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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok so today I went to NTB for wheel alignment. Two good things and One bad thing happened.
The good:
1. The engine vibration and booom noise at idle? Gone. I can still feel slight vibration through the steering wheel but otherwise, the car idles very smoothly. Can't believe it! Feels like a proper $45k car again.
2. When accelerating slowly, the up shift at 25mph~30mph was very choppy. Now thats gone. The car accelerates without eruption now and shifting is silky smooth.
The bad:
1. The car still pulls to the left.
 

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Swap your front tires side to side and see if it changes to a pull-to-the-right. The alignment shop should have test driven the car post-align and tried that already. Did you go in and say "I need an alignment" or did you say "The car pulls to the left, please fix it"?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
MacNoob said:
Swap your front tires side to side and see if it changes to a pull-to-the-right. The alignment shop should have test driven the car post-align and tried that already. Did you go in and say "I need an alignment" or did you say "The car pulls to the left, please fix it"?
I walked in and said "I need wheel alignmet. Willl that fix pulling to the left on highway?"
I think I'm gonna go back there tomorrow.
 

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MacNoob said:
Swap your front tires side to side and see if it changes to a pull-to-the-right. The alignment shop should have test driven the car post-align and tried that already. Did you go in and say "I need an alignment" or did you say "The car pulls to the left, please fix it"?
Having worked in that business, you almost never test drive a car. You just drive in on the alignment rack and do it and then send it on it's way.
 

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Raven18940 said:
Having worked in that business, you almost never test drive a car. You just drive in on the alignment rack and do it and then send it on it's way.
That must be why it took me 20 years to find an alignment shop that did the job correctly the FIRST TIME. EVERY other time I had an alignment done, it was back at the shop the next day.

My last alignment was done at a shop recommended to me by a friend. The whole place was full of highway tractors torn down to the frames and mounted on frame fixtures. I dropped off the car, discussed with the tech exactly what I needed done (pointing out to him that I had just installed lowering sport suspension), and looked at the WIS specs I provided. Later that day I had a call from him, telling me that the alignment was done, the car was test driven and he had swapped the front wheels side to side to minimize a tire pull. He also apologized because he charged me an extra $20 to put the car on the frame machine and loosen the front subframe and pull it into alignment to correct a (non-adjustable according to WIS) castor mismatch side-to-side. Total charge was $90.

That is the kind of service I expect. Not like the time before, when I picked up a vehicle and it drove straight but the steering wheel was out by 1/4 turn from center. When I complained, the "tech" said he would be happy to remove the wheel and replace it properly centered for a small charge. I declined the opportunity and adjusted the tie-rod offset myself in my driveway in order to center the wheel. The same shop has since sent me a coupon offering a "free alignment check" - I declined that too,
 

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Not sure about the pulling, but I'd say be careful in swapping your tires side to side and make sure they are rolling in the right direction. The two sets of tires I've slapped on my 9-5 have both been side specific (left hand/right hand). I'm not up on the details but I believe it has to do with how the tread is layed out, there should be some sort of arrow or something in the direction they should be. In the past I've only ever rotated tires back-to-front.

Here is a shot of my winters, it's a bit faint but you can see the directional arrow on the top at about the 11:30 position.
http://flickr.com/photos/jonneh/2152346745/sizes/o/

Either way, good luck.
 

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Yes, that's correct, some tires are directional and cannot be swapped side-to-side... I haven't owned a set like that recently so I wasn't thinking of that restriction!
 

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MacNoob said:
That must be why it took me 20 years to find an alignment shop that did the job correctly the FIRST TIME. EVERY other time I had an alignment done, it was back at the shop the next day.
Wish I had a shop like that here...

My wheel was off to the right a tiny bit. My friend took a stab at correcting the toe, but ended up putting it in the opposite direction. Oops!

Figured that was a good excuse to take it in for an alignment... I found a well acclaimed local shop (Alvin Automotive), which has a nice new alignment rack. So I book it in, have to leave my car with them all day because they can't give me a fixed appointment (and take the train 40 mins there and back). Then when I get my car back, I find that the steering wheel is now off to the left by the same amount it was off to the right in the first place!!!

At least the printout they gave me showed that everything else was in-spec, though I never got a "before" sheet, and nothing else is really adjustible, so I don't think they did much at all. So I think I'll take a stab at straightening my toe again, because I don't want to deal with two hours on the train just to get them to try again. This time I will double and triple check that it's going in the right direction :roll:
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Update:

Ok so I went to NTB place again for re-alignment. The guy test drove it and switched the tires front and rear but not left and right because my tires are directional (BFGoodrich g-Force Sport).
Car doesn't pull to the left anymore.:D
 
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