Three Sets of Brand New Tires, Car Pulls to the Left or Right


Car: 2014-Honda-Accord-Sedan-29'470-Miles-CVT-Automatic

My 2014 Honda Accord Sedan in the Sport Trim came with low profile 235/45 R18 94V Michelin Primacy MXM4 tires. Aside from the road noise and the choppy ride on broken pavement, there were no issues.

On December 21, 2019, I downgraded to a new set of 215/60 R16 95H Cooper Discoverer True North winter tires and 16" wheels. No issues with this setup.

Wanting to replicate the smoother and quieter ride year-round, I sold the 18" wheels and tires during the winter.

On April 09, 2020, I purchased a brand new set of 205/65 R16 95T General Altimax RT43 tires and had them installed at my local Honda dealership. The car started pulling to the right on the highway.

On April 22, 2020, I brought the car back to Honda, where they did an alignment (pictured). The alignment didn't fix the problem. The vehicle continued to pull to the right on the highway.

On April 25, 2020, I brought the car to Midas. They rotated the tires, told me that the car was now pulling to the left, that the tires were bad, and that I should take them back to the tire dealer to replace them. I took the car out on the highway to confirm this myself. While previously, the car was pulling to the right, it was now pulling to the left.

On May 01, 2020, the tire dealer provided a set of 215/60 R16 95T General Altimax RT43 tires as the replacement.

Now with the replacement tires, the car started wandering at highway speeds. It "ping-ponged" between the yellow lines in the same lane and slowly drifted into other lanes if I didn't keep making micro corrections to the steering wheel.

I brought the car back to Honda. Two of their mechanics drove the car on the highway and said that they were unable to duplicate the issue. They suggested that the wind was causing the problems I was reporting. I asked to take the car out on the highway with one of them, but they were unable to do this at this time due to the coronavirus. I pointed out that the wind was never able to push the vehicle around before; I told them I know what this feels like having previously driven a Honda Civic, which was 435lbs lighter.

On June 04, 2020, the tire dealer agreed to replace the replacement tires with a 3rd and final set of 215/60 R16 99V Michelin CrossClimate+ tires.

This set of Michelin's doesn't have an issue with stability (2nd set of GT RT43's), and it doesn't pull dramatically left or right (1st set of GT RT43's) but the car is pulling slightly to the right on the highway. It's subtle but noticeable. I imagine if we rotate them, it will start doing the same thing but on the left side.

Before April 09, 2020, the car went straight as an arrow on the highway. On long drives, I used to be able to keep one or two fingers on the steering wheel or even momentarily take my hands off the steering wheel, and it would hold a straight line. Now I have to course correct for the vehicle no longer going in a straight line on the expressway. On the highway, it seems like the steering wheel wants to be slightly right of center as if that is the straight position. If we rotate the tires, it seems as though it's going to want to do the same, but at a slight left angle.

I doubt that I have gotten three sets of defective brand new tires. Does anyone know what else could be causing these issues? All three sets of tires were inflated to the specs on the door jamb sticker using an inflator with auto set pressure and a digital gauge.

Comments (4)
No. 1-2

Hi Scotty,

  • Do these photos of the replaced tie rod ends indicate anything to you? I believe the problem is almost solved, and the steering feel is better than ever, it now feels weighty and substantial like I imagine a German car would. But the car still pulls to the right a tad more than I'd expect when doing the hands-off steering wheel test on a smooth level road and accounting for the road crown.

  • Given that I remember everything being fine before my April 09 service appointment at Honda, do you know what could damage a tie rod end (or other related components) in under a day? When I got the car back, I noticed that the parking lot attendant left the steering wheel turned all the way to the right lock/limiter unnecessarily. Could leaving it parked like this for hours damage the steering rack or any of the suspension components? How about if the parking lot attendant accidentally kept turning the wheel right and hit the right lock/limiter with force?

  • I've been to some good mechanics in my area regarding this issue, including insisting on having the tie road ends replaced this past weekend after doing some research into non-alignment related pulls such as torque steer. They all thought the tie rod ends were fine. But I think the problem is that the car has low mileage and none of the components are falling off bad (i.e., noticeable from visual check/inspection), and can be aligned to a tee, but starts pulling only once out on the road which may be any number of components that will look fine until they're taken off under closer inspection.



Scotty Kilmer
Scotty Kilmer


find a REAL front end guy, one who just doesn't depend on computer read outs and computer alignment machines. old school often rules, i find computer set ups often even have wrong specs in them