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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I brought my 2010 MR into the dealership today for its 10,000 mile service. This includes an oil change and basic inspection on various systems and components. I’ve noticed lately that while driving on the highway I’ve been getting a slight vibration through the steering wheel and a strong pull to the left, so I decided to have them do a full alignment while I was there. After doing the service and alignment they come back and tell me something is way off in my front suspension and that I must’ve damaged it somehow.

Here is a little backstory:

03/05/2011, Alignment # 1 at 413 miles: I picked up this car from a dealer in NJ brand new in Feb of 2011. After driving it home from the dealership I noticed the alignment was off. I called them up and they were happy to offer me an alignment free of charge. Apparently it is common for these cars to be slightly off from the factory. All was well for a few months.

09/02/2011, Alignment # 2 at 4,976 miles: Some time goes by and I start noticing the car pulling to one side again on the highway. About 6 months after the 1st alignment I decide to bring it in again, this time to a specialty alignment shop whom I’ve been using for years. I knew I’d have to cough up the cash for this one but they do quality work and I wanted the job done right. They align the car for me and it felt great for a few weeks.

10/31/2011, Installed winter wheels/tires at 6950 miles: A freak snowstorm in the northeast on Halloween pushed me to install my winter tires ahead of schedule (OEM GSR wheels w/ Continental DWS tires). I bought the tires through a local tire shop who mounted/balanced them on the GSR wheels. After picking up the car everything seemed great, but after about 1500 miles I noticed a strong wobble coming through the steering wheel, again at highway speeds only. I figured after breaking them in the tires must’ve come unbalanced somehow, so I planned on bringing them in to get redone.

02/16/2011, Alignment #3 at 9,982 miles: By now I still had the wobbling issue and I noticed the car pulling strongly to the left at highway speeds. Because I was going on for my 10k service anyway, I asked the dealership to rebalance the tires and do another alignment. I explained that this would be the 3rd time getting the car aligned in under a year and something seemed off. They assured me they would do their best to get the car tracking straight again.

I was informed during the service that the tires were in fact out of balance. I requested they rebalance the tires. They put it up on the alignment rack and they claim that as soon as they put it on there something was off. Spec sheet to follow in next post. You will see the front camber is off like CRAZY. +1.5 on the left and -4.1 on the right.

Obviously something is bent. I am suspecting control arms, most likely uppers. The problem is I have not done anything to cause this type of damage. The car is a daily driver to commute to work and I baby it every day. Obviously I take it out for some “spirited” drives once in a while, but nothing I would consider out of the ordinary for this type of vehicle. I have not hit anything…no curbs, potholes, etc, that would cause this type of damage. The car is literally in mint condition by visually looking at the exterior. At this point the wobble in the steering wheel is 95% gone, only notice a little bit at about 80 mph. The car tracks straight after they adjusted the toe, but obviously the camber is still way off.

The dealership is already claiming they will not cover this repair under warranty. They want to charge me labor to bring it back in to even determine what is wrong with it. This is after they charged me $180 thismorning to do a service which is supposed to include, and I quote per the receipt, “Inspect suspension system for looseness and damage.”

So, with all that being said:

What do you guys think my chances are of getting this covered under warranty?
What do you think is causing the major problem with the camber?
Would you recommend bringing the car back to the dealership I bought it from? (Currently using a different dealer for service because they’re closer to where I live).
Basically, I need some advice on what to do about this situation.

Please help!!!
 

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Yeah something is definately off. BIG TIME. Did they remove the strut and check out the holes for the concentric camber bolt? Even is that was completely wallowed out I doubt it could create 4° of camber. What about checking all the other suspension bushings and bolts, maybe even the wheel bearing? Sounds like all of that needs to be pulled and thoroughly inspected.

And no, you shouldn't have to pay for a dime of it. In fact, being that you've had these problems more than 3 times in the last year and they cannot correct it, I'd be investigating the lemon law. I've personally gone through the arbitration process on a buy back. PM if you have questions.
 

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i would take the car some where else and have them check it. if the right front is bent that bad then it would be a visible issue from a major impact. more likely the machine is off. you should have no problem by eye telling if you have 4 degrees of camber on one wheel and 1.5 or whatever on the other
 

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Yeah something is definately off. BIG TIME. Did they remove the strut and check out the holes for the concentric camber bolt? Even is that was completely wallowed out I doubt it could create 4° of camber. What about checking all the other suspension bushings and bolts, maybe even the wheel bearing? Sounds like all of that needs to be pulled and thoroughly inspected.

And no, you shouldn't have to pay for a dime of it. In fact, being that you've had these problems more than 3 times in the last year and they cannot correct it, I'd be investigating the lemon law. I've personally gone through the arbitration process on a buy back. PM if you have questions.
I did not even think of that....good catch. Even if your intention is not to lose the car, it acts as a good leverage tool to get shit done. Mitsu is like a spoiled brat. Sometimes, you just need to get them by the balls and force them to do even the right thing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
After I calmed down about the situation I went and visually inspected and I couldn't see anything noticeable. I would def be able to recognize 1.5* of positive camber. I'll be doing a more detailed inspection over the weekend.
 

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almost sounds like a problem with the subframe. That connects the two sides of the front suspension together and is the only thing I can think of that would cause positive camber on one side and negative camber on the other. Time to put the car on jackstands and crawl under there to check the condition of the subframe and specifically the bolts that hold it to the car. Make sure they're all there and that there so scrape makrs on anything else that might have cause it to shift, or worse, cracked.

Edit: If your subframe is damaged in some way causing your car not to hold an alightment, I'd consider looking into filing an insurance claim. Maybe there was something you ran over at some point and you just don't remember. Any damage like that should be covered by insurance.
 

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repost. my bad
 

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almost sounds like a problem with the subframe. That connects the two sides of the front suspension together and is the only thing I can think of that would cause positive camber on one side and negative camber on the other. Time to put the car on jackstands and crawl under there to check the condition of the subframe and specifically the bolts that hold it to the car. Make sure they're all there and that there so scrape makrs on anything else that might have cause it to shift, or worse, cracked.

Edit: If your subframe is damaged in some way causing your car not to hold an alightment, I'd consider looking into filing an insurance claim. Maybe there was something you ran over at some point and you just don't remember. Any damage like that should be covered by insurance.
!^^^!That, Ive had this happen to me. I had +camber on one side and - on the other. AFter weeks of trying to diagnose it, I saw one of the the places where a control arms bolts onto the subframe was the problem. THe hole that the nut went through had become oblong. Also a quick way to check this is to measure the wheel gap (in front of the wheel and behind) between the left and right side of your front wheels. If i remember correctly, an evo subframe from mitsu is between1200-1700 if i remember correctly. All the best and keep us posted
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for all the replies! Good input so far, I appreciate it. As I said, after putting more miles on the car it feels fine but that still doesn't mean its ok. I did a visual inspection on both front wheels and neither is showing positive camber nor 4* of neg camber. I've run my track car with that much neg camber before so I have a reference as to how it should look...this is nowhere close. On saturday I plan to get the car up on jackstands to assess any damage. I'll do a thorough inspection of the subframe, control arms, struts, etc. If I find anything I'll be sure to post pictures. Feel free to share any other ideas.
 

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omg.. mine must be bent too
its shaking something awful on left front side...
too scary to drive it anymore, guess i need
ball joints or something, took it to dealer
they said they couldnt tell me what/.
 

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omg.. mine must be bent too
its shaking something awful on left front side...
too scary to drive it anymore, guess i need
ball joints or something, took it to dealer
they said they couldnt tell me what/.
shaking could be just wheel balance. he is having issue with vehicle pulling after the car has gotten alignment.
 

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Thanks for all the replies! Good input so far, I appreciate it. As I said, after putting more miles on the car it feels fine but that still doesn't mean its ok. I did a visual inspection on both front wheels and neither is showing positive camber nor 4* of neg camber. I've run my track car with that much neg camber before so I have a reference as to how it should look...this is nowhere close. On saturday I plan to get the car up on jackstands to assess any damage. I'll do a thorough inspection of the subframe, control arms, struts, etc. If I find anything I'll be sure to post pictures. Feel free to share any other ideas.
If there's a problem with the subframe bolts, the thing might be shifting, so it could look okay one moment and be off the next. I wouldn't be surprised if this thing showed its ugly face on an alightment rack, since it lets the wheels slide around. Get under there and have a look.
 

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Assuming that the dealer was using a hunter rack, those things are not exactly known to be 100% accurate. Especially some of the new hunter alignment racks (which actually do not have a rack), which are meant to speed up the alignment checks at the dealership level, have at times produced some crazy results. I'm a suspension engineer at another OE, and I see crazy numbers come in through warranty claims all the time from these racks.

Take your car to a firestone if you have one, they offer free checks. If their rack also produced a similar number, I would start checking your sub frame and lower arms. Good luck
 

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Assuming that the dealer was using a hunter rack, those things are not exactly known to be 100% accurate. Especially some of the new hunter alignment racks (which actually do not have a rack), which are meant to speed up the alignment checks at the dealership level, have at times produced some crazy results. I'm a suspension engineer at another OE, and I see crazy numbers come in through warranty claims all the time from these racks.

Take your car to a firestone if you have one, they offer free checks. If their rack also produced a similar number, I would start checking your sub frame and lower arms. Good luck
Seek second opinion, mitsu suuuuucks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
So I just wanted to update this thread now that the problem seems to be solved.

To start with, in between my last post and now I have managed to blow a tire (Continental DWS) which seemed to be faulty from the factory. The entire thing literally ripped at both sidewalls and caused some minor damage in the rear wheel well area. I do not believe this had anything to do with the alignment issue and the tire was replaced under warranty but I will most likely be looking to get rid of them.

After that incident I switched over to my OEM BBS wheels and Yokohama tires. The car instantly felt a lot better with virtually no wobble through the steering wheel. While switching the wheels over I did a quick inspection of the front and rear suspension components. As I expected nothing appeared to be bent, broken, or damaged in any way.

I then decided to take a trip back to the dealership where I bought the car thinking they would be more willing to help with my situation. I gave them a call to explain everything and they told me to bring the car in as soon as possible. I made the trip, they put the car on the rack and found nearly everything to be within factory tolerances aside from the front drivers side camber, which was just at the limit of the tolerance. They found no damaged or bent components and agreed that something was not right with the car. They immediately went the extra mile to call the tech hotline and get Mitsu engineering involved. They recommended to loosen the front crossmember and retorque it to factory specs. The technician did exactly as they requested and the problem was instantly fixed. Apparently it is a rare issue that the crossmember could be slightly overtorqued or misaligned during assembly. Some further adjusting of the toe and now the car drives like a dream, tracking straight with no vibrations through the wheel. The steering wheel is ever so slightly off center, but the car feels better than the day I drove it off the lot.

All of this was covered under the factory warranty, no questions asked. The service reps at Paramus Mitsubishi were extremely helpful and I'd recommend anyone to go to them (Side note, although my X is completely stock they seem to be very mod-friendly). A big thumbs down goes to Schaller Mitsubishi, who not only charged me for their poor service but were very rude and unwilling to help me. I'll be going back to them to try and get some of my money back but they've already lost me as a customer.

To top it all off today marks the 1 yr mark of ownership with my X and although its caused me plenty of headaches I couldn't be happier behind the wheel :rock:
 
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