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Jim Grant Tech Tips Jim Grant Tech Tips
A collection of helpful articles based on reader submissions
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Below is a collection of Jim Grant's Tech Tips sorted by Vehicle Make. These Tech Tips were answers to questions submitted to Jim by users over the course of many years.
If you have any questions, please feel free to email us.



Lincoln - Mercury
  Jim Grant's Tech Tips

'95 Toyota Corolla, Radial Pull or Tire Leading

Q: After taking our ‘95 Toyota Corolla to the dealer for maintenance, we noticed a strong pull to the LEFT. The dealer said it was probably caused by a radial tire pull since they had rotated the back tires to the front. He then swapped the 2 front tires, and the pull got switched to the RIGHT. Since the tires were fairly new, he suggested we go to the tire retailer, which we did. There, they decided to do all kinds of tests, rotating the tires, balancing them, aligning them, but nothing worked. The only thing they did not do was give us a new tire. Now they're saying that we must have hit a curb and damaged the front frame of the vehicle, but if that were the case, would the pull have switched sides upon swapping the 2 front tires? And also, if the problem is being caused by a defective tire, (they say they cannot see anything wrong with the tires on the outside), how can they now find out which one is defective (after rotating so many times...)? ... Roger and Liz

A: The condition you’re describing is called radial pull or tire lead. The result of this problem is a very persistent pull in the steering to the left or right as the vehicle is being driven. The dealer did take the correct steps by cross swapping the front tires. This proved that there was a tire related problem, due to the fact that the pull in the steering switched sides with the tires. This possible frame damage by the tire store is an interesting thought. The only problem is an alignment machine would show/confirm damage to the steering/suspension or frame. Any such damage that would result in a pull would stick out like a sore thumb on today’s alignment equipment! Didn’t you say they checked the alignment? Yea I thought so. This particular tire store’s service people are not only out to lunch, they’re not going to be back soon! From what you’ve told me I wouldn’t want them working on my vehicle anyway. It’s likely that the fix for your problem will be a replacement tire. But, which tire? The trick is to get the problem tire back on the front of the vehicle and have a technician that knows what they’re doing play the swap game. In 1/2 hour or less he/she will have your problem tire pinned down.

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