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bought a car hit by the gas tank; suspension damage?

Old 07-11-2018, 08:59 AM
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Exclamation bought a car hit by the gas tank; suspension damage?

so i bought a 04 acura tl w/ 112k that was hit pretty hard right by the gas tank. it looked the damage was purely cosmetic, and when i test drove it briefly around the block, everything seemed fine. once i took it on the freeway home, i noticed that the steering was a bit loose feeling; bump steer side to side. although the car was hit in the rear, the steering wheel isn't centered, so i figure it needs an alignment because of the position. but what would cause the bump steer?

during slow turns on the freeway, bumps are pretty scary and a bit unstable as it causes the steering wheel to go left and right briefly over the bump. could there be damage to something in the rear that could cause this? i don't know anything about suspension and components, but wondering if i should replace the suspension or control arms or something. any advice on components i should replace for good measure? or should i take it to get an alignment first before replacing pieces? i will appreciate any advice, thanks.
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Old 07-11-2018, 09:11 AM
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not sure why you would buy a car you only briefly test drove....

put the car on a lift and look for bent components...replace all components that are not in spec..check body alignment, check wheel alignment. if body/frame is not aligned, get the body/frame stretched and straightened. if wheel alignment is out of spec, align wheels to be in spec.
you're basically looking at this car like an insurance adjuster would...checking to make sure EVERYTHING is in factory spec... if not in spec, needs components replaced or repaired back into spec.
sounds like a bad deal....

Last edited by justnspace; 07-11-2018 at 09:13 AM.
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Old 07-11-2018, 09:18 AM
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Another thing that may be an issue is mismatched tires. Either by brand or type or unevenly worn as well. I drove a friend's vehicle that was scary changing lanes on the highway due to the fact it would pull all over. Once he changed his tires, the car felt significantly more planted.

But I agree with above, get it on a lift first and inspect everything for bent components, etc.
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Old 07-11-2018, 09:18 AM
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Wacky alignment can cause all kinds of wacky behavior. I hit a bad pothole that damaged my tire and rim. The car still drove straight and the wheel was straight, so through the neighborhoods it seemed great. Took it on the highway, and it was scary as hell. Quick jabs of the throttle sent it to the next lane. Bump steer issues. It wondered all over following various road imperfections.

All of that just from the front end alignment being wacky.
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Old 07-11-2018, 05:52 PM
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Originally Posted by justnspace View Post
not sure why you would buy a car you only briefly test drove....

put the car on a lift and look for bent components...replace all components that are not in spec..check body alignment, check wheel alignment. if body/frame is not aligned, get the body/frame stretched and straightened. if wheel alignment is out of spec, align wheels to be in spec.
you're basically looking at this car like an insurance adjuster would...checking to make sure EVERYTHING is in factory spec... if not in spec, needs components replaced or repaired back into spec.
sounds like a bad deal....
well, i didn't think it was a bad deal for about $2500 and $700 to fix and paint the dent (it's hard to find any 6 speeds under $5k in LA). but hopefully nothing else is too damaged, so i guess i have no choice but to take it to the alignment shop to inspect. *crossing fingers*

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Old 07-11-2018, 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by vpasla1 View Post
Another thing that may be an issue is mismatched tires. Either by brand or type or unevenly worn as well. I drove a friend's vehicle that was scary changing lanes on the highway due to the fact it would pull all over. Once he changed his tires, the car felt significantly more planted.

But I agree with above, get it on a lift first and inspect everything for bent components, etc.
i'll check the tires! last i saw, the tread was good, but i didn't bother to check the brands or if uneven wear at all.
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Old 07-11-2018, 05:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Jackass View Post
Wacky alignment can cause all kinds of wacky behavior. I hit a bad pothole that damaged my tire and rim. The car still drove straight and the wheel was straight, so through the neighborhoods it seemed great. Took it on the highway, and it was scary as hell. Quick jabs of the throttle sent it to the next lane. Bump steer issues. It wondered all over following various road imperfections.

All of that just from the front end alignment being wacky.
ok, hopefully it's just a front end alignment issue! i was scratching my head wondering why the alignment would be off it was only hit in the gas tank area... i'm going to the alignment shop soon so we will see what's going on; will report back
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