2015 Hyundai Sonata: Veering to the Right
July 16, 2015
In recent weeks, the United States has seen landmark Supreme Court decisions that have tended towards the social left of the political spectrum. Meanwhile, our 2015 Hyundai Sonata is counter-acting all that by pulling hard to the right, so much so that Mike Huckabee has announced our car will be the official vehicle for his presidential campaign. (Ba-dum-tss! Thanks everybody, I'll be here all week!)
I drove about 450 miles on the highway in our Sonata recently and noticed the whole time that the car had strong tendency to pull to the right, counter-acted by holding the steering wheel slightly to the left. I'm normally forgiving of such things in our long-term test cars, but it was annoying and fatiguing on long drives in the Sonata. Plus, I knew I had another 700 miles of highway driving looming for the 4th of July holiday.
It was time to get this issue addressed. I headed over to my local tire and wheel shop (Tires Pros in Fresno, Calif.,) and had the guys there take a look.
The shop's owner was a little surprised I was actually bringing our Sonata in. Presumably they don't get many calls for alignments on new vehicles. He first suggested that a front-tire rotation might help remedy the pull. Sometimes the tires have an inherent tendency (just from the way they are made) to direct the car to the left or right instead of staying straight, he said. Swapping the front tires can help fix it. But he also said his technician would put the Sonata on their alignment machine and check it out.
It turned out that the Sonata's alignment was not correct. In particular, the toe of both rear wheels was not in the specified range. The shop speculated that this rear steering effect was causing the veering to the right.
With the tire rotation performed and the wheels now back in proper alignment, our Sonata is again rolling straight and bipartisan along the highway.
Total cost: $89.99
Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 9,754 miles