Car pulls to the right (three alignments done)

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Care, Maintenance & Troubleshooting' started by lakewise, Jul 12, 2019.

  1. lakewise

    lakewise New Member

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    Hello,

    Since four months I own a Prius Gen 3. It’s showing some strange behaviour since I got it.
    When I’ve made a right turn, after that the steering wheel keeps on pulling slightly to the right and because of that the car pulls to the right (besides, it doesn’t take any arm power to keep the wheel and car straight)

    Here’s the thing: when I’ve turned left, then this annoyance is gone, the steering wheel keeps straight, all fine.......until I make a right turn again.

    My dealer has looked at it three times now, for six days. So i reckon everything that needed to be checked has been checked. And also I’ve done alignments at two separate organisations, who are alignment specialists. According to them the alignment is fine now, there is nothing more they can think of. They all don’t have an answer to my left-turn right-turn story, as if they’ve never heard of such an issue.

    I don’t have much hope anymore, I think I just have to live with this annoyance. When I just keep on holding my steering wheel all the time, you don’t notice a thing. But one should be able to let go of your wheel for a bit without the car pulling to the right immediately.

    Does anyone have had a similar experience or does anyone have an idea? Thanks in advance!
     
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    welcome!
    have you tried rotating the tires?
     
  3. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    Does it matter what road you're on? Most roads have a high crown in the center for drainage, so with a right-hand traffic pattern there can be a noticeable rightward bias induced by the road itself.

    Does it feel different in a flat parking lot?
     
  4. jb in NE

    jb in NE Senior Member

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    In my experience, dealers are not expert in alignment issues. They put it on the rack and the alignment came back OK. They haven't checked everything, since the problem still exists. A good independent shop with suspension expertise is your best bet.

    You can get what's called a "radial pull", where a tire causes the pull. This can normally be eliminated with a tire rotation, particularly moving the problem tire to the rear. Rotating the tires would be my first step - this would rule out a problem tire.

    It could be a problem with the steering rack - failing to self-center after a right turn could be wear on that area of the rack.
     
  5. lakewise

    lakewise New Member

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    Thanks for your replies! Yeah I know dealers are not alignment experts, so that's why I turned to two different alignment specialists. But when they're done aligning, they send you back to the dealer who doesn't have a clue what to do next :) I know for sure they rotated the tires. They also replaced the steering rack (not that I can see anything new about it when I look at it....). I had to wait for two weeks for the steering rack replacement, so I have to assume they really ordered it and replaced it. But the steering wheel does indeed still fail to self-center after a right-turn.

    Road type is not the issue here.
    Could it have something to do with the ESP/steering angle sensor/calibration? I don't think the dealer nor the alignment specialists have looked into that. That is my best bet at this moment. Maybe that could explain why everything is smooth after turning left and troubles only occur after turning right, that this points to an electronical issue and not a mechanical one. As if the steering wheel is not calibrated well, which maybe makes the car think it has to correct to the right when it shouldn't........
     
  6. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    Unless Toyota did something exceptionally unusual for your model, the return-to-center property of the steering system is completely passive. No dependency on the power assist system or the electronics associated with it.

    Dragging brake?
     
    pingd likes this.
  7. jb in NE

    jb in NE Senior Member

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    This is why you take it to a shop that does more than alignments - i.e. an actual mechanic. I would be done with that dealer, since they have proven they are at a dead end. They will fire up the parts cannon at your expense, but without basic troubleshooting and systematic elimination of potential problems, you will be wasting money.

    Or a mechanical problem in a tie rod end, ball joint, etc. I would lift this car on a rack or the front on stands and test it unloaded for steering centering, binding or loose parts, etc. Check brakes at same time. If you can't duplicate the problem, then it is a loaded problem, so they start looking at things that carry load.
     
    #7 jb in NE, Jul 14, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2019
  8. lakewise

    lakewise New Member

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    Yeah I understand. What I meant was possible electronics ESP/steering angle sensor/calibration issues with the steering wheel pulling slightly to the right everytime. Failure to return to center also happens after a right turn, but I'm not really bothered by that (although it could be part of the problem :).
    My problem is: made a right turn, continuing my way onwards with the wheel straight and then the wheel pulls slightly to the right from the center if I'm letting go of it. I was wondering if that could be electronics, that the wheel wants to go slightly off center.

    OK i see. Yeah I am done with that dealer :) Fortunately it was not my own trusted dealer, I just went back to it because I had 6 months warranty because I bought it there. Next time I will go to my own trusted dealer and will keep all your comments in mind :) Also one of the alignments specialists said he could try some more things so maybe that's also an option. I think it could be a mechanical or electronical issue, or both :) But if it's mechanical I still can't understand why the wheel doesn't pull to the right after I made a left turn. So when I entered a freeway after turning left, there's nothing going on for miles and miles.
     
  9. Grit

    Grit Senior Member

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    o_O
     
  10. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    :LOL::LOL::(
    In my experience, dealers are not expert at ANYTHING these days except taking your money.
    If the computer doesn't give them a code or codes that point only to ONE defective part.......they likely will throw up their hands and give up.

    This problem could be:
    Dragging brakes.
    Loose or worn parts in the suspension.
    Loose or work parts in the steering mechanism.
    Worn wheel bearing.
    And probably several others too.

    AND.....the problem might actually be in one of the REAR wheels too.

    In order to find the problem, they might actually have to LOOK at some likely culprits to see what is going on.
     
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