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Old 01-14-2008, 07:45 AM   #1
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Angry ZX3 Kissed a Curb

Hi guys, looking for a little advice here.

I was taking my son to school this morning, when I was coming up to an intersection on a curve. I started to brake, and the car slid to the right, so I cranked the wheel to the left to compensate to no avail. The car hit the curb on the right front tire, fairly hard.

The steering wheel has to be turned about 1/3 of a turn to the left for the car to drive straight, and the steering jerks, especially on bumpy roads, kinda like playing one of those arcade driving games where the machine tries to jerk the steering wheel out of your hands.

Before I even put the car up on jacks to see how bad it is, do you have an suggestions on what all to check? I don't own a repair manual for it, mainly because the last time I checked, only Haynes made one, and I prefer Chilton. I know to check at least all the tie rod ends, and I'm hoping it's not the rack (already replaced one of those in my t-bird -- not fun at all). Just wanted to see if there was some other little things I should take a look at. The closest shop I trust is about 20 min. away, even if it needs aligned, at least I can fix the little things I jacked up.

Thanks in advance.

--Molly


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Old 01-14-2008, 07:56 AM   #2
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Do be careful, a car with dodgy steering is a dangerous car. If there is a shop you trust, you should take or, from your description, have your car towed there.

Our Focuses have pretty fragile front suspension components and there probably isn't anything you're going to be able to fix with a hammer, a six-pack and a roll of duct tape.

Do have it looked at soon, it sounds like your car carries some precious cargo so don't endanger it with a compromised vehicle.
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Old 01-14-2008, 08:04 AM   #3
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Well, I don't have to drive the car,which is a blessing and a curse. I've got a t-bird that's essentially a summer driver that I like to park during the winter (came from the Carolinas), so I can drive that while I'm getting this fixed, so it's no biggie.

So, I guess it's out to the garage with me in a few minutes. yay. (note the enthusiasm)
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Old 01-14-2008, 12:38 PM   #4
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Check tie rods and lower control arm. Bent tie rods are the usual culprit and minor bends to parts like the control arms aren't readily visible. Next time this happens, during the counter steer, accelerate! The nice thing about front wheel drive is that they tend to pull in the direction the tires are aiming. The gas pedal can be used to assist steering especially in slippery conditions.
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