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Old 04-07-2010, 09:17 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX
1,592 posts, read 3,032,544 times
Reputation: 704

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This being my first car, I have no prior experience. My car's steering wheel is slightly to the left of center when driving straight. There isn't any pull on the wheel as such but the car does go slightly right when I let the steering wheel go. I am not sure if it's out of alignment or if it's simply the angle of the road (The roads around here are not straight either for me to test properly).

Recently I noticed that my front tires have some wear while the rear ones have none at all. The tires were close to new when I bought the car. The wear doesn't look uneven at all.

What do you think? Are wheel balancing and full alignment in order? Just to be confident before shelling out the money. Thanks!
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Old 04-07-2010, 09:50 AM
 
14,777 posts, read 34,588,451 times
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It's really not possible to tell without actually driving your car or seeing the wear pattern on the tires. One of the biggest tell tale signs of a bad alignment is uneven wear on the front tires. What this means is that one edge of the tread is worn more than the other.

The off center steering can be corrected by an alignment, but most steering wheels are never dead on center unless someone really takes care when doing the alignment.

The wandering or pulling to the right can be caused by an alignment, uneven tire wear or even bad tie rods or bushings. There is no way to tell without looking at it.

The best thing to do is get some references to a good local mechanic who you can trust to give you a straight answer as to what is wrong. If you walk into a chain shop you'll be getting an alignment whether you need one or not and it may not fix your problem, if there even is a problem.
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Old 04-07-2010, 05:40 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
1,592 posts, read 3,032,544 times
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Thanks, I went ahead and had my car checked out at an independent repair shop. It did need alignment in the front.
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Old 04-07-2010, 05:43 PM
 
Location: I think my user name clarifies that.
8,293 posts, read 22,498,095 times
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You're almost certainly in need of an alignment.

One problem, however, is that most alignment shops will come up with a whole list of parts that need to be replaced before they can align the car. Some of those repairs are legitimate, some are pure BS.

Good luck!
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Old 04-07-2010, 06:39 PM
 
Location: Eastern NC
18,158 posts, read 16,680,220 times
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I hope you had your tires rotated too.
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Old 04-07-2010, 07:58 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
1,592 posts, read 3,032,544 times
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Yes, I had the tires rotated too (and wheel balanced).
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Old 06-23-2012, 08:05 AM
 
Location: Where the sun always shines..
1,939 posts, read 5,485,696 times
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Sounds like you need an alignment...especially if it's front wheel drive.
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Old 06-23-2012, 08:16 AM
 
833 posts, read 1,419,665 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Omaha Rocks View Post
You're almost certainly in need of an alignment.

One problem, however, is that most alignment shops will come up with a whole list of parts that need to be replaced before they can align the car. Some of those repairs are legitimate, some are pure BS.

Good luck!

Oldest trick in the book--------------advertise a real low alignment price in the paper, have folks schedule an appointment, then refuse to do the alignment unless a long list of new parts are installed.

A Sears auto place and a Firestone auto place tried to pull that on me on a car 1.5 years old.

I got it aligned someplace else and drove another 147,000 miles and never replaced those parts.

WHAT A RIP OFF !
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Old 06-23-2012, 08:21 AM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
32,176 posts, read 39,325,128 times
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You guys really have some shady places. Over the last 40+ years I've never had a shop recommend parts, service or other work that wasn't necessary. Well, I take that back sort of, the dealer always wants to do a fuel injector cleaning and I had a dealer tech tell me one time that Bosch was an off brand for plugs and plug wires.
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Old 06-23-2012, 08:25 AM
 
833 posts, read 1,419,665 times
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I'll bet that 90% of places that advertize a low price wheel allignment in the newspaper ( with a coupon ) are rip off's.

The reputable wheel allignment places usually don't offer low priced coupons,
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