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2017 Caravan GT pulls to right


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9 replies to this topic

#1 bsturn83

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 06:14 PM

My brand new Grand Caravan GT less than 2k mies has been pulling to the right. Dealer checked alignment which was spot on, reversed front tires, it still pulls to the right. At 60 mph on a straight hwy. set it straight, let go of wheel and count, you don't get to 3 or 4 and it is over the white line. I need to keep constant pressure on the steering wheel to keep vehicle straight. Went back to Dealer yesterday, he said they don't have a clue, they would need to keep it a few days but they don't have a loaner. Anyone have any ideas or suggestions?









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#2 Whiteknight

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Posted 21 June 2017 - 09:07 PM

1 Would still rotate tires front to back. 2 R&P pressure applying more pressure to right side in rack. 3 rear alignment thrust angle excessive. And just because it's in specs could also cause a pull. There's good specs and bad good specs. Hope this helps

#3 bsturn83

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Posted 24 June 2017 - 02:30 AM

Thanks Whitenight for your input. I have an appointment next week with the Dealer I bought the car from, hopefully he will have more interest than the local one I went to. The rotary valve on the rack and pinion steering must have an adjustment but  that might not be the cause.

 

I've had one service rep. tell me that the factory sets the steering to pull to the right in case you fall asleep while driving. Anyway, I'll post what I find out next week. Thanks again.



#4 Squeak

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Posted 01 February 2018 - 12:45 PM

You didn't post what you found out - but I have heard the same about manufacturers setting a right turn tendency (left turn in the United Kingdom - which is where I heard it).



#5 bsturn83

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Posted 01 February 2018 - 04:25 PM

Thanks Squeak for reminding me. All in all it has been a terrible experience and a major loss of money, 1/3 of purchase price down the drain and only 4 months of owning it.

Four trips to two different Chrysler dealers, rode with techs that admitted that it pulled to right but car was within specs. Two times I was told that FCA sets these passenger vans to pull right in case you fall asleep. The Chrysler rep. told me that it was the crown in the road! I even talked to an Attorney in Colorado who started saying the same thing. B.S.! I even drove a new Pacifica Limited and it did the same thing. Then I went and drove a new Toyota Sienna and it didn't pull right.

I have driven these roads for over forty years and in ten different vehicles including a Chrysler 300 and never did I have a car that would turn to the right when I released the wheel. I took video of this car going down the road at 65 mph on a straight section and released the wheel and with a fast count of three it had veered across the right white line. A Chrysler service manager viewed this video and said that was "drastic". I have written proof that service tech wrote that it pulled to right. FCA refused to do anything about it. I believe that FCA has a responsibility to tell buyers that their  mini vans drive differently than other vehicles and could be unsafe.

I am now driving a GMC Yukon for the past four months and it drives perfectly and stays on the road. I will never touch a FCA product again.



#6 TJL

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Posted 02 February 2018 - 08:20 PM

A pull to either side is usually caused by a bad tire, it does not have to be a front tire or even just 1 tire.

Both front and rear tires should be switched from side to side, or a complete new set of tires tried.

I worked for 10 years in a tire shop and have seen a new set of tires causing a pull when installed.

Wheel alignment specs. are set to counter a drift to the right caused by the crown of most roads, road crown is used so rain water will run to side and not pool on the road.

I have also seen defective or damaged hydraulic steering gears causing a pull.

In one severe case the steering wheel rotated on it's own when the engine is started with the wheels off the ground.



#7 bsturn83

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Posted 02 February 2018 - 08:49 PM

Yes TJL, what you say is correct but in my case it wasn't just my Dodge that pulled right, I test drove two other 2017 Grand Caravans and a 2017 Pacifica Limited, all brand new and all of them pulled to the right. As I  stated above, I then test drove a new Toyota Sienna and it did not pull right but drove straight.

 

Finally, I am inclined to believe two different Chrysler Service Advisors that stated quite clearly " They make these minivans pull to right in case you fall asleep, that prevents a head on crash"

 

 All Chrysler minivans pull to the right because they are adjusted that way at the factory! I am waiting on FCA to deny this.



#8 Jagoil

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Posted 10 March 2018 - 02:39 PM

Hi I'm new to this form.

I have this pull to right issue.Brand new 60 kms on van. I've heard every excuse from dealer. road crown, tires, alignment, to engineered into vehicle. Finally dealer put in a camber kit(bolt) and says it's 1005 better, NOT. I said you can have vehicle back and they laughed. Still anyone get a fix before I trade it in and loose thousands.



#9 michaelGen5

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Posted 27 March 2018 - 12:51 AM

I'd put my money on a Radial Tire Pull, I've driven several other NEW G/C that didn't pull, nor does my 2015 CVP. Mind you they don't seem to have much self centering either. I would bet they have gone to very little positive caster for easier steering.

If there was a way to adjust caster, I would add at least 2 degrees + to whatever is there now, but unfortunately we are stuck with the caster as built into the design.

I just added a bit more toe-in to mine to see if that helps with the directional stability. A vehicle that doesn't have a lot of directional stability, is going to follow the crown of the road (wander), left or right, in a more pronounced way than one with more directional stability. This is different than the pull you are experiencing, but could make that pull more aggravating.

On the subject of Radial Pull, I have had three tires that pull over the life of 3 or 4 vehicles, and guess where they ended up on every single vehicle - front right every time. Just dumb luck. Every factory service manual these days discusses radial pull, and they all say that if you put that tire on the back it won't affect handling.

 

In extreme cases a slight pull can also be balanced out with differential tire pressure - I've done that when I had no other option. You put 2 psi more on the side it is pulling toward (pulls right add 2psi right), and if that is not enough, reduce the tire pressure on the opposite side (non - pull side) by 2 psi. This works really well with a radial tire pull.

I wouldn't go past 2 psi, but that little bit of difference in pressure won't affect tire wear to any great extent, in my experience.

I also do not think that the OEM no-season tires are helping with directional stability, nor do I think the pull you are experiencing is from the rear thrust angle, the back axle would have to be so far off these things would be going down the road sideways, besides they are front wheel drive, they PULL the vehicle.

 

Update to adding additional toe - in: (2018 April 27)

I added an extra 1/8 inch (total) toe in to my 2015, putting total toe at 3/16 inch (in), and what a difference it made. Steering is now lighter, and the van wants to go in a straight line all by itself. Toe is still within spec. so tire wear should not be a factor, but this is just what was needed to make the front end feel a bit more lively and a pleasure to drive. It is less sensitive to road camber also. I would still like more caster, maybe if I ever replace the struts I`ll modify the mounting holes to tip the struts back a bit more at the top.

 

Maybe this information will help someone else, because I drove a brand new (4 km) 2017 at the dealership for reference and it had identical steering characteristics to the way mine used to be - poor directional stability, heavier steering and in general not a pleasure to drive, so I know that my 2015 didn't have anything seriously wrong with it, it was just aligned that way. I have read that front end alignment is now done robotically, so every van SHOULD be the same. I should re-iterate that mine has never had a PULL problem, but the lack of directional stability was bothersome. Magazine reviews, some of them high mileage long term tests, have always given the Gen 5 High Marks for steering and handling, with no mention of a pull or wander. Does this mean that these problems are the new normal to be expected in modern vehicles? And why didn`t any of them encounter a pull.

 

My sympathies to those who have vehicles that appear to have a built-in bias to pull right. This reminds me of the 1970s era Chrysler A-Bodies (Dodge Darts, Plymouth Valiants) that did the same thing, Every single one of them dog tracked on the highway, you could easily see it if you followed one, and most pulled right as well. Chrysler, and of course the dealers didn't want to know about it, just gave one lame excuse after another to get the Customer to leave and when pushed, everything they tried made the problem worse, but I had to go to the Technical Zone Manager to get anything done. The problem never was satisfactorily resolved either. 

This sounds like the treatment some of you are getting with your G/C pulls to the right.

Service departments, unfortunately are set up ONLY to make money, and it would probably take a threat of a Class Action Suit to get FCA moving on this. (Just like the HVAC Control Problem over almost 10 years, that they finally admitted to with a big recall in 2017).

Service Departments don't make any money on complaints like these, and what's worse is the service writer is likely not even technically qualified, and probably a relative of the owner just being groomed to take over the dealership some day. His job is to SELL service that may or may not be needed.

 

 

Speaking of Zone Managers the line about pulling to the right in case someone dozes off is a CROCK! These things are robotically aligned at the factory, so if their alignment equipment is in error, every single van will end up with exactly the same error, until someone fixes the problem at the factory. I have difficulty imagining what could be off in alignment though to cause a pull. Caster is not an adjustment, and even if it was there would have to be a significant error in cross-caster to cause a pull, camber would have to be off an awful lot, enough that you would see the right front wheel leaning out at the top, besides it is not adjustable on assembly, and as someone pointed out installing a camber kit was not the answer. Toe is adjustable, but it doesn't cause a pull, toe out makes the steering lazy and heavy with a tendency to wander, toe in makes the steering more lively, and within normal specs more directional with less wander. These vans seem to like the maximum toe in spec of 3/16 inch total.

 

Edit 2018 04 05  Camber out instead of in


Edited by michaelGen5, 15 April 2018 - 12:04 PM.


#10 michael2015

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Posted 28 April 2018 - 12:50 AM

Tell your dealer to refer to The Factory Service Manual > Front Suspension > Alignment 

 

I cannot believe he isn't aware of this, but the Front Suspension Cross Member is adjustable to correct Pulls to either The Left, The Right and also to adjust Caster, Both Left and Right.

 

Surely there is an FSB on this, with this many complaints.


Edited by michael2015, 28 April 2018 - 01:10 AM.





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