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Old 08-12-2013, 10:28 AM   #1
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Toad Steering Gyrations

When we tow I put a small LED bicycle light at the top of our Chev Equinox steering wheel so that I can keep an eye on it with the rear camera. We were just about home on our last trip and I noticed the steering wheel on the toad wildly gyrating from side to side (speed was probably 35 to 40 mph).

About a half mile back I had made a sharp left slow speed turn at a "T" intersection and then went around a sweeping curve to the right. I quickly stopped and it righted itself and was ok the remaining mile & a half into our driveway. I had been distracted with conversation and had not made my usual glance at the screen when coming out of the turn.

Everything seems ok but it was quite disconcerting to see the wild steering wheel action on the rear camera screen.

What would cause this to happen and what do I do to prevent it from happening again?

Thanks
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Old 08-12-2013, 10:37 AM   #2
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We don't hear much about that sort of towing problem anymore, but 10~15 years ago, some vehicles needed the front end alignment tweaked a bit. I don't recall what was changed but the changes were within the recommended specs, just moved closer to one end of the allowable range.
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Old 08-12-2013, 10:52 AM   #3
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Caster angle is usually the reason for bad tracking. Seldom can be adjusted in newer vehicles. Next issue could be tow-in out of adjustment. Bad caster causes the dreaded wobble in a shopping cart front wheel.

I'd take the toad to a proper alignment shop and have it all checked.
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Old 08-12-2013, 11:02 AM   #4
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My toad (2012 Chevy Cruze) was doing this.. mild back and forth at the same speed (30- 40 steady).

I found the driver's side was down 4 lbs to the passenger side front tire. Adjusted the pressure to ensure they were both the same and haven't had the issue since.

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Old 08-12-2013, 11:02 AM   #5
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Thanks for the suggestions.

The Equinox is just a little over two years old and with the demands of the DW's job it has 84,000 miles and is just about finished with its second set of tires and has never shown any sort of unusual tire wear patterns.

In our rural area it is difficult to know just how "expert" an alignment shop is but I will start the search.
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Old 06-17-2014, 12:07 AM   #6
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I have noticed gyrations in the steering wheel of my 2013 Ford Cmax only when turning a corner. the wheel will wobble and I can see the tires going left and right. After I get thru the turn and straighten out, the wobble is gone and does not appear at all in normal driving.
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Old 06-17-2014, 12:56 AM   #7
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Tire pressures

Alignment

Sometimes on a lifted jeep, it can even get the front tires crossed up during a tight turn. A bungee cord around the bottom of the steering wheel down to the seat bottom to help keep it centered and steady cures this from happening..
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Old 06-17-2014, 10:12 AM   #8
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Caster and even slight out of adjustment tow-in won't show as tire wear. An alignment shop should know what to adjust to improve tracking of a towed vehicle.
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