Car Drifts to the Left, Even After Alignment? Also Steering Wheel Feels Tighter After - Chevy Cobalt Forum / Cobalt Reviews / Cobalt SS / Cobalt Parts
Problems and Service Talk about any mechanical problems you are having

Closed Thread
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-10-2015, 07:55 PM Thread Starter
Prospect
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 21
Car Drifts to the Left, Even After Alignment? Also Steering Wheel Feels Tighter After

I have a 2008 Chevrolet Cobalt with about 75k miles. It has mostly expressway miles and I noticed recently it pulls to the left slightly and I notice I have to keep putting pressure on the wheel to keep the car center. It's not horrible but enough to where if I let go of the steering wheel it will start to go to the left slowly but always to the left.

So I went to Sears today and had gotten an alignment here is what the print out stated.

Front:Left
(in degrees unless otherwise specified)
Actual Before Specified Range
-1.2 -1.2 -1.8 to -0.3 Camber
2.6 2.6 2.3 to 3.6 Caster
0.06in -0.11in 0.00 to 0.10in Toe
13.3 13.3 SAI
12.1 12.1 included Angle

Front:Right
(in degrees unless otherwise specified)
Actual Before Specified Range
-1.1 -1.1 -1.8 to -0.3 Camber
3.4 3.4 2.3 to 3.6 Caster
0.07in -0.24in 0.00 to 0.10in Toe
14.3 14.4 SAI
13.3 13.3 included Angle

Front
(in degrees unless otherwise specified)
Actual Before Specified Range
-0.1 -0.1 -0.8 to -0.8 Cross Camber
-0.8 -0.8 -0.8 to -0.8 Cross Caster
-1.1 -1.1 Cross SAI
0.13in 0.13in 0.00in to 0.20 Total Toe


Rear:Left
(in degrees unless otherwise specified)
Actual Before Specified Range
-0.4 -0.4 -1.6 to -0.1 Camber
-0.01in -0.01in -0.01 to 0.14in Toe

Rear:Right
(in degrees unless otherwise specified)
Actual Before Specified Range
-0.7 -0.7 -1.6 to -0.1 Camber
0.06in 0.06in -0.01 to 0.14in Toe


Rear
(in degrees unless otherwise specified)
Actual Before Specified Range
0.3 0.3 Cross Camber
0.04in 0.05in -0.03 to 0.28in Total Toe
-0.07 -0.07 -0.30 to 0.30 Thrust Angle


The value under Front, Cross Caster is Actual: -0.08 and Before: -0.8 with a Specified Range of -0.8 to 0.8 Why would this be left at the very minimum and not adjusted? Is this correct? Even the print out has a * next to it which also states: "This value is not within specification. Tire wear, handling and safety problems may result." I called Sears and questions it and the guy said that sometimes it's like that and a lot of cars are like that where the machine doesn't call for an adjustment on that area.. I don't know anything about alignments and don't care to, hence why I paid Sears to do it.

But for those who are experts in this area, would the Cross Caster affect the car and cause it to drift to the left? To me I see -0.8 to 0.8 for the range and at -0.8 it's all the way to the left it can go before going out of range.. which makes me think that could cause my car to drift left.

Also is it normal for the steering wheel to feel a little stiffer after an alignment?

Thanks!
eaglei22 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-11-2015, 12:12 AM
Initiate
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 40
It is normal for the steering to be tighter after an alignment. There shouldn't be any "play" in the wheel.

2006 Cobalt SS/NA Sedan
2008 Dodge Caliber Hatch
DaveK is offline  
post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-11-2015, 05:12 AM
Super Moderator
YourCobalt.com Premium Member


 
Coby7's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Magnetic Hill, New-Brunswick
Posts: 11,820
Garage
I believe you will find that your intermediate steering shaft is starting to seize up. When you steer all the way to either side do you have to assist in steering it straight or does it center itself?

Every minute spent angry is a happy minute lost for ever and ever!!!
Drives 2016 Cocoa Buick Encore 1.4L Turbo auto KL4CJDSB2GB652675
Drives 2016 Sunset Orange Trax LT1 1.4L Turbo auto 3GNCJPSB8GL142716

Never drive faster than your guardian angel can fly
Coby7 is offline  
 
post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-12-2015, 12:45 AM
Initiate
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coby7 View Post
I believe you will find that your intermediate steering shaft is starting to seize up. When you steer all the way to either side do you have to assist in steering it straight or does it center itself?
My car also drifted to the left, after alignment it's fine.

The alignment shop swapped my front wheels also, he said that wear could cause the pulling.

My car will not center the wheel when turning sharp at low speeds, like 5mph. What could cause that? My front wheel caster is at ~2.3 degrees on both sides, which is less than it's supposed to be. My rear lower control arm bushings are shot, could that cause caster issues? My car also doesn't track as straight as I would like on the freeway, it will go straight on flat ground, but when there are bumps/grooves or the road is tilted, the steering gets a little "floaty".

I see OP also has a similar front caster on one wheel, maybe his lower rear bushing is shot too. Could the difference in caster between front wheels make it pull to the side? Moog makes a better replacement, it's like a pivot ball bearing.
Innovative MOOG control arm bushing design makes it longer lasting and easy to install - MOOG

Last edited by economichitman; 09-12-2015 at 12:51 AM.
economichitman is offline  
post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-12-2015, 03:28 AM
Super Moderator
YourCobalt.com Premium Member


 
Coby7's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Magnetic Hill, New-Brunswick
Posts: 11,820
Garage
I tried the MOOG problem solvers and they didn't even last a year before they started making noise. I was hopeful when I purchased these as they raved of their longevity but alas didn't happen. The best I've done so far with the lower control arm rear bushing is running a bead of that black RTV silicone on the ridge of a new solid bushing where the rubber meets the metal. This way road grime can't get at the glue that's between the rubber and the metal and stopping any rust from getting in there.

Every minute spent angry is a happy minute lost for ever and ever!!!
Drives 2016 Cocoa Buick Encore 1.4L Turbo auto KL4CJDSB2GB652675
Drives 2016 Sunset Orange Trax LT1 1.4L Turbo auto 3GNCJPSB8GL142716

Never drive faster than your guardian angel can fly
Coby7 is offline  
post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-12-2015, 05:15 PM
Initiate
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coby7 View Post
I tried the MOOG problem solvers and they didn't even last a year before they started making noise. I was hopeful when I purchased these as they raved of their longevity but alas didn't happen. The best I've done so far with the lower control arm rear bushing is running a bead of that black RTV silicone on the ridge of a new solid bushing where the rubber meets the metal. This way road grime can't get at the glue that's between the rubber and the metal and stopping any rust from getting in there.
Did you try RTV on the rubber seal of the moog bushing? Looks like it could be sealed better where the rubber meets the metal. Looks like a tie rod seal that could just be pulled up with little force, which would let moisture in over time otherwise.
economichitman is offline  
post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-05-2015, 07:49 PM
Newcomer
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 1
My 2008 cobalt has always drifted to the left for the last 6 years, 39,000 miles. Just replaced the rear shocks, front struts, new tires with alignment. It still will drift to the left when you take your hand off the wheel 50% of the time, some times very hard other times not at all. Any thoughts, is this the recall problem?
shakes is offline  
post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-27-2015, 07:22 PM Thread Starter
Prospect
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 21
I just changed out my lower control arms, it feels a little better but still drifts to the left. So frustrating.
eaglei22 is offline  
post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-28-2015, 03:38 PM
Initiate
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 49
Try swapping your front wheels (If theyre not directional tires). Caster is not adjustable normally, you'd have to drill/slot the strut tower bolt holes to move the strut forward or back. Not something you'd wanna do unless you had an alignment rack to play with.

Check your tires for types of wear-
http://repairguide.autozone.com/znet...528017e5f5.gif

It also wouldn't hurt to take it back to sears and have them check the alignment again. Usually they are guaranteed for a certain mileage.

Your rear toe could maybe make for some steering input from the rear wheels. The rear left wheel is slightly in from center, and the right is out from center. This could make the rear end push to the right and make the front go left.

Rear end toe is not adjustable without shims. Rockauto.com sells them.

Last edited by economichitman; 10-28-2015 at 03:44 PM.
economichitman is offline  
post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-29-2015, 05:17 AM Thread Starter
Prospect
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 21
I tried the front tire swap as a first attempt to find a solution. No luck. So I saw the bushings were bad and I changed those. I also had a realignment done, it feels a little tighter but it still drifts to the left. Also the steering feels more sensative.. where every movement results in an often counter movement to keep the car straight. My next attempt is shocks and struts. Could a loose sway bar cause drifting?

Also I may take it to the dealer for a better alignment. Maybe it's just not being done right. The steering has been stiffer (to move) ever since the first alignment.

I wish this car had a trim tab!
eaglei22 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Closed Thread

Tags
alignment

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome