CarTalk.com Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Hit a very TINY curb and bent my rear tire (also threw off steering wheel)

The first thing I want to say is before this happened, I noticed my steering wheel was a half inch off for a bit maybe a week (thought it was just low air) so maybe that’s where this started

Anyway, I pulled out of a parking lot and made a sharp turn to the right, while hitting a small curb (the bump was literally almost non existent) so this was going to happen sooner or later anyway.

After I pulled out, my steering went COMPLETELY to the 3 o clock position and my tire is now pointing OUTWARDS. It’s very undriveable.

I jacked it up and the tire popped back into place. The only thing I can see wrong under the car is a bad control arm bushing.

Does anyone know what’s wrong and how bad this could be? I jiggled the wheel left and right, up and down but it doesn’t move with my strength.

2004 Kia amanti.

The picture doesn’t make the tire look bad but it’s very noticeable in person. Also when the tire is bent like that, the car suspension is VERY low on this side and can barely fit my hand above the tire
Here’s some videos https://streamable.com/7euqm
https://streamable.com/pzi0g

You need the take the vehicle in for a complete inspection.

As a matter of fact, I wouldn’t drive the vehicle. But have it towed.

This is what a broken ball joint looks like,

Tester

4 Likes

I strongly suggest that you stay back from the vehicle and have a wrecker carry it to a good independent shop. The repair will be much less expensive than the medical bill and long term costs of that vehicle dropping onto your hand or foot or worse.

3 Likes

@Tester I’m having it towed wednsday to a shop.
What are the chances I’ve messed some other things up in the process? It really wasn’t even that big of a bump and am curious why my only warning sign was a slightly crooked steering wheel. (I posted a video above)

Chances are good but that will only be determined by an actual inspection in person.
Might be a good idea after you get this latest problem fixed to trade it for a vehicle with less things wrong with it . And not another 2004 Kia as you have had trouble with two now.

3 Likes

The car is fifteen years old.

Any worn suspension component that was on the verge failing doesn’t take much to push it over the edge.

Even a small bump.

Tester

4 Likes

Are ball joints and or tie rods fairly expensive repair?

Also look at second video I posted. I can literally stick my hand in the hole. Is this relevant to the incident?

This one only has 119k on it :sob: it was taken pretty well care of the old lady before me

The video appears to be the rear end??? I’m confused.

@Rod_Knox yes it is. Rear passenger

I’m not super familiar with how Kia did their rear suspension on the Amanti, but in that second video (where you’re peering through the strut into the subframe), it looks you you may have some severe rusting of the subframe itself. That could explain why the relatively small bump had such a big effect (if the frame were only held together with rust, and that bump caused it to crumble). For me, that would be game over for the car.

1 Like

@BikeGuy88 i hope not
It’s possible that has been like this

The upper control arm busing is totally wasted. And that rust is waiting for the last straw to drop… it won’t be long.

It really doesn’t take much of a hit even on a small curb to bend suspension components. I suspect control arms and/or trailing arms are bent.
Definitely needs to be fixed ASAP for safety reasons and the fact that as is it will eat tires up pretty quickly. It’s got a ball joint on the rear lower control arm also.

Looking at the brake rotor in your video, you need major brake work.

Between the rust, broken suspension and brakes, it may be time to retire this car.

Turns out they replaced my back cradle. But can anyone tell me why my steering is still crooked?

asked him to test drive. He said everything was fine, needed no alignment. I drive off and my steering is crooked. What are the chances they didn’t put the cradle on right?

Anytime major suspension work is performed the vehicle needs to be aligned. Does that shop have an alignment rack?

Why did you not just turn around and ask them why your steering wheel is not centered ?

Because the shop that did the alignment didn’t do it correctly.

A good alignment shop will center and secure the steering wheel in the center position, then do the alignment.

A lazy shop just aligns the tires, and lets the steering wheel end up where ever it ends up.

2 Likes

@VOLVO_V70 @Nevada_545 @It_s_Me they do not do alignments. But the my assured me I did not need one. As soon as I pulled out BAM! Steering crooked. They lied to me. I called them afterwards and they said “I could probably need an alignment but who knows if my components are too damaged” idk what to do. It even Kno if is the alignment or poorly adjusted frame…