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Constant Alignment Issue

07’ Hyunadi Accent Sport
I’ve taken my car to the shop about 8 times now, got 5 alignments done, and the issue still isn’t fixed. I’ll get it aligned, and after a couple of days, it’ll go out again. I’ve taken it to 3 different shops, and no one knows why. They’ve checked the rack and pinion, which was fine. All parts are new-ish, no corrosion. Everything’s tight, and I haven’t hit a curb or anything like that. Suggestions are highly appreciated at this point, since expenses are high too…

What part of the alignment goes out of spec?

Toe? Caster? Camber? Thrust angle?

Tester

I’m not sure, since I’m not much of a car person. What I do know, is it veers to the right… It’s just the front wheels, at first. The car is salvaged, with damage to the front before I got it.

There’s the first unknown.

When a vehicle is salvaged, it means it was totaled because the damage to the vehicle would cost more to repair than what the vehicle is worth.

Tester

Are you the original owner or was this pre-owned?

How old (months/years) are the tires?

How are you determining that it goes out of alignment in a couple of days?

Of course the shop checked all control arm bushings, tie-rods, ball joints, etcetera, right?

A bad tire(s) will cause out of alignment symptoms. Old tires, especially, even ones with lots of tread remaining, can develop a twisted belt.

A wrecked and improperly repaired car can be problematic, pertaining to alignment.

A “pull” isn’t always an indication that a car has gone out of alignment.
CSA
:palm_tree::sunglasses::palm_tree:

There you go. That could very well be it!
A competent shop needs to get the specs for that car and do some cross-measurements. I’ll bet it’s not true.

One cannot make a silk purse from a sow’s ear.
CSA
:palm_tree::sunglasses::palm_tree:

It’s pre-owned, and salvaged
All tires were replaced when I got the car, so 5 months ago, expect the right passenger. I replaced that about 2.5 months ago
When I get it back from the shop, it’ll slowly go out. It’s kinda hard to actually determine what it does. After 2 days is when I notice it considerably off. It’ll start going out as soon as I get it back, but it affects my driving after 2 days.
And yes, they’ve checked everything. My last guy said he was out of answers, and to take it to Hyunadi to see if there is a recall on my type of car.

Also, I’ve taken it to 3 different shops. Jiffy Lube, a small car shop, and the original seller. They all can’t find what’s wrong with it…

No recalls for suspension issues. If you want to look up recalls, complaints, or investigations you can do it at safercar.gov. Click on search recalls by VIN, then enter your VIN to see wheat recalls apply to you. The only recalls are brake lights. There are also buttons to look at complaints and investigations.

The problem is that it is a salvage vehicle. There is probably unibody damage that can’t be repaired. You just have to live with it. Continue to take it to shops if you like, but I doubt anything will come of it. In the future, don’t buy a salvage title car. Now you know why.

Cars with salvage titles usually cost considerably less than cars with clean titles and salvage cars seldom have a warranty of any kind.

There is a reason for that and it’s the reason many/most states require wrecked and repaired vehicles be branded with a salvage title. That title screams “buyer beware!”

I doubt an 07 Hyundai is worth much and one with a salvage title, even less.

You can probably get this sorted out at a collision shop that straightens frames/unibodies, but it would be very expensive, probably more than is worthwhile.

I’d sell it for what I could get and buy a normal car.
CSA
:palm_tree::sunglasses::palm_tree:

2 Likes

For the car to track straight down the road properly all four tires have to be pointed in the correct direction, AND when going straight down the road the rear tires have to be directly behind the front tires. So with the accident damage, maybe the problem is something to do w/that. Car is no longer a rectangle, but instead a parallelogram. One idea, ask a helper to follow behind in their car and monitor if the front and rear tires of your car are lined up as you drive your Hyundai straight down a level road.

If they’re not properly lined up front & rear, no amount of routine wheel alignment work is going to fix it. The next step is that Hyundai will have published (somewhere) a document which provides a body shop with all the point to point distance measurements and angles that the car came off the assembly line. A good body shop is able to compare your car to that document. That could be a somewhat time-consuming chore, so the fee might be pretty high.

Also remember that an alignment won’t stay aligned if there’s anything loose in the suspension or steering. Something like a crack in the weld that holds the strut to the car’s body might not be apparent unless the strut was removed. So if the front/rear alignment isn’t the problem, the shop may have to start removing all the suspension components, looking for currently hidden problems.

Your car is a unibody car. It does not have an actual frame, just like almost all front wheel drive cars today.

The strength of your car is in the sheet metal, the folded sill boxes strut towers etc. Once those structures are bent and forced back into place there may be no way to restore their strength.

It may help to put a brace from one front strut tower to the other. It doesn’t help that you have the least expensive car from one of the least expensive brands so it didn’t have any structural strength to spare.

Some cars have strut braces available but one for your car would probably have to be made because there probably are not many racing Accents.

Assuming the salvage title was due to a serious crash, I think a body shop might have more luck at fixing this or at least telling you what’s wrong.

Only thing left sounds like is to take it to a frame shop, I have known some to put it up on the rack and atleast take a look for you.

Good plan. No, excellent idea.
If you’ve got a shop that’ll do that then go for it!

Experienced body repair professionals can see things, sometimes quickly and easily, that other types of vehicle repair/maintenance personnel would not notice.

I know. I’ve managed a body shop. I’d regularly give “lessons” to naïve insurance company adjusters, of which many/most, didn’t know what they were looking at.
CSA
:palm_tree::sunglasses::palm_tree:

+1
That, essentially, is the bottom line of this situation.