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Mazda 6 Pulling to Left

Discussion in 'Car Repairs / Maintenance' started by MrPaulDavidson, 23 Jan 2017.

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  1. MrPaulDavidson

    MrPaulDavidson

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    Make: Mazda
    Model: 6
    Engine size/Type: Petrol 2.0
    Year: 2004
    Mileage: 83,000

    This is my first time posting - sorry if I have posted in the wrong place or missed out any information!

    I started driving in August last year, the day I passed my test. I have been driving my mums old Mazda 6 and I hit the passenger front wheel on a kerb a few weeks ago. Ever since the car has pulled slightly to the left. I thought this was just the wheels becoming unaligned and have meant to have them checked.

    However, on the way home from college today I noticed that the steering turning right was very loose and that I was having to almost full lock to actually get round a roundabout. It also felt like the car could very easily start sliding around at the back.

    I've been searching online and it seems that it could be the steering rack at fault. This looks like it could be very expensive to repair, perhaps more than the value of the car. Has anyone got any ideas on what this could possibly be?


    Thank you,


    Paul Davidson
     
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  3. Burnerman

    Burnerman

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    I think I'd be heading to KwikFit or similar......the car needs to be on a hoist and the steering rack and front wishbones checked over for damage.
    If all looks well with the track rods and so on, it's on to the wheel alignment machine.
    Tell me.....when you are driving straight ahead, is the steering wheel straight too?
    John :)
     
  4. MrPaulDavidson

    MrPaulDavidson

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    Hi John,

    I'm going to take it into the garage tomorrow. Just dreading what they're going to say!

    If I'm driving straight ahead I have to hold the wheel slightly to the right so the car stays straight.


    Paul
     
  5. Burnerman

    Burnerman

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    The fact that the car is pulling to one side and you are fighting to steer it means that it is a tracking issue Paul - and often enough this can be adjusted out ( presuming the knock on the wheel wasn't too dramatic!)
    Let's know what's found.
    John :)
     
  6. MrPaulDavidson

    MrPaulDavidson

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    Thank you for your reply, John. I'm not very car literate, could you explain the difference between alignment and tracking? I always thought they were the same thing.


    I'll update tomorrow after it's been to the garage - trust it to be one of the busiest weeks my car will be stuck in the garage! Oh well, safety first.


    Paul
     
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  8. Burnerman

    Burnerman

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    Basically the same thing.....with the steering well locked in the straight ahead position, the front wheels are individually adjusted so they point inwards just a fraction. When the car starts moving, the wheels point straight ahead giving you best road holding and tyre wear.
    The rear wheels are adjustable too, often enough but that's a job for alignment specialists and is usually set up at the factory.
    John :)
     
  9. MrPaulDavidson

    MrPaulDavidson

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    Thank you. I've noticed that when I'm on the bypass and get up to around 60/70mph the steering wheel itself starts to shake quite a bit and I can hear the passenger wheel spinning - almost like if you were to spin a bottle cap just off centre.

    Any idea if this gives any idea to what the problem is? Sorry if I'm just being stupid, remembering these happening now but I'm probably overthinking.


    Paul
     
  10. Burnerman

    Burnerman

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    I would imagine when you clouted a kerb or whatever you buckled one of your alloy wheels too - so easily done! Wheels that are out of balance will always cause the steering wheel to kick.
    Small buckles can be hammered out and the wheel balanced again but big dents mean a new wheel, unfortunately.
    Again, all can be checked very easily with the car on a ramp - and the wheel bearings can be checked at the same time.
    John :)
     
  11. Pickup

    Pickup

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    From the chat above it does sound like wheel alignment but... have you looked at the wheel / tyre that hit the kerb? Check the tyre and wheel for damage especially bulges, deformation or cuts on the tyre sidewall.

    Also check the tyre pressures a difference in the tyre pressures (left front should be same as right front, left rear should be same as right rear, front and rear pressures may be the same or different).

    Tyre pressures are normally given in PSI, Bar or KPa (kilo Pascals).
    KPa and bar are directly related eg 1.0 bar = 100kPa
    PSI and bar are less directly related 1.0 bar = (roughly) 15PSI

    GENERALLY speaking tyre pressures for a normally laden car are TYPICALLY around 2.0-2.3 bar (30-34 PSI) but check your manual or look for a sticker either inside the fuel filler flap or on the door or door pillar (driver's or passenger's) near the lock. A surprising number of people seem to see 2.0 bar on the specification and then inflate their tyres to 20PSI

    Hope this helps
     
  12. MrPaulDavidson

    MrPaulDavidson

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    Hello,

    I'd had a look at the tyre but didn't notice anything straight away. I'll check again tomorrow and I'll check the pressure too.


    Thank you for your advice.


    Paul
     
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