Front tires grab/slide/jump while turning full left or right while driving forward

David Owner Metter, Georgia Posted   Latest   Edited  
Question
Chassis
2008 Jeep Liberty Sport 3.7L (K) 4-spd (42RLE)
While Driving Forward Slowly And Turning Full Left Or Right On Pavement The Front Tires Jump/Slide And Grab While Rocking Vehicle A Bit As They Slide

VIN 1J8GP28KX8W191861

I am looking for any ideas about this vehicle. Customers complaint is that while driving in a circle on pavement with the steering wheel fully turned either left or right, the front tires slide and jump. It is especially obvious if there are small loose stones on the pavement such as in some parking lots The front tire tread is chewed up from this problem. I am trying to decide whether this is just normal for this model or not. You cannot feel it while turning on grass or dirt. You can feel it slightly on pavement without loose stones. One thing I noticed is that the steering system holds itself into the full left or right position while driving forward without needing to hold the steering wheel, but then in reverse the driver needs to hold the steering wheel at the full left or right position if desired. To me this seemed possibly like an alignment issue. 

I did perform a wheel alignment as seen in the attachment. The toe was slightly off. The attachment shows the final readings after performing the wheel alignment. I wish I had the Hunter aligner to check some more angles such as Toe Out on Turns which might help to diagnose if it is a turning angle issue. The vehicle drives perfectly going straight on the road with no pulls and no abnormal tire wear other than the tires being chewed up while doing a full left or right turn.

Wheel Alignment

After the alignment I could not detect any change in the operation. During that test drive I noticed some brake drag. Back at the shop I found the front right brake rotor twice as hot as the front left. I thought maybe the brakes sticking was the issue. I found that definitely the front right brake caliper was sticking and the front left was slightly sticking. The front and rear pads were due for replacement. We did a complete brake job with front and rear pads and rotors and two new front calipers. After verifying brake drag issue was solved there was still no change in the symptoms. The tires still slid and grabbed. We verified that the rear differential is operating correctly and not binding by jacking up the one side after turning in a circle. There was no driveline windup from the differential. Also this is a 2WD vehicle so there is no 4WD issues to think about. All tires are the same size.

Pictures of tire tread chewed up.

Second picture of tire.

​Hoping that someone might have some ideas about this problem. Maybe someone would have a similar Jeep that they could test drive under these turning conditions and see if it is normal operation or not.

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Frank Service Manager
Las Vegas, Nevada
Frank
 

Tires are close to worn and have lower grip. Replace them. I’ve seen this hundreds of times

0 Ð Bounty Awarded
Colin Owner/Technician
Ryton, United Kingdom
Colin
 

Do a toe out on turns measurement and also a max steer measurement. Possibly an issue with a bent arm causing the ackerman angle issue.

+1 Ð Bounty Awarded
Sean Technician
Cincinnati, Ohio
Sean
 

I've ran into something very similar on a dodge pickup 2wd. Customer after getting the complete history found out that they had replaced a drag link the one they had (luckily they had the receipt) was for a dodge van, the was definitely a difference in length, can't remember how much but I would get full history, make sure there is no bends or wrong parts

+1 Ð Bounty Awarded
Daryll Diagnostician
Seymour, Tennessee
Daryll
 

Looks like the vehicle spends a lot of time driving on gravel, explaining the tread wear. The hopping sounds like a vehicle stuck in 4wd. What does the vehicle do if the wheels are off the ground and turned to full lock and wheels are powered by the driveline as normal? With the trans in park and spinning 1 wheel (vehicle in air), does the other tire rotate in the opposite direction? If it…

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Daryll Diagnostician
Seymour, Tennessee
Daryll
 

My bad, I overlooked the statement of 2wd

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Jim Owner/Technician
Charlotte, North Carolina
Jim
 

I'm with Daryll, this thing sounds like it is stuck in 4wd, or something in the front diff/ transfer case is seized.

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Sean Technician
Cincinnati, Ohio
Sean
 

He said it's a 2wd

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Jim Owner/Technician
Charlotte, North Carolina
Jim
 

Yep- missed that, I'd get it on the aligner and look at SAI, and ackerman angles,

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Sam Mobile Technician
Flint, Michigan
Sam
 

Something to consider that I have not seen mentioned. Has the diff been serviced recently? The service spec calls for synthetic 75W140. It may be time for a service. I have seen a couple of these with aftermarket locking diffs cause the problem you are describing.

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Daryll Diagnostician
Seymour, Tennessee
Daryll
 

Does the problem only occur during braking and turning? Or will it do it without touching the brakes?

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Daryll Diagnostician
Seymour, Tennessee
Daryll
 

And according to your alignment sheet that thing has quite a bit of toe. Does your machine indicate toe-in as (-) or (+)? And have you performed a rolling circumference check on a flat floor? Tires to spec pressure, mark the tires centerline over the floor, roll 1 revolution and measure the distance traveled of all 4 tires. They should be the same within about 1/2” max

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David Owner
Metter, Georgia
David
 

New tires have been recommended to the customer and we will wait to see what happens once they are ready to replace the tires.

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