New car pulling to the right even after all the basics are in order

  1. Jayqeu

    Jayqeu Member

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    I have a 2017 Civic touring purchased new 4 months ago. I have driven it 8K km/ 5K miles so far. Just last week I started noticing the car pulling towards the right. Below is what has been done after I noticed the pull.

    1) Checked tie rod myself, seems alright, nothing loose
    2) Tire pressures are even
    3) No 'play' in tire
    4) Switched the fronts (left to right and vice versa)
    5) FORCED the dealer to check alignment, which came out OK. However the dealer did not acknowledge that when the steering is level, the car moves to the right and he kept referring to all other variables like crowning etc.

    I have checked rapid acceleration and braking which does not seem to have a sudden impact and also drove in nuetral just to see if this was something related to the engine/whatever (based on forum and youtube advices)

    Now I am completely lost as to why this is happening. I have to keep applying a little pressure and keep the steering tilted slightly left (11 30 position most probably) to keep the car move in a straight line.

    Any advice will be very welcome as well as advice on how to make the dealer acknowledge this and address the issue under warranty (if needed).

    Thanks very much in advance!
     
  2. choo

    choo Senior Member

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    I've heard of some cars that need to "re-learn" the steering angle sensor or the electric steering will start to fight you.
     
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  3. invader

    invader Senior Member

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    Are your tire inflation pressures at 32 psi cold? Did you get a printout of your alignment settings, particularly individual rear toe and camber?
     
  4. tacthecat

    tacthecat Senior Member

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    Assuming it occurs all the time not just on some road/roads (to eliminate "crowning").
    Sounds like right front brake is dragging - feel right front rim (Caution - could be very hot) after a short drive and compare temp to left rim.
     
  5. Shankmeyster

    Shankmeyster Senior Member

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    Also, don't EVER switch tires across. Only front to back. Each side has a direction of rotation and if you switch them across they are rotating in the wrong direction. I might take it to an outside alignment shop and see what they think.
     
  6. tacthecat

    tacthecat Senior Member

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    Only applies to unidirectional tires - most "normal" and all-seasons can be rotated in the standard x or cross- rotation. Unidirectionals have a rotation icon on them.
     
  7. Shankmeyster

    Shankmeyster Senior Member

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    Good to know as I thought pretty much all tires were unidirectional.
     
  8. tacthecat

    tacthecat Senior Member

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    A lot (most?) UHP and some anti-hydroplane designs are unis and can only be swapped front to rear or rear to front on the same side. They should all have directional icons on the sidewall.
    Tire Rack has good info on the various designs and advantages.
     
  9. BarracksSi

    BarracksSi Senior Member

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    Certainly worth checking.

    However, if a brake is dragging (sticky caliper or whatever), it could also boil the fluid after enough driving, and you'd get a spongy pedal.

    Side note about tire rotation: I'm not sure if I'd bother anymore. You'll just need to buy new tires for all four wheels at the same time while making them all go bald. Wear out the front pair, buy a new pair for the rear, and swap the old rears to the front.

    Yes, really, new tires in back -- because, firstly, the rear tires just don't work very hard and should have plenty of tread remaining; and secondly, better grip in back means understeer, which is safer on the street than oversteer.
     
  10. hunter44102

    hunter44102 Senior Member

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    When you swap the front 2 tires you are actually keeping the pattern the same because the tires are flipping around. The only correct way would be to re-mount the tires facing the same way but on opposite side of car.

    So I would try putting the back tires up front since it's easier to try than remounting tires
     
  11. OP
    Jayqeu

    Jayqeu Member

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    Thanks all for your responses.

    This is what I have done in the past week.

    1) Made sure even tire pressure (32) in each tire.
    2) Rotated all tires and got each of them balanced (there was no balancing issue)
    3) Free rotated each tire and apparently there is no brake stuck issue. All tires are rotating freely and are not being held back more than the other

    I have booked another appointment with Honda on this. One thing I have noted is that the car moves more drastically to the right when cold and once it is warmed up, the pulling gets a little bit better.
     
  12. syncro87

    syncro87 Senior Member

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    One thing I've learned from owning many cars and working on many cars. It's usually the most obvious or most likely culprit.

    There is a saying in the medical world. When you hear hoof beats, think horses, not zebras.

    On rare occasion, you'll find a zebra. But the vast majority of the time, if you hear hooves, it's a horse.


    In my experience, the chances that a relatively new car has a tire issue are far greater than a dragging brake. Chance it is tire related is much higher than a faulty alignment from the factory. Bad factory alignment is quite rare, as is a faulty brake caliper on a relatively new car. Loose tie rod is very rare on a 4 month old car, almost unheard of.

    I'd spend most of my energy ruling out tires as a cause first, as in my view, this is overwhelmingly the most likely cause (aside from road crown). Next, after I was 100% sure my tires and wheels were perfect, I'd go for alignment. If tires and alignment specs check out spot on, then start worrying about obscure causes like dragging brakes or faulty steering components, both of which are very unlikely.

    If a brake is dragging, the wheel associated with it will usually get hotter than the others in short order. Drag produces heat.

    Find the flattest road you can find, with as little crown as possible. Use that same stretch of road for each time you test something. Consistency matters when trying to rule something out.


    Sounds like you're approaching things pretty much as I would, so far.
     
  13. OP
    Jayqeu

    Jayqeu Member

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    Appreciate your comment. I think what I will do is to see what Honda says first and then get all 4 tires temporarily changed and drive around the blocks. That should once and for all eliminate the tire variable at least. Also, I will use the IR temperature gun to see if there is any difference in temperature after driving around. Just not sure where to point it at :)
     
  14. invader

    invader Senior Member

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    Like I said, we need to see your alignment settings, especially the left and right REAR toe and camber.
     
  15. OP
    Jayqeu

    Jayqeu Member

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    Will share as soon as I get it done again. I made a mistake of not getting the printout when they did it earlier.
     
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