Can't be aligned?

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  #1  
Old 06-12-02, 11:34 AM
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Angry Can't be aligned?

Hello All-

I have a 99 PRIZM that pulls to the left. (Not bad. Steering wheel has to point at 12:30 position to go straight, if ya know what I mean.) Problem is that I spoke to 2 shops and they say that they cannot be aligned. They said that the "box" is welded at the factory.

Okay, well assuming that all is fine in the box, can it be anything else?

Thanks in advance.
 
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  #2  
Old 06-12-02, 12:20 PM
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When you say pull, do you mean the car actually "pulls", or is the steering wheel simply not straight? You could have the sterring wheel point at 2 o'clock, and yet the car doesn't have to pull.
 
  #3  
Old 06-12-02, 05:05 PM
Joe_F
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Bring it to another shop. Unless the car was in an accident, it should be able to be lined up properly. Tie rods and struts have alignment points as well.
 
  #4  
Old 06-13-02, 10:31 AM
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No, it actually pulls left. If I let the steering wheel go, the car wants to float left.

One thing I forgot to mention is that I notice it a lot more on the highway, when I'm up about 65 mph. But that could just be because any little error is accentuated.

By brother in law told me that the belts on the tires could going, but I put new ones on in the front with the same result.

Thanks again.
 
  #5  
Old 07-01-02, 10:07 AM
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Hey, I just wanted to let everybody know that we took it to a shop, and they went over the front end twice. The only they could find that was wrong was a loose wheel bearing.

Anyway, they tightened it, and that appears to have done the trick.

My question to you kind folks is this: How easy would it be for the bearing to get un-loose again?
 
  #6  
Old 07-01-02, 10:32 AM
Joe_F
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Generally they last a long time as they are sealed units. Was the car in some sort of accident? That would damage it.
 
  #7  
Old 07-01-02, 04:57 PM
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Better not have been!

No, I got all the papers on it. It had a steering unit go bad right off the lot, but that's it. The owner was good about taking care of every little thing that went wrong.

I've never heard of one loosening, either. I actually took it in because I thought it was the tie-rod. I jacked the car up and the left tire could be jiggled left and right. Like I said, two different mechanics looked over the front end, but only found the loose bearing. $30 is a lot cheaper than a tie-rod!

Here's a funny story: My other car, 1990 Oldsmobile, had a bad muffler. I was patching that, when I thought I'd jack up the Prizm to test for tire jiggle. Finding the Prizm might have tie-rod issues, I told the wife that I'd better get the Olds up and running. So, I got the patchwork completed, and backed the car onto the street. Wife noticed some fluid on the driveway, so, I pulled it back into the driveway. The brakeline was rusted through in the rear.
Well, I've done those before, so, off to AutoZone. Got home, got out my flare wrenches and tried to loosed the line near a junction on the driver side. Ooops! The junction plate moved and the rust holding the other brake line together gave way, fluid went everywhere.
I got mad and decided to work on it tomorrow, so, I got into the car and was just going to scoot it forward about 5 feet to make room in the driveway for the Prizm. The rest happened really fast: I headed off of the driveway and down the hill in my backyard...destination: Fence and neighbor's House. No Emergency brake. Picking up speed. Threw it into park (Hey, it's better than a lawsuit!). That didn't even slow the thing down, so, I decided to sacrifice it upon the big oak tree. :0) You've gotta love the sound of steel on cellulose.
The end of the story involved the Title, $40, and a man with a mouth full of gold teeth who brought with him a greasy fellow named Billy "who can fix anything." )

Thanks again!
 
  #8  
Old 07-01-02, 05:57 PM
Joe_F
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Sorry, but I had to laugh at your misfortune. I'm glad no one was hurt though. Whew

With that being said, I find it odd that a steering rack would go bad on such a new vehicle. Better check into its history a little more thoroughly to be sure.

If the rack was changed, perhaps the knuckle bolts/CV axles were left loose
 
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