Steering problem

Tiny
ALIAS20RIVERA
  • MEMBER
  • 1990 HONDA ACCORD
  • 2.2L
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • MANUAL
  • 178,000 MILES
The other day I was driving and I fell asleep at the wheel. I hit a curb I do not know how fast I was going, but I know it was not faster than 25mph. But it was about 4-6 inches high. I hit it hard enough for my wheels to go up the curb, now when I am driving my steering wheel pulls hard to the right and the left (not as much as the right) also any little bump or hole I run over feels like a big bang in my car and when I turn my steering wheel I hear a clicking noise, I do not know if I need an alignment or if I messed up a control arm or tie rod. I need my car because I have two babies and I constantly go to Dr appointments. Any help is appreciated
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Tuesday, March 15th, 2016 AT 5:33 PM

8 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
This needs to be inspected at a tire and alignment shop. Pulling left and right, (I am assuming not at the same time), suggests a tie rod may be bent. That will cause the two front wheels to steer in different directions, and the car will follow the tire with the most weight on it. That changes as you drive over bumps in the road as as the road tilts.

A bent control arm will cause "camber" to change on that wheel. Camber is one of the three main alignment angles and it has the biggest effect on the way that tire wants to pull.
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Tuesday, March 15th, 2016 AT 5:39 PM
Tiny
ALIAS20RIVERA
  • MEMBER
Yeah, the way you describe the tie rod sounds most like what my car is doing, thanks so much I did not know what to do and most mechanics when you go and you do not know whats wrong they generally try to make a run for your money.
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Tuesday, March 15th, 2016 AT 6:06 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
I know it can seem that way but there is a lot more to the story that most car owners are not aware of. We have tons of government regulations we have to follow, and there is always the threat of a lawsuit. Doctors do way too many tests to protect themselves from lawsuits and you and I pay for it in the long run. Unfortunately, mechanics are held to much higher standards than doctors, and one disreputable mechanic gives all of us a bad name.
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Tuesday, March 15th, 2016 AT 7:33 PM
Tiny
ALIAS20RIVERA
  • MEMBER
Thanks for the help again.
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Tuesday, March 15th, 2016 AT 8:21 PM
Tiny
RENEE
  • ADMIN
You are welcome. Visit 2CarPros anytime, we are always happy to help.
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Thursday, March 17th, 2016 AT 3:43 PM
Tiny
ALIAS20RIVERA
  • MEMBER
One more question will bad tie rods make my tires ware out faster and unevenfly
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Friday, March 18th, 2016 AT 8:20 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Absolutely. Each inner and outer tie rod are threaded together to form the final alignment adjustment called "toe". That is the direction the wheel is steering when the steering wheel is straight ahead, and is critical for tire wear.

If either side, (or both sides) is misadjusted, "total toe", meaning the two wheels taken together, will cause both tires to steer in different directions. For example, if the fronts of both wheels are closer together than the rears of the front wheels, the outer edges will scrub off. If you exaggerate it for clarity, think of holding a pencil upright on a table with the eraser end down, then dragging it sideways. The leading edge of the eraser will scrub away and the trailing edge will lift up and not wear. The same thing happens to your tires. When toe is in too much, (fronts of the tires too close together), the outer edges are the leading edges and will scrub off. You'll see rapid tire wear on the outer edges of BOTH front tires.

To put it in perspective, a typical toe specification for a front-wheel-drive car might be 1/16" plus or minus 1/16". Road force and braking force are expected to tug the wheels back a little resulting in that 1/16" disappearing while driving and making the wheels perfectly parallel to each other. At as little as 1/8" toe you can start to get a little excessive tire wear. 1/4" toe will result in a lot of tire wear. The tires will wear out in about half of their expected life. A sloppy ball and socket joint in a single tie rod end could allow toe to go out-of-specs by over 1/2" very easily. By that time I would be nervous about driving the car because that joint is ready to separate leading to loss of control and a crash. Then it's a matter of heading into the ditch or into oncoming traffic. By that time you'd have gone through multiple pairs of tires.
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Saturday, March 19th, 2016 AT 2:46 AM
Tiny
ALIAS20RIVERA
  • MEMBER
I do not drive my car at the moment, I was going to fix the tie rod ends as well as the inner tie rods and tie rod boots and next replace all my tires hopefully that is all the damage that was done.
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Thursday, March 24th, 2016 AT 7:41 PM

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