1998 Toyota Camry Car pulls to the left even after new tire

  • 6 CYL
  • FWD
  • 97,000 MILES
I love this car but can't stand this weird alignment issue I’m dealing with. I think believe there's something wrong with one of the struts or mounts functioning correctly (I replaced all struts and mounts 2 years / 30,000 miles ago. I believe they were aftermarket not OEM). This is due to the fact that the car will occasionally drive straight on roads that are pretty flat and have little vibration. However, when I'm on a road with crown (to the left), it totally pulls my vehicle left. I can recreate the problem ever time if I drive in a lane of a road that has heavy crown to the left. I have to hold the steering wheel a bit right of center in order for the car to go straight! I can feel the wheel trying to pull left. If I let go for a second, the wheel will instantly go left. Also, if I'm driving 25-30 in a neighborhood, let go of the wheel and the front left of the car hits a bump, the wheel goes from center to the left but never returns back to center. If I'm driving slow in a parking lot with a lot of "waves" in the pavement, once the front left of the car hit a bump to go down, the wheel will pull left and keep going left. It's as if something is changing when the car is slanting to the left or hits a bump on the left. It's not forcing the wheel to go back to center. The car never pulls right of center.

Also, it sounds like the front left strut is "noisier" than the other struts. If I press down on the front left of my vehicle the strut makes a "hiss" sound. If I'm driving slowly on a road with bumps, I can put my head out the window and hear the "hiss" coming from the left front strut each time I hit a bump.

I would like to point out that I work for a Lexus dealer and the master technician is telling me everything looks fine when he had it on the alignment rack. He told me nothing looked worn out or bent. All the alignment readings were within specs. He even swapped all four wheels with a similar vehicle but it still pulled. Unfortunately he can't determine what the exact problem is. I've come to the conclusion that they can't (or don't want too) help me solve this problem. Any feedback or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
Do you
have the same problem?
Thursday, November 13th, 2008 AT 10:06 AM

1 Reply

It is possible that the left strut is leaking. That can be the "hiss" sound that you hear. But that doesn't explain why the car would veer to the left when you hit a bump. To me, that feels more like a bent control arm, or loose inner tie rod (it can be either side).

I am also told that you can reduce the caster of the opposite side may reduce road crown.
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Thursday, November 13th, 2008 AT 11:20 PM

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