New car handling – need some terminolgy…

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  • New car handling – need some terminolgy…
  • b r

    Normally I’d suggest that its had a bump…, but does it have 4 wheel adjustable tracking?

    tbh I’d just take it straight back and tell them to sort it

    crispy bacon

    Have you thought about getting the AA to check it out & provide a report? could be useful when going back to the dealer with a professional report of any problems.


    sounds like the steering rack is needing adjusted


    Stick a mtb on the roof, always seems toimprove handling.

    But seriously check tyre pressures and get the wheels proffesionally aligned by computer, alos check the tyres for unusual wear.

    Premier Icon molgrips

    Take it to another garage. Try and find one with a four wheel alignment machine, not just a tracking machine – it’s a big rig that does it all.

    I know of one in Reading.


    sounds like something could be car still under waranty,if so take it to another dealer and explain the problem.they all love finding problems with another dealers car!!

    Get them to have a mechanic road test it while you are in the car. If they dont agree to do this take it elsewhere and use the warranty.

    Premier Icon steveh

    What wheels and tyres are on it? Some cars feel very nervous and tend to pull a lot if they’re on large wheels. My a4 s line was bad for it on the 18’s.

    Premier Icon somafunk

    Sound like you need a full suspension and 4 wheel alignment geometry set-up done by someone who knows what they’re doing rather than handing it back to a main dealer or the usual tyre fitter/kickers who adjust tracking with a shifter and then shrug their shoulders and say “it’s sorted”.

    Get in touch with Center Gravity and they will advise you of the best course of action, they’ve always set up my cars, mostly tuned MK2 Golfs which may sound like a waste of money but when set up correctly they can lap the nurburgring faster than a 911 and recently Chris set up a friends RS4 (supercharged) which is now frighteningly rapid at cornering and can practically pull your face off.

    Expensive but it will totally transform your car.

    Premier Icon somafunk

    btw – you say it “falls into bends”, that’s incorrect camber and possible castor angle.


    Recently replaced A3 Quattro (>120K miles) with new version of same. Old car was best I’ve ever owned.
    This car went straight back to dealer, as steering wheel was crooked and it pulled left. This was denied repeatedly, ‘fixed’ (read: not fixed), then improved ie wheel isn’t as crooked any more.

    The car feels vague in corners, and it always needs to be ‘steered’; halfway through a lh bend it ‘falls’ into it, rh bends behave the other way.
    If I let go of the wheel, it goes left; holding the wheel true and it goes right.
    Other than tracking, can I suggest what may be wrong so they don’t think I’m a blithering idiot. I think it’s something chronic.
    thanks, ST

    Premier Icon footflaps

    hitting a curb can knock the steering out – I did that in my Golf and had the steering wheel 30 degrees out – fixed in 10 mins on 4 wheel alignment jig at my local tyre place.


    Do exactly what somafunk suggests should cost you no more than £150. Main dealers do not have the equipment or care about doing 4 wheel alignment. Phone Audi HO and say dealer failing to rectify and ask them to pick up the bill. Not all wheel alignment centres who say they do full geometry checks will or can, even if they have the equipment.

    other thing it could be is deformed tyres, yes even new. However is be surprised if an a3 had sensitive enough suspension to make that a possibility.


    First off make sure tyre pressures are correct, then the tyres are all the same. After that I’d be first looking at ARB’s front and rear. As for the self steering I would get its wheel alignment checked. But make sure that they check the rear aswell.


    take it to another dealer and explain the problem.they all love finding problems with another dealers car!!

    Genuine question – why?


    As the others have said, four wheel alignment is what you need. (not a basic tracking check!)

    Prices varied when I had mine looked at, some were free to check and then £40 per adjustment, so in my case it was £40 to correct the rear toe in, and then £40 to tweak something else that ‘apparently’ gets knocked out when the toe is adjusted. I was unconvinced, but £80 to sort out the nervous handling of my Mondeo was worth it. Others charged to put that car on the rig but included the first adjustment etc. is an easy way to find a local place, although I’m sure there are others. I think they have a voucher you can print off the website as well.

    You will get a ‘before’ and ‘after’ printout for your car detailing all the angles so you have some proof to show the dealer the car was/still is squiffy which should help in negotiations.

    This was my printout:

    Mondeo Geometry Before by Ollie and Sally, on Flickr

    Mondeo Geometry After by Ollie and Sally, on Flickr

    Could be a combination of toe out / worn shocks / worn bushes / knackered tyres.

    It does sound like a tracking issue . Although damaaged tyres ( unseen by eye ) could be the cause .

    If its darting and diving about and nervous in the corners it sounds like something might be moving , like a wishbone , so maybe the bushings are worn .

    Is it on factory wheels and tyres , or on mahooosive alloys with 35 profiles?

    Try swapping front wheels to the back, after resetting all the tyre pressures to factory numbers. Might help , with the wheels off have a good look at all the bushes , dampers for oil leaks etc . No joy then full body alignment as recomended above.


    As others have said, you want a proper 4 wheel alignment check, and if the car’s not brand new, I’d look at having it checked on a jig to make sure all the subframes are where they should be, and that the body is straight.

    If the car’s got out of line suspension, you can get all kinds of odd handling traits. As an example, if castor is different from left to right, you effectively have a shorter wheelbase on one side to the other. And castor increases the camber angle as you steer, which helps the car to turn. If it’s out, you will get odd handling.

    My old Golf (mk iv) felt like this, even after the 4 wheel alignment and replaced bushings. Its just got awful handling. Felt like it needed correcting all the time when exiting corners and things. It was always pulling to the left as the road always slopes slightly to that side. When driven on the other side of the road if pulled to the right.

    I’d had an Impreza STI before it though, maybe i was expecting too much.


    Horatio – heard a lot of stories about MK4 Golfs wanting to follow the camber of the road, and it seems to just be the way they are.

    Premier Icon MartynS

    check your tyre pressures as well.. my mondeo has quite wide, low profile tyres. When I got it it did pull to the right, when I checked the pressure it was quite low, pumped up it made a world of difference!


    Impreza to a golf??? 😯


    The Mondeo I mentioned above with the incorrect rear toe, would need correcting all the time. Over uneven surfaces and manholes the back of the car would skip to one side, going over the centre camber of the road would result in a change of direction which didn’t inspire confidence. Reckon it was because the rear tyres were pointing in different directions, when weight transfered from one tyre to the other the stance of the car changed.

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