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I recently just started to notice that my car is slightly pulling to the left right after I took my winter tires off. It's not much. If i let go it will go straight for a few meters before pulling. Is it worth getting it realigned ?

It's an AWD car as well and I checked the tire pressure and made sure the brakes were not sticking. I also checked the wheel and rim to make sure it was not warped.

  • I've been told getting an alignment on old tires is questionable at best. If the tires are not totally even, a correct alignment can't really be done. I'm not sure how actually true this is, so interesting question. – JPhi1618 Apr 22 '16 at 13:58
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    @JPhi1618 This a myth. The alignment process will set the suspension to the correct dimensions regardless of tire condition. Poor tires can lead the driver to believe the alignment was a failure by causing driving symptoms. – Fred Wilson Apr 22 '16 at 15:22
  • If you can just rotate all 4 back to front, that will tell you something. I knew my old tires were bad when they were rotated and it pulled badly. I had them put them back, then I bought new tires. If you can get by with them swapped, fine. – user15009 Apr 22 '16 at 22:14
  • @FredWilson, I posted a question about alignment. If you have more details for an answer I'd love to hear them. – JPhi1618 Apr 26 '16 at 16:09
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Short answer. Yes. Your vehicle could be pulling to the right for several reasons. It could be uneven tire wear (which would likely have been caused by an alignment issue), tire pressure (which you've checked), wheel damage (which you've checked) or misalignment.

One thing you might try before going for an alignment is making sure that all four of your wheels are seated flat against the hub. If any debris made its way between the wheel and the hub while you were swapping your tires, it could cause some drift. Also, just make sure all of your lug nuts are tight.

Hope that helps.

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    My test for any pull is to swap the two front tires side for side. 95% of the time the pull will swap sides thus proving the tires are the cause of the pull. – Fred Wilson Apr 22 '16 at 15:28
  • @FredWilson I thought that tires had to stay on the same side of the car they were originally installed on, unless you take them off the rims and switch them around? You cannot run the tire in the opposite direction after it has been used, right? – user15009 Apr 22 '16 at 22:03
  • Not necessarily. Some tires are directional, many winter tires are, but most tires can be run in either direction. If they are directional, there's usually an arrow on the side wall to tell you the direction of rotation. Actually, typically when you rotate tires you should rotate them corner to corner (front left to rear right and front right to rear left). – Paul Dufresne Apr 22 '16 at 22:06
  • Yes, but corner to corner requires dismounting and remounting all 4 tires, and so the powers that do that would rather just flip them front to rear. They can do that while checking brakes, so it is no extra work. I don't know if the added effort of corner to corner really results in any better tire longevity... unless the car is not properly aligned. – user15009 Apr 22 '16 at 22:19
  • No, that's not true. You don't need to dismount the tires unless they have a directional tread, which most tires don't – Paul Dufresne Apr 22 '16 at 22:20

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