Question about 2003 Mitsubishi Galant

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Car pull to right just had n alignment and new tires. Sears says its CASTER. How do you fix it? Can the Ball joint re adjusted?

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You just had an alignment done to adjust caster!
Sears never road tested the vehicle and can't tell you what the issues are? That's why you went there.

Posted on Sep 12, 2010

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Alignment problem


If the tie rod ends and ball joints need replacing do these first before getting the tracking done. After replacing these don't assume it will correct the alignment automatically as you would have disturbed the settings while changing them so getting the allignment checked after replacing any of those parts is always the best way to go.

Dec 22, 2012 | 1997 Dodge Dakota

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Should I worry about my vehicle's alignment


Alignment refers to the way your car's wheels are positioned. Your wheels should be parallel and facing forward.

How does alignment affect my vehicle?
When your wheels are properly aligned, you'll get better gas mileage, your tires will last longer, steering will be easier, and your ride will be smoother and safer.

What could go wrong with my alignment?
Several factors could contribute to a shift in alignment including old, worn-out components including Ball Joints, Control arm bushings, and poor road conditions, resulting in a few different problems including Camber, Toe and Caster, and if any of these problems develop, they will take a toll on your vehicle's tires, performance and manageability. Worn out shocks and struts can also be a serious problem with un-even tire wear.


Camber
The wheels are tilted, either inward or outward. This will create pulling and tire wear.


Toe
A change in the distance between the front and back of the front or rear tires. This will wear on the tires, too.


Caster
A backward or forward tilt at the top of the wheel's spindle support arm. This will cause either loose or difficult steering.



If any of these problems develop, they will begin to take their toll on your car's tires and performance, as well as steering

How will I recognize a problem with my alignment?
Check your steering wheel when you're driving. Does it stay straight? Does it vibrate? When you are traveling along a straight road, does your vehicle pull to one side? Is your steering loose, or difficult to control? Have you noticed uneven tire wear?


Check your tires periodically. A number of different things can affect your tires - from alignment to suspension components.
As a general rule, you should have your alignment and related components, such as ball joints, control arm bushings, checked every 10,000 miles or once a year, and there are three types of alignment jobs with a good-better-best approach.

GOOD
Two-wheel geometric centerline alignment.
This adjusts the toe on your front wheels only. This will work only if your rear wheels are properly aligned. (Used mostly on trucks and older rear-wheel drive cars).

BETTER
Four-wheel thrust line alignment.
This aligns the front wheels to the rear-wheel alignment.

BEST
Complete four-wheel thrust line alignment.
This is the optimal approach: aligning all wheels straight ahead and parallel.

After a thorough review of your alignment, your The Wright Import technician will present you with the findings and all of your options before beginning any work on your vehicle.

What is a wheel alignment? How does it effect handling and tire wear? When should I do an alignment? What causes alignments to go out? How would I know if my alignment is out?

A wheel alignment is nothing more than setting the angle of the hub/wheel so it tracks in the right direction. Most vehicles have four-wheel alignments, meaning each of the four wheels is separately aligned. Your basic alignment consists of three angles: camber, caster and toe-in. Camber is the tilt of the tire when viewed from the front of the car. Positive camber means the top of the tire is tilted away from the car. Negative camber means the top is tilted in. Camber has a lot to do with cornering performance. Too much negative camber will wear the inside of the tires prematurely. Too much positive camber will wear the outside tread.

Caster is the inclination of the front spindle. Picture the angle of the forks on a bike top to bottom. When the caster is out, it creates a pull or wandering condition and sometimes a slow responding steering wheel. Toe-in is measured in inches or degrees. Viewing from the front of the car, it is the difference between the front and rear center-line of the tire. Toe-in means the fronts of the tires are closer together. Toe-out means, the fronts of the tires are farther apart. Toe-in or out has the most effect on tire wear.

When your car is out of alignment, the tires will wear prematurely. In some extreme cases, new tires will be gone within 500 miles. At the price of tires, especially high performance tires with soft compounds, you want to keep your vehicle in alignment as long as possible. Other symptoms of an out-of-alignment car are poor handling, pulling to one side, or wandering from side-to-side. An alignment will also affect the steering wheel response and how quickly it returns to the center.

Your vehicle's alignment should be checked every 10,000 to 12,000 miles. Any harsh impact such as potholes, curbs, objects in the road, or the damage of an accident, should prompt you to have your alignment checked. If you do any modifications to your suspension, raising or lowering your car, that will affect the alignment angles. Even changing the tire size will effect the alignment. Loose, worn or bent suspension parts such as ball joints, springs, bushings, and control arms will have an adverse affect on your alignment, too. In most cases you do not know if your alignment is out. The best way to check it is with a precision alignment machine. Laser optics combined with a computer allow for the most accuracy in alignment readings.

Remember you are aligning the hub of your vehicle. Check to see if the alignment shop or dealer has equipment that attaches to the hub, not the wheel. Many independent shops that do alignments have a specialty tool called "Tru Align" that attaches to the hub. This will make for a much more accurate alignment with the added bonus of not damaging the delicate finish on your wheels.

There is a lot more to suspension alignment, especially if you push your vehicle on the track. The modifications you make on your suspension are just the beginning. Once you start down this road you will be concerned with things like bump steer, weighting (vertical load), pre-loading, tire traction versus tire load, and more. Now you're thinking under-steer, over-steer, tire compound, sway bar design, and other topics that can be covered in a later article. For now, just remember to have your vehicle aligned every 10,000 to 12,000 miles in normal driving conditions.
If you accidentally hit a curb, or drive through a nasty pothole or other road obstruction, that would be a cue to have your car's alignment checked more often. Proper alignment is good for your car. It will save unnecessary wear on your tires. It will ensure that your vehicle is giving you the handling the factory designed the car to have. And, most importantly, a properly aligned car is safer and more fun to drive. Have your alignment, ball joints and suspension checked regularly checked regularly

on Dec 11, 2009 | Ford F-150 Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

97 Dakota Alignment Problem


New ball joints and tie rod ends should tighten up your front suspension nicely. Once you have those new parts installed, a good alignment shop should be able to get you spot on with camber, caster and toe-in. Only if you have bent components (control arms, for instance) would they not be able to get proper adjustments. But they should have been able to determine if you had that problem while checking your current alignment.

May 06, 2017 | 1997 Dodge Dakota

1 Answer

Front tires are leanin in


After double checking the design, it makes no difference if your truck is 2 or 4 wheel drive. There is an eccentric bushing located between the upper ball joint and the top section of the front axle. You can adjust the camber [inward to outward tilt] of each wheel by removing the upper ball joint from the axle and rotating that bushing. Make sure there is no play in either of the ball joints on each wheel. Replace any worn ball joint, before adjusting the eccentric bushing. The link below shows what an eccentric bushing looks like, although the linked item is not specifically for your truck. See

http://automotivetoolsusa.com/moog-k8979-caster-camber-bushing

If you can not adjust the camber [tilt] to be within specifications, you will need special equipment to heat and bend the front axle to achieve proper camber. This sort of thing is best done by a truck alignment shop.

Nov 24, 2011 | 1989 Ford F 150

3 Answers

1993 f-150 4x4 very hard to turn to the right. I've replace the steering box, pump, and front axle u-joints. When it's off the ground it steers easy. Back on the ground, Hard??


Either ball joints or alignment come to mind.
Ball joints will often bind and grab in one direction but not necessarily in the other, when they are really bad.
You don't notice it jacked up because the control arms pivot down to put you on a different location on the ball joint.
You should be able to see which side and whether upper or lower, by seeing the pressure causing flex and jerks.
Although it is usually either one with a rubber rip or the lowers.
But alignment can do it also, especially of jacked up.
The camber or caster can be too great on one side, where turning the steering has to lift the whole truck up on one side more than the other, or it can strongly pull to one side.

http://www.nextag.com/ford-f150-ball-joint/shop-html
http://www.americantrucks.com/eibach-f150-alignment-kit.html

Sep 05, 2010 | Ford F-150 Cars & Trucks

2 Answers

2005 Chevy Equinox - Front End Trouble


Likely whatever causes the noise also caused the problem with your tires. Have a competent shop or tech check your ball joints and c/v axle joints. It could be a bad hub bearing as well but usually they make more noise at lower speeds.
After you determine what is actually wrong and fix it, it is a good idea to have it aligned. Unless the alignment caster is severely "off" it should not cause any shaking. Caster is pretty munch non-adjustable on your car and will never cause a noise though. Ball joints if worn can cause the tires to "splay" out at the bottom causing uneven tire wear.
I'm leaning towards ball joints but without the advantage of being there to examine it, no one can say for sure.

May 01, 2010 | 2005 Chevrolet Equinox

1 Answer

Hit a light pole in parking lot got bad alignment


Thats an impossible question to answer. First you must determine what is bent and then replace it. When the shop checks the alignment, thats when you will know if it can be aligned.

Nov 05, 2009 | 1999 Ford Taurus

1 Answer

How to replace uppe ball joint in Ford Crown


First make an appointment for a front end alignment which will be required after replacing the ball joint. Securely support the vehicle under the lower control arm at the outer end, the end nearest the tire. The upper ball joint is attached to the upper control arm with 2 large nuts. Under the nuts are cams with hex heads for adjusting caster and camber. Mark the position of these cams in a way that will allow you to reinstall them somewhere near the same position. Next remove the outer end of the joint from the steering knuckle an then remove the 2 nuts and both cams from the control arm end. Reinstall and get that alignment asap !

Oct 05, 2009 | 2000 Ford Crown Victoria

1 Answer

97 dodgeram hard steering


There 2 things that i would recommend first you need to check turnning force on your ball joints. Remove both front tires and unhook the tie rods at the knuckles.Position one of the axle u-joint caps at the 12 0'clock position on the side your checking. Take a pull scale(one like you use for fishing) it has to go over 25lbs and hook it to the tie rod hole on the knuckle an pull it toward you. The pulling force should not be more than 25lbs if it is the ball joints need to be replaced. If it passes i would the caster on your alignment( caster adjustment is primarly ease or steering and high speed stability. to much positive caster can make steering hard(think of a shopping cart it has alot of negative caster thats why they turn so easy}

Feb 15, 2009 | 1999 Dodge Ram

1 Answer

Steering pull and tire wear


If professional alignment does not straighten out alignment & tire wear, you can "tinker" with the settings to straighten it out. Caster is pre-set & non adjustable. You did not mention toe-in.(which more often causes wear. If the steering wheel is not horizontal it shows a possible toe-in problem, as can wandering. What condition are the tie rod ends and ball joints? Be sure everything is tight before doing anything else. If you make any changes, make small ones, write everything down and use good reference marks that will not wear off. Once a small change is made, drive for a while & check tire wear often.
You are correct in persuing this matter, but If you did not buy the car new, even a minor previous accident could throw the body out of whack enough to give problems like you are having.

Dec 31, 2008 | 2007 Hyundai Sonata Limited Sedan

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