Tracks Straight Once More - 2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI Long-Term Road Test

2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI Long-Term Road Test

2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI: Tracks Straight Once More

September 9, 2013

2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI

A couple of us had noticed recently that our long-term 2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI was pulling to the right. And during my recent 900-mile road trip to the Napa Valley, it was undeniable. I always had the steering wheel cocked slightly to the left as I cruised up Interstate 5.

Upon my return to Los Angeles, I took the Passat to our local Santa Monica shop, Stokes Tire Pros, for an alignment.

2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI

A tech quickly confirmed that the Passat was indeed out of alignment. (In the midst of the day's tasks, I did not take time to inquire just how far off the factory specs it actually was. My bad. Sorry.) For $135, we got both an alignment and a tire rotation (we didn't feel like waiting until the 10,000-mile maintenance interval).

I picked up the Passat later than afternoon, and sure enough, when I hold the steering wheel straight, our diesel VW now goes straight.

Erin Riches, Deputy Editor @ 7,353 miles


  • cotak cotak Posts:

    135 seems a bit steep... Locally in Toronto at a dealership no less I can get an alignment with printout of before and after for 90 dollars, rotation's free with car service.

  • reminder reminder Posts:

    A bit early to have to align the wheels. Somebody must've banged it off a curb or pothole somewhere along the way. I'd like to think it was put together well @ the factory. Maybe.

  • noburgers noburgers Posts:

    Maybe VW's like to do the cha cha slide......

  • fordson1 fordson1 Posts:

    "The only thing I noticed that we really need to get taken care of soon (given how much I think this car will be used for long trips) is a wheel alignment. The Passat has a noticeable pull to the right, and doing three hours of minor counter-steering got pretty old. Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 2,813 miles" So two-and-a-half months and 4500 miles later, you get it taken care of. I rather chop a finger off than drive around for 4500 miles with a car that pulls to one side. This is what passes for maintenance at Edmunds.

  • duck87 duck87 Posts:

    Don't these places typically provide alignment specs for you anyways? I always get a printout sheet

  • explorerx4 explorerx4 Posts:

    Couldn't this have taken care of for free at the VW dealer?

  • agentorange agentorange Posts:

    I reckon it is at least an even bet it arrived like that. I had a truck that never seemed as stable in a straight line as I would have liked. Took it in after some offroading and the shop said there was no way it was right from the factory. Things were off that cannot be dislodged by the odd pothole. The thing was transformed on the highway.

  • stovt001_ stovt001_ Posts:

    $135 actually isn't bad by Southern California standards, especially West LA. I think the last time we got our car aligned it was in the $160 range.

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