So I have a mKVI 2.5 golf that has always had a pull to the right.
VW Claims alignment is covered 1000 miles or 1 month only, so I put it on the rack twice at a local shop.
Very bad results! -1.1 camber drivers side and -.1 camber passenger side. 6.7 caster drivers and 6.5 caster passenger.
I shifted the subframe back to dead center, loosened EVERY bolt and managed to get the front end to:
7.2 caster drivers 7.0 caster passenger
-1.1 camber drivers side -.1 camber passenger side.
This is obviously unacceptable for a brand new car. The car has never been curbed, driven in a city or hit any giant potholes or debris period.
The two rear subframe bolts were replaced with Audi bolts.
Simply the car is unable to be put into spec!
Any advice on what to measure/do? I'm looking at lemon law now, and have a case open wtih VW customer care. The car is about to take it's 1st trip to the dealer for this.
Anyone else had issues like this?
I'm thinking bent strut, bent wheel bearing housing, or bent control arm. Replace bent with "manufactured wrong" as the car had 10 miles when I bought it.
Visually all looks well, no signs of impact/damage.
What specification range does VW give you for camber? Your pull is likely being caused by the fact that the caster on your passenger side is less than the driver, the vehicle will always pull to the side with the least amount or caster. Add that into the fact our roads are crowned in the center and that will aggravate the issue. My only suggestion is to try and re-shift the subframe to change the caster to increase the passenger side in relation to the driver side. Also, how is toe? If the vehicle is toe'd out it will increase the tendency for it to wander.
Now, for reasons as to why it was like this in the first place is most likely manufacturing tolerances and the fact our vehicles are massed produced. Your alignment specs are probably OK by VW standards as they slap vehicles together and more than likely don't check the specs before they are sent for delivery. The only other issue could have been when the delivery company strapped the vehicle down they attached to the subframe or possibly control arm (which I hope they didn't) and tweaked something.
Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited. -Einstein
If a wheel alignment is unable to bring to car into spec, then the car is defective. While the wheel alignment was only covered for 1K miles according to the VW Dealer, the new car warranty is longer than that.
I wouldn't spend any more of my time and money trying to correct the problem. If the VW Dealer will not fix the problem under warranty, contact the VW Zone Rep., tell him the car is defective, show him the paperwork from the alignment shop, and ask that the car be repaired, or replaced under warranty.
Yeah. I opened a case with VW customer care, they authorized an alignment. I have yet to see if they slotted or opened up the subframe bolt holes, or how centered they are as I just picked up the car yesterday.
The dealer said they could not get the drivers side caster into spec, and there's almost a full degree of caster difference between each side.
This is where the dealer got the car after aligning it.
Front left: camber -0.18 caster +6.48 toe +0.06
Front right: camber: -0.17 caster +7.35 toe +0.04
Rear left: Camber -1.02 toe +0.03
Rear right: Camber -1.17 toe +0.03
So it looks like something is up. I'm going to try and get it up on jackstands later today and see the position of the subframe bolts.... That should tell us something.
I'm also going to call VW again, and tell them they need to fix it or give me another car that will align straight, as it's a safety and tire wear issue.
You may have a defective strut mount (the location of the top of the struts affects camber and castor), or a defective lower control arm (could be causing the castor problem, or the position of the inner fenders might actually be wrong (improperly positioned during manufacturing).
With the alignment paperwork to prove your claim, you can go back to the Zone Rep, and present your case for a manufacturing defective. I would not allow the subframe to be slotted on my brand new car to fix/cover up a manufacturing defect on the chassis.
To make sure that the problem can't be cured on my car, I'd probably ask for the struts and strut mounts, steering knuckles, and lower control arms to be replaced with new ones (at a different VW Dealer, I'd ask to see the replacement parts before their installed, stay there and watch the new parts installed on the car, and ask to see the old parts after the new parts are installed (you can't keep the old ones, as they will have to be turned in by the VW Dealer to VW AG as part of the Warranty Reinbursement Claim by the VW Dealer).
If they won't replace the parts, then demand a new car, and if those new parts don't solve the alignment problem, then for sure what you have is a manufacturing defect on the chassis, and I'd request, no DEMAND, replacement of the car.
You summed my thoughts up exactly. Something is going on with this car, and the dealer even said they inspected it for damage and found nothign bent, no signs of impact etc.
I am going to call VW shortly, and work my way up. I may start with the lemon law letters to light a fire under them. I will post back here with what happens.
Spoke with VW customer care. They are having the regional (I guess zone) rep call me sometime before close of business Wednesday, so they can call the dealership and get their assesment etc.
All I know is the tech told me he could not get the caster right. I am going to put it in the air later today and take a look at the subframe positioning relative to the bolts and see where it is.
If it looks even or near it on both sides for front/rear shifting and this full degree of castor is off, something is up. I am going to measure the ride height as well on both sides to see if there is a difference, visually I see no obvious difference.
I told the customer care rep, that I expect VW to provide a car that aligns proper if this is not able to be resolved, as a brand new car should not have these issues before it's first scheduled oil change/service even!
The zone rep wanted me to go see the service manager, and I did. So we will see what happens. The car goes back to VW again tomorrow for alignment boogalo #2.
I took the service manager for a test drive, and he was like "oh this is not bad" at 30mph. I said ok wait, lets go on the highway.
Pull hands off wheel on flat road -- or road banked to the left even count 1 one thousand, and the car is almost on the shoulder from the pull. With 1 degree more of positive caster on the right front it has steering priority and it is greater at higher speeds. He said oh ok, that is not good as I said yes my wife and kids ride in this, if my wife has to turn around to say something she could be on the shoulder by now, it is simply a safety issue and he goes "You think 1 degree will be a problem in 20,000 miles?" I said "Yes of course, it is a problem now!" "Also, this car is not even at it's first oil change, and it has been aligned now 4 times without being able to get the drivers front wheel into spec.
He tried saying VW has no caster spec to which I explained I have access personally to a hunter DSP rack I can use anytime, and that I could show him on their hunter rack how to get a printout including spec -- not just the one they gave me without spec and tolerance" The same printouts I gave them from the shop where I am at.
He quickly changed his tune and said "Well my tech spent 3-4 hours on your car and could not get it further" I said well, VW wants you guys to try again and if you cant don't worry, let VW handle it and just tell them the car is fine obviously with no damage from any accident/impact but can't be put into tolerance let alone spec".
I said if you guys can't -- it's time to start swapping suspension components or send out your regional Maestro/engineer to measure strut towers, and distances etc, or for VW to give me a car that aligns proper.
So we will see. The service manager said he does agree the car is not right, so that is a win, the voicemail he left sounded brush off at first but after the ride and his attempts to BS the tune changed.
So all is well that ends well. The car was able to be put into spec basically perfect -- they sent it to another dealer and their master tech spent time aligning it with some VW Big Shot (TM) standing around to make sure it went well.
They also replaced a tire due to it causing the pull as well so it was two things working against me.
I have a nice spiffy printout all in the green, with some very nice cross camber and cross caster numbers.
Time to get it on the rack I have access to this weekend to validate the printout and put some Audi A4 subframe bolts in it all over so the alignment does not creep