Torque Shop

My five-year-old Toyota Camry has been behaving strangely lately. Every time I accelerate, the car tends to veer left. More seriously, when I am in the middle of a curve and I ease off the accelerator pedal midway, the car feels as if it wants to steer right. It is very unnerving.

I have not done any repairs to the suspension. One workshop suggested that I replace the suspension. I do not know what that means or whether it will solve my instability issues. Is it a problem with the steering?

The problem you have is not really a serious one, but like any that concerns dynamic stability, you should have it rectified.

A wayward behaviour when you accelerate or decelerate is caused by an uneven distribution of torque to the front wheels in any front-wheel-drive car. This is usually linked to improper wheel alignment.

But before you send the car for a re-alignment, make sure the tyres are in good condition and pressures are correct. Uneven pressures in the front tyres can also cause what you are experiencing.

If the symptom persists, then a professional wheel alignment service is necessary.

A diligent workshop may discover a worn-out front suspension linkage, dampers or even defective tyres that are contributing to the problem. If that is so, replacing suspension components may be necessary.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 04, 2017, with the headline 'Torque Shop'. Print Edition | Subscribe