Car pulls to the left

Tiny
WILLBRADFORD123
  • MEMBER
  • 2008 FORD TAURUS
  • 6 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 57,000 MILES
I have a 2008 Ford Taurus. It pulls to the left when driving. I had the alignment checked and they said it was within spec. They said it could be a tire with a bad belt and to try rotating them and that might help. I rotated the tires and same problem. So I pulled the front left brake caliper off to check to see if it was not releasing. Everything looked good. The last thing that I can think of is that the emergency brake does not work. I can push down the peddle and it does not engage. Besides this I am out of ideas.
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Monday, January 31st, 2011 AT 2:00 AM

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Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
When you rotated tires, did you switch the two front ones side to side? If you got the rear tires involved, you could have another one with a pull. Just switch the two front ones side to side. One additional clue to a tire pull is it may pull to the right under hard braking.

Also, Ford is famous for not providing alignment adjustments. What you got is what you get. To prevent having to pay for a fix under warranty, the allowable specs are very broad so it is real easy to have an alignment pull even though everything is "in specs". Did they give you a copy of the printout? If so, what are the two front camber readings? I had my computer set up to read to the hundredth of a degree for better accuracy. Shops that are more concerned with dollars and time set their computers to read only to the tenth of a degree. That can make a big difference when looking for the cause of a pull. Many of the front-wheel-drive cars I aligned needed exactly.06 degrees more camber on the left front to make up for "road crown". That's the right-hand slant of the road to make rain run off. When the alignment computer is set to just read to the tenth of a degree, the rounding off results in insufficient accuracy to get that.06 degrees. Reading to the tenth of a degree is plenty accurate enough for trucks and older rear-wheel-drive cars, but not most front-wheel-drive cars. Many Ford dealers have their alignment computers set less accurately because their cars self-steer very hard so they will tolerate a bigger camber difference from side to side. Cars with more freed-up steering systems follow the road more easily so the camber must be adjusted more precisely to make the car go straight when you let go of the steering wheel.

If your car still has the "rubber-bonded-socket" outer tie rod ends, they can be used to overcome a pull. Ford is the only manufacturer willing to use that terrible design. To alleviate a left-hand pull, Ford alignment mechanics would unbolt the outer stud on one of the tie rod ends, turn the wheels to the right, then reinstall it. Rather than using a greaseable ball and socket like everyone else, Ford's ball and socket are "glued" together with cured rubber that was poured into the joint. When it is reinstalled with the wheels turned to the right, it will go into a twist when the wheels are straight ahead. That twisted rubber wants to untwist and to do so it tries to turn the entire steering system to the right. That is how they counteract a left-hand pull. It's kind of like connecting a rubber bungee strap between the steering linkage and car body, but it works. That trick will severely shorten the already short life expectancy of the joint, but it solves the customer's complaint of a pull.

If swapping the front tires doesn't help, holler back with the camber readings from the alignment printout.

I've experienced many of times where an alignment was so called checked and said to be ok, but it wasn't. A slipped belt is not going to go away because the tire was rotated. It has to be removed, also the tires could be off balance and the tie rod could be bad, take it to a good computer alignment shop and have it looked at,

caradiodoc
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Monday, January 31st, 2011 AT 3:19 AM

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