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somewhat premature question - Honda accord steering knuckle failure

somewhat premature question - Honda accord steering knuckle failure

(OP)
I expect to know more details in a day or 2, but am too anxious not to ask now.

*** Do failures of mid 90s OEM Honda steering knuckles exist?

My daughter was driving a 1996 Hond Accord that has been in the family for the last 15 years, driving in salty Massachusetts winters. A front fender was dented a few times, but I don't think there was ever any question of suspension damage. I know the condition of the original ball joints and tie rods was still acceptable as of 2 years ago when I changed a wheel bearing. The boots were intact, and clearance was minimal. It has been inspected annually by a state agent (supposed to include some level of suspension inspection, if only wiggling while airborne) , and had a control arm replaced by others 6 months or so ago (the records are unclear as to which side) .

When approaching an intersection near home on Friday the right front suspension failed, the wheel kicked out so there was no steering control, destroyed the fender, and she slid into an intersection.

It was towed by the police to a shop, who did a superficial inspection using a floor jack. The 2nd hand report is the knuckle is broken, the tie rod is broken, and the axle is in 2 pieces (CVJ unplugged, I'm guessing).

I'd expect a steering knuckle to endure immense abuse before failing, even if somewhat weakened by corrosion. If the (cast, as I recall) knuckle is indeed broken, I am concerned about the condition of the other one, or a used replacement, and thus even the wisdom or repairing the car.

If a new less-than-OEM ball joint (part of the control arm) failed, or came adrift (probably from being improperly torqued) or ??? I'd feel better about repairing it, but will do some dye pen inspection of the in service counterparts of the parts that actually broke.

thanks

Dan T

RE: somewhat premature question - Honda accord steering knuckle failure

Fifteen winters in MA?
It owes you nothing.
Junk it.

Mike Halloran
Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

RE: somewhat premature question - Honda accord steering knuckle failure

Had to have been a wheel impact sometime, somewhere. Otherwise there must have been a flaw. I've had 2 front suspension failures long after incidents, where inspections turned up no damage.

RE: somewhat premature question - Honda accord steering knuckle failure

(OP)
Sept 23 update.

As might have been expected the knuckle is intact. The Lower ball joint is heavily rusted and worn so badly the ball joint separated. The knob/ball on the tapered stud is still attached to the lower control arm. I'm guessing the boot failed a while ago and the contaminated joint has been wearing at an accelerated rate. As mentioned before My daughter had a shop near her investigate a clunk 6-12 months ago on that side, and they allegedly replaced a "control arm" (no mention of ball joint), but the paperwork or the service manager had suggested they replaced the driver's side arm. The car has made it through Mass "safety" inspections for the last 2 years.
So now the only question is does the repair shop get a visit from Dr Lecter and Karl Childers stops by the the inspection station, or vice versa.

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