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Hey everyone,
so ive had my 2005 focus zx3 for about 4 months now, got it used. ive had no problems with it what so ever. Well, the winter is here and i have only driven rear wheel drive in the winter which i lay some of the blame on haha.. the roads were very icy and as i was making a turn going no more than 10-15mph i hit ice and hit the curb on the passanger side

the first thing i thought was that i popped the tire. to my surprise there was no physical damage, not even to the rim! but when i look at my wheels and have the steering wheel straight, my right tire is off by a few degrees. When i drive my steering wheel is tilted about 20 degrees to the left.

the car otherwise drives pretty normal other than if the road is a bit rough i realllly feel it. i drove it straight home after this incident, i dont want to wear down the tires.

Did i screw up big time or is this an alignment issue? im getting it looked at tomorrow but im having anxiety already at what this is going to cost me.

i read some similar threads but want to know what people think in this particular case. thanks guys.
 

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Well it's certainly an alignment issue, but the question is how badly the suspension is damaged to cause that big of a misalignment.
 

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i hope you got a good reputable shop to look at it. "i hit a curb" mean $$ to a repair shop.

my gf did the same thing with her Edge, everything was good except the drive shaft got pushed on to the differential and blew out the seal. all warrantied though.
 

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Force-Powered Focus
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u probly just bent the tie rod. usually not a big deal. make sure they show u when u are underneath!
 

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Hm, one of my coworkers just did the same thing. Shop told her she "bent her wheel" and charged her $300 to change out a steel wheel with a plastic cover (on a Corolla).

Seemed a bit steep to me...
 

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Deaf Focus Fanatic
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wow. i hate curbs and ice..
 

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Focus "Sleeper"
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I did that a couple years ago, except it was dry pavement and I was doing about 35 lol. I snapped 2 aluminum wheels, ruined 2 tires, bent a tie rod and ahnialated my alignment.

I would guess that you tweaked a tie rod and screwed up your alignment. The tie rod should be fine, if you have seen the focus tie rod, you would understand. Its a SERIOUS piece of steel. If they say you need a new one, go to a new shop. Go into the shop and tell them you need an alignment. Like said above, if you walk into a shop and say you hit a curb, they look at you as their next car payment. Just say you need an alignment, nothing else.
 

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Focus "Sleeper"
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Stupid Double post!!!!
 

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Hm, one of my coworkers just did the same thing. Shop told her she "bent her wheel" and charged her $300 to change out a steel wheel with a plastic cover (on a Corolla).

Seemed a bit steep to me...
A bit steep..... thats highway robbery at one of its finest moments right there
 

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Depends on how hard it was to get the steelie. We used to have to get them direct from the dealer, and they were mad expensive, including the hubcap. Then, we would of course, mark that up by about 20%. Then, there was the labor, and usually a new tire was needed when that was done. Can be pretty expensive really. Some people would just say screw it, and buy 4 new rims and 1 tire...was sometimes cheaper with the 14 or 15-inch deals!
 

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> Just say you need an alignment, nothing else.

Well, I understand your point, but I must say that what you suggest is no different than going to the doctor complaining of back pain and not telling him you fell off the roof yesterday -- it makes the job a bit harder to do right.

I used to fix electronic stuff in my younger days and a friend brought in an 8-track player (yes, it was a looong time ago). I asked him what was wrong and he said it just quit working. I opened it up and found, after about half an hour that for some reason it was permanently in "track switching mode." So I laboriously and methodically traced the track switching circuit and eventually found out that the two-strip metal sensor that detected the metal strip on the 8-track tape was severely bent and shorted -- I hadn't considered this because there really is no way for this to happen, so I never consider it to be a possibility. Then the flash hit me. I fixed it, and when he returned I asked him, "who put the 8-track tape into the machine backwards?" He looked surprised and sheepishly said, "my Wife did it."

The point of the story? If this guy had just told me what happened, I would have diagnosed it and fixed it in 5-10 minutes. But since he didn't, it took me a couple of hours of tedious work to figure it out.

If you don't trust your mechanic or doctor enough to give him/her the full story, you need to find another mechanic or doctor.
 

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Force-Powered Focus
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lolz at 8-track. i still have some.
 

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I was trying to say that the undercairage of the focus is very robust, and that if they tried saying that a bunch of parts needed replaceing because they were broken to take that with a grain of salt.

I hit the curb at 35 and didnt break anything. If they tell him he broke a ton of stuff from a hit at 10 mph, they are probably not being honest.

When I took in mine for the alignment after the hit, they tried telling me I needed to have my shock and strut from that side replace because they had been punctured and they would replace them for only $800. I said I will keep that in mind and went home. The shocks were in perfect condition. Moral of the story i guess is know what you are going in for so they dont try to pin on a bunch of other bogus charges.
 

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> Just say you need an alignment, nothing else.

Well, I understand your point, but I must say that what you suggest is no different than going to the doctor complaining of back pain and not telling him you fell off the roof yesterday -- it makes the job a bit harder to do right.

I used to fix electronic stuff in my younger days and a friend brought in an 8-track player (yes, it was a looong time ago). I asked him what was wrong and he said it just quit working. I opened it up and found, after about half an hour that for some reason it was permanently in "track switching mode." So I laboriously and methodically traced the track switching circuit and eventually found out that the two-strip metal sensor that detected the metal strip on the 8-track tape was severely bent and shorted -- I hadn't considered this because there really is no way for this to happen, so I never consider it to be a possibility. Then the flash hit me. I fixed it, and when he returned I asked him, "who put the 8-track tape into the machine backwards?" He looked surprised and sheepishly said, "my Wife did it."

The point of the story? If this guy had just told me what happened, I would have diagnosed it and fixed it in 5-10 minutes. But since he didn't, it took me a couple of hours of tedious work to figure it out.

If you don't trust your mechanic or doctor enough to give him/her the full story, you need to find another mechanic or doctor.
yeah but in this times is hard to be honest and naive with auto shops or the stealerships... if they sense that you dont know whats going on they take advantage of you right away, i understand your point of view trying to make things easier for them , but why make them easier for them when you are still paying the same amount of money??? ...
 

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> why make them easier for them

Uh, to increase the odds that they do a proper evaluation and repair? If someone just asked for an alignment, I would attempt the alignment and if it worked stop there. If someone told me they hit a curb, I would check out the suspension to check for cracks or other potential after effects of a curb hit.

Just because it can be aligned, doesn't mean there is no damage.

As I said prior, perhaps I have a different perspective, having been on the other side of the transaction. Perhaps it makes me more receptive to the "Golden Rule" approach.
 

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if it can be aligned, then there should be nothing wrong with the ball joints and tie rods. that is something that needs to be checked before an alignment is even attempted.

as far as a shop saying the shocks were blown, i like to have it in the air, and have them point it out to me. if its not there, u can call them out on it. but ive missed things and then had them pointed out to me as well.
 

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> i like to have it in the air, and have them point it out to me.

I agree 100% and any honest mechanic will be happy to show you the problems.
 

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yeah, or they look really bad. u dont show me to my face, then ur all done with me.
 
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