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03 cavalier front end

After hitting a large rock. Now my tires wore out within a day. Even a small gravel feels like the car jumps or gives in a way and a small amount of water will do the same. Tire on passengers side wears inside and outside. Drivers side only the outside. There is now play in the steering it didn’t have before. Hard to describe for lack of words. But when a small gravel or something . feels like it just kicked a sizeable stone from under the wheel like a sharp jolt and the same for water across the road or just a wet road. There are so many things it could be I assumed that alone would cost me alot of money that I do not have at the moment. A friend thinks it’s a wheel bearing . but myself I think it has to be something that connects the two sides together, maybe sway bar or bushings. I’m not sure if I have given enough info to receive much needed help. Please be patient with me. Thanks so much. To add there is a roaring sound coming from what I think is the o0posite side from the damage. I put a tire on the passengers side opposite of damage that had plenty of nice tread. Drove prob less than 50 miles and when I got home completely bald on the outside. It was really amazing how fast . the tire before got so hot that it melted the outside two lines of tread into one line of tread. Completely bonding them together. Came out to a flat next morning. I can’t afford a new tire everyday. So any help would be a life saving thing. Thanks

This car can be very dangerous to drive. Get it towed to a good shop. Driving it is only making the damage worse, as well as a risk of killing yourself or someone else.

This is not a wheel bearing.

Would u have any ideas as to the problem. I have someone that will do the work. I just need to get the parts before I take it. And job is on the line if I don’t keep reliable transportation

You may get guesses, but someone has to put it on a lift and take a good look to determine the repairs needed. Again, do not drive this car.

and even if you get it repaired, you will need an alignment, which you can’t do, as it takes special equipment. And you will need two new tires.

When you hit a large rock with an 03 Cavalier, and all of a sudden the vehicle doesn’t steer/handle right, it usually means you destroyed the 03 Cavalier.


Thanks for the no help and the waste of both of our time tester. U should test helmets instead

I know it’s dangerous. Seems hard to believe it did such a number on it from just a dent in the rim. It didn’t even bust the tire. Think an alignment would be the entire problem.

The range of adjustment of an alignment is much smaller than the problem you have. Wearing out tires in a few hours means you should be able to visually see the tires misaligned with your naked eyes.

K thanks Bill.

Please, I urge you, have the car TOWED to a trusted shop for a good look-see. This car is extremely dangerous to drive. If you continue driving it you may end up having to live with the death of someone else’s child or parent on your conscience for the rest of your life.

You just abused one of the most knowledgeable and trusted mechanics on the site for telling you the truth. You want someone with a magic wand, nobody can diagnose you problem without seeing your car. You are right, anybody trying to explain something to you is wasting their time and yours.

If that is the best u have doesn’t say much about the quality of the site. He’s a smartass. There’s no way the car is destroyed from a little ding. Hes just an idiot . if that’s all the knowledge he has he’s useless. And ur even worse for putting someone with such a small intellect on a pedestal. If he is hiding his wisdom with wise cracks then he’s doing a great job. This is my first time using this website. And I’m regretting it immediately. And my guess is I’m far from the first or last. The best answer I have gotten is an alignment when it’s obvious it will need one. I should just go to the crates and barrel website ID have better luck.

The good advice you received was to stop driving this thing and have it towed to a good front end shop.

Safety. Check. Knowledge about the front end of a car anyone?

Hi, wally. Sounds like you’re in a tough spot and trying to get some help with your car. I see that perhaps the note of sarcasm in Tester’s reply did not land well, but please try to refrain from insults. I think you might find some assistance here.

Wally, the people who have posted here know far more about front ends than will ever be necessary to fix any problem. You have the attention of mechanics and engineers with many, many years of experience here, some of us retired. They also know how dangerous your car is based upon the symptoms you describe. I urge you, I beg you, please listen to them.

You’re looking for someone to tell you what part(s) to change to fix your car. And you plan to do it with your buddy after you buy the parts. It isn’t that simple. You could have a destroyed bearing, a bent spindle, a bent ball joint or tie rod end, and/or a host of other damage. Any of these conditions could be on the verge of sudden catastrophic failure (an engineering term) and could get you or someone’s innocent child killed. For there to be enough damage to destroy a tire in just days and cause enough heat to melt the rubber is serious damage. This is not a simple fix, and not something that can be diagnosed over the internet. It needs to go on a lift and get looked at by a knowledgeable technician.

This is not simply a bent rim. I urge you, get it looked at. Please. Hate me if you like, but please listen.

To me it’s just seeming like a bunch of people getting paid by garages to say take ur car to a garage. But if u knew the garages where I live u wouldn’t recommend that to me. They be trying to tell me I need a new propellor or something

I can say with certainty that nobody’s getting paid here to tell you anything either way. :smile:

I know I ain’t gettin’ paid to recommend that you take it to a garage, and nobody else here is either. We’re just a bunch of old mechanics, engineers, chemists, and the like here because we enjoy helping others and discussing/debating cars, sometimes getting deeply into the physics involved. You have more in-depth knowledge here than you can possibly imagine.

Here’s an option: have it towed to a garage and ask for a detailed diagnosis. Post it here before you agree to the repairs (you WILL have to pay for the diagnosis time. That’s only fair.) and we’ll take a look at it.

@tester 's comment was only meant to say that a 2003 cavalier is most likely not worth the money it will take to repair this much damage. Most likely the cost of parts alone may exceed the value of the car. Remember, you will need a front end alignment after the parts are replaced and you need to include that cost into the total cost of repairs.

The only reason everyone is saying “take it to a shop for repair”, is that if your buddy can’t jack it up and inspect it and point out the bent/broken parts, he is not qualified to repair it.

Insults are not needed.

Without anyone on this site being able to actually put the car on a lift and inspect it to find what may be damaged…it’s all just guesses. With this severe of tire wear you are probably looking at multiple parts needing replacement, and new tires on the front. The alignment shop will not be able to do an alignment with unevenly worn tires.

But if you want to spend your money…then take it to a shop for a thorough inspection. They will list what parts are damaged and you can buy the parts and have your buddy try fixing it.
Please, don’t drive this until you have it fixed. With this severe of damage, something could break free and you could lose control and take out an Innocent bystander.