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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys,
So I have a good shape 2010 Nissan Altima 2.5s 4Cylinder FWD.

For about 2 months or 3 the car has been pulling of to the right even in flat roads and with equal pressure all around. I didnt have the time to take it in for an alignment so I ignored it till TODAY.

I went in to get an alignment thinking this would fix my car from pulling to the right. Unfortunately it did not and it feels the VERY SAME WAY. You have to have the steering wheel turned left for it to go straight and if you let the steering wheel go free, the car moves to the right pretty fast.

Everything checks out fine,
1. Tires are not bald or un-even wear. At least to the naked eye. (Fronts have 9 left on tread, rears have 8 on tread)
2. Tire pressure equal all around.
3. Tire alignment was done and given a before and after sheet.
4. No vehicle accidents.

What could it be? Did the alignment tech not know what he was doing?? Or could it just simply be the tires.

Should i have the tires criss-crossed front to back, back to front??
The bush berrings and all that other good stuff look good.

I will attach a copy of the alignment done.
 

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2010 2.5 SL
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This happened to my last car and it was due to bad ball joints. But I'm pretty sure it had a symptom of uneven wear.
 

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Does it pull mostly when accelerating or all the time? Any noises? How are the brakes?


Ball joints are also a possibility, although from my experience that issue also presents as if you're intermittently losing your power steering.
 

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09 Altima 3.5SE 6MT Sedan
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A seized caliper could do this even with a perfect alignment...but you would be able to smell that after a highway run I would think.

To eliminate/prove this, you should hit the freeway for a 10 minutes sprint, come off and immediately find a convenient place to park. Gingerly test each wheel rim for heat with the palm of your hand. If nothing scorching, test a lug nut with your finger tip on each wheel...I would expect them to be roughly equal side to side, with the fronts being slightly to noticeably warmer than the rears. Anything else and it's time to look at your brakes.

Your tires are all the same size and age? Check the DOT codes on the sidewalls for date of manufacture. If you have 3 old tires and one new...it's larger diameter could cause this effect too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
This happened to my last car and it was due to bad ball joints. But I'm pretty sure it had a symptom of uneven wear.
How do I find out if it could be the ball joints? I will double check for uneven wear but all tires were bought at the same time and same brand. They are the Goodyear Assurance Comfortread Touring. Same DOT if not off by a few weeks on 1 tire which is same year either way so I'm sure that could not be it.

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Does it pull mostly when accelerating or all the time? Any noises? How are the brakes?


Ball joints are also a possibility, although from my experience that issue also presents as if you're intermittently losing your power steering.
It pulls to the right ALL THE TIME. Accelerating, driving at a set velocity, and braking. You notice it go to the right all the time. The brakes are good, they still have a good 6/7 on them. But I have noticed some sort of little "woosh" sound when i begin to accelerate from 1mph to 15mph and it starts to fade away with the wind noise. It feels/hear like something is scraping with something? It goes like a little whistle, i accelerate and then "woosh" for a quick second then stops and then again "woosh", so its like a woosh woosh woosh.. lol

Ball joints idk how to tell if they are in need to be looked at.

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A seized caliper could do this even with a perfect alignment...but you would be able to smell that after a highway run I would think.

To eliminate/prove this, you should hit the freeway for a 10 minutes sprint, come off and immediately find a convenient place to park. Gingerly test each wheel rim for heat with the palm of your hand. If nothing scorching, test a lug nut with your finger tip on each wheel...I would expect them to be roughly equal side to side, with the fronts being slightly to noticeably warmer than the rears. Anything else and it's time to look at your brakes.

Your tires are all the same size and age? Check the DOT codes on the sidewalls for date of manufacture. If you have 3 old tires and one new...it's larger diameter could cause this effect too.
As i quoted the last 2 guys up there, read my reply to them on noise, and tires. I'll check that freeway test though, see what I get.
 

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09 Altima 3.5SE 6MT Sedan
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Usually an alignment will identify any worn suspension components. Shouldn't be possible to get it aligned with badly worn ball joints....but if that's the case, you got ripped off on the alignment.

Agree with the comment above...worn ball joints manifest more as steering has mind of its own, or random wander, not a constant pull. Given that the onset was recent and the effect is quite noticeable, it's more likely to be something like a seized or binding brake component.
 

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A grinding noise could be a seized brake, I'll be interested to see how your highway test turns out. My other thought, and this is why I asked about acceleration, is that there might be a problem with your differential, or something else that's affecting how much power is getting to your right drive wheel. If it's not getting enough but your left is still getting normal power, you're going to pull right, particularly while accelerating.
 

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09 Altima 3.5SE 6MT Sedan
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Ya know...grinding always points to bearings...if you had a worn bearing it could pull, but again, I'd be hopping mad at your alignment guy... I've always been advised when I have bearing, tie rod end, stab link or ball joint issues and they in$i$t on fixing those first ;)
 

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never take it to the shop
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if the ball joint was bad the tech should have discovered it immediatly. On a altima when the ball joint/control arm is bad you can shake the wheel from side to side almost like you have a bad wheel bearing. I just did this 2 days ago. They had a bad inner tie rod passenger side and bad ball joint/control arm driver side. It feels like the wheels are independent from the steering wheel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I did the heat test, I touched the front wheels and no intense burning sensation.. not even that warm. I'm out in Chicago, weather has been in the upper 50s to lower 60s. Then I touched the lug nuts with fingertip... they felt very very hot. I touched it for about 3 seconds and it began to burn on both sides, except It did felt like if the right side was just a tad bit hotter?

Anyway, I also took it back to get it rechecked on alignment. They did not charge me. Either way the alignment was $50. I know the manager there. Tech checked it.. he said the alignment is fine. So it's not the alignment, I also mentioned the brakes & maybe a sticky caliper on right side. He said everything looked fine to him. Then I mentioned uneven tire wear? Nope not that either, all tires are in great shape as I also checked. So then I said, what if i crisscross the tires? He said, well maybe.. but he highly doubts its that. He did keep repeating if I had ever hit a huge pothole or bump. My answer was No. I have not hit a huge pothole or nothing to **** it up, at least not that I remember, though I have hit "some" potholes but not something as big as to **** up the steering...

So I'm left with 0 answers..

One other thing I believe I have felt after playing around with the brakes & acceleration... is that when I brake real hard, to the point it could slip, the right side seems to brake first before the left side and then making the right side stop before the left and making it pull a little to the right if that makes sense to you guys? I tried accelerating hard to see if it goes to the right and maybe at first it doesnt, but eventually it does veer to the right. It goes to the right ALL the time, I have to hold the steering wheel slightly crooked to the left for it to go straight & if i left go it immediately goes right.

One last thing, when I sometimes start to accelerate after a stop sign or red light the steering wheel turns towards the right. I have not seen it move to the left, only right. Does that mean anything?


PLEASE HELP, lol
 

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I'm not entirely sure why it would make your lugnuts warm, but your last paragraph makes me think your right wheel is not getting enough power, which since your alignment checks, leads me to believe lose our worn bearings, or possibly something else worn asking the steering linkage? But I don't know enough to say whether or not the latter would show up in an alignment.
 

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09 Altima 3.5SE 6MT Sedan
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If your lug nuts are burning hot but the wheel itself is barely warm then either your bearing is shot or your brakes are sticking. I favour the latter (brakes) as the culprit unless your car is making an unholy grinding noise as you drive. Have a front brake service done...that should turn up stuck caliper pistons, stuck pins etc. Shouldn't be more than $50 to clean and lube even if that's not the issue and still a darn good idea right before winter anyways.
 
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