Date: Sat, 21 Sep 2002 19:31:46 GMT
From: Paul Halliday <>
Subject: Re: Car drifts to the right, normal?

in article, Andrew Stephenson at wrote on 21/09/2002 00:04: > In article <> > "Paul Halliday" writes: > >> in article, Andrew Stephenson at >> wrote on 20/09/2002 16:16: >> >>> In article <miwi9.30682$> >>> "Alan Zaza" writes: >>> >>>> I recently noticed my 2001 9-3 drifts to the right a little bit >>>> when I let go of the wheel, [...] [has been told this is >>>> normal and asks if this is true] >>> >>> AFAIK, this is completely true (although, of course, you may also >>> have a fault in your alignment). On and off for the past 40-odd >>> years in different countries, I have been told and had confirmed >>> that cars' steering should be set up so the car will tend to move >>> towards the near verge -- the left in drive-on-left countries or >>> right in drive-on-right. This is a safety feature to catch the >>> case where the driver releases the wheel (or possibly where the >>> wheel becomes disconnected from the steering mechanism).. >>> >>> Think about it. If the driver releases the wheel, without this >>> feature the car might wander anywhere. With this feature, the >>> car is soon removed from the road and out of the way of traffic. >>> If it harms the driver, well yes, that's sad; but at least other >>> road users have not also been harmed. In any case, the sideways >>> drift should be gentle, not a sharp swerve. >> >> So, you're saying that to mow down a group of children, [other >> plainly disputatious drivel snipped] > > Jesus H, Paul, learn how to have a proper technical discussion. > In anticipation of an argumentative gorm coming back with exactly > your kind of response, <SNIP> ... manufacturer's evidence to the contrary of my so-called "spewings"</SNIP> Andrew, My comment was *intended* to be lightly dry-humoured, not drivel. I have thought about whether, or not, to make a reply since my opinion on the matter seems to be opposed, technically, to Saab's. I do not consider my *opinion* to be "drivel" and perhaps you should re-think your light use of a religious figure's name in international company. Where I live, if I uttered the word "Mohammed" in that way, I'd get shot ... seriously. I was not speaking technically, I was speaking morally. Who do the manufacturers think they are, making a decision about who to kill first? In fact, they are accepting (and adjusting for the fact) that a driver may fall asleep at the wheel of the car. In my city (Bradford, UK), I'm too busy avoiding race riots, car jackers, drug-crazed lunatics, joy-riders, thrill-seeking idiots and ram-raiders to fall asleep :) I do understand the benefits of rolling away from faster moving traffic in certain circumstances. But, I can *not* believe that manufacturers of cars can make a value decision about who to kill first in the event of a driver falling asleep at the wheel. They cannot predict where the car will be ... if it *is* on the motorway/freeway, all well and good if you're in the crawler lane, but what if the driver was in the outside lane - the car would drift uncontrolled across two other lanes of traffic and into the verge, rather than just hitting the central reservation barriers and waking the driver up :) If the car was on a long right-hand bend (or left-hand, whichever), this would happen anyway. If the car is in a city, suburb or even in the "country", the car will ride up on the pavement/sidewalk and potentially kill pedestrians. This is, honestly, the first I have heard of this. I have driven a number of cars of differing manufacturers and ages. The only car I have owned that drifted to the side of the road (left hand side in the UK), was my 1985 900i. I had the alignment and tracking set according to the specifications of a Saab of that age and it actually drifted even more to the left. When I got a new set of tyres, all Pirelli P4000, it drove (infact, "drives") in a perfectly forward position. All three Saabs (900 models) that I have owned (okay, they were all older models and I cannot comment on the 9-3 model) have driven perfectly forwards with equal wear tyres and correct wheel settings. I have driven brand new Vauxhall Vectras as well, which the modern Saab models are arguably based on - these do not drift at all. Why not? Why do Saab have a different opinion on the matter to Vauxhall, for essentially the same car? So, I stand corrected (or at least opposed to Saab's stance) - newer Saabs are made to drift to the side of the road. The original poster (Alan Zaza ) was asking if this was "normal" - I take it that it is for modern Saabs, although I do not think it should be. It does make me seriously think twice about buying a modern Saab. My question still stands: "If I have my wheels set to drive in a straight line, should I inform my insurance company that I have removed a manufacturer's factory standard safety feature?" You've had your say ... I've had mine - In all seriousness; happy Saabing, Paul 1985 900i 16V 1989 900 Turbo S

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