First, I noticed the steering wheel out of alignment, it was off to the right by about 1/4 inch for several weeks. This I noted and planned to have the vehicle aligned. Given my minimal knowledge of alignment indicators, I had heard that if the steering wheel was off center the alignment is off. I did notice too a flapping sound from one of the tires, and thought this was related to a tire patch I had done a few weeks earlier (roofing nail), or an alignment issue. To my knowledge there have been no big pot holes or curbs hit with this car since I have owned it. On the contrary, my husband is an avid pot hole indentifier. Meaning he helps enhance my already diligent nature in avoiding holes. I drive the car easy through dips, etc. The shop said the car was badly out of alignment and that three of the tires were worn badly on the inside. So I purchased four tires at the same time they did the alignment work. When I left their lot with the vehicle I had trouble turning left, meaing it felt I was hitting something or having a hesitation in turning. The part that is bent is being called the steering shaft, or rod, and inorder to replace you have to replace the entire steering assembly. Currently this rod is rubbing against the brake pedal because of the bend in it. When you depress the brake upon turning left, the steering wheel turns easy because the petal is out of the way of the bend.
Since writing to you earlier, I have now learned through communication my husband has had with the shop that they have purchased the entire steering assembly from a salvage yard and are giving it to us. I am to pick it up tomorrow. This part through Ford is 933.00. I cannot figure out why I had absolutely no indication of an issue with steeriing until this alignment. The car returned to straight upon completing turn, and the steering wheel turned smoothly.
Thank you for your help!
Wednesday, April 8th, 2009 AT 12:50 PM