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What's wrong?

What's wrong?

(OP)
I like some expert opinion from one engineer to another (Aerospace-EE) on what's going with my car.  I was rear ended, lady that hit me was going 30mph or so.  In anycase, there's something wrong my car alignment/steering system.  My car is a 2008 Acura TL.  It has been to 4 different shops, including the an Acura dealer, and a suppose "suspension expert".  No one been able to fix it.  They would align the car, and then a week later, the car alignment would be completely hosed( i.e alignment would fall out of specs again).     

Signs I've noticed:
1. Steering is really tight.  
2. Rear Right Camber is out of spec after the accident.  Suspension expert put in an adjust control arm to compensate for the camber angle.
3. When I make a right hand turn, the car wants to keep going right and does not return to center.  Left turns are fine.
4. Car always wants to go to the right.  No road crown issue.  It will traverse 3 lanes of highway.
5. Car pulls to the right at low speed (30mph) and high speed (60mph).
6. A week after an alignment, my car feels like there's tremendous drag at 60mph.  
7. The shop pretty much swapped out all the arms on right rear wheel and the cradle of the car.  Nothing.

Any ideas?

RE: What's wrong?

The car, itself, is clearly bent.
It should have been totaled and scrapped.
Your lawyer will probably insist that you not drive the car in its current clearly unsafe condition.
Yes, you should talk to a lawyer; you may have to sue, or present a credible threat of suing, one or both insurance companies to make anything happen.
 

Mike Halloran
Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

RE: What's wrong?

(OP)
I was hoping it wouldn't get to that point, but it's been 5 months and no resolution.  

I have tons of paperwork and emails that I kept just in case I have to go the lawyer route.  I never hired a lawyer before but it sounds expensive, if you lose or win.  

I bought brand new tires for the car after the accident, because they say it was my tires.  I called another shop I wanted to bring my car into and told them my story, the manager I spoke with didn't want to touch my car at all.      

RE: What's wrong?

Talking to a lawyer before he takes your case usually costs nothing.
You can talk to the lawyer about recovering the cost of the tires, and something for your time, renting another car, all that stuff.

Upon further reflection, I wouldn't drive the car at all.  The behavior you report, going out of line after it's been aligned, suggests that the geometry of the car is changing.  .... as in, there's a crack somewhere important that hasn't yet grown big enough to be easily discovered, or to turn into a total fracture.  You don't want to be driving when that happens.

 

Mike Halloran
Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

RE: What's wrong?

In a safe place, have someone drive your car that you can trust, and follow behind in another car. As mentioned I bet you will see the rear wheels will not follow the front.  Good Luck. JK

RE: What's wrong?

Your situation has all the symptoms of a loose fixture.  That means a bolted attachment that is slipping. If so, it could be caused by a bolt with nut that has stretched and has run out of travel or the attachment has lost its grip with the body.  A broken weld can also do this. The car is aligned while gravity holds the joint, but a transient load slips the pieces. Sometimes you can detect this by literally kicking the tires. Each side of the car should have the same response level (movement, noise, frequency and steady state position).

You car could have a dragging rear brake piston, too,

RE: What's wrong?

(OP)
Would the loose bolt explain why the alignment goes out in the front wheels as well as the rear?   

RE: What's wrong?

It could be any number of things mentioned already.

A chassis hard point is moving due to crack or broken welds.

A bolt is not gripping because:-

1) The thread bottoms out before the joint is clamped.

2) A washer is not gripping because of wear or dirt.

3) A required washer or spacer is missing.

4) A bush is pounded out.

Not mentioned, but a bolt of to small a diameter is in a hole so the part moves within that clearance.

You need to know exactly what aspect or aspects of alignment is changing. Is it always the same thing.

Then put it on a hoist and look and think about every related part and where it might move to create the result.

Regards
Pat
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RE: What's wrong?

It would be rather unusual for a rear suspension issue to cause the front end alignment to change, but I suppose if the track or ride height changed enough at the rear then the basic stance of the car might change enough to affect it.

Unfortunately there doens't really seem much choice but to find another 'expert'.
 

Cheers

Greg Locock


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RE: What's wrong?

A laser rig uses all 4 wheels to define the baseline so it could read a change in crab or thrustline as a need to redo front end toe, etc. I'd have thought that level of damage would be pretty obvious.

 

Cheers

Greg Locock


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