Last week on 5-7-14 I went to a local alignment shop to have a four wheel alignment done after having installed new tie rods (inner and outer rods) for both sides. A few days go by and I began to notice that their was a slight vibration in the car when slowing down and eventually I began to notice the car would drift left when I applied speed and therefore apply steering input to the right to counter the drift. When I let off the gas to cruise, the car would steer straight ahead and I would stop applying steering input to counter a drift. Then my when I was about to make a right turn, I felt an unmistakable shudder of the wheel indicating that something was about to fall off. I pulled over ASAP and called AAA California towing service to get me to my other mechanic. Once there, my trusted mechanic discovered that both the tie rods (left and right sides) were loose and that the tie rods were about to fall off since the nut was about to come off the thread. My mechanic said I was very close to having a very serious accident if I were to loose control of steering completely. My question is, was the alignment shop responsible for not tightening up the bolts? When I installed my tie rods myself, I know that I made sure they were both on tight and even had a family member follow up by tightening them after me. When they do alignments, do they adjust the tie rods by loosening the bolts? The work was done by Auto Center AutoBody of Temecula, CA.
If they adjusted the toe then the lock nuts must be loosened to do so. If there is no doubt the lock nuts were tight when taken in then someone forgot to tighten them up after the toe adjustment.
While not defending the people who did this it could be that someone was in a hurry or was interrupted by someone while they were in the middle of the alignment. The latter could lead to a break in the train of thought.
Are you referring to the nuts that hold the inner and outer rods together tightly or the nuts that hold the outer tie rods to the steering knuckle?