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'08 Cruiser drifts/pulls to the right or left

 
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Old 18 Mar 2014, 09:06 am
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Default '08 Cruiser drifts/pulls to the right or left

Alright, as the title says my '08 Cruiser (base, 80k miles) sort of lazily drifts/pulls while I'm driving. I'm flabbergasted because I took it to a mechanic that I trust and he said he couldn't find anything wrong with how it drives. I guess what I'm looking for is some aim as to where to look for a problem. Its easier to ask a mechanic to 'check this out' then to ask 'look everywhere!'. So if you have an idea or suggestion as to where to check, I'd love to hear it. I felt bad about the long post, so I grouped everything to different topics for easier reading.

Issue Specifics:
The car drifts to mainly the right, but sometimes the left, namely on the hwy. It seems the faster I go the worst it gets. If I travel at 60 mph, it seems pretty tame. Jump to 70 mpg, I need to be cautious and alert. Anything above that is asking for it to occur. Now, its not a turn per se, but that the wheels become slightly angled making the car turn either off the road or the next lane. The steering wheel goes with it, I can feel the steering wheel rotate as the front wheels start to pull.

Background:
So I live out in the sticks, in MI, so potholes are a feature on the dirt roads. I live on a campground that has dirt roads, and the camp is off of a dirt road that after a 1/4 mile turns to pavement. Mechanic said suspension was good though.

Accidents (maybe preexisting injury?):
I've had a few. Since my previous post (fishtailing and going off road), I've had two more (gotta love MI, right?). One is where I went over some black ice, did a 360 and spun off the road and went into a ditch. Another is where I went on a back road, hit a different patch of black ice, did a 180 and momentum carried the cruisers rear-end into the snow mound in front of me (if that makes sense). The car has been into the mechanic and worked on, and fixed.

Again, sorry for the long post. If you need anymore info, just ask. But I'll leave you with this word of wisdom, drink Faygo pop. It's delicious.

Thanks in advance,
Josh
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Old 18 Mar 2014, 11:28 am
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Default Re: '08 Cruiser drifts/pulls to the right or left

A couple of thoughts -
1) I used to commute on a heavily travelled interstate that had grooves worn in it - if you got to the edges of the groove, it'd pull - on other roads it was okay.
2) a poor alignment could cause puling - one pothole hit can screw an alignment - about $70 for front alignment
3) low tire pressures make for "Squishy" handling
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Old 18 Mar 2014, 08:20 pm
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Default Re: '08 Cruiser drifts/pulls to the right or left

Could be a radial pull from your tires. Try rotating front to back, back to front, and see what happens.

You can try doing one side at a time too, to narrow the possible tire problem.

By the way, what area of the "sticks" in Michigan are you?
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Old 19 Mar 2014, 11:14 am
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Default Re: '08 Cruiser drifts/pulls to the right or left

Thanks for the responses so far, I appreciate it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by quicksilverdon View Post
A couple of thoughts -
1) I used to commute on a heavily travelled interstate that had grooves worn in it - if you got to the edges of the groove, it'd pull - on other roads it was okay.
2) a poor alignment could cause puling - one pothole hit can screw an alignment - about $70 for front alignment
3) low tire pressures make for "Squishy" handling
I notice it slightly on regular roads when I'm doing 40, but mainly on the heavily congested hwy, where I'm a speed greater than 60. I did ask for them to see why it pulled, but if it doesn't pull much at low speeds....i should do the tire pressure check up when I get home tonight, I may finally have time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Motorhead View Post
Could be a radial pull from your tires. Try rotating front to back, back to front, and see what happens.

You can try doing one side at a time too, to narrow the possible tire problem.

By the way, what area of the "sticks" in Michigan are you?
If I try rotating the tires on my own, I'd need to get creative...google it is. I'm north of Howell, where the cement ends, splitting wood isn't an option, and where bigfoot has been known to roam....
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Old 21 Mar 2014, 01:41 am
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Default Re: '08 Cruiser drifts/pulls to the right or left

Does your vehicle drive straight normally but begin to go off center only when you accelerate? I've read that bad engine/motor mounts can also cause drifting but usually only on acceleration.
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Old 25 Mar 2014, 08:39 am
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Default Re: '08 Cruiser drifts/pulls to the right or left

Quote:
Originally Posted by Galactus View Post
Does your vehicle drive straight normally but begin to go off center only when you accelerate? I've read that bad engine/motor mounts can also cause drifting but usually only on acceleration.
Sorry for the late response. It seems the faster I go, the worst it gets. anything over 50 the steering wheel sometimes shakes (left and right) and gets worst the faster I go.

Its hard to say that it goes off center when I accelerate. I noticed it mainly when I keep a constant speed, usually 55/60 mph or 70/75 mph. I tend to try to keep the RPM's under 3,000 (doesn't waste gas).

About the engine mounts, a few years ago (in FL), we had new engine mounts, but not new tranny mounts ( $$$ issue), plus the tranny mounts were an emergency situation. When I got the money to fix it, I took it to a shop to have it looked at. I asked for them to look at the mounts. They said they were sturdy and all of the them looked in good condition. Confused because I thought they were bad, I took it to another shop, they said they were bad and the tranny and engine mounts both needed to be replaced. Puzzled and confused, I told a pastor friend of mine and he directed me to a guy he knew (and trusted). That guy sent me to another place (he didn't fix cars anymore), that he knew and trusted. I took it there, no problem what-so-ever with the mounts on tranny or engine.

Do you know how the mounts might affect the handling? I'm perplexed as to how that can happen.

Thanks,
Josh
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Old 25 Mar 2014, 09:35 am
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Default Re: '08 Cruiser drifts/pulls to the right or left

You can feel vibration through the steering wheel. But what you described sounds like tie rods. Outer or inner. Or the alignment is to straight. Need a little toe out. Just enough to keep it from oscillating at certain speeds. JMHO.
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Old 25 Mar 2014, 09:57 am
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Default Re: '08 Cruiser drifts/pulls to the right or left

Quote:
Originally Posted by Busted_PT View Post
You can feel vibration through the steering wheel. But what you described sounds like tie rods. Outer or inner. Or the alignment is to straight. Need a little toe out. Just enough to keep it from oscillating at certain speeds. JMHO.
I had to do some research (still new to how cars work), so the tie rod can get damaged by potholes and minor accidents; so it's safe to say I need them checked out because the potholes I drive on is easily mistaken for a road.

What do you mean by the alignment too straight? Also, need a little toe out? Not sure if I follow.
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Old 25 Mar 2014, 02:48 pm
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Default Re: '08 Cruiser drifts/pulls to the right or left

if the tie rods are bad they can be replaces but then you will need a Alingment which puts the car but in allin with its self kind of like tuning a guitar
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Old 26 Mar 2014, 08:50 am
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Default Re: '08 Cruiser drifts/pulls to the right or left

Quote:
Originally Posted by cruserdad1976 View Post
if the tie rods are bad they can be replaces but then you will need a Alingment which puts the car but in allin with its self kind of like tuning a guitar
That stinks. Isn't the alignment expensive to do?
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