MY CAR PULLS TO THE LEFT & SHAKES OVER 60 mph

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My car pulls to left, even on a straight road ? I still get steering wheel vibration over 60, even though wheels have been balanced ? sound familiar ? .. well these are a few simple things to consider .....  (and not nessescarily instructions on fixing), for motosists who have to pay for repairs and/or  can do a little DIY.

fault;.... I've had the wheels balanced but my car still shakes over 60 mph, there must be something wrong with the suspension ??    possibly, consider, who balanced the wheels, are they experienced or was it a trainee ?  was it done by a garage you trust / regularly use ? 9 times out of 10, this is due to a wheel or tyre fault, I've seen tyres with a great big bulge in the tread, so called "balanced" , but every time that bulge goes round and hits the tarmac it shocks back through the car. I've seen oval wheels  and bent in rims likewise "balanced" with similar results.   ..... possibly 10% of the time its not the above but possibly a driveshaft , brake/caliper fault or gearbox issue.

consider;....  some simple checks yourself, ( a small trolley jack is best for this as opposed to the manufacturers supplied item). Jack up a front wheel and wind the lock over a bit so you can see the full tread band. With the tyre say about 2 - 3 " clear of the ground place a small block (wood / brick) up against it so there is say 1/4" clearance. Slowly rotate the wheel and observe if this gap varies as rotated, if it does by more than a tenth of an inch, then v likely got either a tyre (bulge or deformity) or rim problem (subtle dent). Repeat for the other side. You might be able to proove the fault by swapping a wheel front to rear, but  be careful to swap front to rear on same side (a lot of tyres nowadays are uni-rotational, ie meant to go only one way round, there is usually an arrow marker to indicate) and road-test result.

fault;.....  my car pulls to the left, even on a flat road .. the tracking must be out !
this is NOT the likely cause. I'd say 9 times out of 10 if it does pull / drift (as opposed to "normal camber conciousness", its A TYRE ISSUE, either mis-match, wear or incorrect pressures. The tracking could be 5 degrees out (thats a lot) but it wouldn't make it drift. it might wear your tyres out a bit quick though ! Look round a few cars, I'd make a little wager its usually to nsf (pass front) tyre thats worn, scrubbed the most on its outer edge. This doesnt mean most cars are faulty, I can only put it down do cornering, predominantly in a clockwise direction on roundabouts where the inertia is shifted to that side but as it wears it affects the way the car eventually handles.

consider;....   can I fix it myself ... possibly for a little time & effort and possibly no immediate cost !
      (1) PRESSURES .. are they correct ? driving 5 miles to local petrol station and pumping them up with their airline is easy enough, but not likely to be v accurate. Tyre pressures should be  SET COLD, ie having driven less than half mile Also using their airline guage which every local kid and his dog has used to do their bike tyres or someone has driven over aint gonna give you the right pressure. Best to check against your own personal tester/pen type guage, these can be purchased for a few ££ and make an allowance (10% if warm or deflate to when cold)
     (2)  WEAR/ MISMATCH  ..  are they the same make, is the tread pattern same ? swap them round, be carefull if going side to side as some directional types would end up revolving the wrong way, front to rear on same side is safest, and readjust pressures as front & rear are usually different  I've swapped virtually new tyres of same make with no appreciable wear or defect and its had a result. ! A worn tyre is effectivley smaller than a new one, so the car will always want to steer round that way.
       .. while your getting the wheels off, just note does it revolve freely or is the brake dragging, this can affect the handling also.
    (3)   SUSPENSION  .. you probably can't check that much here, except to see there's nothing hanging off, or for example a spring broken. True a badly worn suspension bush or joint can cause handling problems, as can a fault with rear suspn/tyres but i'd say less than 10% of the time, and as this is a few quick checks, maybee thats better left to a garage.
Clearly if you know you hit a kerb or pothole hard and the fault started from then on, then a bent suspension component is the likley cause.
 
      
       I GIVE THIS ADVICE AS A FEW SIMPLE POINTERS ONLY (the likes of which I'm sure exist elsewhere) they are a result of experience and not intended in any way as a definative fix, NO LIABILITY IS INTENDED, IMPLIED OR ACCEPTED AS A RESULT
       as with any work involving jacking up a car, care  must be exercised, and use of axle stands recommended.

       I hope you found this guide useful, if so please tick yes below or mail me via ebay if you think I need to amend,  it might save you £100 on a "laser alignment" only to be told there's  ...............................         NO FAULT FOUND ! ! ! 

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