Many people confuse a pull to the right with an off-center steering wheel. Your observation that the car goes straight when you let go of the steering wheel proves that part of the alignment is okay. Ford is famous for building cars that can not be adjusted for pulls and tire wear, however ALL cars must have a "toe" adjustment. That is the direction each wheel is steering. We used to joke about older Volkswagens that had only one "total toe" adjustment to set the best tire wear, then the steering wheel had to be removed and repositioned to make it straight. Because we had to choose between the closest splines on the shaft, we had two choices and had to pick the closest one. That means to get a perfectly straight steering wheel, we had to misadjust total toe a little and sacrifice tire wear.
Even though Ford doesn't care about tire wear after you buy the car, I find it hard to believe they would not provide two individual toe adjustments. That means the alignment mechanic sets the steering wheel perfectly straight, then adjusts each tire perfectly parallel to the two rear wheels. If the rear wheels are steering off-center a little, which is common, and they do a simple two wheel alignment, the steering wheel can end up off-center. That's why for that last 25 years we always do a 4-wheel alignment.
The bottom line is even if your car had a pull that couldn't be corrected, I'm sure I could find a way to make the steering wheel straight. If you get at least 15,000 miles out of a pair of front tires, you'll be doing as good as Ford's older front-wheel-drive models.
Monday, May 9th, 2011 AT 12:03 AM