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2002 Forester
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8 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Lately (within the last few weeks) I've been noticing that the steering on my 02 is slowly deteriorating. When I accelerate hard the darn thing wants to practically make a left hand turn, and if I let off fast it seems then to want to turn right, or at least drift right.

With 126k, mostly driving twisty mnt roads, I'm not surprised if something has worn out, tie rods, ball jnts, bushings, etc. I replaced the struts around 90k and had an alignment done. I currently have my studded snows on it, but they have been on for a few months now.

My question is, for someone working in their garage with just basic tools, is there a way to determine what is lose/worn? If I put stands under it, will I actually be able to grab a hold of components underneath, jerk them around, and see/feel the culprit? Also, will Les Schwab (or any alignment shop for that matter) inspect for free?

Thanks for any tips, hints and/or suggestions.
Rich
 

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Ah crap.. I'm back with my 05 XS
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8,294 Posts
Check tire tread, pressures, tie rods, steering rack bushings and alignment. All of these things are easy to inspect visually, except the bushings and alignment of course. Bushings, you just need to follow the tie rods inward to the central portion underneath the jack plate and look at the bushing inside the two brackets (one is square, the other is round) to see if it has shifted, torn, or even take off the brackets to see.

Inspect for free, probably not. Inspect with paid alignment, sure. When is the last time you got an alignment? But you can't go wrong with check tire pressures and tread at least.
 

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2002 Forester
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8 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Update: On my way into work this morning, somehow with 4" of snow on the mountain road, I managed to stick a nail in the rear tire. Went right to Les Schwab (S. Reno, NV). 20 minutes later, I was fixed up for free. While there I asked if they would inspect my pulling issue (heck, snow packed wheel wells, better them than me). Again, for free, they checked it out and think that my control arm bushings are worn. Ok, fine for now, it's not that serious, but WOW, two services for free. They sure made my Friday that started out crappy a whole lot better.

:woohoo:
 

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2000 Forester
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263 Posts
Nice work on the free service. When I bought my new snow's a month ago, I got free alignment check and tire rotation for the life of the tires.
 

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2002 Forester
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8 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Must have been a tire pressure issue because ever since they repaired that flat tire I've had no pulling. Thanks for the suggestions.
 
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