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Discussion Starter #1
I was having slight tracking problems and asked the dealer to please check the alignment. They test drove and said all okay. I said BS. Took it to a private shop and sure enough, both toe and camber are outside spec. Drives 100% better now.

The tricky thing is that there was no pull, which the mechanic explained is one of the most misunderstood aspects of alignment. There are a few ways the alignment can be out where you may not notice it so much when driving. It'll mostly appear in abnormal tire wear, which by the time you notice, it may be too late.

So, I shared this with three friends who have Pilots and they went to three different shops and sure enough, theirs were out as well.

I conclude, ever so scientifically, that many Pilots may have come off the truck out of alignment. Not surprising. If you suspect anything wrong, tracking, twitchy, drift, etc. you should take it to the dealer first.

BTW, the dealer did reimburse me the $50. alignment fee with apologies. ;)

And did I say it drives better now.
 

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This is great info, great timing for me as I am about to make appointment with the dealer to get the first maintenance service. Thanks!:cool:
 

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MDXlite said:
I was having slight tracking problems and asked the dealer to please check the alignment. They test drove and said all okay. I said BS. Took it to a private shop and sure enough, both toe and camber are outside spec. Drives 100% better now.

The tricky thing is that there was no pull, which the mechanic explained is one of the most misunderstood aspects of alignment. There are a few ways the alignment can be out where you may not notice it so much when driving. It'll mostly appear in abnormal tire wear, which by the time you notice, it may be too late.

So, I shared this with three friends who have Pilots and they went to three different shops and sure enough, theirs were out as well.

I conclude, ever so scientifically, that many Pilots may have come off the truck out of alignment. Not surprising. If you suspect anything wrong, tracking, twitchy, drift, etc. you should take it to the dealer first.


BTW, the dealer did reimburse me the $50. alignment fee with apologies. ;)

And did I say it drives better now.
Very good and helpful advice. Just had the same thing happen with my Honda Civic---took the car in for 80,000 mile service and was surprised it also needed alignment. My two front tires showed considerable abnormal wear, but I never felt any "pull" or any clear tip-off that alignment was faulty.
 

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HiFlyer said:
This is great info, great timing for me as I am about to make appointment with the dealer to get the first maintenance service. Thanks!:cool:
would the check for alignment be free...and will it be cover under warranty?:confused:
 

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Thanks MDXlite,

Great info. I'll be sure to check to see if mine is tracking wrong. I've been suspicious, because one of my friends had a tracking problem with his Odyssey that the dealer kept giving him the run around.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
As far as warranty coverage, here's how it was explained to me by the service manager.

If they cannot duplicate the symptom you are reporting they won't check it because Honda won't reimbusere them for the service.
Now, I imagine this will vary from dealer to dealer depending how customer service oriented they are.

So, yes it's covered under warranty either way. If they snub you like they did me, and you feel something is wrong, take it to a reputable alignment shop and have them print out their findings. Take a copy of the printout and receipt back to your dealer and they should reimburse.

The downside to all this is that if you're Piolot is within spec, you may have blown 50 bucks.

It was worth it to me for piece of mind. Tires are way more expensive.

I had my wife's Odyssey checked as well and it was way out, with no significant pull. Tire wear was the tell tale sign.
 

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To my knowledge most shops offer free alignment check but I think you will find that nearly all these free checks "discover" an out of alignment condition. Unscrupulous mechanics can manually manipulate the electronic head unit on the alignment machine to produce a false printout. Incidentally, there were a couple previous posts around late Oct/early Nov about finding a Pilot way out of alignment - I think it was toed in to far. I took mine into the dealer for a check but they said it was ok. Maybe I'll have to ask my friend who owns his own shop to check it for me again.
 

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I posted the alignment problem before

My problem was the steering wheel not horizontal when you are driving striaght.
I found that out when I took the (wife's) car for 1st oil service.

We took it to a closer dealer, but they said "Alignment is cover under 3000 KM ", we have to pay $90 Cad.

Called up the dealer where we bought the Pilot, they said they would take care of that. They did and I did not have to pay.

That is why at that time I told owners to check the steering wheel position.
 

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I just noticed yesterday that the steering wheel points to about 12:30 or so when going straight down the road. If I square it up, I drift into the left lane. I don't notice any pull, but the Pilot seems to require constant steering corrections. Just little nudges, all the time. Iwas blaming that on the Goodyears until I read this thread. Going to ask the service mgr. how to proceed.
 

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TJS45662 said:
I just noticed yesterday that the steering wheel points to about 12:30 or so when going straight down the road. If I square it up, I drift into the left lane. I don't notice any pull, but the Pilot seems to require constant steering corrections. Just little nudges, all the time. Iwas blaming that on the Goodyears until I read this thread. Going to ask the service mgr. how to proceed.
I see you have the wood look steering wheel> Maybe it has something to do with the steering wheel not being put on 100% straight and not the alignment.
 

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Yeah, I thought about that. Still think I'll get it checked out.
 

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This really surprises me. We have a 5 year old CRV which has never needed an alignment. I just had it in to a Sears Tire Store (formerly NTB... formerly NTW who I always trusted) They said everything was within specs again! I've been told that Honda and VW rarely go out of alignment.

This worries me about the Pilot. Is this going to be a Honda that EASILY gets out of alignment? Or is this another production problem from the factory?
 

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Alignment

The position of the steering wheel has nothing to do with the front end alignment. Either the steering wheel was not positioned on the steering column shaft splines correctly (either fore and aft or side to side axis) or the front wheels were turned slightly off-center when the steering wheel was mounted along either axis.
 

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I've got about 6,600 miles on my Pilot, and I just noticed that it wanders at freeway speeds. Maybe we could add this to the VIN table..?
 

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Re: Alignment

seadog said:
The position of the steering wheel has nothing to do with the front end alignment. Either the steering wheel was not positioned on the steering column shaft splines correctly (either fore and aft or side to side axis) or the front wheels were turned slightly off-center when the steering wheel was mounted along either axis.
that is what we meant. the steering wheel was not positioned correctly.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Use trustworthy shop

I used a shop that I'm very familiar with and respect their capabilities.
Obviously one could be taken advantage of from an unscrupulous shop, so use someone you trust.

Coincidentally, without my prompting, my neighbor had his MDX realigned because it was 'twitchy', he said.

So I'm not wondering if this chassis (Ody, Pilot, MDX) coming out of Aliston and Alabama just doesn't have the alignment quite right.

If I didn't notice such an improvement after the alignment, (in both cars) I'd say it didn't much matter. And I don't think the placebo bug bit me either, there is very tangible proof on the improvement.

So before you blame the tires, although the upgrade does help, rack it up!
 

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kemosabe said:
Whatever you do, don't get you alignment checked from this shop: :14:
ALmost as good as the Body Shop in Western PA;

PICASSO AUTO BODY
555 S Pleasant Valley Rd
Trafford PA 15085
(724) 744-0836

I REALY don't want to take my car there!
 

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Factory specs for wheel alignment

I recently brought my Pilot into a Calgary dealership for it's 24,000km service. Although it's not part of the Honda maintenance program, the dealer said that they now perform an alignment sweep with these services. If an alignment is not necessary you don't pay a cent. My vehicle required an alignment for which I paid $80CDN. My question is, was the alignment really necessary? I never noticed any tire wear or pulling to one side or the other and the steering wheel was always centered. The before and after numbers from the alignment printout were as follows:

Before: Left front caster 2.3 deg Right front caster 1.9 deg
Left front camber 0.1 deg Right front camber -0.6 deg
Left rear camber -0.6 deg Right rear camber -0.8 deg
Left front toe in 0.2 deg Right front toe in 0.25 deg
Left rear toe out -0.15 deg Right rear toe in 0.10 deg
Total toe was 0.45 deg and thrust angle was -0.1 degrees

After: The readout 8 minutes later, after alignment showed no change to any of the caster or camber readings but the toe readings were all now zero degrees. The total toe and thrust angle also showed as zero degrees.
I asked a knowledgeable manager at an auto body shop that deals almost exclusively with Honda vehicles about the before numbers. He suggested they were marginal and the decision about whether to do an alignment was a judgment call.
What are the Honda factory specs? I asked the service manager at the dealership. He didn't know. Does a thrust angle of -0.1 degrees really make that much of a difference?
 
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