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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am now ready to visit my dealer once again for third time due to their inability to correctly align my steering wheel to be centered when driving straight. The car is not out of alignment as it will hold a straight line but the wheel always stays turned about 10 degrees to the right to do so. I had the Service Mgr personally come with me to do a ride along and he keeps telling me that this is normal due to crests on road surfaces. Nevertheless I have yet to find a straight enough road where I can keep the wheel centered and hold a straight line. The dealer keeps insisting that this is normal but I drove another PF on the lot and it was a different experience. I had also bought a 13 Sentra SR and I do not have this issue on same Roads driven in PF. Any car I have ever had does compensate for fluctuations in road surface excluding more extreme curves or crests on the road and keeps a straight centered wheel. I simply will not budge on this issue and it is incredibly annoying when driving to NEVER be able to hold the wheel straight!:mad:

I am at the point if third attempt to fix this does not work to demand a new vehicle. Dealer is going to have me sit in the car while it is on the rack so that i can align the wheel myself to be straight and they will make adjustments around that as a last ditch effort. Has anyone else experienced this issue with your Pathfinders or am I being too picky and unreasonable? Going to dealer tomorrow morning for third try and hoping something can be done:(
 

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I'm not sure if it's just the road surface or getting used to the dynamics of the vehicle, but when I first got mine, I also felt like the wheel was slightly canted to the right when driving straight. I don't notice it so much anymore, but it's on my list of concerns for when I finally get it in for its first maintenance.
 

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Mine is perfectly centered. Maybe they don't crown the roads in Montana. Take the service dude on a vacant road and drive a little on the wrong side. If he is right, the wheel should be canted in the opposite direction....right?

Good luck
Mike
 

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weird how the steering wheel is tiled like that but it still drives straight indicating the alignment is on point.

can you take a picture of the steering wheel?

I highly doubt the way the roads are would cause this. my daily commute takes me from very flat and nicely paved roads to horrible wavy and pot hole filled roads and no matter what car i drive, i never experience that.
 

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I remember when I had this issue on my previous pathfinder and slowly found out that it was one of the tires on the right front had a belt separation causing my car to pull to the right. I first got it checked and the dealership took it in for an alignment and everything came out fine and in spec. After they too said it was due to uneven road surfaces which i believed but eventually kept noticing it on relatively smooth roads. I would bring it in to the dealership and maybe check out the tires.
 

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I am not sure how the steering rack on the pathfinder works but I had this problem with my older Acura and it was fixed by readjusting the steering wheel with the steering rack.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
VICTORY! - Off Center Wheel Issue FIXED on Third Attempt

To All,

Thanks for all your feedback and here is the final report. I want to share my experience so that if you are having this issue to please stand your ground and demand a proper fix! I went to dealer yesterday for the third and final attempt to get this wheel alignment fixed. Keep in mind that Dealership where I bought car is a 100 mile round trip for me! I had made it clear to every Manager in Service and Sales that this was the last time before I would invoke the Lemon Law and demand a new vehicle if no solution is found. :( Upon arrival I was met by same Service Manager who helped me the second time. He first handed me a service bulletin from Nissan about owners reporting off center wheel issues and how some variation is normal depending on the road surface. In addition he spoke about impact of larger 20 inch wheels found on Platinum and how the added "stiffness" of SUVs can exaggerate impact of wheel issue:rolleyes:I simply refused to accept this and surprised that this would even be tolerated :mad:. My 13 Sentra SR and Equinox traded for Path driven on same roads holds a dead straight wheel on same course. We went for a long drive on different road surfaces where I stated if you can find any road where the wheel can be held dead straight and car does not veer to the left I will gladly acknowledge the bulletin and go home. As expected no such road existed and car always moved to the left even on a so called straight/level road. The car would hold a straight line if you let go of the wheel but it was always turned slightly right. Mind you it was not extreme but enough to be a nuisance that annoyed me to no end. Off to the shop we go!

I would later learn that the top 3 people at the shop worked on my car for 4 hours including Service Manager, Senior Master Tech, and Shop Foreman to figure this out. First attempt to do traditional 4 wheel alignment with default specs on rack failed to correct problem. Next step was to do a thorough inspection of every mechanical component to ensure nothing was missing/damaged but nothing materialized. Next step was to completely reset the entire suspension by loosening everything and allow the car to lay flat on the rack. The team decided to forgo the default rack specks and use a tighter set of specks found in a Nissan Dealer Service Manual which had much lower tolerances. (Any dealer would have this!) Armed with new specifications everything was re-torqued and aligned as directed by manual which are a clear deviation from default factory specs given to dealers for Pathfinders.

Finally four hours later the Manager came out and we went out for another test drive. Well sure enough the car and wheel alignment was now PERFECT AND DEAD CENTER on same road course:D Even on crested uneven roads the car handled nicely and was able to keep a straight wheel. The Service Manager clearly acknowledged there was an issue with the factory rack specs He is also officially changing the process for all Pathfinder alignments in the future to use tighter specs found in Dealer Service Manual and include the full reset process in cases where wheel is off-center. Information will also be forwarded to Nissan as advisory from Dealer. Manager also went on to say that issue likely started on car trailer and the car being clamped down too tight for a long period of time. Soooooooo after 3 visits and over 20 hours of time traveling and waiting around the victory is mine! I was told that I would be sent something "special" for my trouble before I left after demanding compensation for the drawn out process. :cool: We will see!
 

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To All,

Thanks for all your feedback and here is the final report. I want to share my experience so that if you are having this issue to please stand your ground and demand a proper fix! I went to dealer yesterday for the third and final attempt to get this wheel alignment fixed. Keep in mind that Dealership where I bought car is a 100 mile round trip for me! I had made it clear to every Manager in Service and Sales that this was the last time before I would invoke the Lemon Law and demand a new vehicle if no solution is found. :( Upon arrival I was met by same Service Manager who helped me the second time. He first handed me a service bulletin from Nissan about owners reporting off center wheel issues and how some variation is normal depending on the road surface. In addition he spoke about impact of larger 20 inch wheels found on Platinum and how the added "stiffness" of SUVs can exaggerate impact of wheel issue:rolleyes:I simply refused to accept this and surprised that this would even be tolerated :mad:. My 13 Sentra SR and Equinox traded for Path driven on same roads holds a dead straight wheel on same course. We went for a long drive on different road surfaces where I stated if you can find any road where the wheel can be held dead straight and car does not veer to the left I will gladly acknowledge the bulletin and go home. As expected no such road existed and car always moved to the left even on a so called straight/level road. The car would hold a straight line if you let go of the wheel but it was always turned slightly right. Mind you it was not extreme but enough to be a nuisance that annoyed me to no end. Off to the shop we go!

I would later learn that the top 3 people at the shop worked on my car for 4 hours including Service Manager, Senior Master Tech, and Shop Foreman to figure this out. First attempt to do traditional 4 wheel alignment with default specs on rack failed to correct problem. Next step was to do a thorough inspection of every mechanical component to ensure nothing was missing/damaged but nothing materialized. Next step was to completely reset the entire suspension by loosening everything and allow the car to lay flat on the rack. The team decided to forgo the default rack specks and use a tighter set of specks found in a Nissan Dealer Service Manual which had much lower tolerances. (Any dealer would have this!) Armed with new specifications everything was re-torqued and aligned as directed by manual which are a clear deviation from default factory specs given to dealers for Pathfinders.

Finally four hours later the Manager came out and we went out for another test drive. Well sure enough the car and wheel alignment was now PERFECT AND DEAD CENTER on same road course:D Even on crested uneven roads the car handled nicely and was able to keep a straight wheel. The Service Manager clearly acknowledged there was an issue with the factory rack specs He is also officially changing the process for all Pathfinder alignments in the future to use tighter specs found in Dealer Service Manual and include the full reset process in cases where wheel is off-center. Information will also be forwarded to Nissan as advisory from Dealer. Manager also went on to say that issue likely started on car trailer and the car being clamped down too tight for a long period of time. Soooooooo after 3 visits and over 20 hours of time traveling and waiting around the victory is mine! I was told that I would be sent something "special" for my trouble before I left after demanding compensation for the drawn out process. :cool: We will see!

Had a feeling it would be some adjustment issue on the rack and pinion. I doubt it could happen with clamping down the vehicle during transportation. What would happen when you need to tow it on a flatbed one day? I think it was a problem that happened at the manufacturing plant.
 

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While there are some carhaulers that pull down on the frame, most companies use straps over the wheels to avoid claims on new cars these days.
 

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To All,

Thanks for all your feedback and here is the final report. I want to share my experience so that if you are having this issue to please stand your ground and demand a proper fix! I went to dealer yesterday for the third and final attempt to get this wheel alignment fixed. Keep in mind that Dealership where I bought car is a 100 mile round trip for me! I had made it clear to every Manager in Service and Sales that this was the last time before I would invoke the Lemon Law and demand a new vehicle if no solution is found. :( Upon arrival I was met by same Service Manager who helped me the second time. He first handed me a service bulletin from Nissan about owners reporting off center wheel issues and how some variation is normal depending on the road surface. In addition he spoke about impact of larger 20 inch wheels found on Platinum and how the added "stiffness" of SUVs can exaggerate impact of wheel issue:rolleyes:I simply refused to accept this and surprised that this would even be tolerated :mad:. My 13 Sentra SR and Equinox traded for Path driven on same roads holds a dead straight wheel on same course. We went for a long drive on different road surfaces where I stated if you can find any road where the wheel can be held dead straight and car does not veer to the left I will gladly acknowledge the bulletin and go home. As expected no such road existed and car always moved to the left even on a so called straight/level road. The car would hold a straight line if you let go of the wheel but it was always turned slightly right. Mind you it was not extreme but enough to be a nuisance that annoyed me to no end. Off to the shop we go!

I would later learn that the top 3 people at the shop worked on my car for 4 hours including Service Manager, Senior Master Tech, and Shop Foreman to figure this out. First attempt to do traditional 4 wheel alignment with default specs on rack failed to correct problem. Next step was to do a thorough inspection of every mechanical component to ensure nothing was missing/damaged but nothing materialized. Next step was to completely reset the entire suspension by loosening everything and allow the car to lay flat on the rack. The team decided to forgo the default rack specks and use a tighter set of specks found in a Nissan Dealer Service Manual which had much lower tolerances. (Any dealer would have this!) Armed with new specifications everything was re-torqued and aligned as directed by manual which are a clear deviation from default factory specs given to dealers for Pathfinders.

Finally four hours later the Manager came out and we went out for another test drive. Well sure enough the car and wheel alignment was now PERFECT AND DEAD CENTER on same road course:D Even on crested uneven roads the car handled nicely and was able to keep a straight wheel. The Service Manager clearly acknowledged there was an issue with the factory rack specs He is also officially changing the process for all Pathfinder alignments in the future to use tighter specs found in Dealer Service Manual and include the full reset process in cases where wheel is off-center. Information will also be forwarded to Nissan as advisory from Dealer. Manager also went on to say that issue likely started on car trailer and the car being clamped down too tight for a long period of time. Soooooooo after 3 visits and over 20 hours of time traveling and waiting around the victory is mine! I was told that I would be sent something "special" for my trouble before I left after demanding compensation for the drawn out process. :cool: We will see!
I am so glad you detailed this expereince as I just bought a 2011 silver edition today and the **** steering wheel isn't straight. I have more confidence to go back and get this fixed
 

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I'm waiting on a call back from my dealer. Supposedly their alignment machine doesn't have alignment specs for the 2013 Pathfinder yet. They didn't really give me an idea of when they'd have them ready.
 

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They must have heard me.... just got a call today, their alignment specs are up to date now and they're ready to have my car back in. We'll see what happens tomorrow. Very hopeful that this will correct the issues I'm having with highway speed stability.
 

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Just think of all the poor people who take the service people's word for gospel. Congratulations on standing your ground.
 

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What does having alignment specs have to do with anything.

You want 0 toe. That is what gives you wandering anyways.
 

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Is this alignment issue/experience only causing the car to drift in one direction? I find myself at 50+MPH having a hard time getting the car to go straight, any small steering adjustments makes it drift either left or right. Sometimes I can't make a small enough adjustment to make it stay straight. Dealer says everything is fine. Anyone with similar experience or advise on what I can tell the dealer? Is this normal with large wheels?
 

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Is this alignment issue/experience only causing the car to drift in one direction? I find myself at 50+MPH having a hard time getting the car to go straight, any small steering adjustments makes it drift either left or right. Sometimes I can't make a small enough adjustment to make it stay straight. Dealer says everything is fine. Anyone with similar experience or advise on what I can tell the dealer? Is this normal with large wheels?
I'm having similar stability issues on the highway and I have the 18s. Similar to you, I have asked for the car to be looked at, but everything is "OK" according to them. I'm kind of at an impasse as well as they have aligned it once already (it was just slightly out of alignment).
 
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