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Tie Rod issues maybe?

 
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  • 1 Post By JoeX
  • 1 Post By quicksilverdon
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Old 04 Jan 2015, 06:59 am
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Location: North Central KY
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Default Tie Rod issues maybe?

Hey folks. Haven't been by in a while. Yay for life keeping you hopping right?

Well this is both a request for info and a cautionary tale to those members out there that might be like I was and not realize how sudden a tie rod can go out.

Specs: 2006 PT Cruiser Touring Edition, approx 120k, automatic

So I went a few blocks down from work one morning to pick up the shift's coffee order as per usual and on the way back I'm sitting at the stop light and waiting for my turn to go. The light turns green and i try to drive forward.....no doing it. The car keeps pulling to one side and making a horrible sound. So there I am, stranded in the middle of the street in the middle of the city and call to work for my Battalion Chief to come get me/help me.

Turns out that the driver's side tie rod just popped off. Out of the blue. No warning (that I'm aware of). So the guys in the garage for the Fire Department bring out the wrecker and haul me back to the station and in the course of the day fix the tie rod but the mechanic tells me that I will want to get the other replaced as well just in case.

So I did. I asked a friend of mine's husband to replace it for me, bought the part, etc. They had previously owned a PT and he has been working on cars his whole life.

Well I think that is where my problems began.

The steering wheel was cockeyed and instead of the part that normally goes horizontal across the steering wheel with the logo on it being well...horizontal .. it is vertical.

The car shakes like crazy, nearly vibrating my arms off as I hold onto the steering wheel even at low speeds. I figure that it's an alignment thing.

I take it to get aligned at a NTBS and they fix that somewhat and straighten the steering wheel up a little but it's not all the way. It still has a lot of vibration in it but only at high speeds.

I did not discover this last little bit until it rained though.

On wet roads the steering wheel will suddenly jerk to one side and the other when going through even the crossed tire tracks of a car that passes me on the road. If I don't death grip that steering wheel I would have been creamed by many a semi truck by now. It is less bad at lower speeds (40-55) but still there.

I also can feel a skid like the tire is being dragged instead of rolling when i do turns sometimes.

I think it is possibly because perhaps they did not line up the wheels and the steering wheels to be straight when they replaced that second tie rod making them off kilter but I don't know. I'm not all that mechanic savvy but all these experiences are giving me quiet the education. Bad Ball bearing maybe?

I was wondering what advice or suggestions you guys and gals might have for my course of action. Working where I do (911) I can't exactly call out for weather so I will have to be driving in the oncoming winter mess that will surly arrive sooner or later so I better take the opportunity to get this fixed while we are still having this freakishly warm weather. I just don't know what kind of place I need to take it to. Tire place? Another tire/brakes place? Plain ole mechanic?

And once I do take it to them what should I tell them to look for? I find that if i use the jargon when I go into these places they take me a little more seriously and don't try as hard to screw me over because I'm a chick. (Yes, that still happens more than you think.)

Thanks in advance everyone and I hope my tale has helped some other poor mechanically uneducated schmuck about their own PT.
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Old 04 Jan 2015, 08:23 am
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Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: SW PA
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Default Re: Tie Rod issues maybe?

At 120,000 miles you probably need to replace the Lower Control Arms (LCA)
(LCA, BUSHINGS, BALLJOINT) and You may have a ball joint failing which will do much the same as the tyrod end coming out of the socket, at any speed it will be devistating. I'm suprised the allignmnet shop didn't check for any problems. go slow or don't drive it until you correct the problem.
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Old 04 Jan 2015, 08:31 am
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Default Re: Tie Rod issues maybe?

Thanks for the suggestion JoeX. Now I have to ask a stupid (or maybe not so stupid) question.

Do the bushings and such come with the purchase of the LCAs or do i need to buy them separately?
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Old 04 Jan 2015, 09:40 am
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Default Re: Tie Rod issues maybe?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 911Gal View Post
Thanks for the suggestion JoeX. Now I have to ask a stupid (or maybe not so stupid) question.

Do the bushings and such come with the purchase of the LCAs or do i need to buy them separately?
You get everything with the lca. Ball joint and bushings. If buying whole arm. Get the new problem solver bushing in the lca. Check for lose inner tie rod and ball joint. Alignment shop should have caught anything worn. They will take advantage of anyone that seems a little naive.
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Last edited by Busted_PT; 04 Jan 2015 at 12:48 pm.
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Old 04 Jan 2015, 12:05 pm
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Default Re: Tie Rod issues maybe?

Go back where you had alignment done, and tell them to look again.
They did improve things, so they might have been busy and missed checking thoroughly.
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Old 04 Jan 2015, 01:41 pm
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Default Re: Tie Rod issues maybe?

Quote:
Originally Posted by quicksilverdon View Post
Go back where you had alignment done, and tell them to look again.
They did improve things, so they might have been busy and missed checking thoroughly.

I wouldn't take my PT Cruiser back anywhere where they didn't test drive the PT Cruiser and make sure everything is okay before giving it back to the customer. No matter what the problems are the mechanic should never put the customer in a dangerous situation. Find out from friends or relatives of another good repair shop that they have gone to for a long time.
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Old 05 Jan 2015, 10:58 am
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Default Re: Tie Rod issues maybe?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ptcruisersteve View Post
I wouldn't take my PT Cruiser back anywhere where they didn't test drive the PT Cruiser and make sure everything is okay before giving it back to the customer. No matter what the problems are the mechanic should never put the customer in a dangerous situation. Find out from friends or relatives of another good repair shop that they have gone to for a long time.
The report is that after they worked on it, vibration was only at high speeds - they did not test drive at high speeds, agreed.
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nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."
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'05 Limited Turbo Lite, (Silver, of course)4-wheel ABS, Sunroof, Spoiler. Mods: E&G Classic grill, K&N FIPK, BTG duals, rear lowered 1.5", LED washer lights, $20 catch can, Aoogah horn, Weatherflectors, Sunroof Deflector, Fuzzy Dice, rear logo flames, rear pinstripe graphic, Gen3 Taillights, rear sway bar, hood struts, Strut bar.
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Old 02 May 2015, 12:23 pm
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Default Re: Tie Rod issues maybe?

So it's been a while (I'm such crap at updates)... Took it in to a different mechanic. He checked her from head to toe and it turned out that I had steel radials showing through my tire from wear and that was making the wheel wobble and thus the back end wobble and was pushing or throwing weight towards a joint thingie (god i'm so technical) in the back underneath by the back passenger side tire. Anywho...



He fixed that piece and I got a new tire put on and problem resolved. However the hits just kept on coming.....

Looks like I also have a leak in my Master Cylinder and a leak in my Head Gasket. All my hoses need changing etc... etc....

Then yesterday I went through the bank drive thru and as I try to roll my window up it just stopped. All the windows just stopped working. Sooo I've done a lot of investigating and while I didn't 'see' anything in particular when I took the console cover off (a pain in the ass until I learned that you have to go in through the vents and unscrew those two screws and pop them off first) I found that they started working again. So I'm thinking that perhaps there was something loose on there. I resecured everything up again and presto,... I have windows again. WOOT! For how long I don't know but for now I'm good.

Cross fingers for me.
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