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Chronic Misalignment - HELP

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by KOL2000, Apr 12, 2014.

  1. KOL2000

    KOL2000 Member

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    Hi All - My car refuses to stay aligned. Does anyone else have this problem? I have brought it (or valet has picked it up) numerous times and they either return it still misaligned or, last time, they returned it perfectly. But then 1 week later it was pulling to the right again (sometimes left sometimes right).

    I will contact the service center again but I wanted to reach out to the community and see if anyone has an "unalignable" car as well? I'm thinking a part is defective and weekly realignment isn't the answer to this problem.

    Can anyone help? I'd like to be more informed and suggest some sort of repair or they will simply align the car again and in a week it will be back to the same.

    Thanks!

    p.s. I dont drive crazy, there are no potholes, there is no reason that a $120k car should go out of alignment within a week of normal driving.
     
  2. Lloyd

    Lloyd Active Member

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    I am aware that sometimes that even though a car is in proper alignment, prior tire wear while the car was out of alignment may prevent the car from tracking properly. Jerry may have better information on this phenomenon.
     
  3. MikeC

    MikeC Active Member

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    For what it's worth: my car started pulling to the right after my annual service a month or two ago and there had never been a problem before I took it in. The technician reported to me that he had put it on the machine and adjusted it to factory specifications. He followed up with some other technicians about the problem and said that he was basically told that adjusting to the factory specs would result in the car pulling to the right and the customers will keep complaining unless it's adjusted some way not to factory specs (not really sure how, though). Not sure if this applies at all in your case.
     
  4. AmpedRealtor

    AmpedRealtor Active Member

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    This may have to do with road crowning. Factory specs don't compensate for road crown.

    Ask your service center to inspect your suspension components, links, bushings and bolts. There have been a few suspension service bulletins sent out, so make sure they've applied all service bulletins. Make sure they check the torque on all suspension bolts, especially the toe link bolts.
     
  5. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    The first thing I would do is check the tires for odd wear like Lloyd says.

    It's also possible that the alignment machine is out of calibration. The only way to check this is to take it someplace else.

    Although road crown is a possible answer like AmpedRealtor says, radial tires aren't really that affected by road crown because the belts tend to keep them going straight.

    The problem with "within specs" is that there is one point where the tires will be perfect and every other point they are less than perfect. I don't believe we know what the "perfect" setting is. (We can guess that it's in the middle of the range, but that's just a guess.) It's also possible they don't have the correct specs--some Hunter alignment machines were programmed with the wrong specs. (But going out after a week appears to negate this one. Wrong specs should be out from day one.)

    If the car keeps going out of alignment and you've ruled out tire wear, then loose suspension parts are the next thing to look at. If it were my car I'd take it to a frame shop and have them check it out to see what's not right. Get a recommendation for one that works on Teslas.

    I'm sure you've done this, but check the air pressures to make sure they are the same. Low air pressure on one tire can cause the car to pull.

    And there's one other possibility--bad tire connicity values. All tires are slightly cone shaped. This allows the tires to respond quickly to steering input. If you switch the tires from side to side and car pulls the other way, you've found the problem.
     
  6. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    Talk to the Service Center manager directly; it's not your responsibility to figure out what's wrong. My experience of Tesla service is that they'll bend over backwards to help the customer and they're very different from any dealership I've dealt with in the past. Your car is less than a year old, if it doesn't get fixed move up the chain of command.
     
  7. dhrivnak

    dhrivnak Active Member

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    A broken belt in the tire or a defective tire can also cause the symptoms you are seeing.
     
  8. AudubonB

    AudubonB Mild-mannered Moderator Lord Vetinari*

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    I think that AmpedRealtor is on the right track. Since you state that sometimes your vehicle will pull right and sometimes pull left...then unless you've got something scarily loosey-goosey - which is conceivable but unlikely - then I'm going to put my chips on a road-crown problem.
     
  9. AudubonB

    AudubonB Mild-mannered Moderator Lord Vetinari*

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    To the OP:

    In what driving mode do you operate? I'm thinking that "comfort" is far too squishy to use if on high-speed roads. I have mine set to "sport" at all times. If by chance you're on "comfort", or even the intermediate position, try putting it in "sport" and let us know if that's a better option for you.
     
  10. Electricfan

    Electricfan Member

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    Please keep us posted. Mine goes to the service center for the new battery guard installation plus an alignment check next Friday. It pulls ever so slightly to the right. I have a Chevy Volt and that's the only thing I like about driving it vs the Model S - no need to constantly pull it back from the ditch. Sure hope they can get it straightened out - yours too. (I only have about 5500 miles on mine)
     
  11. AmpedRealtor

    AmpedRealtor Active Member

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    While nothing more than an optical illusion, I would suggest that you also ensure that your steering wheel is properly centered during your alignment. Scottsdale service has such picky owners that they invested in a steering wheel level to ensure the wheels are properly centered. Picky owners like myself can tell you when it's as little as a few degrees off center. While it doesn't cause pulling, the visual disconnect between going straight and having your steering wheel not look straight could give the appearance of pulling.
     
  12. caddieo

    caddieo Member

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    This has merit. Is the OP getting the problem driving the same roads over and over? Then it may be time to try other roads - e.g. Flat concrete multilane vs. possibly wavy/crowned blacktop multilane vs. 2-lane concrete vs. 2-lane blacktop (using only the straight and un-banked segments in each case as banking can also cause drift).
     
  13. pimp-boy

    pimp-boy Member

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    For those that have the car drifting to the right, tell them to increase your caster on the front right and reduce it on the left... ~4.1 to the front right and ~3.8 to the front left. Those are still within the range of the specs.
     
  14. johnbr

    johnbr Member

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    I'm in the same / similiar situation as the op. My car just turned 1 year old (26k miles) and I've had more alignments than I can count with both hands. Most recently over the past month or so they've not been able to get it completely right- it would go left on accel and right on decel (no brakes, just pedal and release pedal) .. they told me alignment was in spec and the tech basically tightened everything, which resulted in greatly reducing the left/accel right/decal but not completely solving.. throw in one more alignment due to a drive unit change which made no noticeable difference. After that (last week) I took a trip from socal to Fremont for the factory tour, and upon returning she now goes right on accel and left on decel, combined with a wandering/understeer type feeling. I have an appointment tomorrow at a different service center than where the last 3 alignments occurred, would be so nice if they got it right.

    Also- the vast majority of roads I typically drive on are immaculate, and I'm not hitting anything.
     
  15. KOL2000

    KOL2000 Member

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    Thanks Everyone! Let me start by saying 95% of what has been posted I already knew about. It's not the steering wheel (they tried that), its not the tires (totally different story but it has been addressed). The car was perfectly aligned for 6k miles. And for 1 week after their last attempt. But it simply doesn't HOLD alignment. When it goes out of alignment it will be either pulling to the left or to the right (it doesn't change between those) and then they fix it and a week later it will be out again.

    Also, please don't PM me telling me not to post "negative" things on the forum. That's just insane and counter productive. This car is nearly perfect except for this minor alignment issue. I have an X on order and I wouldn't trade my car for a perfectly aligned ferrari (unless I could sell the ferrari and buy 3 teslas). I will stick with Tesla for life.

    I just want to be able to help the Service Center help me and posted in case someone had a similar problem and a strange solution worked like a control arm or some other strange fix.

    Thanks!
     
  16. wycolo

    wycolo Active Member

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    > my car started pulling to the right after my annual service a month or two ago and there had never been a problem before I took it in. [MikeC]

    They should NOT mess with alignment unless specifically complained about by customer, with service confirming that car actually needs re-alignment. Save gross tire wear pointing at alignment errors. Like a DNR tag on a hospital patient, put a sticker on the dash: Do Not Align!!

    New hires can't be expected to understand suspension bolts and joints or how to properly torque them. If the bolts are dry and thus binding up, how can they be properly torqued without some anti-seize on the threads. But blanket prohibitions against use of anti-seize frustrate the mechanic. Just one possible explanation why these joints pop right back out of alignment.

    A P85 loaner had gross torque steer. Ruined the whole experience for me, couldn't do *anything* in that car. Blamed on Denver potholes, be 'fixed real soon now'. :crying:
    --
     
  17. AudubonB

    AudubonB Mild-mannered Moderator Lord Vetinari*

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    Got it. That either/or wasn't obvious to me in the first description. That makes everything clear now: you're in fact actually driving an AMC Gremlin. You just thought it was a Tesla....
     
  18. Electricfan

    Electricfan Member

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    Amen! Its amazing how many people on this forum can't seem to grasp the concept of a "forum" where you're supposed to share experiences and GAIN from sharing. I think alot of people care more about TSLA stock than their fellow owners or helping each other out. This forum would be worthless if we couldn't state our issues and get comments from others about them. On the GM Volt forum I actually found a fellow volt owner who had been given the same exact fraudulent story I had at a dealership in Houston. Thanks to the internet we can now fight back!!! And help each other!!
     
  19. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    If any of the PMs are obnoxious, there's a "report" button on the PMs too (the little triangle with exclamation mark at lower left). Just hit that and the moderators will investigate.

    And for the record, constructive negative reports about the car are entirely appropriate. They can only help Tesla improve in the long run (they do watch the forums).
     
  20. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    Agree. Constructive negative feedback is encouraged and I'm sorry if some others don't see it that way. As Doug_G said report if they are over the top.
     

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