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pulling/drifting caused by shipping?

1181 Views 14 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  GOP
Long time lurker, first time poster...

I picked up my new 2002 LX on Friday. It's great except for one thing--it has a distinct pull or drift to the right. I brought it to the dealer this morning and the fella there starts to tell me that there may be nothing they can do yet, because of the fact that the cars are strapped so tightly to the car carrier during shipping that it takes a while for the suspension to "work out."

Fact or fiction? If it's valid, how long (how many miles?) should I put up with the car wanting to end up in the ditch? I have only 185 miles on it right now.

I insisted that they try it out any way--in fact I had to start to act like a disgruntled customer for them to take this seriously. Also, the service manager did not mention such a phenomenom when I spoke with him on the phone.

Thanks for any info. This web site is a terrific source of info.

2002 LX
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I was given the same 'reason' when I complained of the same problem on my '01 LX.
Don't believe it! INSIST that they tackle the problem!

See postings on this problem elsewhere in this site for possible fixes and the TSB from Honda.

In my case, I took it to 2 dealers to have it fixed - to no avail. I wrote to the president of Honda Canada and was advised to let the local dealer tackle it one more time, again to no avail.

Good luck!
Hi Billt,

Unless they strapped the car down by the lower control arms, I don't see how securing the Ody to the convoy truck could cause your problem. Sounds like you've got a service department that hasn't got a clue and is making up the BS to bluff their way past you.

There is a TSB on shifting the subframe to correct a pull to the right on the pre '02 Ody's that may or may not apply to you. I had a minor pull to the right on my '01 LX that was corrected with a left to right rotation of the front tires. I waited until the first oil change and mentioned it to the service writer. They were great about it and gave me no excuses. A test drive, tire swap, and test drive was all it took.

Your Ody may need more work than that but the dealer shouldn't be trying to blame someone else before they even look at the thing.

Good luck!

Drive Safe,
Steve R.
'01 SS LX
Cargo tray, leather steering wheel, mud guards, alarm, fog lights, transmission cooler, in-dash CD player, Kelton subwoofer, under seat storage tray.
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Dealers generally jump at the chance to perform warranty work because they still get paid by the manufacturer. So to find a dealer that really doesn't want to do the work sounds a bit strange. My guess is that these dealers really believe the strapping down thing because they probably don't know what to do. In any case, they should consult the factory or TSBs before shrugging you off.
At 2,200 miles, I noticed this morning after the carpool, that My '02 LX was FINALLY going straight!!. I Took mine into the dealers at about 1,200 mi and they did the TSB (Technical Service Bulletin) Subframe shift and I think let some air out of the front tires, too. That seemed to help some.
But, Maybe time does have something to do with it.
What I don't understand is why the TSB isn't don during dealer prep. They probably don't get paid until after it comes back after sale. It would be better for us, though.

This is a wonderfull vehicle, though.

A search under Problems and Concerns listing "pull to the right" will show a heap of dialogue on the subject.

OK, folks, am I alone in this? It seems that my Ody drifts to the LEFT and I have to actively steer it RIGHT to compensate.
You may be the only liberal in the crowd...except for those w/right leanings.
It depends on the terrain.
From day one my Ody pulled right and had a slightly crooked steering wheel to the right as well. When I called about it the service tech said bring it in for your first oil change and we'll align it for you. I did and they did and now it goes exactly straight and the steering wheel is perfectly level. I love it! Such a good first experience that I plan on having my routine service done at the dealer -- something I've never done with any car in the past because I've always despised dealer service departments. My advice: have them align it until they get it right.
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by adam1991:
OK, folks, am I alone in this? It seems that my Ody drifts to the LEFT and I have to actively steer it RIGHT to compensate.</font>
Hey hey Hay!! Me too!! and I thought I was the only weird-o in the entire club. Good to know I am not alone.

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Don't have an answer, but MAN, you've guys sure have been driving your Odys! Impressive mileage numbers there.

We hit 100 today (and I did it), a very sad day for the Ody and her 'croanies' in the garage (well, the two Civics and the Toyota are in the driveway but you get the idea).

And I haven't noticed any pull on our Ody, but I've only been on surface streets under 50 mph if that has anything to do with it. I do agree with the responses posted here.

Good luck!


  • 2002 RRP EXL-RES
  • 1995 Honda Civic DX Coupe
  • 1990 Chrysler LeBaron Convertible
  • 1987 Honda Civic Sedan
  • 1986 Toyota LE Van
  • 1967 Honda Dream
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Thanks for all the replies. Absolutely wonderful that I can get a technical service bulletin on my problem so quickly here.

My result: the service manager turns out to be a pretty good guy (he was familar with the TSB). They swapped the front tires, did an alignment (front toe-in was off) and adjusted the subframe "slightly."

It is now noticeably better, at least for the few miles I've tried. I'm gonna try the 6-second test if I ever find an uncrowded highway around here!

Any other way to get at all the full-text of other TSBs? The link section here just posts a summary.


PS - I had done a search on "pulls" which did not bring up the relevant thread. Now I know the correct technical term is "drifts."
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There could be something to the "shipping set" theory. As I remember it, when I drove my van off the lot, I noticed a pull to the right and thought I was in for a problem. As I drove it, I guess it disappeared, because there is no pull today. I do not see how being tied down for shipping would cause that, since the tiedown loop is in the middle and should load both sides of the suspension the same, if they use that loop for that purpose.

As for you folks who have the "left pull", I hafta wonder if y'all are driving down the road in reverse. That would really be hard on the neck, Hee! Hee!

Jerry O.

2001 Odyssey GG LX
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Jerry O:
As for you folks who have the "left pull", I hafta wonder if y'all are driving down the road in reverse. That would really be hard on the neck, Hee! Hee!</font>
Oooh~ ya ask fer it!!!

BTW, if you like to learn to drive in reverse, I'd be glad to help

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Well, it's nice to know I am in good company. The pulling to the right nags at me. I had the subframe shifted and the realignment done, but I can't help but feel that things still goes slightly right.

This is our first Odyssey, we previously had two Grand Caravans. It's somewhat disappointing- you think Honda's are to be perfect. I guess nothing is.

I notice the one reply earlier in the list about the "lighter" subframe bolts so that the frame can slide further. Interesting. I wonder, however, if that will affect the 5 star crash rating?

This site is wonderful. I'll keep reading.
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