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Good Day,
I have a 06 Ridge with 268K miles, I am the original owner. The Michelin Defender tires on the truck have about 60K miles on them, in good shape, and rotated every 5K miles. I have recently balanced and rotated all four, confirming 33psi in each tire. Truck pulls to the left. Had the truck aligned, a little "toe in" issue corrected. Truck still pulls to the left. Swapped front tires, left to right, right to left. Truck still pulls to the left. Took truck to trusted mechanic who has serviced/repaired the truck during the past 100K miles. Put up on the rack, lifted truck up, checked all steering, suspension components, brake caliber operation, etc. Everything passed. Truck still pulls to the left and has a slight shimmy in the steering well above 60MPH. Can you guys give me input as to what I should look at, check so I can resolve these two issues? I am stumped. What do you think?
 

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Typically, when a vehicle pulls to one side it could be the alignment, work out steering or suspension part, tire conicity, sticking brake components.

Since you had checked the alignment, rotated tires, checked brake calipers for smooth operation, those can be eliminated, but not forgotten.

Strut bearings do go bad and it is a $15 part that costs an arm-and-a-leg, in labor. Cheaper to just replace the struts with new ones. Unless we replace the part completely, or test the part for 100% compliance, there is no way to prove that the part is 'good', based on visual inspection.

For the shimmy, it could be axle related where the inner cv joint is going bad. Also, you could have the propeller shaft joint going bad.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Typically, when a vehicle pulls to one side it could be the alignment, work out steering or suspension part, tire conicity, sticking brake components.

Since you had checked the alignment, rotated tires, checked brake calipers for smooth operation, those can be eliminated, but not forgotten.

Strut bearings do go bad and it is a $15 part that costs an arm-and-a-leg, in labor. Cheaper to just replace the struts with new ones. Unless we replace the part completely, or test the part for 100% compliance, there is no way to prove that the part is 'good', based on visual inspection.

For the shimmy, it could be axle related where the. Also, you could have the propeller shaft joint going bad.
Thank you smufguy for your time and ideas-

Pulling to the left. I thought about struts, but not the bearings. If I understand you, this could be related to the pull to the drivers side? Sure, makes sense, just change out both front struts. What about the front wheel bearing, could that be a culprit also??

Regarding the shimmy problem, would you replace the front CV axle on both sides or just the drivers side?

I also thought about the power steering rack might be a culprit, but no leaks I see. The power steering pump whines a little when super cold outside, but does go away after time. What do you think about that component?

I replaced the rear drive/prop shaft with a new one just before Christmas, so I assume we can take that out of the equation?

Thank you, this has been bothering for quite a while. Look forward to your additional thoughts and ideas.
 

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I had a similar experience with the truck pulling to the left after a perfect alignment. Went back in to check the alignment and they swapped the front two tires and adjusted the toe settings. It pulls to the right a little, but much better than before. The shop suggested speaking with the tire manufacturer/seller to acquire a fresh set as they are only about 10 months old (at that time) and was probably had mfg defects. We came to the conclusion because the end links, struts, and lower control arms were brand new.

If you have high enough mileage on the truck or the age of the truck is bad, Changing out the front struts would be wise. I would do all 4, but if you could do just the front pair.
Same process goes to the axles, if the axles are fine, I wont touch it. If there is a problem with it, then I would change them as a pair.
Same goes to the tie rod ends. They are like $15 each; so of all the parts, these are very inexpensive. Would not hurt to change them either.

Another thing to also check is your lower control arm. If the arm is worn enough where the bushings are separated, then they could cause the weird pull when you drive. but on the rack, it would align perfect. Also the balljoint on the control arm can go bad. If there is a play in it, then best to change. If the lower control arms have never been replaced, I would start here. I would get the lower control arms replaced, aligned and drive it to see if there is a pull.

Below is an example (not a Ridgeline) of how the bad control arm bushing would look.

399046
 

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I am paying attention to this thread. I have an '06 Ridgeline with 120K miles that has pulled to the right the last couple years. I have a lifetime alignment at Firestone, so according to them the truck is aligned. I chocked it up to wearing tires and I just replaced tires and struts all around. After the alignment the slight pull to the right still exists. I have mentioned this to the Firestone people several times with no resolution. Usually they ask if the truck tracks straight when I let go of the steering wheel and it does for the most part (hence I have lived with it.) I am most concerned about the tire wear. Can a vehicle be aligned despite the steering wheel not being straight (Firestone printouts would indicate the tires are aligned within spec)? I would prefer this as opposed to the other way around.
 

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@fresnoridgeline , from what I understand, your camber and toe, the two essential settings of the suspension geometry that dictate tire wear, can be on point on the rack, but still track weird on the road. The tire will wear evenly as the vehicle was adjusted to 'specs' on the machine. The techs will ensure that the right and left are essentially mirror images of each other, so the tire wear and handling are as anticipated.
 

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Thanks, Smurfguy. I neglected to mention over the past couple years plus the truck developed a strange wear pattern emanating what I believe the front passenger side--hence my concern about tire wear. I am not 100% sure because I was rotating tires every 5K miles and after a while all the tires had the peculiar tire wear. I am not sure if it is related to my driving habits, worn struts or something else related to the aforementioned slight pull to the right (mis-alignment).

Now that I have new struts and tires and the truck is aligned according to Firestone I am really hoping to stay on top of this issue before I wreck a set of tires.. Part of my plan is to buy a digital tire tread gauge and monitor the tire wear. Obviously isolating what tire is wearing strangely will go along way to trying to identify and hopefully fix the issue. I am really hoping it might have been a weak strut that was causing the abnormal wear on the inside shoulder of the tire, but honestly I kinda don't think that is the problem.

Thanks for the help!
 

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Carolinaridgeline-how about using a temp gun on each wheel hub through wheel spokes after a 5-10 mile drive -if you have a dragging brake or worn wheel bearing you should see an elevated temp on that hub
 

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Just a little knowledge. A perfectly aligned vehicle with everything new, or better yet a new off-the-lot vehicle will always show a slight tendency to go to the right if the drive does not keep it to the left slightly. I was a surveyor for DOT for many years and all roads have (or should have) a crown or high point near the centerline. Constructed to aid in water flow and avoid puddling in the driving lanes which could cause hydroplaning. My then new 2008 Ridgeline, if I was on a flat road, would drift slightly to the right if I did not correct for the road crown.

If you are driving (be carful) and if you ease on the steering your vehicle should drift to the right over some distance. If it dives to the right severely then you may have a problem. I wish all roads had the same crown from center to edge, but some are made with little and some are made with more slope than needed.
 

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One more thing. I was always told and practice that radial tires be rotated front to back, not side to side or cross like the old bias-ply tires. Radial tires will develop flex patterns in the side walls and belts and reversing the rotation can cause tire wear and sometimes serious damage to the tire itself.
 

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One more thing. I was always told and practice that radial tires be rotated front to back, not side to side or cross like the old bias-ply tires. Radial tires will develop flex patterns in the side walls and belts and reversing the rotation can cause tire wear and sometimes serious damage to the tire itself.
maybe one of those stories of the past. Following the tire rotation pattern on the owner's manual (for a non-directional tire) is as follows

DF >> DR
PF >> PR
DR >> PF
PR >> DF

Directional tires go only one way, and they are front to back on the same side.
 
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