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13 Outback 2.5 Premium CVT
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Discussion Starter #1
My 13 from day one slightly pulled to the right, More often then not I had to keep slight pressure like I wanted to go left in order to go straight and that set up other problems because as soon as the road crowns to the left it of course would want to go left so I was always chasing the center of the lane, it didn't make for a very enjoyable ride because you couldn't take your eyes off the road for more then a second or two.

Finally got time to make an appointment at the dealer, service guy says "it says here you are having a hard time turning the steering wheel left?"
I laughed and said no, I have to keep turning the wheel left in order to go straight, the car slightly pulls to the right.
He then says "No problem, it sounds like a tire pressure issue and we will have you out in a minute or two"
I again laughed and said I don't think so, I have adjusted the pressure in two pound increments up and down for at least 6 different combinations with absolutely no change.

He says they will take a look at it.
About an hour and fifteen minutes later he comes out and sits down next to me and says "the alignment is absolutely perfect and right in the middle of the specifications for your car" he then starts pointing at the alignment numbers on the right column making check marks with his pen.
He then says "we really can't fix anything because we can't see any problem, we adjusted the air pressure so take the car and see what it acts like and get back too me in a couple days and let me know one way or the other"
I asked for a copy of the chart and he makes one for me and I head off laughing about the whole experience.


I jump on the freeway and the car is about 50% better.



So here are my questions
Service guy said we can't align the car because it is perfect and the Work order says SET UP ON THE ALIGNMENT RACK AND MEASURED, FOUND VEHICLE IS CENTERED WITHIN SPECIFICATIONS, NO ADJUSTMENTS MADE DUE TO VEHICLE BEING WITHIN SPECIFICATIONS, FOUND NO ABNORMAL TIRE WEAR ISSUES AND AM UNABLE TO DUPLICATE ANY FAULTS AT THIS TIME, ASKED CUSTOMER TO DRIVE AND INFORM.

How did they get the front toe numbers to change so radically if they didn't do any adjustments? :confused:
Am I reading the chart wrong?
Isn't the left column called initial the numbers before an alignment and the right column called final the numbers after an alignment.
If they did do alignment adjustment then why are they claiming they didn't?
The only numbers that seem different on the chart are the front toe numbers all the rest remain unchanged.

Oh and the tire pressure adjustment they did was exactly one pound less in every tire then it had before it went in according to my gauge that I used when I did the adjustments.

 

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Not a Subaru
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43 Posts
I would rotate the tires and see if it still pulls. I have had that problem in the past on other cars and was able to get it down to a specific tire that had a manufacturing defect. Of course this was goodyear but my opinion is that continentals are just as crappy.
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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looks like someone mis-spoke or ??? cause, like you, I read that as a significant toe adjustment was made.
 

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2012 Outback 3.6R
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510 Posts
I also read a toe adjustment. In fact the adjustment made was to center the steering gear. When they are off center the car will normally pull to the side it is off.
Now they have you at 0 total which is very close to what it was before adjustment. I do not know about the Subaru but most cars drive best with a little toe in. The Subaru specs allow from "toe in" to "toe out". If you take it back ask them to set it on the "toe in" side of the specs. That may help.
 

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13 Outback 2.5 Premium CVT
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340 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
looks like someone mis-spoke or ??? cause, like you, I read that as a significant toe adjustment was made.
I'm glad somebody sees what I do

I just don't understand why they claim #1 the car was perfect when the numbers don't confirm that and #2 they didn't make any adjustments.

How can they charge Subaru if they claim they didn't do anything?
 

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13 Outback 2.5 Premium CVT
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Discussion Starter #6
I also read a toe adjustment. In fact the adjustment made was to center the steering gear. When they are off center the car will normally pull to the side it is off.
Now they have you at 0 total which is very close to what it was before adjustment. I do not know about the Subaru but most cars drive best with a little toe in. The Subaru specs allow from "toe in" to "toe out". If you take it back ask them to set it on the "toe in" side of the specs. That may help.
Yeah it will go back but someplace different because these guys are to hard to understand what I am complaining about.
The person I called when I made the appointment wrote down I was having a hard time turning the wheel left.
Even after I explained to the service guy several times it PULLS TO THE RIGHT I just noticed on the work order he wrote down Customer seems to think the vehicle pulls to the Left

Next time before I even explain it I will first ask them to hold up their right hand so I know we are on the same page.
 

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2017 Outback, 14 Jeep Grand Cherokee, 07 BMW E-93
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604 Posts
Your rear is still toed out and it will continue to drift right until you get that fixed. You should be looking at 0.0 to -0.01 toe all around.
I am planning to do this to mine even if I take it to an alignment shop and pay for it my self because it is dynamically not selfcentering like it should be.
It is pretty simple yet Subaru's spec is rediculous given the wandering that it does.
It doesn't suprise me that our OB drifts right or left or wanders. I will report back once I get this done just pressed for time and not able to go and work with the tech on this...

Here is what we run on M3's as a reference to show that even on something designed to handle toe is still 0 to slightly neg.
Front
Camber: -2.5 deg (per side)
Toe: 0
(or 0.10 to 0.20 deg total toe in for mostly highway driving)

Rear
Camber: -1.5 to -2 deg (per side)
Toe: 0.20 total toe in
(IIRC this is 1/8" total toe in)

The point is that to help you reduce driver workload and allow the car to selfcenter you need 0 to slightly neg toe. It will drift right if the road camber is right but that is eventually not move over quickly. Perfectly level road no camber the OB should steer staight for long periods of time. Having toe out in the front or rear even slightly is like pointing the wheels out which means they have a mind of their own.

Will report back once I get mine done...
 

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2013 3.6R SAP BBP Outback
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717 Posts
Are the alignment specs the same for a '12 and a '13? The report lists the car as a '12.

There was certainly a change in toe on the front and it was initially out of spec in the direction that would have caused a pull to the right. Since the car is now about half better, it's a good bet you're on the right track with alignment work (no pun intended). Take it to a good shop and ask them to hit the middle of the range for all specs. See how it does.

That said, I have also had a bad tire cause a pull. So that's next if the alignment doesn't fix it.
 

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2012 Outback Limited 2.6 Ruby Red
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Look at the front caster left and right sides. The left is out of spec by.3 and the right .1. Have them bring the left down to 5.0 to compensate for the crown in the road. This will help the most. Then have them set the rear camber equal near "0".
 

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2012 Outback 2.5i CVT
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468 Posts
I'll be blunt and to the point. No question they changed your front toe angles, which is why things feel better. The front is now as close as you can expect anyone to get as it will never be exactly in the center of all numbers. Your rear toe angles are right on the edge which is likely what you feel now. Either take it back to them or someone else and have the rear toe angles adjusted closer to center of spec.
 

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2013 Outback 2.5i CVT Limited, Nav+EyeSight
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228 Posts
Yeah. that's interesting. Seems like somebody misspoke or misheard something. That sheet shows a couple of out-of-spec numbers, some of which got fixed.

Maybe what they said/meant was "your alignment is in spec NOW" (as opposed to "it was fine when you brought it in).

Even in-spec numbers can have a range of how good or bad they are, which will correspond to what you feel on the road. But there's only so exact you can get. It's a moving target - often when you adjust one angle, it perturbs another angle. Some are more important than others, too. I think Toe is the most important for tire wear. I remember a tech from the shoddiest-of-shoddy tire places (NTB) telling me that their alignments are "We just Toe-And-Go" (meaning that they don't look at or fix caster/camber). Some vehicles don't even have adjustments for those.

It looks like Toe was way wrong, and they fixed that to within spec. Caster is wrong, but since there is no range to that adjustment, I'd wager a guess that it's not all that easily adjustable, or is meant to not be adjusted at all. Rear toe is a little concerning - why would the left and right be so different? It's still within spec, though.

I'd recommend getting a second opinion on the alignment if it still feels "off". Sears will do a free alignment check (with a similar printout of angles).
 

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2012 Outback 3.6R
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I missed the caster problem. More caster on one side will cause a car to pull. In fact that is one of the ways circle track racers get their cars to turn better as they are always going left just like our country is. They will also run different diameter tires to help the car turn. As for the crown in the road depends on what type of road you travel most. Like when I am in California I always have the DW on board and use the express lane most of the time. That puts the crown on my right. But if it is two lane highway there is a significant crown on your left.
 

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2001 VDC/SC One of a Kind
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Yeah, yeah; old thread, blah, blah.

I ran into this looking for something else. I edited the OP's spec sheet. The circled area shows the before angles. It is different from the after measures because the wheel was turned slightly left. -20 and +25 is left pointed out, right pointed in. They didn't adjust anything.

Some shops actually do this on purpose to sell an alignment when you don't need one. They turn the steering wheel, get numbers that show it out of spec and sell it. Most people don't look at the positive and negative numbers and do the math. All they see is red, out of spec.

A shop in Austin got one of my friends that way. Then they sold him camber bolts for the front struts. On A Subaru. Screwed his alignment up. They didn't even adjust the rear. :28::28::28::28:
 

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2012 Outback 3.6R
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As for the toe in, the steering may have been off center. That is when the steering wheel was centered the wheels were turned to the left. This is corrected by adjusting the toe on both wheels.
 
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