03 SE-R With poor handling and a curse


At the end of last year I did a foolish thing. I attempted to drive back to my house in Cedar Falls, IA from a Minnesota Vikings game at 1:00 in the morning.

Sometime around 2:30 or so in the morning I fell asleep at the wheel with the cruise set to 70MPH. I flew of the road into the median – which had 6" of snow in it – doing 70, took out a No U-Turn sign and flew back out of the median into the on coming lanes. At that point I put the vehicle back into the median to avoid being hit by any traffic that may have been coming.

A cop saw the car, made sure I was fine, and promptly gave me an accident report. I felt quite fortunate that I was A) Alive and unhurt B) was not given a ticket for a moving violation and C) the vehicle received relatively little visable damage. Needless to say it’s not a mistake that I’ll make again.

Anyway, on to the problem. This is an '03 Nissan Sentra SE-R Spec V. Before I got in the accident the handling was second to none and the steering was super tight. Post accident, the handling was very poor and the steering was odd in the fact that it was still tight in feel – meaning no dead zone in the wheel – but it seemed to follow cracks in the road and the vehicle’s direction was easily affected by wind. Also, immediately after the accident the car would shake furiously over 55MPH, but that problem went away within 50 miles.

I had it in to the Body Shop about a week later to get it fixed. It seemed better when I got it back the next week, but still not quite right. I chalked it up to the road conditions as they were very poor in Iowa all winter, but now that the roads are back to normal I’m sure that it has to be the car.

I’m still experiencing problems with the vehicle being easily influenced by wind, poor handling in general, and the vibrating has started to intermittently return; though, it’s not as bad. Also, I’ve started to feel as though I’m going to lose a wheel and the vehicle sometimes will randomly pull to the left or right under acceleration and braking.

Can someone please tell me what the heck is going on? What part(s) of my suspension is or are causing these symptoms? I’d really like to have my car back. I’m planning on taking it back to the shop soon and would like to be armed with some information before they try to tell me that there’s nothing wrong.