Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Front right tire hangs lower than left tire when placed on jack stands of equal height.

asked by on

This is the first time I jacked this car up. When jacking up from a centre jack point under the engine bay, I notice the left side of the car goes higher than the right side. After I rested the car on two jack stands of equal height on each pitch weld, I noticed the right tire hangs lower and touches the ground, whereas the left tire has about 1.5 inch of ground clearance. I have not notice any obvious suspension noise during the last week of driving. However, before I bought this used car, the shop said they did a tire alignment. Why is my right tire hanging lower?

My car has 40000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hello - your RAV4 uses torsion bars instead of springs to suspend the weight of the vehicle. Each wheel/tire carries a different amount of vehicle weight. An alignment adjusts torsion spring force to support each corner of the vehicle to a certain height - called ride height. Think of this as the distance between the ground and a point on the undercarriage that will be the same side-to-side. It will be same for both front tires, and both rear tires, although the front and rear ride height may be different. This may result in different "tire hang when suspended" distance as you have noticed. Test this by driving the vehicle onto an absolutely flat piece of pavement, then measure the distance between the ground and a front frame or sub-frame point that is common on both the right and left sides. If the distances are equal, the vehicle was aligned properly, regardless of how the tire hangs when the vehicle is suspended.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Front right tire hangs lower than left tire when placed on jack stands of equal height.

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: What should I know about loading cargo and luggage on the roof luggage carrier?

If your car is equipped with a roof luggage carrier, you’ll find that it offers a significant amount of additional cargo space than what’s available in the cargo compartment alone. Of course, there are several things that you need to...

Q: Tires making whining noise.

The tread wall of the tires need to be checked for abnormal wear. Inspect the tires to ensure no steel chords are exposed on the tire. Run your hand across the inner and outer edges of each tire to see...

Q: Do they make a thermostat for 2004 Chevy Malibu V6 that cools the car down faster because my needle is going past a half mark

Hi there. Although there are a few aftermarket accessory cooling systems, such as secondary water pumps that might help, in your case, it's probably best to resolve the issue you're having instead of trying to upgrade something. It's more than...

Related articles

How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.