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Alignment and struts

My roommates car needs 4 struts. I was driving in a rain storm and hit a puddle just right, slamming into a curb and popped two tires. I took car to mechanic and had 2 tires put on. He told me car needs alignment. It has been 3 weeks and I have yet to get the alignment. The tires are wearing pretty bad. Do we need new struts before an alignment?

You’re going to need an alignment after you get the struts. Prematurely wearing out a set of tires is kind of a waste of money don’t you think?

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Thank you.

OTOH, if you are wearing the tires that badly in three weeks, you may have some bent front end parts that now need to be replaced along with the alignment. But yeah alignment needs to be done with struts.

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After slamming into a curb in the rain and blowing 2 tires I would wager with 99% certainty that the car has a number of bent suspension and steering components. An alignment is the least of your worries.

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Sounds like you may have bent a tie rod end, at the very least

I’d bet this car has a bent tie rod, bent control arm, bent trailing arm and who knows what else.

The sticky part is that this car does not belong to the person who wrecked it. Once the extent of the damage is known the two may not be roommates anymore if the OP doesn’t pony up.

And I’m assuming the actual owner of the car does not carry insurance which covers another driver behind the wheel.

Yes, if you know you are buying new struts, get those installed first, then get the alignment done. Replacing the struts affects the prior alignment settings, so it has to be re-aligned. When you have the new stuts installed, tell them about the tire wear problem and that you want them to also inspect for any bent suspension or steering parts.

Did this mechanic specifically tell you there was no other suspension damage? I agree with the others above who say that that seems unlikely. Maybe you need to go to a different mechanic for a second opinion.

If the replacement tires have worn badly already, I think you owe your roommate two new ones once this is all sorted out.

Thank you all. Greatly appreciated. Roommates won’t do anything about struts until I do alignment and tires. I told them they would most likely have to do new alignment after the struts are replaced, which they seem ok with. I tried for a few weeks to get them to replace the struts, but they don’t seem to care, as they rarely drive this vehicle. After all this is done I am not going to drive it either.

“tried to get them” ?? You did the damage, it’s your responsibility to pay for the repairs. Or do you mean you are willing to pay, but they won’t authorize the repairs?

I agree with others, you need a good front end inspection and repair, alignment, and two more tires.

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The car has needed struts for well over 3 months. My accident was a few weeks ago. Car also needs tail light (3 years now) and headlight (1 year now) also back brakes. All these are not due to me. Should I pay for them as well?

You are missing the point. You need to have it aligned because you are wearing out the tires you bought. the past needed repairs are not part of your responsibility. Putting the vehicle back to the way it was before your mishap is the right thing to do. Then don’t use anyone else’s vehicle again.

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:open_mouth: I wouldn’t have driven this car if you put a gun to my head…does your state not do an annual inspection?

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I’m sorry, but a statement like that simply mystifies me.
Apparently, your room mate don’t care very much about any of the following:

Being seen by drivers in back of him
Seeing where he is going
Being able to stop the car

If you drive this rolling wreck again, you are just asking for problems–including those of the legal variety.

Many states have eliminated safety inspections, as the esteemed governor of NJ did several years ago.
We now have only emissions inspections every two years in this state, and to quote one of the inspectors, “Even if you limped in on 4 flat tires, had no windshield, and had brakes that barely worked, I would have to give you a passing sticker if your emissions were within limits”.


Truly horrific…None of those would have passed in PA…why people let their cars get this way…the lights aren’t that hard to change…or expensive if you don’t feel like doing it yourself. It’s a Kia for pete’s sake…OP didn’t state the year, but given the state of disrepair I doubt it would be a newer model with HID lights or anything fancy like that…

@db4690, completely agree with you on that one :slight_smile:

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