I drive a 2004 Chevy Impala Sedan. I was T-boned today on my rear passenger side. The Vehicle that hit me was going between 5-15 MPH at collision going down hill while breaking. I was going no more than 10 MPH as well. My rear passenger door was not hit, and there is virtually no aesthetic damage other than minor paint and a plastic hub cap all over the middle of an intersection. Though I did not notice, the blue suit on the scene pointed out that the wheel was bent and made me tow it home. The wheel appears to be vertically straight, (from ground to roof of wheel well. However is slightly noticeably bent horizontally inward towards rear bumper and outwardly bent towards the backseat passenger door. After a few minutes of comparison and cross-examination prone in a snowbank combined with all knowing Google, and looking at multiple diagrams, I've learned the outer tie rod is bent upward just after the gas tank. I'm not a professional, and understand that until fully examined there maybe multiple much more expensive factors at work here. However, could this be the reason for the slightly noticeable horizontal bend in the wheel. If this is the case, would I be able to drive my vehicle to my mechanic approximately (just under) 20 miles away. I would of course be driving very. Gently and taking back roads as to travel at slower speeds. Based on current life circumstances and on the brink of being broke, I have a slight cushion in the bank which is mostly going towards rent already. I will be trading (computer assistance, free professional massage sessions, and likely and sum of cash I cannot afford (yet will still be inexpensive compared to the alternative). I live in the city and have no room or place to make the repairs. I will need to have it towed if I cannot drive it for approximately 125$ one way. The less money I spend on the tow truck, the more I can contribute to my mechanic. Please advise. Thank you so much.
**Edit** I will be trading (computer assistance, free professional massage sessions, and likely and sum of cash I cannot afford (yet will still be inexpensive compared to the alternative). **To my close friend and mechanic for his assistance in the repair.**
January, 8, 2013 AT 2:54 AM
The cop told you to have it towed to avoid any liability issue since we all love to sue whenever possible. Drive it carefully and you will notice the steering wheel is no longer centered. That is because the rear tire is steering to one side and you have to compensate by turning the front wheels the same way, just as you would steer into a skid. If the steering wheel is off-center no more than say 1/8 turn, a little excessive wear will be taking place on BOTH rear tires. 20 miles won't cause much wear. If the steering wheel is off much more than that, you may hear the tires skidding a little. Besides the less-than-ideal handling, the tires will be scrubbing off very much faster than normal.
Tie rod ends are fairly easy and inexpensive to replace. Many manufacturers use them on the rear because they are lightweight. Unfortunately they are extremely weak and the slightest bump or pothole can affect the critical adjustments. The car will need to be aligned once the tie rod end is replaced. Your mechanic will be able to get it close so you can safely drive the car, but it is impossible to get it close enough to prevent tire wear without an alignment computer.