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Car Pulling To One Side. Alignment Is Straight

geokilla

Ready to race!
Location
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Car(s)
2018 VW GTI DSG
Last week, I got my car ready for the track, doing an alignment, new brake pads, and rear sway bar install. On my way home, I didn't notice this due to the slow moving traffic, but on my way to the track on Saturday morning, I noticed my car is pulling to one side. I got the alignment checked again this afternoon and it's within spec. So what could be causing it to pull to the right like this? It's pulling to the right where if my steering wheel is on centre, it's like I'm doing a lane change to the right. I swapped from my track tires to back to the Falken FK510 and it's still doing that, so it's not the tires causing the issue. My car handled well at the track but it's just annoying since my steering isn't straight. It makes my adaptive cruise control useless too and I need it for this weekend.
 

geokilla

Ready to race!
Location
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Car(s)
2018 VW GTI DSG
Still sounds like alignment since you proved it wasn't the tires.
Can't be alignment either. I checked my alignment at the shop this afternoon and the updated print out shows it's within spec and should be tracking straight. My mechanic thinks it might be related to the rear sway bar install that was done.
 

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jimlloyd40

Autocross Champion
Location
Phoenix
Car(s)
2018 SE DSG
If the rear sway bar was installed properly that wouldn't be the reason. If something is broken in the suspension you would have noticed that. Couldn't be tires or tire pressure because you switched tires. The alignment is fine. There's no logical explanation but you can remove the RSB to prove or disprove your mechanic.
 

geokilla

Ready to race!
Location
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Car(s)
2018 VW GTI DSG
Disconnect the rear bar and see what happens.

How bad does it pull to the right?

You have less toe in on the right side, so that could explain it, depending on the severity of the pull.
Feels like I'm doing a normal lane change to the right lane.

Yeah I think I'll ask my mechanic to check the bar. He didn't touch anything else related to suspension or steering when he did the install for me. He's positive the rear sway bar should have no effect though. Thinks it's the alignment. But at the same time, the mechanic who did my alignment is one of the best in the city :unsure:
 
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seanmcd1

Drag Racing Champion
Location
SC
Why do you say "it's not the tires" or "it's not the alignment"??
 

pseudorealityx

Go Kart Newbie
Location
Decatur, GA
Car(s)
2017 GTI SE
Alignment settings and what it's doing dynamically could be different. Failing bushing, wheel bearing, etc.

Also, if you're doing some track time, find a way to get some more front camber. :)
 

theDoktor

Go Kart Newbie
Location
Buffalo, NY area
Car(s)
2017 GTI Sport
Your alignment is suspect. I suspect your steering wheel was not centered AND LOCKED in position when the alignment was done. Front camber & caster look OK.- toe does not. I recommend TOE OUT in the front around 0.07 degrees and no more than a 0.02 degree deviation side-to-side. A more aggressive and less stable at high speeds setting for toe-out would be around 0.14 degrees. Probably would be fine for tracking- you might want a bit more for autocross use.
There could still be other items causing excessive drag on one side of the front end as other posters have noted. They all need to be checked-out and eliminated from being an issue. More camber is definitely needed for any tracking. By adjusting the ball joint to control arm joint to eliminate the built-in slack and doing the same to the upper strut bearing mount fitting, you should be able to get around -1.25 degrees of camber without any modifications or replacement parts. Rear camber looks good. You can play around with rear toe to either stabilize (more toe-in) or more oversteer (approach zero toe) from the rear of the car. With tracking, I'd be on the conservative side towards more stability with this adjustment.
 

geokilla

Ready to race!
Location
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Car(s)
2018 VW GTI DSG
Went to the dealer and they put my car on their own alignment rack. I think because it's a different machine, the specs are different. They want $700 to do an alignment again and so I politely told them no thanks. They didn't notice any failing suspension or steering parts.

Anyways the original advisor mentioned it could be my steering angle sensor as well. How can I reset that with OBDeleven?
 

geokilla

Ready to race!
Location
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Car(s)
2018 VW GTI DSG
Looks like my issue may be related to the steering angle sensor. Do I have to reset it after an alignment? According to the steering angle sensor live data, when it's at 0 degrees, the steering wheel is pointed towards the left. I'm trying to recalibrate it following the instructions here but I can't get step 6 working.

Have you checked the Air Pressure?
Switch your front wheels (LtoR / RtoL) and see if the problem migrates to the other side?
Yes I have. They are at factory recommended, which is 38.

With both sets of wheels and tires, the same problem still exists so I can rule tires out of the equation.

Why do you say "it's not the tires" or "it's not the alignment"??
The guy that did my alignment is known for doing good mechanic work and he is #1 in time attack in the province. A lot of us enthusiasts in Toronto go to him for alignments. Also I'm more inclined to believe him than the dealer, who wanted $700 to do an alignment on top of a $50 inspection fee today.
 
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theDoktor

Go Kart Newbie
Location
Buffalo, NY area
Car(s)
2017 GTI Sport
Looks like my issue may be related to the steering angle sensor. Do I have to reset it after an alignment? According to the steering angle sensor live data, when it's at 0 degrees, the steering wheel is pointed towards the left. I'm trying to recalibrate it following the instructions here but I can't get step 6 working.


Yes I have. They are at factory recommended, which is 38.

With both sets of wheels and tires, the same problem still exists so I can rule tires out of the equation.



The guy that did my alignment is known for doing good mechanic work and he is #1 in time attack in the province. A lot of us enthusiasts in Toronto go to him for alignments. Also I'm more inclined to believe him than the dealer, who wanted $700 to do an alignment on top of a $50 inspection fee today.
I'm not familiar with the steering angle sensor & not sure my 17 Sport has it. If you don't mind, please keep us appraised on the sensor reset process.

Given your alignment guy is #1 in time attack, I'm a little surprised how lax he is with the alignment tolerances. He just may be one of those rare drivers who are just naturally gifted when it comes to driving anything with wheels. One of my good friends and driving coach, a former Can-Am driver & outstanding mechanic, is one of those people. Stick with him & insist on a little less slop in the alignment. Forget that dealer- $700 for alignment to the loose factory specs is nuts!
 
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