2011 Ford Escape 4WD. Intermittent steering / Steering Wheel Problems after part replacement and alignment
I recently bought 4 new tires and had the following parts replaced: Right
front control arm and ball joint, Left front outer tie rod end, and of course
had a 4 wheel alignment performed. I had this work done because the
camber was significantly negative at the front. After having this work done,
every time I make a left turn, the steering wheel remains turned slightly to
the left for a period of time while the car drives straight down the road
without pulling or drifting, although feeling fairly loose. After a short period
of time (Varies from about 1/4 to 3/2 mile) the car suddenly veers slightly
left and I have to correct to center, after which the steering wheel remains
centered while driving straight down the street, now with no drifting or
pulling, and the play in the steering appears to be gone... Until I make
another turn. Any Ideas what could cause this?
That is a 2001 Ford Escape, NOT 2011.
While correcting for the heavy negative camber they removed caster from the left front. Caster is what makes the wheels return to center on their own. Removing caster from one side of the vehicle will create the symptoms you are having. One wheel is trying to track the ruts in the road while the other is trying to follow steering inputs. It makes for a scary ride. If both wheels were without caster the car would wander all over the road.
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