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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My story is not a short one. Suffice to say I was excited about the amAscent when I began looking for three-row SUVs back in May of 2018. I was leasing a Crosstrek at the time, my sixth Subaru, and was unfortunately in an accident that totaled that car in August of 2018. I placed an order for my Touring trim Ascent and waited eight weeks until the delivery date on October 28th. Upon receiving the car it was everything I hoped it would be and more. That is until I had a flat fixed! Skip ahead five months and as of this moment I've had the car in front of three different mechanic shops, two of them dealerships, and I've engaged with Subaru customer support. I have never been treated so badly by any customer support office ever as I was by Subaru's! I was blown away that Subaru Loyalty means so little, and that issues not able to be identified by the dealership are not even taken as legitimate inquiries. So all this is to say, Buyer Beware! The new electronic steering that they're putting in these cars is not ready for wider adoption if a simple tire change can completely hork up the steering to the point where the car is bouncing off the sides of the lane and the even lane keep assist can't keep the car inside the lane. At this point driving my Subaru EVER DAY frustrates me to the point I want to drive it off of a cliff. I caution anyone against buying the Subaru Ascent until they have addressed this problem, but because they refuse to even acknowledge it it will probably be a few years before it's addressed. Right now mechanics are chalking it up to road crown, potholes, alignment, etc. I have had 5 alignments done on my car in the last 5 months and I know it's not that or the other any if the other excuses that they're trying to come up with. This is typical behavior from a dealership mechanic shop that cannot identify an issue-they refuse to even acknowledge that there is one! I am EXTREMELY disappointed in Subaru and will not be buying an eighth. Moreover I'm going to get rid of this POS as soon as I can. In the back of my mind I'm thinking, I'll go trade it in and they'll drive it and then come back and say it has some steering issue. LOL. I have to laugh about it right now because I would just go crazy owing $45,000 on a complete piece of s***. DO NOT BUT AN ASCENT!!!
 

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Was it a flat front tire and you put the compact spare on there instead of moving a rear tire to the front and using the compact spare for the rear tire? If so, you did not follow the manual's compact spare tire use instructions and may have caused the issue.

The how to use the compact spare is really weird to me. Hope you get help from Subaru. Have you called SoA corporate customer service yet? 1-800-782-2783
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Was it a flat front tire and you put the compact spare on there instead of moving a rear tire to the front and using the compact spare for the rear tire? If so, you did not follow the manual's spare tire use instructions and may have caused the issue.

The how to use the compact spare is used really weird to me. Hope you get help from Subaru. Have you called SoA customer service yet? 1-800-782-2783

Luckily I carry a small compressor. Slow leak and dash notification of low pressure meant I got to the shop for fixing before it went all the way flat. Didn't need to use the spare. When they fixed the flat, car started pulling at random and steering felt like my 2004 Jeep Liberty. They didn't do a full alignment originally as requested but only the wheel in question. This made things worse so I took to dealership and they said nothing is wrong. Been trying to show them my issue since then but they keep saying "the steering cannot be adjusted, and if there were issues there would be codes". Not much real investigation done. I've had 5 now and still pulling all over the place and loose. Makes people in my 2nd row sick. What a POS! I did call Subaru CS and was treated so poorly! I worked at front desks at 4-5 Diamond hotels and I know what customer service should be at a MINIMUM. This didn't even top that. Worse than Burger King at 3am.
 

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Have you looked at what your state's lemon laws qualifications are and if you qualify? If you do, call SoA CS again and tell them you're going to file for it.

As a former rooms and res manger for Hilton I always call again and see try to speak with a different CS agent in those situations.
 

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I'm sad to hear that you've had problems with this, but while I could be wrong, I don't recall others have the same problem. Something is amiss with your specific vehicle. I've also never had an issue with dealer service and always been treated well by SOA customer service the few times I've interacted with them. I hope you get a resolution.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Have you looked at what your state's lemon laws qualifications are and if you qualify? If you do, call SoA CS again and tell them you're going to file for it.

As a former rooms and res manger for Hilton I always call again and see try to speak with a different CS agent in those situations.
Well, I am keeping that in my pocket but not ready yet. There's some things I need to do before contacting them again, as you say. I'm trying to be realistic and thorough but this is driving me crazy. No pun intended.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'm sad to hear that you've had problems with this, but while I could be wrong, I don't recall others have the same problem. Something is amiss with your specific vehicle. I've also never had an issue with dealer service and always been treated well by SOA customer service the few times I've interacted with them. I hope you get a resolution.
I have too! This is the only major issues I've experienced in 15 years! I've never had to call Support. Was just blown away with how bad it was. I'm just saying that if a simple tire repair can cause such a noticeable difference in the steering, that is apparently not fixable, there has to be an issue. I'm the only driver of this vehicle.
 

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Have you tried switching the wheels to different positions? Is it possible the wheel is improperly mounted?
 

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There is no way a simple tire change would change the steering unless something was done improperly. A wheel needs to be re-installed after being properly balanced. Was that done? The tire must not have blemishes. The wheel must be installed flat against the surface. The lug nuts must be tightened to correct torque. Lug nuts must be installed evenly. No damage should be seen in linkages. Wheel must not be damaged. I have no idea of any of these factors in your instance, but all else being good, changing a tire would have zero effect on steering.
My story is not a short one. Suffice to say I was excited about the amAscent when I began looking for three-row SUVs back in May of 2018. I was leasing a Crosstrek at the time, my sixth Subaru, and was unfortunately in an accident that totaled that car in August of 2018. I placed an order for my Touring trim Ascent and waited eight weeks until the delivery date on October 28th. Upon receiving the car it was everything I hoped it would be and more. That is until I had a flat fixed! Skip ahead five months and as of this moment I've had the car in front of three different mechanic shops, two of them dealerships, and I've engaged with Subaru customer support. I have never been treated so badly by any customer support office ever as I was by Subaru's! I was blown away that Subaru Loyalty means so little, and that issues not able to be identified by the dealership are not even taken as legitimate inquiries. So all this is to say, Buyer Beware! The new electronic steering that they're putting in these cars is not ready for wider adoption if a simple tire change can completely hork up the steering to the point where the car is bouncing off the sides of the lane and the even lane keep assist can't keep the car inside the lane. At this point driving my Subaru EVER DAY frustrates me to the point I want to drive it off of a cliff. I caution anyone against buying the Subaru Ascent until they have addressed this problem, but because they refuse to even acknowledge it it will probably be a few years before it's addressed. Right now mechanics are chalking it up to road crown, potholes, alignment, etc. I have had 5 alignments done on my car in the last 5 months and I know it's not that or the other any if the other excuses that they're trying to come up with. This is typical behavior from a dealership mechanic shop that cannot identify an issue-they refuse to even acknowledge that there is one! I am EXTREMELY disappointed in Subaru and will not be buying an eighth. Moreover I'm going to get rid of this POS as soon as I can. In the back of my mind I'm thinking, I'll go trade it in and they'll drive it and then come back and say it has some steering issue. LOL. I have to laugh about it right now because I would just go crazy owing $45,000 on a complete piece of s***. DO NOT BUT AN ASCENT!!!
 

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By now there are over 100k Ascents on the road, and who knows how many thousands of those have had flat tires and/or tires replaced entirely. Yet none of those owners have complained on the forum yet in 18+ months of ownership about this problem. Sorry, but I think something must be wrong with your wheel and/or tire. Id get another shop to pull the entire wheel off, check the rim for imperfections, make sure the tire is balanced correctly and then try again. I am having a super hard time believing that this isn’t something specifically wrong with your wheel.
 

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By now there are over 100k Ascents on the road, and who knows how many thousands of those have had flat tires and/or tires replaced entirely. Yet none of those owners have complained on the forum yet in 18+ months of ownership about this problem. Sorry, but I think something must be wrong with your wheel and/or tire. Id get another shop to pull the entire wheel off, check the rim for imperfections, make sure the tire is balanced correctly and then try again. I am having a super hard time believing that this isn’t something specifically wrong with your wheel.
I agree with this assessment. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Have you tried moving the front tires to the back? This would help to determine if you have a bad wheel or a bad tire. Either can cause the symptoms you're having.

If you had a flat you could have also broken a belt in the tire. This is sometimes hard to see and diagnose but it can cause steering issues.

A bad wheel or tire is more likely to cause the issues you're having than an already inspected for damage steering rack.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
There is no way a simple tire change would change the steering unless something was done improperly. A wheel needs to be re-installed after being properly balanced. Was that done? The tire must not have blemishes. The wheel must be installed flat against the surface. The lug nuts must be tightened to correct torque. Lug nuts must be installed evenly. No damage should be seen in linkages. Wheel must not be damaged. I have no idea of any of these factors in your instance, but all else being good, changing a tire would have zero effect on steering.
Here's exactly how it went. They fixed the flat and the steering was fine, just pulled a little. Took it back for full alignment and they callme 20 minutes later and said it was done. Turns out they didn't do a full alignment. They just "put the wheel back into alignment", something they called a thrust alignment. Ever since then the steering has been an issue, like 1/4" to 1/2" of looseness or "give" now, corners are sloppy and lane bouncing is every day, every mile. Right now I'm still wrestling with purchasing new non-factory tires. I agree that the wheel may have been put on incorrectly but the 2nd dealership took it off again to adjusted the break pad, as I had lost breaking power and picked up a huge consistent sqeek as well. I don't want to say the name of the original tire shop but there's a reason they were just out up for sale nation-wide.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I agree with this assessment. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Have you tried moving the front tires to the back? This would help to determine if you have a bad wheel or a bad tire. Either can cause the symptoms you're having.

If you had a flat you could have also broken a belt in the tire. This is sometimes hard to see and diagnose but it can cause steering issues.

A bad wheel or tire is more likely to cause the issues you're having than an already inspected for damage steering rack.
I'm just saying, I was going somewhere with my daughter just today and trying to keep the car in my lane on some very bad roads downtown. She couldn't believe how much the car was jerking and how jostled the ride was. She said, "is the wheel pulling or are you doing that"? It's so bad at times times feels like it does when the lane keep assist takes the wheel, but it's turned off and we're going 25 mph. It's just the car making me fight just to keep straight every where I go! Urgh! My dad couldn't even ride in my new decked-out car when he came up for Christmas because it made him sick. And two dealerships and one Senior Engineer from Subaru want to tell me there nothing wrong. URGH!

( Calming down) I will have a rotation done with the next oil change, part of a lifetime oil change program I bought with the, ahem, car. (So down about this, but hope you're right. If you only knew how many times in my life I got the "special" one.)
 

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Here's exactly how it went. They fixed the flat and the steering was fine, just pulled a little. Took it back for full alignment and they callme 20 minutes later and said it was done. Turns out they didn't do a full alignment. They just "put the wheel back into alignment", something they called a thrust alignment. Ever since then the steering has been an issue, like 1/4" to 1/2" of looseness or "give" now, corners are sloppy and lane bouncing is every day, every mile. Right now I'm still wrestling with purchasing new non-factory tires. I agree that the wheel may have been put on incorrectly but the 2nd dealership took it off again to adjusted the break pad, as I had lost breaking power and picked up a huge consistent sqeek as well. I don't want to say the name of the original tire shop but there's a reason they were just out up for sale nation-wide.
First, it would be useful to learn how you got the flat. Did you run over a nail. Hit a curb, snow bank or something else entirely? Secondly, it appears you first went to a tire shop simply to fix a flat. Not a subaru dealership. Nothing wrong with that, but I would tell you it would never occur to me to ask for an alignment after having a flat unless other damage was involved as part of the original incident. Fourth. Thrust alignment is all about assuring all four tires are pointing straight relative to the car and eachother. Either there was damage originally done or who ever did your 1st alignment may have messed something up. This has nothing to do with the electronic steering, but rather what is going on at the wheels. Who did each of your alignments? Did the Subaru dealership actually drive the Ascent to experience your steering problem? Your written description was not precise or clear to me in regard to many elements of this incident. The Subaru dealership is likely correct, that there is nothing wrong with your electronic steering itself. The culprit is elsewhere. Your original post rightly expressed your frustration, but wrongly directed the problem at the design of the Ascents. You have posted your earning in multiple forum threads with little relevant supporting detail. I have been assuming you are familiar with la. if you are not that may be one issue. I would suggest for the purpose of diagnosis, turn it off for a drive test. I find it hard to imagine that given the severity you describe that multiple Subaru mechanics and an SOA engineer all would have an entirely different drive experience. Unless you are.not familiar with lka. Have you driven in the car when they are driving it?
 

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Before the thread goes to hell, can you post the alignment report/sheets (before and after would be better), OP?
 

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There is no way a simple tire change would change the steering unless something was done improperly. A wheel needs to be re-installed after being properly balanced. Was that done? The tire must not have blemishes. The wheel must be installed flat against the surface. The lug nuts must be tightened to correct torque. Lug nuts must be installed evenly. No damage should be seen in linkages. Wheel must not be damaged. I have no idea of any of these factors in your instance, but all else being good, changing a tire would have zero effect on steering.
This is a good point, were the tires rebalanced in this troubleshooting process as it does sound like out of balance tires. Have you felt around all the tires to see if one has a bulge or tried to determine if there is a bad belt in one of the tires? A damaged rim could cause this as well.

If you know which tire was repaired move it to the rear and see if how the issue is presenting changes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
First, it would be useful to learn how you got the flat. Did you run over a nail. Hit a curb, snow bank or something else entirely? Secondly, it appears you first went to a tire shop simply to fix a flat. Not a subaru dealership. Nothing wrong with that, but I would tell you it would never occur to me to ask for an alignment after having a flat unless other damage was involved as part of the original incident. Fourth. Thrust alignment is all about assuring all four tires are pointing straight relative to the car and eachother. Either there was damage originally done or who ever did your 1st alignment may have messed something up. This has nothing to do with the electronic steering, but rather what is going on at the wheels. Who did each of your alignments? Did the Subaru dealership actually drive the Ascent to experience your steering problem? Your written description was not precise or clear to me in regard to many elements of this incident. The Subaru dealership is likely correct, that there is nothing wrong with your electronic steering itself. The culprit is elsewhere. Your original post rightly expressed your frustration, but wrongly directed the problem at the design of the Ascents. You have posted your earning in multiple forum threads with little relevant supporting detail. I have been assuming you are familiar with la. if you are not that may be one issue. I would suggest for the purpose of diagnosis, turn it off for a drive test. I find it hard to imagine that given the severity you describe that multiple Subaru mechanics and an SOA engineer all would have an entirely different drive experience. Unless you are.not familiar with lka. Have you driven in the car when they are driving it?
Lots in there. I'll try to answer all. Flat caused by a large bolt, not sure where I picked it up. I've heard that for optimal driving have a full alignment done any time a wheel comes off the car. Maybe just more dealership BS. Dealership A did two alignments and dealership B did two, after the thrust alignment done by the tire shop for five total. I agree, that first one seemed to hork something pretty badly. Both dealerships provided me their "best mechanic" and the Subaru specialist had it all day and overnight the last time. There was NO damage prior to this. I only drive 20m per day and store in garage on both sides of my commute. This was my baby! I miss 99% of potholes too. I know this is not Lane Assist. I am very familiar and actually experience my issue mostly at slower speeds in town. I only use LA on the highway most of the time. One of the symptoms is a steering wheel which can remain at "11pm" while the car is going straight down my driveway. The wheel is also so loose that when I am so pulling into my garage I have to move the wheel quickly back and forth just to keep it straight; I used to pull in nice and tight, it never did that before. Dealership B noticed what I was trying to point out after I took over driving and demonstrated for him. He said that the other dealership must have forgotten to lock the wheel when they did the alignment so he said he'd fix it. He tried and it got a little better but it's still off and loose and wasn't like that before the thrust alignment (#1).
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
This is a good point, where the tires rebalanced in this troubleshooting process as it does sound like out of balance tires. Have you felt around all the tires to see if one has a bulge or tried to determine if there is a bad belt in one of the tires? A damaged rim could cause this as well.

If you know which tire was repaired move it to the rear and see if how the issue is presenting changes.
I have an appt Saturday to try this out. I really hope it's tires but would be blown away to learn that.
 

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I'd swap tire/ wheel in question to the rear. I'd try the spare after that on the rear. I'd buy a new set of tires or try to convince dealer to try a set on the front axle.
I suspect either the tire or wheel is damaged, but it could be the rotor plate. I'd ask dealer to check the rotor lugs for problems . I'd replace the rotor in an attempt to shotgun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Before the thread goes to hell, can you post the alignment report/sheets (before and after would be better), OP?
I'll add these soon. I think I'm still missing one that the dealership was supposed to mail me because they didn't have it ready upon checking out on the 3rd allignment due to a printer issue.
 
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