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'99 sentra: tale of two cities

…I’m working on a 99 Sentra, front end (200,000 miles) . There was a lot of clanking and clunking, so I had the broken sway bar links replaced. The shop then declared the pass. side wheel bearing ‘smoked’ as well as both inner tie rod ends… and maybe the struts and strut mounts. (1200$)

… I informed the shop that I had the slip from the last owner, who had replaced that bearing and tie rod.

… I went to another shop… they claimed the struts passed the bounce test, 1 bad mount, a wheel bearing with a little ‘play’ and one bad inner tie rod end. They aligned the front end and replaced the tie rod, two hrs. later I had the car back… I asked them about the alignment and was told ’ it’s on the paper work’ and they wouldn’t say any more. The toe was back where it belonged… the camber was nearly twice the spec, top in, (I realize it’s not ‘adjustable’) and left caster was a out (2.2)

… wanting more info, I went to the Nissan dealer, to have them explain all this. I asked if this was a ‘courtesy’ check or a charge and they 'didn’t know ’
The ‘boss’ had never seen a computer print out of an alignment and would not discuss the condition of the car. Then it was declared, I needed to spend $850 for two front wheel bearings, and that the car was not possible to be aligned. Since I declined the work, I was charged 45$ for the ‘courtesy’ check.

… There is no noise from the bearings, The car has stopped clunking and clanging and goes down the road straight, without pulling

… Can I get some ideas about this? thanks



It sounds like the second shop did right by you

That said, the front wheel bearings on a FWD car shouldn’t have any play

As far as the struts go, even though they passed the “bounce test” . . . if they’re the original struts, they must have significant wear by now

Another thing . . . if a shop is recommending struts, it’s wise to also recommend strut mounts at the same time.

“no noise from the bearings” . . . no howling or groaning whatsoever?

Since the second shop said one of the bearings has some play, don’t be entirely surprised if the bearings do fail in the near future

And if one bearing goes bad, it’s wise to do both, since the “good” one has the same mileage and has been exposed to the same driving conditions

OP, different shops have different opinions on what constitutes “acceptable wear.” Some shops go for “as new.” Some pass “unlikely to kill you.” Heck, some pass anyone who can wave a Benjamin under their nose!

Sounds like you first went to the dealer? They told you a bunch of stuff was a “bust,” then you took it to an indy garage who said SOME of the stuff was “good enough.”

That’s typical. Dealers cater to new-car buyers, who want things “just so,” which likely carries over. I don’t think you’re getting ripped off.