Date: Fri, 20 Sep 2002 17:37:53 GMT
From: Paul Halliday <>
Subject: Re: Car drifts to the right, normal?

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, and the steering wheel looks off >> center to the right -just slightly when driving straight. >> [...] I wen't to B&B Saab in Santa Clara to get the alignment >> checked, and guess what? [...] He also said it was normal for >> the car to drift to the right! I asked why and he said it's >> because Saab doesn't want you to hit on-comming traffic if you >> fall asleep at the wheel. Is all this true? It sounds like >> hogwash to me. All comments are welcome. Thanks > > 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, an elderly couple and a pregnant mother pushing her disabled child in a wheel-chair when you ride up onto the kerb is what the manufacturer intended? ... So long as the oncoming traffic is okay, well, collatoral damage :) Hmmmm. Cars do drive in city centres ... well, they do in my country, anyway :) If I feel asleep at the wheel, I would not like to end up in the verge/pavement, or the central reservation/oncoming traffic. I would like to go in a straight line. If my car drove towards the kerb as standard, and I had the tracking and alignment adjusted to ensure that it drove in a straight line, should I be telling my insurance company that I have purposefully *removed* a factory standard safety feature? Regards, Paul (with cars that drive in a straight line) 1985 900i 16V 1989 900 Turbo S

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