Clocksping shaft in Michigan

We had new tires and a wheel alignment on our 2006 Jeep Grand Cherokee last week. Now the steeringwheel is crocked and the car thunks. We went back to the tire dealer and they said " Oh yeah, we have been having lots of complaints about our alignment jobs. They are coming to fix the machine on Monday - bring yours back on Tuesday and we will get her fixed right up !" But the thing is just after we picked her up the dashboard lite up with stability system warnings so we got concerned and took her to the dealer.The dealer tells us the clockspring and intermediate drive shaft must be replaced at a costof $1800.00

SO we took it to our favorite mechanic and he almost choked at their $820.00 charge for the clockspring -( a $200.00 part) and will do the repair for just over $600.00… if it really needs to be done.

The question becomes -" Could a poor wheel alignment job cause the clockspring and intermediate shaft to need replacement on our 2006 Jeep Grand Cherokee ? AND - what can one do to stop dealers from these outrages charges???

Has anyone told you what a “clockspring” is/does. Is the intermediate shaft on the replacement list because someone thinks it is the cause for the “clunk”? You must be refering to a different clockspring than the one I have in mind as I can’t see replacing one costing $600.00 parts and labor.

I know it is an electronic hub with connections for airbags, horn,cruise control, locks, etc.
Thye dealer said there was play in the intermediate shaft and that could have caused the clockspring to fail. ???
The 600.00 (and $1800.00 at dealer)is to replace both the clockspring and the intermediate shaft.
Our steering wheel is totally cocked around since the alignment and that is why I wondered if they could have done something to the intermediate shaft and thus the clockspring???

The clockspring is in the steering wheel, the intermediate shaft in part of the drive train, under the vehicle. There is no connection whatsoever between the two.

There’s no excuse, NONE, for the steering wheel to be crooked after an alignment. The fact that yours was means the alignment was done by incompetent people who had no idea what they were doing. Is that redundant?

This occurred at a Jeep dealer? Well, I guess under the current conditions anything is possible. They’re explanation seems totally crazy, and I’m still trying to make a connection between the alignment and the other problems, without much success.

Can you provide any more information?

We are talking about the same clockspring. Do you have a airbag light on or are the features you mention (horn,cruise,locks? never heard the locks working through the clockspring but I am OK if they do) inoperative? What I am asking is why do they want to replace these parts? I would have accepted noise in the shaft as a adaquate explaniation (although lubing often cures noise). You will be able to get your steering wheel straight without replacing the shaft.

" the intermediate shaft in part of the drive train, under the vehicle. There is no connection whatsoever between the two"

You are, of course, correct. However, I very strongly suspect that the OP was told that the intermediate steering shaft, NOT the intermediate drive shaft, was problematic. I guess that if the OP is not that attuned to automotive jargon, an intermediate steering shaft could morph into an intermediate drive shaft. Or, since service writers frequently have little or no technical knowledge, the service writer could have used the wrong terminology.

Anyway, the best way for the OP to avoid paying for “outrages charges” (or even outrageous charges) from a dealership is to not go to the dealership, particularly when the repair in question is not covered by warranty.

My mistake - it is the intermediate shaft they want to replace. The dealership says there is too much play in the steering wheel…alignment???
The stability control icon ( skidding car) is on along with “ESP” and “BAS” - the service managers tells us that soon the cruise, the air bags, the instrument panel and the exterior lights will all fail.

I Just Wonder If The Intermediate Steering Shaft Was Disconnected During The Alignment.

Who knows. Maybe somebody disconnected it to “center” the steering wheel, although that’s not how it’s done. Turning the steering wheel too much while it’s in this state can break the clockspring. It can only wind and unwind just so far.

Everything was fine prior to the alignment? No thunk, straight (centered) steering wheel, no warning lights, right?

We need to know what they said is wrong with the intermediate steering shaft. Is it worn or damaged or what? The “too much play” might be what’s wrong with it.


Everything was fine before the alignment. No thunk, straight steering wheel and no warning lights.
The tech wrote on the diagnosis: " the intermediate shaft has excessive play this may have caused clock spring to fail" When asked what could cause the clock spring to fail the service manager said, Possibly the worn intermediate shaft."

I must comment that it took a lot of prying by four regular Forum members for you to include the necessary data…don’t be like that.

Have You Been Advised That It Is Safe/Unsafe To Drive This Vehicle?
It sounds very scary.

Has anybody speculated why an ISS on an 06 vehicle would develop excess play or excess wear? These usually last beyond the vehicle’s life. Has the dealer pointed at the alignment/tire dealer? $1800 is a ton of money. Are you sure a steering rack/steering gear box isn’t involved, also? Is the problem with the play in the universal joint(s) area or spline/pinch(S) bolt area of the ISS? That would be good to know.


That was my initial question.
After the initial repair estimate shock I started questioning why this suddenly happened, as well as the parts estimates. I do not know that the service manager paid any attention to the alignment and quite frankly with the estimate so far out of line, I do not trust them - that is why I posted the initial question - without all the information you guys needed - sorry. I did not want to blame the tire dealer if it is not possible for the bad alignment to cause the problem. But if that is what caused this, I believe they should be responsible for the repairs.
This vehicle is not abused, not used as an “off road” jeep. It has 59,000 miles, has been well cared for.