Spindle Bent?

  • 6 CYL
  • 2WD
  • 60,000 MILES
My car was making a squealing noise occasionally on turns, so I asked Garage A to check the tire work they had done two weeks prior -- a routine rotation and spin balance. Garage A said there was no problem with the tires, but they pulled off the front brakes and said they were bad. I took the car to Garage B the next day and asked them to check the warranteed front brake work they had just done three months prior. I drove 32 miles since being at Garage A, and did not notice any problems with how the car handled other than it was still making an occasional squealing noise on turns. Garage B told me there were two pieces of metal in the front passenger side tire and only 18 pounds of air, that the driver's side rear tire had only 25 pounds of air, and the old rusty balances were still on the tires -- suggesting that Garage A had never balanced the tires. Garage B said rotation of the flat tire from the rear to the front when Garage A did the initial tire rotation, put weight on the flat front tire and probably caused the occasional squealing noise I was hearing. Garage B fixed, inflated and balanced the tires, said they checked their brake work and it was fine, and that I would need a front end alignment before too long, but not right away. When I drove 7.5 home from Garage B that day, the car "jumped" or "bounced" -- seemed to be handling funny, but I attributed it to the now fully inflated tires. The following day, I drove 1 mile down the street to my health club, and 1 mile back. When I backed from my parking space to leave the club, it seemed difficult to steer the car. But again, I brushed it aside. The next day, on a Sunday, I commenced a trip of about 50 miles, but I didn't get more than a mile down a winding road before the car seemed hard to handle/somewhat uncontrollable. I then drove past some construction barriers alongside the road which required more fine-tuned steering and this was a problem, and by the time I had driven a total of perhaps 5 miles down the road I stopped and checked the air pressure in the tires. The tires were fully inflated, so I started telling myself that the car was handling strangely because Garage B had told me I would need a front end alignment before too long, but not right away. I thought surely that could not be a major safety concern already. I continued driving, getting on an interstate beltway. I pulled off the beltway once and considered driving back home and cancelling my plans for the day. Then I decided to try to continue driving, since I had now driven probably 30-35 miles. I found myself on some highway pavement not fully finished -- with the tiny little grooves -- and this made the car fish-tail constantly. I was frightened out of my wits, turned on my flashing lights and slowly, slowly got off the beltway and parked at a Burger King where I called a tow truck to tow me home. Now, the next day I drove the car slowly 4 miles to Garage C -- my dealership garage. On Tuesday, they called me to say their test drive revealed the car was "rolling, " the spindle rods were "bent bad", and that this could only have been caused by having been put on a lift improperly. Garage A then insisted that my car had been on a two post lift with side arms and that lift could not have bent the spindle rods; they said their two drive-on lifts were out of commission on the day I was there, anyway. Garage B told me he did not bend the rods, saying that I had seen my car on his center post lift (which I had, briefly). Garage B, however, showed me a drive-on lift behind his center post lift which was of the type that COULD readily bend the rods if the bars/rails were not properly positioned. Garage B also told me at this point, that he had noticed my spindle rods were "bent a little" and "bowed" when he fixed the tires on my car and checked the front brake work, but he didn't mention it to me because he didn't want to "alarm" me. When I told Garage B I wish he had told me of seeing the bent rods, he said that not all cars have straight spindle rods, and that he had test driven the car and had not noticed any problem. Isn't it only logical that Garage B bent the rods, since I did not notice any problem until I left his garage? And shouldn't Garage B have known that my car was not supposed to have bent spindle rods? And didn't Garage B have a professional responsibility to tell me about seeing the bent rods, even if he hadn't been the garage that bent them? Sorry to go on at such length, but that's actually an abreviated version of my problem! Thanks for anything you can tell me.
Monday, June 22nd, 2009 AT 8:44 AM

1 Reply

  • 43,381 POSTS
Sorry you got the run around, its tough to say who saw what and when. I have never heard of bent spindle rods before? Can you let us know what you have done to fix the problem?
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Thursday, October 2nd, 2014 AT 1:48 PM

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