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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Since purchasing the Volt 16MAY, it's had a very slight, slow drift to the left. Flat surfaces, various speeds, wheel straight and very light creep to the left over time. At times, I've had to "hard" turn the wheel to center to get it to re-center - when speaking to a Volt enthusiast salesman at the dealer I purchased (was having the Android Auto update installed) - he mentioned that the Volt is constantly "scanning the road" and "the electric steering motor...." but the rest made no sense as he couldn't correlate the information into a succinct message. This led me to believe, his lack of confidence on the topic gave no credence to his explanation. So, I took it for what's it worth. Anyone know what he could have been eluding too?

In the meantime, I want to report what I found today - I know these Tire Pressure Monitoring Sensors (TPMS) and actual tire pressures are not 100% accurate or synchronized. And there are older threads on this topic, but I'll report what I learned today.
New Gauge.jpg Bought this for $13 today...
Here are the pressures: Tire 1 is the driver's Front/T2 is passenger Front/T3 is driver Rear/T4 is passenger Rear:
Before Adding Air:
Volt TPMS = 37, 37, 36, 37
OnStar = 36, 37, 35, 37
Actual Tires = 35, 37, 35, 36

Added air to 40psig all tires
Volt TPMS = 41, 41, 42, 41

Drove a few miles and it seemed improved - but the real test is tomorrow during morning commute.
 

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You'd need way more variance like -10psi for a low tire to cause this symptom.

It is possible that one tire is malformed/defective or that alignment is out. Either will eventually cause irregular tire wear.

First thing I would try is balance and rotate the tires. (Close inspection is needed.) If the symptom moves or is different it's a tire/wheel issue.
Second, check the alignment.
Third, some mechanical issue like a bad rack or bent/loose strut.

I had the on-center steering 'bump' on my 2013. Got a similar run-around until GM finally admitted there was a rack/software problem.
 

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Agree this would not be a tire inflation issue. Not much difference between the tires. First guess would be alignment but could be other things.
 

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My volt cut ally came with 3 tires of one type and one of another, even though they all said Goodyear Assurance and were the same size numbers on the sidewall. But I too am leaning towards an alignment issue. All it takes is one really good pothole to knock the car out of alignment (or an escapade with a stop sign and a triangular concrete island that materialized out of thin air). I'd have it looked at immediately as tire wear on an alignment issue can make a tire bald really fast.

The scanning the road and electric steering motor statement by the salesman is a crock of ****. There is no autopilot on these volts, at least not yet.
 

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Add another to the pile of "go get the alignment checked" recommendations.
 

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...

- when speaking to a...salesman at the dealer...he mentioned that the Volt is constantly "scanning the road" and "the electric steering motor...." but the rest made no sense as he couldn't correlate the information into a succinct message. ... Anyone know what he could have been eluding too?

...
He was alluding to his complete ignorance about automobiles in general, but could also have been eluding the question given said ignorance.
 

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To the original poster..... Here's the basis of my thoughts and opinion.
1) your car is in contact with the road through 4 "contact patches" about the size of the palm of your hand.
2) anything that compromises those contact patches should be investigated and addressed as a TOP priority before you drive the vehicle again.

So having said that, I've had a "drift" like that from a separated belt in a tire, and also (more often) from a misalignment so it seems to me that step one is to get yourself immediately to a reputable tire shop and have them check all four tires and your alignment.

Handling issues are not some thing small you can ignore, they are IMPORTANT and should be addressed AS SOON AS POSSIBLE for yourself and for everyone else on the road!
 

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Very slight drift to the left? When my new vehicles do that I always figured it was "Joe" at the factory cheating the alignment to compensate for the crown of the road. Either that or since I drive with my left hand on the steering wheel, to the left we drift, gravity you know.
 

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The salesman is talking about LKA, lane keep assist, but it doesn't sound like that. Loboc gave an excellent answer. The only thing I'd add is that the road is crowned, and some concrete roads are grooved for rain. But, crowning typically helps your car drift to the right, not left. The only other thing to add that hasn't been mentioned by others is that some roads are heavily tracked, that is, the weight of the vehicles, mostly trucks, have created channels in the roadway. If your wheels don't track these channels exactly, you can often get some drift. I hear this is a big problem with the BMW i3, which has very skinny tires.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Well, well, well - with much anticipation after a long 13hr day, I come back to see great insight into the drift!
(Notwithstanding the commentary regarding my lack of English mastery ><)
Pardon me :)
Now to get the tires checked and do as you gents have suggested.
Thanks!
 

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The salesman is talking about LKA, lane keep assist, but it doesn't sound like that. Loboc gave an excellent answer. The only thing I'd add is that the road is crowned, and some concrete roads are grooved for rain. But, crowning typically helps your car drift to the right, not left. The only other thing to add that hasn't been mentioned by others is that some roads are heavily tracked, that is, the weight of the vehicles, mostly trucks, have created channels in the roadway. If your wheels don't track these channels exactly, you can often get some drift. I hear this is a big problem with the BMW i3, which has very skinny tires.
My roads have plenty of crowns and flat roads, I don't notice any drift except the two times the car hit something and needed alignments. One couldn't take my appointment for over a week, and I really wore the edges on two of my tires. So I continue to vote for alignment, though it could also be a stuck brake issue too. After driving awhile carefully touch your wheels and see if any left wheels are hot. If they are all about the same temp, then it's not a sticky caliper.
 

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At delivery, is it unusual to ask the dealership to check the alignment? Would that be worse than factory settings? Would a good alignment shop be better?

I have often wondered how accurate the factory alignments are. With the low rolling resistance tires, I intend to baby mine.
 

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FYI, on the tire pressure measurements. OnStar's MyVolt.com only gives 30 day tire pressure "snapshots" as far as I know. And the TPMS can be +/- 1-2 psi, which can also be the variance in handheld devices. So your numbers agree given the range of variability between the different measuring devices. Also, after you add air, the tires need some driving revolutions before the TPMS picks up the changed pressure.

I have had tires be off by 1-2 lbs (measured by the TPMS) from the others without noticing a pull.
 

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FYI, on the tire pressure measurements. OnStar's MyVolt.com only gives 30 day tire pressure "snapshots" as far as I know. And the TPMS can be +/- 1-2 psi, which can also be the variance in handheld devices. So your numbers agree given the range of variability between the different measuring devices. Also, after you add air, the tires need some driving revolutions before the TPMS picks up the changed pressure.

I have had tires be off by 1-2 lbs (measured by the TPMS) from the others without noticing a pull.
Driving revolutions? I've had my car parked in the garage, no movement at all, and with an air compressor I would do some air, then in a minute or 2 I'd see the pressure change on the dash change. And as soon as you start driving, tires generate heat, no the pressure goes up a bit. I leave the house with cold tires at 38 psi, and a few moments later on the highway TPMS will show 40 psi.
 

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Driving revolutions?
I meant for the TPMS to pickup the new wheel locations after a tire rotation relearn. not the pressure change. Thanks for catching that llninja.
 

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I meant for the TPMS to pickup the new wheel locations after a tire rotation relearn. not the pressure change. Thanks for catching that llninja.
My volt doesn't relearn the tire locations after a rotation. I had to purchase a relearn tool to tell it which tire is where on my 2013. Alas, I just stopped doing rotations altogether following all of my other cars. Sure I might wear through some tires quicker, but I'm not masking any alignment problems by moving the tires around. Btw, my OEM set of Goodyears lasted until about 35k miles, but these Yokohamas have 20k miles on them and barely show any sign of wear. I'm losing a few miles of range because the tread pattern is so deep, but the stickiness on dry and wet pavement seems worth it to me s I take corners like Mario Andretti.
 
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