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Old 03-07-2007, 06:27 PM   #1
superchop
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I feel like i'm gonna lose control

What happens is, when i start going past 50mph my car feels kinda wobbly. I'll be driving straight and every once in a while the car will kinda jerk to the sides like it's about to start fishtailing. At first i thought this was due to the wind (since that day it was pretty windy) but it's been happenning almost every time i go over 50 to see it if does the same thing. Also when going at those speeds, if i stepped on the brake (lightly even) it would do the same thing as if i was about to start fishtailing.

The car drives fine with no problems at lower speeds and i don't think my alignment off since the car will go straight if i let go of the steering wheel. My snow tires are Q rated (which i think is good up to 99mph or so) so i can't say for sure that it's cause of that either. So i really have no clue if there's anything wrong or if i'm just paranoid and it's all just in my head.


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Old 03-07-2007, 10:56 PM   #2
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sticky caliper??
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Old 03-08-2007, 12:11 PM   #3
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It's quite possibly a combination of the snow tires and road conditions. Snow tires tend to be a little squirmy. Combined that with grove or rutted pavement (caused by studded tires or lots of truck traffic on asphalt pavement) the tires will follow the ruts (tramlining). Feels like the car has a mind of its own and yes it can get worse the faster you go. Try finding a nice smooth road and make sure you tires are at the appropriate pressure and see what that does to the handling. If there's no improvement it might be time to start checking tie rod ends, ball joints and other suspension/steering components.
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Old 03-08-2007, 12:33 PM   #4
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I have the SAME exact problem, and I've already gone through two alignments this year. Admittedly I did have a minor accident involving a cracked front bumper (where I skidded off the road), but it was nothing serious and I had it inspected and fixed up thoroughly by Ford. They only had to replace the end links of my front sway bar and told me I might need an alignment (did that through Sears instead).

Anyway, it's possible that your sway bar(s) may also be need to be re-tightened or have their end links replaced, but considering that this problem is still happening for me I'm not too sure that might be it either. Let us know if you find out what it is, because it's still happening to my Focus. The problem seems to be amplified by a windy environment, but even without wind it still jerks around at higher speeds.
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Old 03-08-2007, 12:55 PM   #5
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Has your car been lowered? What are the roads like when it does this? I've had this on 2 Foci in rain, and in snow. Both were lowered. I think it's the rear camber being slightly off.

Also, if you have two good tires, and two that are almost worn out, then put the two good ones on the back.
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Old 03-08-2007, 05:29 PM   #6
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My car is stock height and all 4 tires are pretty much brand new (no more then probably 700 miles on them) The roads are pretty clean but in both roads that i've noticed this happen were roads that see constant traffic so that might be something else that can be the cause.

I haven't checked my tire pressure yet (can't find my tire gauge...funny how i can't find it when i need it) but when i do around what psi should they be at? Just eyeing them the other day i noticed that the road salt was all in between the edges of the tire...meaning that the inside of the tire was white from the salt and the outside edges didn't seem to be touching the ground.

As for steering and such...I have noticed that as soon as i put on the snow tires the steering in the car has felt a lot more loose and that the tires weren't gripping right. Not something i particularly liked but i just let it go as it being that the tires are brand new and needed to be broken in first. But the truth is that I have no idea exactly how snow tires react mainly cause for the past 2 years i've owned the car i have been running summer tires through summer and winter (only cause i didn't realize they were summer only and i don't recall the dealer telling me anything about it), so i got real used to how those tires acted and reacted in various conditions and the change from one to the other was pretty drastic, at least to me.

Tierods and endlinks...I do remember the dealer replacing one of those things a few months ago before i put on my winter wheels but i don't recall there being any kind of problems with them afterwards (there really wasn't any problem with them from the beginning but the dealer didn't listen to what i said and just repaired what they felt was the problem...)
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Old 03-08-2007, 05:33 PM   #7
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tire inflation... i usuially have mine set between 31-34 in front, and 29-31 in the back
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Old 03-08-2007, 05:46 PM   #8
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The recommended tire pressure should be on a sticker along the driver side door jamb. I think. In my case no matter what tires I had or how the pressure was adjusted, my Focus still has a tendency to move unpredictably at higher speeds. I'll definitely be taking it to the dealership again to have it checked out when I have the time.
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Old 03-09-2007, 12:29 AM   #9
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The tire pressure on the focus is on the inside of the gas cover. Mine says to have 32 psi all around. But mine is a ZX3, not a svt. I dont know how you could have screwed up the suspension on that thing. I did a sideways slide into the curb at 35 mph and all I did was mess the alignment a little. Oh, and I snapped 2 alloy wheels. Not bend or chip, I snapped them. I keep them as trophies. Good luck with your search for answers.
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Old 03-09-2007, 04:04 AM   #10
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Actually I do know what you're talking about. Mine does the exact same thing and it's a SEDAN! I noticed it shortly after I bought it, driving on the freeway--every time I go over a decent-sized bump the rear end moves unexpectedly and unpredictably and yeah, almost feels like it might start fishtailing. It scared me at first but obviously it has never fishtailed haha so I figured it was nothing to really worry about. But I will be lowering my car soon and I am hoping this has some sort of correcting effect on that.

Also I did notice that stock my rear wheels look way more off-camber than my front ones. I don't know which is toe and which is camber but the top is tilted more towards the car than the bottom. Don't know if that has anything to do with it but who knows. Maybe it's the style of suspension on the car that makes it do this...
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