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Old 18-03-2013   #1
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car pulling to left

Since getting our wee 1.4 Lounge it has always pulled to the left. have changed tyres and had tracking done many times (in various garages). my mechanic has had a look over it and can't see anything amiss and it passed MOT with flying colours.

Tracking helps for a wee while but before long it's pulling to left again. Any suggestions or known faults that I should look for?

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Old 18-03-2013   #2
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Re: car pulling to left

Is tracking adjusted every time it's 'done', or is it checked and ok?
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Old 18-03-2013   #3
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Re: car pulling to left

Quote Originally Posted by Most Easterly Pandas View Post
Is tracking adjusted every time it's 'done', or is it checked and ok?
it's always adjusted because it is 'out'. apparently the trackrod ends are rusty but not worn
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Old 18-03-2013   #4
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Re: car pulling to left

Quote Originally Posted by goffboy View Post
it's always adjusted because it is 'out'. apparently the trackrod ends are rusty but not worn
Something is happening to knock it out then.
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Old 18-03-2013   #5
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Re: car pulling to left

Quote Originally Posted by Most Easterly Pandas View Post
Something is happening to knock it out then.
could well be the many pot holes on Irish roads!
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Old 19-03-2013   #6
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Re: car pulling to left

Quote Originally Posted by goffboy View Post
Since getting our wee 1.4 Lounge it has always pulled to the left.
Does it pull consistently to the left, or is it pulling toward the camber of the road? Find a very quiet, straight & obviously cambered road & try driving in the middle, on the left & on the right & see if there is any difference. I've had at least one car which was particularly camber-sensitive & could easily have been misdiagnosed - it usually pulled left, but ran true on a dead flat runway & pulled right when driven on the wrong side of the road! That said, the 500 is not a particularly camber-sensitive design.

Quote Originally Posted by goffboy View Post
could well be the many pot holes on Irish roads!
I doubt things are that simple. Mistracking alone would be unlikely to account for the symptoms you describe. I've adjusted loads of mistracked cars which were wearing tyres alarmingly yet still ran absolutely straight.

Have you had the car since new? If not, I would be very suspicious that badly repaired accident damage has left the car out of true.

Another thought is that it's possible to fit the top mounts backwards - this has happened on at least one car out of the factory - and if this has been done on one side only, it might cause the car to pull left.

It's pointless to just keep adjusting the tracking - you need to find the real cause of the problem and a full 4-wheel geometry check done by a competent garage would be my suggestion in taking this forward.
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Last edited by jrkitching; 19-03-2013 at 08:00.
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Old 19-03-2013   #7
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Re: car pulling to left

Tyres can also be camber sensitive... The Goodyears I had went with the camber much more than the Hankooks I fitted for the winter. Also make sure tyre pressure is the same across the axles.
Tracking, unless excessively out, will not fix 'pulling'
Also check rears to determine thrust angle. You need garage with a really good system that can determine this.
Hope this helps.
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Last edited by The Twins; 19-03-2013 at 07:27.
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Old 19-03-2013   #8
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Re: car pulling to left

Quote Originally Posted by jrkitching View Post
Does it pull consistently to the left, or is it pulling toward the camber of the road? Find a very quiet, straight & obviously cambered road & try driving in the middle, on the left & on the right & see if there is any difference. I've had at least one car which was particularly camber-sensitive & could easily have been misdiagnosed - it usually pulled left, but ran true on a dead flat runway & pulled right when driven on the wrong side of the road! That said, the 500 is not a particularly camber-sensitive design.



I doubt things are that simple. Mistracking alone would be unlikely to account for the symptoms you describe. I've adjusted loads of mistracked cars which were wearing tyres alarmingly yet still ran absolutely straight.

Have you had the car since new? If not, I would be very suspicious that badly repaired accident damage has left the car out of true.

Another thought is that it's possible to fit the top mounts backwards - this has happened on at least one car out of the factory - and if this has been done on one side only, it might cause the car to pull left.

It's pointless to just keep adjusting the tracking - you need to find the real cause of the problem and a full 4-wheel alignment done by a competent garage would be my suggestion in taking this forward.
yes car pulls constantly to left, regardless of camber of road - though it's not as bad on totally flat roads, obviously.
car was secondhand when i got it. no obvious signs of damage, but will have another good look around it to see if anything looks suspicious.
have had 4 wheel alignment done and again it temporarily negates the issue but it never takes too long for problem to reoccur. and always make sure pressures are as handbook states.
it's getting rather tedious!
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Old 19-03-2013   #9
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Re: car pulling to left

Quote Originally Posted by goffboy View Post
have had 4 wheel alignment done and again it temporarily negates the issue but it never takes too long for problem to reoccur.
Sorry goffboy, I should have said 'geometry check', not alignment, in my earlier post - I've corrected this now.

This article explains the difference. Check this site out too.

From what you've posted thus far, I'd say your car might have a camber problem. Go find somewhere that uses the Hunter alignment system & post the results. Expect to pay in the region of £70-£90 for the geometry check; any necessary repairs (as IIRC the only thing you can adjust on the standard 500 setup is the front wheel toe) will be on top of this.
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Last edited by jrkitching; 19-03-2013 at 10:39.
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Old 19-03-2013   #10
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Re: car pulling to left

Tracking might be straight but has the rack been centred before tracking or have they been lazy.

Cheers

D
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Old 20-03-2013   #11
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Re: car pulling to left

Quote Originally Posted by goffboy View Post
yes car pulls constantly to left, regardless of camber of road - though it's not as bad on totally flat roads, obviously.
car was secondhand when i got it. no obvious signs of damage, but will have another good look around it to see if anything looks suspicious.
have had 4 wheel alignment done and again it temporarily negates the issue but it never takes too long for problem to reoccur. and always make sure pressures are as handbook states.
it's getting rather tedious!
Hi,
we've found our '04 panda to be VERY easily knocked out of true with the tracking,

You should notice the steering wheel is no longer "straight-ahead" if it's been knocked out..,
have you tried crossing the white-line and seeing how the opposite road-camber affects things,
MY old Tipo ALWAYS seemed to pull to the left , but trips to France always made it pull to the RIGHT.. so I then regulaly crossed the white line ( where safe / possible) just to check things were still "normal",
Charlie
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Old 20-03-2013   #12
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Re: car pulling to left

Quote Originally Posted by jrkitching View Post
Sorry goffboy, I should have said 'geometry check', not alignment, in my earlier post - I've corrected this now.

This article explains the difference. Check this site out too.

From what you've posted thus far, I'd say your car might have a camber problem. Go find somewhere that uses the Hunter alignment system & post the results. Expect to pay in the region of £70-£90 for the geometry check; any necessary repairs (as IIRC the only thing you can adjust on the standard 500 setup is the front wheel toe) will be on top of this.
cheers jrkitching. have car booked in for geometry test/alignment with Hunter equipment on Monday. let's see what that reveals...

eamonn
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Old 21-03-2013   #13
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Re: car pulling to left

Strut top mounts floating around? Seems likely given the known failures/looseness in those mounts.

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Old 22-03-2013   #14
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Re: car pulling to left

Don't assume that just because it's gone through the MOT there isn't a problem, I once had a car suspension collapse 2 months after it was tested.

My money would be on worn suspension or steering bushes - but which ones is not so easy to spot. Do you get any knocking or clattering sounds when moving along, or does it pull more to one side when accelerating when braking or accelerating? If so then rubber bushes need replacing.

Also donít rule out a problem with the rear suspension. Particularly check the brakes are not binding. Finally try swapping the tyre around as they could be faulty but not visibly obvious.
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Old 23-03-2013   #15
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Re: car pulling to left

Quote Originally Posted by goffboy View Post
yes car pulls constantly to left, regardless of camber of road - though it's not as bad on totally flat roads, obviously.
car was secondhand when i got it. no obvious signs of damage, but will have another good look around it to see if anything looks suspicious.
have had 4 wheel alignment done and again it temporarily negates the issue but it never takes too long for problem to reoccur. and always make sure pressures are as handbook states.
it's getting rather tedious!

Lets hope you get a real result from it,

You have not said as much but is it eating front tyres..??,

A friend had a brand new "non-fiat" did ALL of this stuff, and still couldn't get a result.. Dealer eventually called in a "Factory Expert" for the day to study the car.., and the car was transformed - when asked "what did HE find" ,
the dealer replied "NOTHING" , obviously wary of being liable for the 6 front tyres he'd gone through in it's first 20,000 miles.!!

The thought was that a component had been misassembled at the factory,

shame they didn't own-up to it..,
charlie
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