When I turn left my car jerks hard that direction

Tiny
KEVIN SCOTT2
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 FORD CONTOUR
  • 2.4L
  • 6 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 150,000 MILES
When I turn left my car jerks hard that direction. Never when I turn right just when I am turning left.
Do you
have the same problem?
Yes
No
Wednesday, September 28th, 2016 AT 2:17 PM

3 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Get it to a tire and alignment shop immediately for an inspection, and you might consider calling a tow truck. For sure I wouldn't be driving it. Ford has had way more trouble with steering and suspension parts separating, leading to loss of control and crashes than any other manufacturer. Those systems should be inspected at least once a year, and any time you hear a new noise or feel a new clunk. In particular they will look at the ball joints, tie rod ends, struts, and control arm bushings.

Control arm bushings used to last the life of the car, but in an attempt to achieve better ride quality, a lot of manufacturers have gone to softer rubber compounds, and deteriorated bushings are the result. Those will not separate but you've already observed the unpredictable nature of the steering control. If you're involved in a crash caused by the other guy running a red light, you don't want his lawyer or insurance investigator finding worn or defective parts on your car. They will convince a jury that you were partly at fault because you were less able to avoid the crash, and they will be right.

A separated ball joint will send your car skidding into the ditch or into oncoming traffic. A separated tie rod end will cause loss of steering control of one wheel. The aftermarket industry has done a real good job of producing much-improved parts that are less likely to fail, but you'll need to inform your oil change person that improved parts are on your car so they look for their grease fittings.

A badly-worn strut usually won't get worse than what you described, but you should have heard a lot of clunking and rattling before now. The upper mounting plate can have a rusted center hole too, but that can't always be seen until the strut is disassembled. That can make it hard for your mechanic to give you an accurate repair estimate if he is only expecting your car to need new struts.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
+1
Thursday, September 29th, 2016 AT 12:08 AM
Tiny
KEVIN SCOTT2
  • MEMBER
I've looked under there and it does look like the control arm bushings or worn. Thanks.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Thursday, September 29th, 2016 AT 9:58 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
That is not the way to check them although if you see anything shiny from rubbing, or rust-colored from, ... Uhm, ... Rust washing out, in that area, that adds to the suspicion. Your mechanic will raise the front end in a manner that lets the suspension parts hang freely, then he will manipulate the control arms with a big pry bar to see if there is movement caused by worn parts.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Friday, September 30th, 2016 AT 9:14 PM

Please login or register to post a reply.

Recommended Guides