Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Bad struts and bad cv joint cause alignment problems?

I took my 1999 Accord in to pepboys today to get the front end aligned, which has gotten so bad that my two front tires are almost bald. They told me that they couldn’t fix the alignment because I had bad struts and a bad cv joint. I’m not sure about all the problems he was talking about, something about a bad boot, but I think that’s the cv joint. Is it true that these problems can cause an alignment problem and keep them from fixing it?
PS this car before I bought it had a front end collision, which the man told me was the cause of all the problems.

Your first problem is you went to Pepboys. Click on ‘mechanics files’ and locate an independent mechanic near you. A bad cv joint shouldn’t affect alignment and the struts would have to be very worn to affect alignment. Certainly worth a second opinion from a better source.

Edit-just noticed the accident- you’ll need it checked over for damage before you spend the money to repair it.

First find yourself a good independent alignment shop.

For CVs and struts to cause alignment issues, they’d have to be really bad. My guess is that the struts,and possibly lower control arms, got bent in whatever accident it was in. Hitting a curb with the front brakes locked up would do it.

And you bought it even though he told you about the accident, without having it checked over by a mechanic?

+1 on not going to chains - and especially Pepboys. They are incompetent and dishonest.
They are to automotive repair what Hannibal Lechter is to lambs.

My parent bought it, which is the sad part. The guy told them that the car was all fix for the accident I believe

I agree with MG McAnick. May be ball joint, linkage, and control arm bad/damaged. Jack the front wheel up and check the wheel hub also.

The bad struts or CV joints should nat affect the alignment, or keep it from being aligned, BUT, if these things are truly bad, you will need to get the vehicle re-aligned after each repair. It would be smart to get these items repaired if needed, then have the alignment.

BTW, worn tires do not necessarily indicate a bad alignment. Tires will go bald after a while.

Not a big fan of Pep Boys. When you bring the car for an alignment, it goes up on a lift and gets inspected. You look for anything that is broken, bent, or missing parts from the suspension. In this inspection a torn CV boot is pretty easy to spot. It means the CV joint will fail and is certainly something to point out to the customer. Bad struts, same thing. Replacing a CV joint shouldn’t affect alignment. Old fashioned shocks wouldn’t affect alignment either. However struts can be integral to the suspension, some more than others. In a Honda I’d say the struts do impact on alignment.

I’d take the car for another opinion, telling folks they have bad struts is a common scam and gets a lot of struts replaced unnecessarily. You also need to get a body shop to look for evidence whether or not this accident repair was done properly.

If the struts and CV joint are really bad it would be good to get them done, do the alignment, then put on the new tires. Get another set of eyes on the car and see what info you get.