Why 2008 Saturn Aura pulls Right
My 2008 Saturn Aura (36K miles) pulls to the right. I had wheel alignment done and they said it was spot on correct already. Replaced tires - no change. This happens any time I am using the engine to accelerate or to maintain constant speed. The harder I accelerate the more it pulls right. At 60mph, straight & level just using enough gas to maintain speed, it pulls to the right on the same roads that my Toyota minivan tracks straight on. When coasting in neutral, it drifts right only a little bit or not at all. The Goodyear place that did the alignment said they thought it was a case of "torque steer" but when I searched for this on Google it really didn't turn up anything for the 2008 Aura. I have a service appointment with a GM dealer on Wednesday to have it looked at but I'm concerned they will diagnose something expensive and it won't fix the issue. Anyone know this problem?
OK. As I mentioned, mileage is only 36K. I did hit a curb (right side of road, right side of car) avoiding a crash with a rock-hauler that cut me off (I was doing about 25mph). I do get a very fast vibration that starts at about 66mph+. I feel it all over - not just front-end, not just steering wheel - new tires did not fix it Tires are balanced..
Ok maybe dealer can diagnose and we'll find out Wednesday. If it is not obviously bent where they can just tell by looking at it, how do they make a determination? Btw, I hit the curb a glancing blow but it did crack the tire sidewall (which I found 2- 3weeks later).
Ok. Was surprised that Goodyear said alignment was perfect when I brought it in. It was some weeks after hitting curb that the car just happened to be sitting just right on my driveway that I was able to see the sidewall tire damage. Btw. the car mostly just goes back and forth to the library and golf course at 35mph - that why it has few miles on it and why I did not see that much right-pulling. But then I got on some faster roads and...
Took the car to Chuck Nash - big GM dealer in San Marcos, TX. I printed on paper the exact issues of my problem and the possible reasons for it from your replies. The Service Advisor (SA) briefly read what I wrote and returned my paper to me so that the mechanic never got to see it. Anyway, the SA called me yesterday afternoon and said that they swapped the front wheel positions and they he said that the mechanic did not report any bent/damaged steering hardware, and he recommended a new wheel and tire ($359), and a front end alignment, and that the car was now pulling to the left instead of the right. Hmmmm. So I told him that before I would replace the wheel and tire he should put the suspect tire/wheel(s) on the rear and see if that affects the pulling problem and that way we could be more sure that the wheel/tire was the cause of the problem. He stammered a bit then agreed. Also, it occurred to me this morning that paying for another alignment would be stupid because Goodyear already had confirmed that the alignment was perfect. Also, if the "pulling" direction was reversed by swapping the front wheel positions - that kinda proves that alignment is not the cause of the problem. I asked the SA about the problem that showed up as "torque steer" and he just stammered about the wind on their 60mph test drive. I told him that the torque steer showed up at pretty much any speed over 20mph if they just accelerated the car/engine. He stammered again. Anyway, he said they would move the wheel to the back. So late in the day I called back and he told me that they had not yet moved front tire to the rear and could they please keep the car overnight. I agreed to that - and now I wait.
Well, SA called me a couple hours ago and admitted that they had not yet diagnosed the problem and they were still working on it. I reminded him that the "pulling" happened when accelerating or when using the engine power to maintain speed even at 60mph. I told them I would check in with him later in the afternoon. I have to get my car or a loaner back from them today because I need it to go to work in the morning.
It cost me $95 for the diagnostics but no fix. They did move (the SA told me) the wheel/tire they think MIGHT be the problem to the front left. I did not have any other work done but the SA told me that the steering/suspension hardware appears to be OK, and they said that maybe they could do an alignment and replace the wheel and tire. I told them I might replace the wheel, but not at the dealer price. Driving home, the car did not pull to the right at all but did pull to the left a bit on acceleration. Maybe it does need a new wheel - but all 4 tires were replaced in July with good ones from COSTCO. And how do I even know for sure that the front left wheel is the one to replace? Should I buy one from Rock Auto?