Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Jersey City, NJ
What can cause such horrible misalignments?
Today I will be going to Firestone for a front wheel alignment. This will be my 4th alignment this year, and thats horrible considering I didnt use the car for almost 2 months of 2009.
I dont quite understand what is going on. Im hoping that someone can point me in the right direction. Every time I get an alignment, things start off "OK" [I quote okay because its never 100% on point], but things deteriorate pretty quickly. My last alignment was at Chrysler where I paid a PRETTY penny for it. I had all 4 wheels aligned, and since then have only put on about 1600 miles [In about 3 months or so time].
As it stands right now, I sometimes feel my steering could be the cause of an accident. Let me try the best I can to explain how it feels to drive my car...
For starters, the wheel is not centered. And by that, I mean I have to hold it off to the left to get the car going straight. Heck, it isnt even close to being centered. I would say its roughly 15-20 degrees off to the left.
Even when I do hold it straight, it wobbles. Even on flat ground, without the usual curve, it can wobble occasionally. And it will also pull me to either side, depending on any hard turns or sudden lane changes I make.
In other common instances, it feels as though my wheels are not properly holding themselves in place. This is the part that makes me feel in danger. Its hard to explain, but lets say I am driving straight, and I make a right turn. Once I am doing making that turn, not only does the wheel feel firm and hard to turn, but it also doesnt make the 100% rotation on its own. You have to finish the other 30-35 degree turn to get the car centered. Once you feel it is centered, its not. It seems as if the wheels themselves stay slightly "bent" or "pointed" to the direction you turned to. A slight quick pull in the opposite direction [in this case left] will get things back to normal. The same goes when the road has some slight anomalies that can give the front wheels a bit of a bump and jump. They will go all over the place and the steering will feel VERY unstable and far from precise.
I have looked at my outer tie rods and its bushings, and they look straight. My passenger one is dead straight, and my drivers side has a slight forward angle, but it is extremely minimal.
Both outer and inner bushings were replaced recently, as well as outer tie rods. Suspension is all new, top to bottom, even sway bar links are brand new. I also have new axles down there.
I am stumped.