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Old 02-27-2018, 12:15 AM   #1
brokendown
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1999 SL
Default smacked a curb (but was already rattling a bit)

So i'm still driving my 99 or 2000 SL zero with what must be 270-300k miles on it, I dont even know anymore because the odometer had a problem years ago, and i've gone totally thru a set of tires by then (tho they werent really good) so i've honestly no clue...


I've been having a bit of rattle in the front end, worse or better at differing speeds, sometimes going uphill it seems to totally stop. I'm guessing tie rod ends? That's probably about right for the mileage anyways... not sure how hard they are to do, but wondering if there might be anything else to inspect, be concerned about, or do once it's warm enough to fix them.

I dont THINK it's the tires or tire weight imbalance - because it WAS intermittent, as in I wouldn't feel the rattle at all at times prior to about two weeks ago. (though it's finally become constant now just very recently) Tires are about to get replaced anyways. (still never got those snow tires, too busy and medical bills ate up the difference I wanted to get good tires with, so now i'm just going for one set of inexpensive all seasons again because maybe with growing problems I don't have that many more years of life in her as it is :-/ )

One additional quirk is that the steering wheel wants to pull to the right... and the steering wheel has been slightly to the left (not quite center) on top of these things. This has become more noticible over time... is this all due to tie rod ends or could something else be at play?


However on top of things during a storm and with glare ice I started to slide and smacked into a curb. I'm not sure how hard (a few mph) but now the above things seem like they might be worsened. I smacked the front right tire while it was turned to the left, and now the steering wheel is a bit further dialed to the left (like about 11 o clock), the pull to the right is noticibly stronger/needs more than a single finger corrective force now at least around town (trying to give an example, at maybe 30mph if I take my hand off the wheel i'll be in the right lane after a few seconds like 5-6), and the rattle seems stronger. :-/

I have no alternative but to drive it the rest of this week and then take a 250 mile trip for medical needs this weekend before I can even stop driving or touch anything. But next week I have the week off, and can jack it up, and inspect things... I dont know if i'll have time to do more than inspect, unless some glaring obvious horrific damage I mean, but what should I be looking for, taking pictures of to share here, and similar? I need to limp through until things are warmer (i'm in minnesota) because it's too hard to work on it outside, and I have to fix one of the other cars before I can offline the Saturn to even work on. (working on them needs warm too/this is my last running car at the moment and nothing i'm driving to can be postponed even one day right now due to poverty, deadlines, and medical essential treatment)

It's not like the vehicle feels like it's going to explode, just the rattle is notably worse than before and i'm sure it will at least be wearing out any new tires I put on more quickly if nothing else.

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Old 02-27-2018, 07:28 AM   #2
Signmaster
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1995 SL1
Default Re: smacked a curb (but was already rattling a bit)

Best bet is to jack it up and check things out for wear. The initial rattle could be tie rod ends or LCAs. Neither is expensive or hard, and both are normal wear items. It doesn't take much to check them out, and hopefully you will just find some wear items in need of replacement.

Either of the above can cause the steering wheel to be off center slightly and/or a pull. The way the wear shows itself can vary with what is worn and where the play is.

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Old 03-01-2018, 10:53 AM   #3
brokendown
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Default Re: smacked a curb (but was already rattling a bit)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Signmaster View Post
Best bet is to jack it up and check things out for wear. The initial rattle could be tie rod ends or LCAs. Neither is expensive or hard, and both are normal wear items. It doesn't take much to check them out, and hopefully you will just find some wear items in need of replacement.

Either of the above can cause the steering wheel to be off center slightly and/or a pull. The way the wear shows itself can vary with what is worn and where the play is.
Are there any best guides for how to inspect tie rod ends and lower control arms since I can swap parts but i'm not real good at the diagnosing? I mean I can take pictures under the car but if something isn't obviously bent, obviously leaking, or obviously flopping around broken I dont know what to look for is my problem...

I figure i'll have to replace something just from general wear or it wouldn't have been floppy by now but if there's a way to know there will be more than one thing to do it might be easier to do them at the same time. After my next week off it'll be back to drive drive drive nonstop til summer I mean before I can touch anything again in all likelihood.

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