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Discussion Starter #1
I have a little over 1000m on my car but I've always noticed that the steering is a little harder to turn to the right vs left, and the car feels "odd" going into turns.. It drives fine and straight at slow or high speeds but it's still bothering me. This is unrelated to a little cracked bumper incident I had last week- the car has always done this. Will a dealership charge you for a full alignment even if no problem is found? Since I've only had the car for a month you'd think they'd be nice and check it out for free?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I know cars can still drive perfectly straight and still be out of alignment.. It's just going into turns when I notice this.
 

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Id talk to the dealer, it probably would have been better to mention it as soon as you noticed it was an issue. I work at a dealership and the longer you wait the harder it is to do anything, even though it is 1k miles, every dealership/manufacture is different. Hopefully they do not see the bumper damage and deny coverage, they may blame the concern you are having with outside influence.
 

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I'd contact them and talk to them about it. Might have to take them for a drive/let them drive so they can feel it too. Should be covered, unless something happened to void the warranty.

Worse they can say is "No, its not covered" Best case, they fix it for free and your able to enjoy your zoom zoom around all corners ^_^
 

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I had a 2002 protege 5 and the warranty back then stated that there was a 12 month, 12,000 mile 'adjustment period' for all of its new cars, in which they will adjust your alignment, headlight aims, rotors, and any other 'adjustment' issues free of charge. This was 12 years ago but you should look in your owner's manual to see if it still exists. I took mine in at 11,500 miles just to get a free alignment.
 

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i had a slight alignment issue with my other mazda, took it to dealer. alignment adjustment is only free for the first 12k miles. after that they charge. alignment might not be covered if you have curb rash.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Since I first posted I have discovered something a little more ominous with my car.. There is a measurable difference between the ride height on the front left, and front right wheels. Out of the three times I measured (all on even surface, three separate places) I'm getting almost an inch difference between wheel center and fender/bottom of car to ground. My driver side is the lower side. Before you say it's my 170lbs fat ass, remember my car has 1,000 miles on it. Yea we have crappy roads in the winter, but I haven't hit anything hard. I'm the guy swerving to avoid potholes (safety in mind, of course). Can realignment fix ride height on our 3's? Not sure what else to contribute to this. The 60 mile drive my car took to the dealer from another dealer will always be a mystery to me, but hopefully there wasn't some big pothole the porter hit and didn't say anything...
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Maybe your springs are not seated correctly? I'm not sure, only thing I can think of
Is that adjustable on a stock suspension? I'm hoping it's something they can knock out during the alignment... I'm looking for any and all possibilities.. I'm under warranty cost isn't an issue.
 

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Some manufacturers ship their cars with some rubber spacers in the coils for use during transport, so the car doesn't bottom out and get damaged during transit. They are supposed to be removed when the dealer receives and preps the car. I don't know if Mazda uses them or not, but other manufacturers do and I've heard of dealers forgetting to remove some or all of them.

Here is a thread on the VWvortex forum discussing just this issue:

VWVortex.com - Removing the OEM spring spacers up front
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Being more specific, my 3 s touring hatch rides at EXACTCLY 9 inches on every tire except for the driver's side which is currently sagging at least 1/2" lower than the rest. I can feel it when I turn left.. The car "bites" into turns more easily going left, and ever so slightly, the wheel wants to go left when I hit bumps. For the most part it will drive straight but if it trails off anywhere its going to go left.. I have an alignment scheduled for tomorrow and I want to make sure they fix this ride height issue BEFORE alignment... If its narrowed down to my drivers side tire, what all could be causing this?
 

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Called my dealer today, he said free alignment check and adjustment in the first year or 20,000km. I assume it would be the same for USA?

I'm holding off till roads are paved after our harsh winter.
 
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