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2012 ES350 Pulls Left/Steering Seems Stiff

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Old 06-05-13, 07:05 AM   #1
TGreen
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Default 2012 ES350 Pulls Left/Steering Seems Stiff

Recently had 2012 ES350 aligned at about 14,000 miles. Drives fairly straight at lower speeds on most roads, but on interstate has sharp left pull in left lane at around 65 mph and above. I am aware of road crown, but, in contrast to left lane pull, car has virtually no pull either way in right lane and tends to drive straight; steering at least seems to be stiffer than when I bought it and much stiffer than it seems an ES350 ought to be.

Any thoughts or experiences on this? I saw a TSB on pulling issues for 2007-2009 models, but don't see one for 2012. Also, I previously owned a 2000 Camry and I recall it had similar tendencies.

Thanks for any insight or thoughts.
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Old 06-06-13, 07:34 AM   #2
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You said it already:

"I am aware of road crown, but, in contrast to left lane pull, car has virtually no pull either way in right lane and tends to drive straight"

That's where your pull is coming from. Either that or it could be your tires tramlining on any cracks or seals on the road. I'd be more likely to say it was something wrong with the car if a lane change didn't fix it.

Check your power steering fluid level, and look for any leaks in the driveway overnight. If you have air in the system it will stiffen up. I don't think I've ever heard of a steering rack going bad on one of these cars. It definitely should not be very stiff, I can turn full lock both directions with just my index finger in my 07.
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Old 06-06-13, 07:57 AM   #3
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Default Re: Left Pull/Stiff Steering

jcat_350: Thanks for the response. I think you're right on the pull and I'm probably being too picky about it, though it just seemed odd to me that the left lane/left hand pull was noticeable versus the right lane/right hand pull. I'm probably also being too picky about the steering, though it takes a little more pressure than an index finger. Don't think it's fluid, though; had the car serviced at dealer about 2 weeks ago. Nonetheless, I will check that.
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Old 06-06-13, 09:20 AM   #4
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jcat_350: Thanks for the response. I think you're right on the pull and I'm probably being too picky about it, though it just seemed odd to me that the left lane/left hand pull was noticeable versus the right lane/right hand pull. I'm probably also being too picky about the steering, though it takes a little more pressure than an index finger. Don't think it's fluid, though; had the car serviced at dealer about 2 weeks ago. Nonetheless, I will check that.
The roads here in RI suck and are crowned all screwy, I get the same odd pull from time to time. I also need tires though and probably some front suspension bits soon.

Also check your tire pressures. Seems stupid, but low pressure on the left side would make the car pull left.
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Old 06-12-13, 06:20 AM   #5
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I have an 09 and even after a dealership alignment, i def have issues. It pulls more left (in the left lane) and goes straight in the right hand lane (if it was road crown related it would pull right in the right lane) so i don't believe it's related to the road crown....was there a fix for this?
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Old 06-12-13, 06:34 AM   #6
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I have an 09 and even after a dealership alignment, i def have issues. It pulls more left (in the left lane) and goes straight in the right hand lane (if it was road crown related it would pull right in the right lane) so i don't believe it's related to the road crown....was there a fix for this?
Not true. The road is crowned to aid in drainage. There is a more severe angle laid into the left hand lanes because that's usually the side of the road that the drains are on. The right hand lane, which typically is the side that exit ramps are on, needs to be more level to prevent unpredictable load shift in the event of taking an exit ramp.
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Old 06-12-13, 07:26 AM   #7
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Default I think it is road crown

There really doesn't appear to be a fix because I don't think there's a structural problem. The service manager at the dealer rode with me and said tires often tend to pull more strongly one way than the other. And I think Jcat_350 is correct that it's road crown because my car definitely pulls less on a different interstate than the one I typically travel every day, and it does not pull at all on non-interstate roads. It's frustrating sometimes, though, because my daily route involves lanes with a very significant left lane road crown and I feel like I'm in a fight on some portions of the road.
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Old 06-12-13, 07:44 AM   #8
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There really doesn't appear to be a fix because I don't think there's a structural problem. The service manager at the dealer rode with me and said tires often tend to pull more strongly one way than the other. And I think Jcat_350 is correct that it's road crown because my car definitely pulls less on a different interstate than the one I typically travel every day, and it does not pull at all on non-interstate roads. It's frustrating sometimes, though, because my daily route involves lanes with a very significant left lane road crown and I feel like I'm in a fight on some portions of the road.
I know the feeling. It bothers me if I'm having to put my steering wheel anywhere besides straight to make the car go straight.

Next time you're on the road that makes it pull, keep an eye out for the storm drains. I'll bet they're on the side of the road that the car is pulling to.
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Old 06-12-13, 07:49 AM   #9
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I know the feeling. It bothers me if I'm having to put my steering wheel anywhere besides straight to make the car go straight.

Next time you're on the road that makes it pull, keep an eye out for the storm drains. I'll bet they're on the side of the road that the car is pulling to.
Jcat_350, I already know that you are absolutely correct--they are in the median part nearest the left lane. Thanks for your input in this.
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Old 06-13-13, 07:31 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattds View Post
I have an 09 and even after a dealership alignment, i def have issues. It pulls more left (in the left lane) and goes straight in the right hand lane (if it was road crown related it would pull right in the right lane) so i don't believe it's related to the road crown....was there a fix for this?
I wanted to get an alignment done soon by the dealer. Are you telling me it will be a waste?

I find my car always pulling left at highway speeds in either lane. I.e. leave wheel straight, wait 2 seconds and starts to pull left (at 100 km/h).
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Old 06-13-13, 09:40 PM   #11
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It could be a waste of time if it's a tire problem or a dragging brake. If it hasn't been done already swap the back wheels for the fronts (side for side), and at the same time check for a dragging/not fully releasing brake. See if that makes a difference.
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Old 06-13-13, 09:40 PM
 
 
 
 
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2007, 350, alignment, car, es, es350, gx, issues, left, lexus, pulling, rx, tsb, veering, veers

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