Subaru Ascent Forum banner

1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
107 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Since new, I've felt my Ascent has a slight pull to the left. Obviously there are certain factors which can contribute to this like cross wind and the crown of the road itself. I drive primarily longer distances on the highway and during those drives I feel like I constantly correcting to the right regardless of which lane I'm in or which direction the wind is blowing.

To be clear, it's not to the point where it will dart to the left if I release the wheel but it will definitely begin to wander that way within a few seconds. When I'm in the right lane, where one would expect to correct slightly to the left, the Ascent tracks straight.

Tire pressures are spot on and I've had the dealer do both a road-force balance and alignment (both of which were off) but the problem persists. I'm a bigger person and thought maybe my mass on one side of the vehicle adding to the problem but there's no change when I have my wife and kid along and sitting on the passenger side.

Despite the balance and alignment, I also get a slight vibration at 75 mph. It can be felt primarily in the steering wheel and produces low hum. I'm at the point now where I'm wondering if I have a bad tire. Tomorrow I plan to do a rotation to see if it changes anything.

Anyone else experience this?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
92 Posts
Cars are aligned with a slight left bias to account for the crown in most roads. It could be due to how the roads in your area were built.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
96 Posts
Cars are aligned with a slight left bias to account for the crown in most roads. It could be due to how the roads in your area were built.
I call BS. There is no "left bias" in the alignment of the Ascent, or any other car I've studied. You can check out the alignment specs yourself.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
85 Posts
I don't find that it actually pulls to the left but I DO find that with a very light touch on the wheel it is easier to nudge left than right for some reason.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
653 Posts
cars with a proper alignment will follow road crown, (left or right) and will also follow pavement track and channels. If the car is pulling left, you need to have the alignment checked. Start with tire pressures. If your passenger side front is significantly higher than the driver side. The car will drag to the left. Rear tire pressures can also affect this in similar way.

Check your tires, check your alignment.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
107 Posts
Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
I had the dealership do an alignment and it found camber to be out of spec on both the driver's-side wheels. I asked if they had the alignment profile for an Ascent and they claim they did (some dealerships have not purchased it yet). I always ask for the before/after printout and saw "Forester" at the top so I don't know what that's all about. According to that sheet I'm right on spec.

The dealership also insists on inflating my tires to the 35psi cold spec for the 18" wheels every time they see it despite me having the Touring/Limited 20's. I brought that down to recommended 33psi cold.

Wheel balance was slightly off at delivery with each driver's-side tire needing a 10g weight added.

Tonight I decided to rotate the tires front to back to see where that lands me. At this point the only things I can think of and I'm admittedly shooting from the hip:


  • Brake dragging slightly
  • Bad tire
  • Damaged wheel
  • Alignment was done improperly
  • Uneven suspension rates
  • Bent suspension component
Obviously not apples to apples but our '18 Outback drives as one would expect. I need to add a slight correction depending on what lane I'm in to compensate for the road crown. Slightly right in the left lane and vice versa.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
277 Posts
The dealership also insists on inflating my tires to the 35psi cold spec for the 18" wheels every time they see it despite me having the Touring/Limited 20's. I brought that down to recommended 33psi cold.

There is a place-card on the door frame with the pressure. This is an ultimate mfg guide for me how to inflate
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
I had the dealership do an alignment and it found camber to be out of spec on both the driver's-side wheels. I asked if they had the alignment profile for an Ascent and they claim they did (some dealerships have not purchased it yet). I always ask for the before/after printout and saw "Forester" at the top so I don't know what that's all about. According to that sheet I'm right on spec.

The dealership also insists on inflating my tires to the 35psi cold spec for the 18" wheels every time they see it despite me having the Touring/Limited 20's. I brought that down to recommended 33psi cold.

Wheel balance was slightly off at delivery with each driver's-side tire needing a 10g weight added.

Tonight I decided to rotate the tires front to back to see where that lands me. At this point the only things I can think of and I'm admittedly shooting from the hip:


  • Brake dragging slightly
  • Bad tire
  • Damaged wheel
  • Alignment was done improperly
  • Uneven suspension rates
  • Bent suspension component
Obviously not apples to apples but our '18 Outback drives as one would expect. I need to add a slight correction depending on what lane I'm in to compensate for the road crown. Slightly right in the left lane and vice versa.
Please keep us updated on this, it's such an odd thing for a brand new vehicle to have to deal with. The camber being off spec is also very odd, they must of done it incorrectly at the factory? Looks like you already know what to look for and I don't think I've seen another topic/complaint similar to this on the forums. Have you taken a tape measurer to the wheel wells when the vehicle is on flat ground? See if everything is level, that could indicate the suspension problems.


On topic, off manufacturer story - I leased a new Mercedes C300 sedan and noticed it had a right steer bias when letting go of the wheel. Dealership confirmed the bias, ended up this German sedan was designed that way on purpose. "If you fall asleep at the wheel, the car will gently drive onto the shoulder". Mercedes even created a kit to correct this steering bias and let the car drive straight at all times, just for Americans, but it had to be specifically requested to be installed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
107 Posts
Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Please keep us updated on this, it's such an odd thing for a brand new vehicle to have to deal with. The camber being off spec is also very odd, they must of done it incorrectly at the factory? Looks like you already know what to look for and I don't think I've seen another topic/complaint similar to this on the forums. Have you taken a tape measurer to the wheel wells when the vehicle is on flat ground? See if everything is level, that could indicate the suspension problems.
I didn't measure the ride height although I do agree with your logic. I did decide to rotate the tires side-to-side this morning which combined with last night's effort resulted in the opposite corner method. When looking at the tread pattern, I am a little surprised the Falkens are non-directional.



Now, I find the Ascent smoother to drive with less vibration in the wheel. The pesky subtle vibration at 75mph is all but gone. It's hard to judge whether I'm pulling one way or the other because we're experiencing a strong west wind today and I have primarily north/south routes. I do feel that improvement has been made there as well however.

I feel like I'm getting closer to getting this ironed out. My next step is to have an independent shop look at the tires and wheels themselves.

On topic, off manufacturer story - I leased a new Mercedes C300 sedan and noticed it had a right steer bias when letting go of the wheel. Dealership confirmed the bias, ended up this German sedan was designed that way on purpose. "If you fall asleep at the wheel, the car will gently drive onto the shoulder". Mercedes even created a kit to correct this steering bias and let the car drive straight at all times, just for Americans, but it had to be specifically requested to be installed.
That is VERY interesting. I've never heard of such a thing before.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Artvon

I also had significant problems with alignment and poor tracking of my new Ascent. Within the first week of ownership, I requested an alignment check, was told by dealer they had not yet received specs and couldn’t help me. After a call to Subaru customer service, they provided the specs to the dealer. In the interim, my wife and I drove the Ascent to Florida and came home”hating” the car due to it’s darting and wandering that made it extremely fatiguing. I had very serious buyer regret and was ready to dump the car and never own a Subaru again. The alignment helped significantly, but it was still not an easy car to drive on the highway. I read several comments on the forum re’ sway bar bushing upgrades and have personally used this trick before to improve roadability. I started with polyurethane bushings on the rear with a noticeable improvement, but after about 1500 more miles, decided to also do the fronts and added polyurethane bushings there also. ( I used 19 mm on back, 24mm on front. Had a somewhat miserable time with the front spoiler pan, but otherwise a straight forward install.) AMAZINGLY the set of 4 bushings TRANSFORMED the Ascent to a very nice highway driver! I cannot appreciate any ride/ noise/ vibration deterioration or anything I would call a negative effect...all Ascents should have stiffer bushings,in my opinion. I hope this will help others who have disliked the wobbly,darting character of this otherwise amazing vehicle!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,535 Posts
Old thread, new case. I’m tracking only 2 issues on my Ascent at 30.5k mi and they’re more of a slight annoyance than anything else...

I noticed a couple months ago my Ascent is pulling left more than right. I’ve pulled up the menu to view steering angle while driving. If I hold the wheel at 0° on a straight road it tracks nice and straight. However, regardless of the slope of the road, if I let go of the wheel it’ll stay straight a couple seconds then wander up to ~0.2° left. I’ve reproduced this in any lane on multiple roads traveling in both directions on the same road. I also turned off LKA to make sure it wasn’t the culprit. I find LKA, when on, is bouncing me off the left side of the lane more often now too.
Alignment was done on March 10 and didn’t change its behavior. I rotated the tires today to see if there’s any change and I’ll report back with results after I get some more miles on the clock
What am I missing here?

ps the other issue I alluded to is a tpms warning anytime I’m on the highway more than ~10 minutes. Curious if they’re related. I think the tpms issue had something to do with my front right wheel, which is now on the rear left.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
6,795 Posts
Old thread, new case. I’m tracking only 2 issues on my Ascent at 30.5k mi and they’re more of a slight annoyance than anything else...

I noticed a couple months ago my Ascent is pulling left more than right. I’ve pulled up the menu to view steering angle while driving. If I hold the wheel at 0° on a straight road it tracks nice and straight. However, regardless of the slope of the road, if I let go of the wheel it’ll stay straight a couple seconds then wander up to ~0.2° left. I’ve reproduced this in any lane on multiple roads traveling in both directions on the same road. I also turned off LKA to make sure it wasn’t the culprit. I find LKA, when on, is bouncing me off the left side of the lane more often now too.
Alignment was done on March 10 and didn’t change its behavior. I rotated the tires today to see if there’s any change and I’ll report back with results after I get some more miles on the clock
What am I missing here?

ps the other issue I alluded to is a tpms warning anytime I’m on the highway more than ~10 minutes. Curious if they’re related. I think the tpms issue had something to do with my front right wheel, which is now on the rear left.
I'd manually check the tire pressures perhaps. Looking forward to seeing if the tire rotation changes behavior.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,535 Posts
Thursday report: I'm not convinced rotating the tires solved the pulling to the left issue, but i'm not convinced it didn't help either. I put 60 miles on her today. The only times I was able to get it to drift to the right was when the lane was seriously sloped to the right.

heading over to update my TPMS Problem thread next...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
689 Posts
... it's such an odd thing for a brand new vehicle to have to deal with. The camber being off spec is also very odd, they must of done it incorrectly at the factory?
It’s actually quite common to buy a brand new Subaru that needs an alignment from the factory.
I’ve had 3 of my many new Subaru’s need an alignment (not the Ascent.)
We’re even allowed one free alignment in our factory 3yr warranty. Use it!
The alignment techs at my dealer say the “majority” of new brand new Subaru’s are out of spec, it’s just a question of how much. They align new cars all the time.
Ive heard rumors that they are fully aligned at the factory, but something happens during shipping and it’s worse with the Japan-manufactered cars.
Use the free alignment before your 3 years is up, whether you think you need one or not. Time it with a new tire purchase.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
6,795 Posts
It’s actually quite common to buy a brand new Subaru that needs an alignment from the factory.
I’ve had 3 of my many new Subaru’s need an alignment (not the Ascent.)
We’re even allowed one free alignment in our factory 3yr warranty. Use it!
The alignment techs at my dealer say the “majority” of new brand new Subaru’s are out of spec, it’s just a question of how much. They align new cars all the time.
Ive heard rumors that they are fully aligned at the factory, but something happens during shipping and it’s worse with the Japan-manufactered cars.
Use the free alignment before your 3 years is up, whether you think you need one or not. Time it with a new tire purchase.
Yeah, I've heard that they get strapped down really hard onto the car carriers, and that it's a ridiculously bumpy ride. add "over"-inflated tires (45psi) which makes every bump even harsher, and it gets worse. I've seen some of our cross country freight lines, and the tracks are often wavy, bumpy, gapped runs. I could imagine things getting jostled around a lot.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,672 Posts
Thursday report: I'm not convinced rotating the tires solved the pulling to the left issue, but i'm not convinced it didn't help either. I put 60 miles on her today. The only times I was able to get it to drift to the right was when the lane was seriously sloped to the right.

heading over to update my TPMS Problem thread next...
Your Ascent clearly was reincarnated. It used to be a race track car.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
487 Posts
My Ascent has its own mind,goes left when it wants and right when it wants to.Been through 2 alignments,not to mention driving on a highway on a windy day can be adventurous.
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top