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      08-27-2019, 03:25 PM   #1
Relak
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Should spacers be removed before an alignment?

I recently had an alignment done and following the alignment my car seems to be pulling to the right ever so slightly. When I take my hands off my steering wheel, it sits naturally at a couple degrees towards the right.

Prior to the alignment I didn't have any pulling issues and the steering wheel naturally fell in the center. I believe that the shop that did my alignment, did so with my spacers on and I am wondering if this would affect my alignment results? with spacers on during an alignment, would the "in spec" results differ from the "in spec" results of an alignment without the spacers?

I can't imagine it would affect the alignment but I don't know what else would cause the pulling.. I've tried two sets of wheels and both have the same result.. Any advice is greatly appreciated, even snarky responses can provide valuable perspective that I might have missed. All feedback welcome!
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      08-27-2019, 04:43 PM   #2
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No, if you're going to be using spacers then you should be doing the alignment with them on. It makes minimal difference though. Did you get a report?
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      08-27-2019, 05:44 PM   #3
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Cars are going to pull to the right naturally due to crown in the road, and usually tramlines due to the size of the wheels most people run (including stock wheels). Are you sure that it's actually pulling to the right? Can you post your alignment spec sheet?
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      08-27-2019, 06:49 PM   #4
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I'm working on getting the readout. It looks like they didn't provide that with the other documentation they gave me when I picked the car up.

It's definitely pulling. I've tested on multiple road surfaces at different speeds and have even held the steering wheel at center to see it veer to the left. The steering center is off, I just don't know why. I'm going to ask the facility for a readout of the alignment.
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      08-27-2019, 08:05 PM   #5
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The pull to the right might not be associated with the alignment.

Pull to the right, SIB 32 01 17 https://f80.bimmerpost.com/forums/sh....php?t=1402020
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      08-28-2019, 09:18 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jockey View Post
The pull to the right might not be associated with the alignment.

Pull to the right, SIB 32 01 17 https://f80.bimmerpost.com/forums/sh....php?t=1402020
That's interesting. I hadn't seen that before. It's weird though that my car would exhibit this after almost 4 years of ownership (albeit I only have 13k miles on it).. I'm going to check the alignment printout and if it looks in spec then I'll go this route afterward. thanks for the information!
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      08-28-2019, 11:44 AM   #7
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Below is my alignment spec sheet.
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      08-28-2019, 12:18 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Relak View Post
Below is my alignment spec sheet.
These cars need to have their steering angle sensor centered after an alignment. Look at your spec sheet, "Geometric Driving Axis" is basically telling you that the front end was slightly crooked before (toe angle was offset to one side by 0.02 degrees) and is centered at 0.00 degrees now. The car mechanically wants to go straight BUT the electronic power steering thinks "straight" is 0.02 degrees to the side so it's trying to help you drive "straight" except it doesn't know where straight ahead really is anymore.

In the tool we use at my shop, the procedure is called "EPS Start Up" and it basically puts the EPS in learning mode and then has the driver steer fully left, fully right, and back to center so the computer learns where straight ahead is after the front toe angles have been changed. Afterwards, it stops trying to turn you to the side.

I usually align my own car when I need it done and have experienced the large difference between a traditional mechanical alignment that skips the EPS start up step, I've had my car pull aggressively to the side and then done the EPS start up and fixed it completely.
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      08-28-2019, 01:04 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Remonster View Post
These cars need to have their steering angle sensor centered after an alignment. Look at your spec sheet, "Geometric Driving Axis" is basically telling you that the front end was slightly crooked before (toe angle was offset to one side by 0.02 degrees) and is centered at 0.00 degrees now. The car mechanically wants to go straight BUT the electronic power steering thinks "straight" is 0.02 degrees to the side so it's trying to help you drive "straight" except it doesn't know where straight ahead really is anymore.

In the tool we use at my shop, the procedure is called "EPS Start Up" and it basically puts the EPS in learning mode and then has the driver steer fully left, fully right, and back to center so the computer learns where straight ahead is after the front toe angles have been changed. Afterwards, it stops trying to turn you to the side.

I usually align my own car when I need it done and have experienced the large difference between a traditional mechanical alignment that skips the EPS start up step, I've had my car pull aggressively to the side and then done the EPS start up and fixed it completely.
Thanks for the info. I reached out to the shop but will ask them if they performed the EPS Start Up procedure to center the steering angle sensor.
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