Alignment question
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This is a discussion on Alignment question within the Suspension & Wheels forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; My 02 wagon is behaving badly. At low speeds, the steering wheel moves back and forth in my hands. I ...

  1. #1
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    Alignment question

    My 02 wagon is behaving badly. At low speeds, the steering wheel moves back and forth in my hands. I am assuming the alignment is messed? Is it best to go to the dealer to handle this considering the AWD system or does a regular shop have the chops to reliably handle it? Also, the car needs tires so, should get the alignment before or after new tires?

    -mx

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    Registered User Heide264's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by motoxpress View Post
    My 02 wagon is behaving badly. At low speeds, the steering wheel moves back and forth in my hands. I am assuming the alignment is messed? Is it best to go to the dealer to handle this considering the AWD system or does a regular shop have the chops to reliably handle it? Also, the car needs tires so, should get the alignment before or after new tires?

    -mx
    Getting a new set of tires and getting an alignment may be a pretty big piece to the puzzle at least. Most alignment shops also specialize in tire mounting/balancing - making two stops into one.

    Not a bad thing to do, regardless. Hopefully it clears your problem up though.
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    Pro Manscaper Mikie13's Avatar
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    ^perfect info. Get the tires on, then have the alignment done right after.
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    Registered User Ingo's Avatar
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    The moving back and forth of the steering wheel is tire wear, balance. If tires wear uneven, inside oroutside more than other, that's alignment. These cars (I think) are very sensitive to alingment issues. It's likely time to have the alidnment checked/adjusted. Get new tires, balanced, first.
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    How many miles are on your car? If its at the 100,000 mark the slop might be due to tired ball joints, tie rods or take your pick of bushings that may be shot.
    Just because its all wheel drive does not mean you have to go to a special shop at all. That's not to say any shop is fine though. I have found most alignment shops to hire techs who just don't know what they are doing. I can almost guarantee that when you go for an alignment they will NOT get cross camber or toe evened out.
    Most shops will adjust toe, check camber just to see if its not too far out of range and be done with it.
    That is what is called a crap alignment.
    If you don't know what to look for in an alignment go up to the stickies (FAQ) or do a search and read up before you go. Knowledge is power.

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