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Discussion Starter #1
I have had many cars in my life and have never even given thought to how straight my car is when I pull into a parking spot. Ever since I bought my '15 platinum this past summer I have noticed that I consistently park crooked. For me the front end is always to the left of center and the rear towards the right. I think there is something about the body lines that makes me feel like the car is parked straight as an arrow when I shut off the motor. Does this happen to anyone else?
 

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I have had many cars in my life and have never even given thought to how straight my car is when I pull into a parking spot. Ever since I bought my '15 platinum this past summer I have noticed that I consistently park crooked. For me the front end is always to the left of center and the rear towards the right. I think there is something about the body lines that makes me feel like the car is parked straight as an arrow when I shut off the motor. Does this happen to anyone else?
How do you determine if you parked your Highlander (HL) straight or crooked (based on visual, approximation of the parking space left/right lines and centering your steering wheel as you pull-in the last couple of feet)? Assuming this is not just a matter of getting used to your HL, possibly your HL is not going down the road straight (in alignment term, your vehicle's thrust-angle not at 0 degree), one easy way to check is to have someone driving a 2nd car follow behind you in a distance (say 5 to 8 cars away) to visually look if your HL is driving down a straight road side ways (as you have described as crooked); if not visible just by looking then the next thing is to have the HL all wheel alignment checked along with its thrust-angle.

P.S. Just thought of another thing for you to check (besides getting used to the HL, check thrust-angle), is to make sure your driver seat (or your sitting position) is facing forward straight, Not crooked off to the right...
 

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I always park cockeyed, pulling in with any vehicle. With Birds eye I can get straighter, even adjust if necessary. Backing in with my LC500, which lowers the outside mirrors, I consistently do better.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I appreciate the responses. I don't think its the thrust angle as I have no issues parking straight in my driveway where I am driving straight into my spot. The problem is when I have to turn into a tight parking lot space between 2 cars. I think it's just me. I'm just surprised at how poorly I estimate how straight the vehicle is. I literally sat in my parking spot trying to determine if I was straight from inside the car and when I got out I was crooked as usual. I guess I'll have to learn to bias my orientation to the right so I can end up straight.
 

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Sounds great!
Thrust angle is rare to make difference in parking (only heard of that once), and for the seats (LOL) only seen that in full size FORD/Lincoln vehicles.
Regards!
 

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I appreciate the responses. I don't think its the thrust angle as I have no issues parking straight in my driveway where I am driving straight into my spot. The problem is when I have to turn into a tight parking lot space between 2 cars. I think it's just me. I'm just surprised at how poorly I estimate how straight the vehicle is. I literally sat in my parking spot trying to determine if I was straight from inside the car and when I got out I was crooked as usual. I guess I'll have to learn to bias my orientation to the right so I can end up straight.
FWIW...If it makes u feel better, your not alone. ;) I've had same happen to me & apparently I just misjudge pulling in & parking between lines so must be me, driver error. Had to back up once, got it right pulling back in. lol!

btw....Sometimes I see a car parked crooked between parking stripes / / Next to it, spot is mt, but only a smart car could park in it. No biggie, just observation on how some could care less when parking.
 

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Took me a while to get it to park straight. Never had a problem with any other vehicle I've ever owned...or rent.
 

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Once i pull in, i put my foot on the brake and put car in reverse. I used the cameras to show me how I’ve done.
 

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There could be something to this, when in the passengers seat it sometimes used to seem like the driver is taking the wrong line when they are obviously not, have not really noticed that effect before (except as a passenger in a heavy truck where driver is taking a different line because of vehicle size), so maybe there is something about the shape of it, and yes the forward parking took a while to get used to judging where the front corner of the vehicle was in relation to other cars took quite some time.
 

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... For me the front end is always to the left of center and the rear towards the right. I think there is something about the body lines that makes me feel like the car is parked straight as an arrow when I shut off the motor. ....
After reading your OP and confirmation in post #6 (no alignment issue) plus what was said by 'Vangm25' in post #2 (reverse park, always straight) lead me believe that driver-side hood line (see attached picture) may have been contributed to the slight illusion on how the HL is parked...
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I wanted to say thanks to all who have replied to this thread. Seems I'm not the only one that has a little trouble parking straight.

I must say that this discussion seems to have been very therapeutic. Just talking about my parking woe's seems to have helped a lot. I've parked nearly straight every time since I made this thread. I'm very slightly crooked today but nothing that you would notice if you weren't looking for it.
 

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I cannot believe I just came across this thread! I thought I was just crazy. I totally agree, it seems I am always having to make a second adjustment to get the vehicle straight in the space. I've never "studied" the issue. Just thought I was crazy. What's odd is that I can throw my full size crew cab F150 into a spot the first time.
 

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I have noticed the same thing since getting my 2018 HL XLE (new). As noted above, it probably has something to do with the hood lines, but I think it also involves the window lines. There are slightly swooping interlocking design lines that create a sort of optical illusion that you're straight when you aren't. I often open the door to check the line, but I'm getting used to it. It helps to visualize the front of the HL as being a wedge, like a slice of pizza. As noted above, you can put the HL in reverse, and check lines in the display. Also, you can direct the driver mirror down, but that's kind of a pain.
They should have made a little window at the bottom of the door ;)
 
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