the wheel turned to center before taking those readings. It IS what you wanted corrected, so they need an "off" starting point.


P.S. - first time around could have been a 'lazy" alignment job. When it's not off much adjusting one side to get the total toe in spec. works, but it turns the steering wheel a bit. You'd have to look at the chart to see if it looks like that was done. It's not even wrong to do it that way for a small change, it's almost impossible to get the wheel perfectly straight AND the front wheels pointing perfectly as well. The important part of the adjustment is getting the road wheels pointed perfect, steering wheel is only close to eyeball right.
 

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Take it back and tell them your steering wheel is no longer centered.

They will screw one tie rod in, and the other out the same amount, the toe-in will stay the same but the steering wheel will move.
 

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Take it back and tell them your steering wheel is no longer centered.

They will screw one tie rod in, and the other out the same amount, the toe-in will stay the same but the steering wheel will move.
This^^^^^^^^ Its called Wintoe.
 

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Don't let them touch the rear toe! I wouldn't, at least, that's about as close to 0 as you can get ... especially from a shop.

I had my Focus aligned recently because it was chewing rear tires. It was toed out to the MAX of the Ford spec. Unfortunately, the person I know who did the alignment could only go so far (work would get him in trouble if he went to true 0 ) so I just added a bunch of weight to the back.

Strange that the "after" isn't the same. I don't know if it's because I knew the person or what - but I had mine identical at the "after".
 

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I'd have them set the front toe to zero & the rear toe to .010 per side. The lr is negative & the rr toe is positive. Forget the all in the greeen & ship it mentality. You set the rear toe 1st & then set the front toe using ''wintoe'' after you do your setup, castor sweep & beems seeing the wheels push back setup. You can see my machine/rack that I ran for over 10yrs in my profile albums.
 
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