Please rate this alignment! Car still pulls.

Messages
17
Location
MI
2019 Impala with the 3.6L, 29,000 miles on the car. Tires are Firestone Firehawk GT's with 8/10ths left. I cant see any abnormal wear on the tires, but I'm no expert. Something feels a little off with the way the car tracks down the road, and I'm hoping you guys can help. I'm not sure if this is a tire issue yet as I haven't rotated the tires to see if that fixes anything. I'm hoping the get that done next week.

At speeds under ~45mpg the car drifts right consistently, and on roads with a noticeable crown the car pulls right.

At higher speeds the car is a little more unpredictable. It still generally drifts right, but sometimes it seems to wander, and once in a while I can get it to track straight for a little bit.

Either way I'm constantly having to make steering adjustments or hold the steering wheel to compensate for the pull. It's not horrible to drive, but it's getting a bit annoying considering this car is fairly new. I took it to the dealership today and had an alignment done, which didn't make a bit of difference.

2019Impala alignment.jpg
 
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Messages
6,455
Location
Scruffy City
Could be your tires. I’ve had out of balance tires cause pulling so I rebalanced the tires and issue was fixed.

Ummm... No.

You may have used a road force balancer to place the tires in positions to minimize pull based on the force characteristics of a tire or changed the pull based on a rotation, but balancing a tire in and of itself did not fix a pull.

Still it could be the tires, but not pure balance.

Yeah I didn’t even realize the caster wasn’t looked at. Maybe it doesn’t have adjustments for that? Not sure not a Chevy guy.

Doesn't matter if it has adjustments or not, you can't diagnose a pull without measuring caster and camber. Caster is the number one (followed closely by Camber) suspect in a pull or lead.

If the Caster is as close as the Camber Id expect it to lead down the crown, which is usually right...

As for the grade of the alignment, I'd say F- Did not complete. ;)
 
Messages
7,127
Location
Roanoke Virginia
Ummm... No.

You may have used a road force balancer to place the tires in positions to minimize pull based on the force characteristics of a tire or changed the pull based on a rotation, but balancing a tire in and of itself did not fix a pull.

Still it could be the tires, but not pure balance.



Doesn't matter if it has adjustments or not, you can't diagnose a pull without measuring caster and camber. Caster is the number one (followed closely by Camber) suspect in a pull or lead.

If the Caster is as close as the Camber Id expect it to lead down the crown, which is usually right...

As for the grade of the alignment, I'd say F- Did not complete. ;)
Well when I balanced the tires the issue was gone and it didn’t start till they become unbalanced. And I had no idea you could measure it without adjustments that’s new to me.
 

Backstache

Thread starter
Messages
17
Location
MI
If the Caster is as close as the Camber Id expect it to lead down the crown, which is usually right...

As for the grade of the alignment, I'd say F- Did not complete. ;)

I'll work on figuring out why caster wasn't measured. I assumed it wasn't applicable to my vehicle, but I know nothing about alignments. Looks like I've got some learning to do. Might as well be able to do them myself and know it's done right.

Forgive my ignorance, but I'm curious about what you mean by the quoted statement regarding Caster being as close as the Camber?
 
Messages
6,455
Location
Scruffy City
I'll work on figuring out why caster wasn't measured. I assumed it wasn't applicable to my vehicle, but I know nothing about alignments. Looks like I've got some learning to do. Might as well be able to do them myself and know it's done right.

Forgive my ignorance, but I'm curious about what you mean by the quoted statement regarding Caster being as close as the Camber?

typically we would want to build a little tendency to lead up the crown into the alignment. Your camber is quite even side to side if the caster is very even too then the car will want to go straight on a flat road but the perception will be that it leads because most roads are crowned.

caster also affects centering as does toe... too much toe will wear tires though.

start with the specs, cut the tolerance by half and shoot for the preferred. Never like to see more than .5 degree cross camber/ caster (and not both).

a quick test you could do at home if you have a jack and stands is switch the front tires side to side and see if it goes the other way.
 
Messages
6,455
Location
Scruffy City
I should probably clarify, toe affects on center feel (“wandering”) and not really centering technically.

If I was going to switch tires I’d swap the front side to side first. While tires on the rear can cause pulling/leading/drifting it’s much more likely to be the front. There is an old GM TSB on pulling that is pretty comprehensive if you can find it, but it gets REALLY complicated...

If you can find someone with a hunter system that has the alignment rack and RFB linked and is willing and able to use it it’s probably your best bet.

Also don’t tell the Service Advisor “ alignment” or “rotate and balance” say “it leads right”.
 

Backstache

Thread starter
Messages
17
Location
MI
Thank you for all the replies, and thank you DuckRyder for the explanation, very helpful information!

Hopefully swapping the front tires changes the pull and indicates it's a tire issue. I planned on getting new tires soon anyways because the Firestones on it suck in the cold and feel like slicks in snow. If they're causing the pull then that's just one more reason to get rid of them.

If that doesn't work I'll take it back to the dealership and not accept the car back until it feels right. The alignment is warrantied for 1mo/1,000miles and the car itself is still under the factory bumper to bumper warranty. If anything is bent or damaged I hope that they don't try to blame it on me though.

I'll report back with results.
 

Pew

Messages
1,335
Location
Illinois
Rear passenger toe is still off. 0.06mm toe on the right rear side toe is a big difference with the left rear set at 0. That'll explain why it's tracking to the right even if it's within spec. Have them match it as close as possible.
 
Messages
6,455
Location
Scruffy City
Not going to fix an actual pull with an alignment. Swap the front tires left/right, bet the pull switches to the other direction. Pulls are normally caused by tire conicity. Replace the tires.

Agree it it’s in fact a pull (goes immediately or tugs at the wheel) described is more a drift.

A GOOD alignment guy would be able to tell to a high probability just by driving it, they just don’t feel the same.

Then again, I’ve had customers that seem to think the car should go straight indefinitely if you let go of the wheel.
 
Messages
36,473
Location
ME
If that doesn't work I'll take it back to the dealership and not accept the car back until it feels right. The alignment is warrantied for 1mo/1,000miles and the car itself is still under the factory bumper to bumper warranty. If anything is bent or damaged I hope that they don't try to blame it on me though.
What's the history on this car? Former rental? CPO?
You are correct in leaning on this dealer. They let the lube kids do alignments now, so you may need to annoy them until they put an experienced guy on it.
 
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