5

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?

2

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.

2

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.

  • 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
0

Yes, you should take it back. Further, it will help immensely if you make sure to get the actual printout from the alignment machine (or whatever they use to measure the values) whenever you get that done.

I had an alignment done at a chain place that was near my house, but like you I found the vehicle still pulled to one side afterwords. I got around to taking it back after a few weeks and had them check it again. When they were done, the shop guys told me it was fine, but when I asked for the printout, the numbers very clearly showed that some values were still totally out of spec.

They shrugged and said "that's the best we could get it". I didn't bother trying to mess with them anymore and took it to a credible alignment shop, which managed to do a correct alignment without any problems.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.