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alignment or something else ?


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fendertele
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Nov 14, 2015, 6:56 AM

Post #1 of 19 (1199 views)
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Hey everyone hope you may be able to give me suggestions to what might be causing me problems with my car.

I have a Chevrolet Cruze 2011 diesel FWD UK Model.

I have had countless alignments and i'm starting to think it may not be an alignment issue afterall.

If i hold the steering wheel dead centre the car will drive straight but i have to hold onto the wheel tight as i feel it always trying to pull through my hands to the left ( passenger side ).

If i let go of the wheel the car will go to the left on any road surface except ones that crown heavily to the right.

I have had lots of wheel alignments with the hunter hawkeye machine and all the printouts show everything in the green except the front caster is positive on both side 3.50 on each side.

All tires are brand new same brand same tire pressure and i have also rotated them back to the front and nothing has changed.

no noise at all coming from the front no squeeks, no grinding, no clunking.

when i park up my wheel slides slowly to the 10oclock position, to which i then straighten it up dead centre before leaving the car.

https://s.yimg.com/hd/answers/i/c906944fa22e4ebba87f3b51e6d9c218_A.jpeg?a=answers&mr=0&x=1447516547&s=3458f0554688de85febe3d179cf9da0b


Discretesignals
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Nov 14, 2015, 7:20 AM

Post #2 of 19 (1195 views)
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You have more negative caster on the left side than you do the right. That will cause a pull to the left. Caster is not a wear angle, but a difference between caster on each side can cause a pull.

Caster usually is built into the suspension and isn't adjustable on your type of vehicle. Was this vehicle wrecked at one time or had suspension work done?





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fendertele
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Nov 14, 2015, 7:24 AM

Post #3 of 19 (1193 views)
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i just bought it in feb used.... we did the usual going round the car testing body work to see if it had any fix up but looked good.... i felt something off a little when i got it.... but it wasn't anywhere near as bad as i fee lit now.... not sure if they somehow managed to align it or did a temp job to stop it pulling to sell it on... it also feels like the car is sitting ever so slightly lower on the left side..... but it may just be me thinking it is because of the constant pull.


fendertele
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Nov 14, 2015, 7:28 AM

Post #4 of 19 (1188 views)
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also i noticed there is quite a big difference in front camber would that be an issue ?


Discretesignals
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Nov 14, 2015, 7:28 AM

Post #5 of 19 (1188 views)
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It is also important to be sure the ride height is correct even before you have it aligned because a vehicle ride height issue will alter alignment angles.

Not sure what the ride height dimensions are for your vehicle because that model wasn't sold here in the states.





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fendertele
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Nov 14, 2015, 7:33 AM

Post #6 of 19 (1185 views)
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i think im gonna stop messing about with these tire garages with the hawkeye systems and go to a bodyshop or more advanced place to get to the bottom of it..... it aint a massive issue as if i hold the wheel dead centre it will go straight but there is this constant pull/lean to the left which makes cornering a bit unsafe especially backroad driving at night.... and i work as a taxi driver doing 12hours a day..... and feel uncomfortable with it being like this with people in the car.


Tom Greenleaf
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Nov 14, 2015, 7:36 AM

Post #7 of 19 (1179 views)
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? Tires must match and car must sit level at least each end or alignments are not going to be right but could read right on a machine. As DS said if pulling it will towards the side with the most "negative caster" some adjustable some not or if accident might need straightening.
For the moment measure on level surface you drove straight ahead onto how far it is from ground to inner wheel well. That tells how each side is for height. Said - that will throw off alignment.
Can be rare but if you are particularly heavy and drive alone that changes the alignment but should be towards that side? Some folks will ask to have a car aligned with them in it or equivalent weight to set for that if that's it most common use.
BTW - if car isn't setting level an alignment shop should have caught that and NOT aligned the car till that was taken care of,


T



fendertele
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Nov 14, 2015, 7:37 AM

Post #8 of 19 (1177 views)
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i will get back to you after weekend when i get another proper check... is there anything that stands out to you i should mention to be looked at ? maybe a spring sagging could be causing it ? would there be any noise form the front if the spring had sagged ?

Ps; forgot to mention one of the guys did say to me i had a sticking top strut mount that was causing the pull.... but i have never heard of this in all my years driving so brushed it off is there any truth to this ?


Discretesignals
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Nov 14, 2015, 7:38 AM

Post #9 of 19 (1176 views)
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If you have a strut bearing that is binding, that could cause memory steer. Wouldn't be hard to determine if have a problem with a strut bearing.

I agree with you there, that you should find a more experienced shop. Obviously there is something wrong with your caster angles and possibly your trim height dimensions.

Let us know what you find out and good luck.





Since we volunteer our time and knowledge, we ask for you to please follow up when a problem is resolved.

(This post was edited by Discretesignals on Nov 14, 2015, 7:40 AM)


fendertele
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Nov 14, 2015, 7:40 AM

Post #10 of 19 (1174 views)
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lol yeah im a big guy but the pull is actually to the opposite side ( passenger side ) which makes me think something is up as i am a solid 17/18 stone.

right chaps cheers for all the help will update this when i get some kind of closure to close the thread. thanks


Tom Greenleaf
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Nov 14, 2015, 8:10 AM

Post #11 of 19 (1169 views)
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! A couple post came in before I hit "post" with new info. Again as DS said "memory" steer which is totally part of installing certain parts when wheels are not pointed straight ahead like bushings with barbed centers and more. Some would alter steering or possibly height too a little at least.


Camber is both measurement/setting that will make a car pull and wear tires showing feathering. That same tire can't be on the front for another lousy alignment IMO and just hope if you can cross rotate tires it will wear that out of that or those tires.


IDK sport - I think you need another place to do alignments. My idea of an alignment is all this stuff is checked BEFORE you actually do one and parts all in spec too.
If your personal weight is changing vehicle's front end height it's possible to matter but think this is beyond that alone,


T
(edit) Typo too important - "time" changed to "tire" above"



(This post was edited by Tom Greenleaf on Nov 14, 2015, 9:03 AM)


Hammer Time
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Nov 14, 2015, 8:36 AM

Post #12 of 19 (1163 views)
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With those alignment readings this car should not be pulling hard.

I think you should try switching the 2 front tires fron left to right and see how that effects the problem. I think you have a radial tire pull and that will tell us.



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We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



Discretesignals
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Nov 14, 2015, 10:17 AM

Post #13 of 19 (1149 views)
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He's already had the tires rotated and the pull was still there.

That caster angle isn't correct. Should be more than 4 degrees and with offset at least .5 degrees for road crown. More positive on the right than the left. That caster reading is going to cause pull.

Of course, if there is a ride height issue, you can throw those readings out the door.





Since we volunteer our time and knowledge, we ask for you to please follow up when a problem is resolved.

(This post was edited by Discretesignals on Nov 14, 2015, 10:26 AM)


Hammer Time
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Nov 14, 2015, 10:43 AM

Post #14 of 19 (1142 views)
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The Caster is dead even and the Camber has a pull to the right so this thing should be really crowning.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



Discretesignals
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Nov 14, 2015, 11:01 AM

Post #15 of 19 (1138 views)
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His caster is out for some reason. Could be from a ride height issue. We don't know what the readings would have been when the vehicle was new. It could of had more negative caster on the left than the right due to the way the suspension was designed and put together. The more negative the caster is on both sides the less cross caster difference you'll need to make a pull occur.

If it was me, I would make sure you don't have a radial pull by swapping front tires which it seems was already tried. Then measure ride height, check for binding brakes, worn or damaged suspension components. Then correct the caster to be sure it is within specs. After that play with cross caster and camber to correct pull or drifting issues.





Since we volunteer our time and knowledge, we ask for you to please follow up when a problem is resolved.

(This post was edited by Discretesignals on Nov 14, 2015, 11:03 AM)


Tom Greenleaf
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Nov 14, 2015, 1:18 PM

Post #16 of 19 (1129 views)
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? Quote from top post>>when i park up my wheel slides slowly to the 10oclock position, to which i then straighten it up dead centre before leaving the car.<<"


Let me refresh some and ask some: Guys - this car is right hand drive so crown towards right and any driver only weight would be right side.
OP - did you mean by comment up top now that the car steers by itself after stopped or if you just start it up the wheel will turn by itself? That brings on some unusual reasons alone.
Specs if car isn't level on printout will go all fluie (wrong/off/change) on printout the second you get in it as mentioned once. If a parts is barbed replaced is barbed especially (mentioned that too) like a generic sample..........

That type MUST be installed WHEN vehicle is level and steering is aimed straight ahead or if you can see the inside of that where ever used for front end steering or suspension will stick hard to center and outer flexes as any motion occurs. There's quite a force to go back to where it was tightened last. If at a full extreme will want to go back to there.
OK - said by one of us this exact vehicle not sold to the US likely in exact format but general complaint is possible to any car.
I suggest "cross rotating tires" meaning I don't want a front swapped with the other front but rather front left to right rear if tires are same size and type allows to get rears on front and any even slight wear off the front and rotating the opposite direction. Character should (if rears were unscathed) be back to normal for fronts. Point - no matter what you do to a car the only thing that touches the road surface is the tires so anything about them counts. You said they were same brand and pressure - got that.
Questions now what parts might have been replaced and where are the tires from when you first started with this problem and sought an alignment that seems to always fail?
If just power assist is steering this car that's very rare to me but have known of ONE, once - that's all. That ONE would steer just starting the car without touching the wheel so would yours and I mean sitting still.
Other issues: Bent rim where machine attaches to wheel! Yikes, that would give you wrong readings or rather correct reading that are wrong.


This multiple alignings with the same pull has to be a fault missed along the way, bad part, funky tire issue.


Someone asked about any accident in the history - was there? Has steering wheel ever been off? All I know of are indexed to the center spot at the shaft to match up with index on wheel unseen when together. Most can just be stuck back on and centered to you driving via tie rod ends or sleeves. You would know by just setting wheel straight ahead and steering stop to stop paying total attention to how many turns from center to stop point.


That if off on almost all will also give you free-play when your wheel is straight ahead. About all steering concepts allow free-play when turned much off of read dead center to compensate for some of the different turning radius as if you were to make a full circle the track of tires would make different size circles.
All this could be fooling results of the machine's readings. Not sure why same results after multiple tries but it's been mentioned in this thread as that's about all there is. At that point it's up to the know how of who is aligning this car to look for why it isn't working out when out on the road for YOU! I'd like to see something found that solves this short of having to dig much deeper.


Again - an accident can really fool results and the game. It might NOT mean a collision at all and should show on the alignment results something out of spec that nothing brings back in range,


Tom


fendertele
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Nov 15, 2015, 5:18 AM

Post #17 of 19 (1111 views)
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hey guys i don't know if it is just a coincidence or i jinxed myself but as i posted in the original post i have never heard any noises from the front end at all.... not a thing.... but right after i left my post on the forum i started my shift..... and the weather was awful..... rain rain rain.... not cold but just very wet.... so i decided to turn down the radio for better concentration as i usually have it up for the passengers to listen to....

Well i heard a noise not sure if it ties in with the pulling issue but.... here in the uk we have speed bumps to reduce speeds not sure if they have them in the states ? serve their purpose but ruin suspensions..... but anyways some are small and round other higher and sharper.... my car has quite a high ride height when i look at it.... so i can usually clear the small ones just go straight over the top of them at a low speed with no issues..... or i will go over them at an angle (one tire over bump, other through the centre of the speed bumps) but last night i had to go over some high ones because of the way cars were parked up...... so all 4 wheels went over the bump and back down..... on the way back down with every one of the bumps i could hear a loud crunching noise..... i only hear it when it's the high speed bumps smaller ones there is no noise and no noise when going over them at an angle.... it needs to be both wheels off the ground and coming back down for the noise to happen.

that is the first time i have heard it whether it was always there and masked by the radio on i don't know... but it was a loud crunch almost the sound a of creaking bed/couch spring.

To answer a few of the questions since i was offline.

I have no idea if there has been any previous owner damage.... myself and my uncle inspected the body work to see if there had been any work done and looked good.... and nothing was mentioned by the dealer but then why would he unless asked i suppose.


every front tire i've changed since i got the car in feb has had eneven wear on the outer edges... but i just put that down to the job im in and harsh roads, speed bumps etc.... but maybe it's an indication something is not right.
the wheel rolling left thing is just all the time.... if i go to a flat car park and drive straight under 10mph and let go of the steering it wheel it will start to slowly roll to the left.... and the car will go to the left with it.... but if i hold the wheel centered it will drive straight but i will feel the steering wheel want to pull through my hands.

Same goes for any bumps on the road if i hit any bump on the road the car wants to pull left so i grip the steering wheel hard to avoid it pulling.... i also have to be careful when going accelerating from a stopped position.... i have to hold the biting point quite a little bit to make sure the car is going to go straight as it feels like it is going to pull left.... i know there is a lot of torque steer on fwd but would that be an issue if it a slow acceleration and not a fast one ?


(This post was edited by fendertele on Nov 15, 2015, 5:28 AM)


Tom Greenleaf
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Nov 15, 2015, 6:43 AM

Post #18 of 19 (1103 views)
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Speed bumps are common to about everywhere I've known to various types and extremes. Some so high can damage assorted parts that are low even if going over them at a crawl speed not usually able to really strike suspension parts but if too fast could be quite hard on them or harm struts/shocks - depends.


This is a strut for a US Chevy Cruz which may mean little for yours but common idea for many..........

Mid way is for a spring either metal coil or it showed air ride suspension for this as well when looked up not available after market for whatever reason. If air for springs I doubt each wheel gets different pressure for height except maybe front to rear to compensate loads not left to right - a guess.


Now you've struck a point that several tires have worn on the outsides. Roads can stink there and do here too in places but wear pattern like that with different tires and multiple alignments the real problem is being missed.
Outside tire wear is usually from excessive camber or perhaps "tow in" too much or maybe real hard driving on corners a lot too.
In that picture note the bottom two holes which go thru the spindle where it should allow to adjust the tilt of the wheel's camber meaning top is towards inside or outside tilting visible or not would show at alignment time where it is.
Side to side load (body weight again) will change that angle and on many a slight change if fuel tank is full vs low even.
There are limits to adjustments to these.


I've said this here and there all over this site and some state it in their signature. Speak for myself I can't compete with being right there observing or testing things myself.
For you now making note of a noise you might be able to duplicate that noise just jouncing on the vehicle while parked pushing down on each side or over each wheel. It doesn't really tell you what is making the noise just that it exists. You should now be telling a shop or ask to talk to the tech who will check it out.
So to make this as concise as possible I suggest this vehicle go for a full check out and credible alignment yet again at a specialty place or sometimes only a dealer will have the parts. Shops get parts from dealers too as needed. Your call on where you choose for this to be checked out once again. I'm at the end of what I can find for vehicle not sold here TMK for specifics but it isn't. Those angles of alignment have known behaviors of how a vehicle would behave and or wear tires, pull to one side or not.
Worn parts will or at least can give false readings and plain dangerous too. It needs a better hands on job to find and correct this I can't do more from here for you.


Good luck. You should know best where the right place and techs are for you exact area,


Tom



fendertele
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Nov 15, 2015, 7:05 AM

Post #19 of 19 (1100 views)
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hey thanks for the reply, yes i plan on taking it to a proper body shop rather than the usual tire/alignment shops i have been using up till now... i will report back on monday how it went as it't closed for the weekend. i appreciate yourself and the others wisdom as althought be a taxi driver i'm learning new stuff everyday when it comes to parts and there functions so yeah you've all been really helpful and hopefully i shall report back with some good news come mon/tue :)






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