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So I just had my front tie rods replaced, and the front wheels aligned on my 97 Grand Caravan (the alignment was previously way off), and now it's a lot better, but the alignment is still a bit off... if untouched, the wheel pulls slightly to the right... not that bad, but certainly noticeable.

My question is, is it reasonable to take the back to the mechanic who did the alignment because it is slightly off? It seems like since I just had it aligned it should be straight now, but on the other hand I don't want to seem too picky since the van is 17 years old... I don't know much about car mechanics... is there something about a vehicle this old that makes it more difficult to align?

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Yes, it is reasonable to take it back. If you find a problem with a vehicle after having work done it is only right to take it back to where the work was carried out. One good reason is that if an item has been missed on the work they will be the first to know whats gone wrong. Secondly, you have already paid for the work to be done, another repair shop would reguire paying again. Wheel alignment on an older vehicle would have a set of rules same as a newer vehicle. eg Some vehicles require loading before adjustments are made. The only other considerations for all vehicles are vehicle condition. Tyres and pressures, springs, wheel bearings, suspension arms, steering rack/inner joints, suspension height, chassis alignment if there is a history of collision damage. All present and servicable? Any doubts and a geometry check is required.

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From personal experience, under-inflated tires cause drifting to either side. So check your tires' air pressure first. To find proper tire pressure, and other details, this website may help Tire pressure. Otherwise, you need to take it back.

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Thanks for the info, Mike. I think the tire pressure may indeed have had something to do with it, as I took the van into Jiffy Lube where they topped off all the tires, and it seems to be driving pretty straight now... – Jordan Magnuson Dec 3 '13 at 19:25

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