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Discussion Starter #1
Recently I took my car to get an alignment at a tire shop. I noticed that the car was pulling left at any speed. After the alignment the car pulls left above 45mph. The tire shop sold me an alignment and said that both the front and back were out of alignment but it wasn't possible to adjust the back and there was nothing to do. So since it's still pulling I'm thinking it's the back side that's causing it to pull? Or do you guys think it's a tire balance issue?
 

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It's possible. If the caster in the rear is off making the left rear wheel slightly forward and right rear wheel slightly back it would cause it to pull to the left.
 

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...The tire shop sold me an alignment and said that both the front and back were out of alignment but it wasn't possible to adjust the back and there was nothing to do. ..
What the shop meant to say was "we should have told you there was no rear wheel alignment, and we're not giving you a refund."
I have a G5 (Cobalt-ish). The car developed a pull to the right. Turned out to be a bad wheel bearing. Just jacking the car up, wheel was fine. But, under load and on the road, it would heat up and friction would take over. Worth thinking about.
 

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As a Chevy tech specializing in steering and suspension and over 7000 alignments done it is in the front. Could possibly be a tire pull but also could be a camber difference in the front. Just did mine and had to woller out the strut hole on the right side to get more camber. Would like to see the numbers and I could nail it for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
As a Chevy tech specializing in steering and suspension and over 7000 alignments done it is in the front. Could possibly be a tire pull but also could be a camber difference in the front. Just did mine and had to woller out the strut hole on the right side to get more camber. Would like to see the numbers and I could nail it for you.
The shop (Gordy Tire) didn't provide me with the numbers but I'm still within their "guarantee" period. So I'll go back and tell them about and I'll request the numbers this time.

What the shop meant to say was "we should have told you there was no rear wheel alignment, and we're not giving you a refund."
I have a G5 (Cobalt-ish). The car developed a pull to the right. Turned out to be a bad wheel bearing. Just jacking the car up, wheel was fine. But, under load and on the road, it would heat up and friction would take over. Worth thinking about.
I wonder what it took for your shop to figure that one out. I have negative faith in my dealer/tire shop chains in my area. I found a great mom and pop shop but they don't do alignments on newer cars :(
 

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I wonder what it took for your shop to figure that one out. I have negative faith in my dealer/tire shop chains in my area. I found a great mom and pop shop but they don't do alignments on newer cars :(
Me and a friend of mine troubleshooted the issue. Googled the symptoms, inspected the wheels, ruled out brake pull (changed the pads/rotors - zero change in pull). What gave it away was the hum the bearing was making and the fact that the noise would almost go away while braking. Bearing was $109.00 and a gamble, but problem came on quickly and seemed too extreme to just be alignment.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Me and a friend of mine troubleshooted the issue. Googled the symptoms, inspected the wheels, ruled out brake pull (changed the pads/rotors - zero change in pull). What gave it away was the hum the bearing was making and the fact that the noise would almost go away while braking. Bearing was $109.00 and a gamble, but problem came on quickly and seemed too extreme to just be alignment.
looks like you did a lot of the leg work for me already! A follow up question for you- did the "hum" start immediately when the car started rolling or did it start after driving for a while and warming it up?

My car hums from the front after putting two new tires on the back and moving the used to the front. I assumed it was the uneven thread wear from not rotating that made the hum because the noise started immediately after the rotation. It has only been 1k miles since the rotation so I'm not sure if they'll eventually wear down and eliminate the hum.
 

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looks like you did a lot of the leg work for me already! A follow up question for you- did the "hum" start immediately when the car started rolling or did it start after driving for a while and warming it up?

My car hums from the front after putting two new tires on the back and moving the used to the front. I assumed it was the uneven thread wear from not rotating that made the hum because the noise started immediately after the rotation. It has only been 1k miles since the rotation so I'm not sure if they'll eventually wear down and eliminate the hum.
It was near instant. At lower speeds, it was hard to hear, but you could "feel" it, although only if you knew it was there. Tire hun from choppy tires will eventually go away if it wasn't too bad. A broken belt in a tire can cause some pulling too, but you get some type of tire bounce.
I rotated the tires to see if the noise/pull moved with the tire and it did not.
 

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Let's see what the book says.

Front Using * for degrees.
Camber -0.45* to +0.75*
Cross Camber L-R Within 0.75*
Caster -4'4* to +0.75*
Cross Camber, L-R within 0.75* (must like this number, also must know how to subtract)
Toe, not toe in because its -0.2* to +0.2* (hmmm, toe out is okay!)
Steering angle or how much the steering wheel can be off when driving straight ahead. -3.5* to + 3.5*

Rear
Camber -1.4* to + 0.75* (no cross camber spec)
Toe -0.05* to 0.4* ( a lot more tight than front camber)
Thrust Angle ( want dem rear wheels to track the front wheels) within +/- 0.3*, 0 would be best. (Seen some so bad, car was driving down the road sideways.)

Really the only adjustment is front toe and sounds like 0* is best, not use to this. Only torque spec given is for the inner tie rod end nut, 44 ft;-lbs. Rest of the stuff is supposed to be replaced.

Use to do this all the time did it on my motorhome, they want a ton of money for these things, first the thing has to be on stands under the suspension like the wheels have to be on their own weight. Thrust angle is easy just compare the two centers of the front and back wheels, should be identical. Camber, have a special level for this, can't go wrong with 0*.

Toe in is very critical, put scribe marks on the tires and with a rod with pointers on it front on this thing has to be 1/8" less than the rear. Caster is not easy, but has long as the wheel spins back on its own after a turn, usually okay. Steering wheel angle was very easy, with the nut off took it for a test ride, spline was very fine, just centered the wheel so it was lever when driving straight.

Small cars aren't easy, so take these in, and usually told all four of my front ball joints are bad even though I have only two. This is when I get slightly suspicious. Don't know why, but I do.

When I took my 04 Cavalier in for new tires, was told my toe in was a 1/32" of an inch off and would cost me an extra 75 bucks to adjust it, so I took the palm of my right hand and hit the front of the tire and it was dead on, on their wheel alignment machine. 1/32nd of an inch play is not bad on these cars.

For the sake of history, put on another 90K miles on these tires with even tire wear. Car pull is very common on high crown roads followed by a low pressure tire on the pull side.

Another PITA is if one tire has damage, have to replace both front or rear tires to keep it balanced, most so with ABS or that light will stay on. If you rotate your tires, all four must be replaced just because one tire failed due to some junk left from road construction. But if you do have hazard protection, only covers that one wheel, other three are out of your pocket.
 
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