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Car pulling after new tire install, three alignments

Home Forums Stay Dirty Lounge Service and Repair Questions Answered Here Car pulling after new tire install, three alignments

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  • #987799
    Eric VanEric Van

      Hi folks,

      I have owned a 2018 Chevy Colorado for about 20k miles of its ~41k mile existence. Generally I like the vehicle pretty well and have had mostly minor issues.

      TL;DR: have brand new set of winter tires (blizzaks), truck tracked nearly straight prior (very slight right), but now pulls hard left. Had three alignments done, and did a rotational diagnosis, where I drove between each step. Suspension and other steering components are OK.

      The gritty details are: all within the past 100 miles and three weeks, three alignments, and a new set of tires, I have been chasing a vehicle pull. Here’s the rundown in chronological order:

      Brought car to dealership to have serp belt replaced and have squeak checked that sounds like is coming from right rear going over bumps. Also got an alignment in anticipation of getting snow tires installed at a different shop a couple days later. Prior to this visit, the car was pulling ever so slightly to the right, with the steering wheel perfectly centered, with the all season tires that have been on the vehicle for at least 20k miles. Dealer said all suspension components were OK. Rear brakes low, but nothing indicating caliper sticking or anything.

      After the dealership, the steering wheel was misaligned to the left slightly, but the car seemed to drive straight, again with the original all-seasons. I didn’t drive it much after this step and before the next, so it’s possible there was a pull and I didn’t notice.

      Had winter tires (Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V2) installed at a national tire chain a couple days later. Declined alignment since just had one probably 5 miles prior. After leaving tire shop with new winters, car pulls hard left.

      Brought car back to dealership to verify alignment was done correctly. Have spec sheet. Appears it was correct, other than the steering wheel being out of center. Dealer said it’s probably a bad tire and to check for tire pull.

      Brough car back to tire shop, they did alignment of their own, saying it was out, even though dealer said it was good. Car still pulls left. Did notice that one tire was overinflated to about 50PSI on just this one visit, rather than 35, just on this one visit (i monitored this closely at all other steps). I suspected this might have been trying to mask a bum tire, but can’t tell for sure. I got it back to proper levels immediately on noticing — maybe 10 miles of driving it was overinflated.

      On one extremely cold day after, the car tracked straight. When warm again, pulled left. Tried replicating cold weather on another warmer day by letting about 5psi out of all tires, but still pulled.

      Went thru a tire pull diagnosis at the tire shop to try to isolate if there is a bad tire and i verified the correct rotation and drove the car at each step. Continued to pull left at every step.

      Not sure where to go from here. Tire shop has been generally helpful and offered to install a new set of tires and re-do an alignment, but the tire pull diagnosis should theoretically have ruled out the tires being the issue, and I don’t see the point of a fourth alignment. And if there is something else going on, not sure it makes much sense to put new tires on.

      Curious if anyone has thoughts or suggestions on what to check/try next. Have thought of bringing this to my usual mechanic for a third opinion, but so many cooks….

      I am wondering if the alignment was just never done properly at either shop, but that seems unlikely. Also considered there may be more than one tire with conicity — maybe a bad batch run?

      Thanks all, Merry Holidays.

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    • Author
    • #987808
      Nightflyr *Richard Kirshy

        After the dealership, the steering wheel was misaligned to the left slightly

        I don’t know what you describe as “slightly” but if the alignment was done correctly and there are no worn or damaged components.
        The steering wheel should have been set straight.
        If this has been the case since the issue began, I would consider the front end improperly aligned.
        When you had the tire shop do another alignment was the steering wheel still off center?

        You’ll need to first confirm that the front end is within alignment specs.
        My suggestion would be to find a shop who’s specialty is alignments and tell them what has been happening.
        If it turns out the front end is with in specs then your dealing with a tire issue.
        If the front end requires adjustment(s) and/or component replacement.
        You then need to see if the vehicle still pulls and if so you’ll need to move forward to seeking tire replacements

        Eric VanEric Van

          Thanks so much. I actually am taking it to a mechanic that has in the past given very good alignments as things seem to be pointing more to that at the moment (since the tire rotations didn’t yield any changes).

          But yes, when the tire shop did the second alignment, steering wheel was still off-center. My guess is they put it on the alignment machine without being super-careful. They have been nice, but I don’t trust their mechanical prowess too far, hence the now third opinion from the regular mechanic.

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