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Mysterious Grinding/ rubbing

I own a 2014 ford fusion AWD Titanium. The other day(even with the 4 wheel drive) I slid sideways into a curb. messed up my rim and made my steering wheel off center. I thought to myself “must be I knocked my alignment out.” So, the next day I took it to Mavis Discount Tire and got my alignment fixed. Drove it off the block and noticed that it was still making a grinding/rubbing noise. It was a better sound and feel but still something sounds like it’s rubbing. Im lost. I know very little about cars and need help, should I just leave it? Its really not that bad but i do not want it to do serious damage after many miles.

Get it back in for service right away. Grinding noises are always bad but can be dangerous as well. You may have damaged a wheel bearing with your curb hit. Normally it is growling noise that get higher in pitch the faster you drive.

Did you tell Mavis to “align the car” or did you tell them, “I hit a curb, please check it over for damage and fix the steering wheel”?? If it was the second, I’d suggest you NOT take it back to Mavis as they didn’t find it in the first place.

Since your steering wheel was off center you DID bend something. Now maybe the alignment tech just compensated for the bent part with adjustment - not the best idea - but certainly other damage could have occurred.


Take it back to the shop. How much damage was done to the rim? The rim may be the problem, or you did more damage to your vehicle than you think.

I only told them that my alignment was off… I realize now that this wasn’t very intelligent. You live and you learn I guess. Thank you! Ill take it back and have them take a look. I know chains can be very different but do you think Mavis Discount Tire would be a good option or should I take it somewhere else? For example is Pep Boys a better option?

I don’t personally use the chains for anything. I have an excellent independent mechanic and tire place that I use for things I either don’t have the equipment/expertise/time to do myself. Some chain stores are well run with good mechanics. Many more of them are not.

I wouldn’t take my lawnmower to Pep Boys! Generally notorious for poor work. I only buy chemicals from them - waxes, brake fluid, RTV ect. I wouldn’t even buy an alternator from them. I did once, and never again.

Never heard about Mavis but I I generally stay away from chains if it is something I cannot do myself. There are a few good local independent shops near where I live. I suspect you, too, have some good independent shops nearby. Google, Yelp, and friends can be helpful here.

Okay thank you! You have been a great help. It is very much appreciated. Keep helping people like me man!

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The replies above are all correct. In addition to checking your suspension and the wheel, the shop should also check the tire for hidden damage, as this is also possible from a curb strike.

Since you say you know very little about cars, I’ll point out that you need to make sure you have sufficient tread depth on your tires (which I assume are all-season tires). Tires that are safe for use in the summer might not be safe for use in the winter. My rule is never to use tires that are under 6/32 in winter.

Okay I will let them know. I actually just got brand new all season tires on after the incident. That’s the main reason I went to Mavis Tire because they put wheels on too before they ‘fixed’ my alignment

You may have a bent disc brake backing plate which is rubbing on the rotor. If so, it’s easy to bend back by hand. I’ve seen it happen often.

By the way, Mavis is rated near the bottom of the list by Consumer Reports.

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The brake baking plate is what I also thought of (per @MY_2_CENTS above) when reading your post OP. I expect you’re going to have to have the brake parts on that wheel (or both, if both front and rear hit the curb) removed and everything inspected. It’s quite possible also that you’ll need some suspension and steering parts replaced. You don’t want to drive around with bent or damaged versions of those gadgets. The best way to find a good independent shop is to ask folks you know, friends, relatives, co-workers, church-goers, bar hoppers, etc who they use, then from the shops that work on Fords, schedule some interviews. As already pointed out, when approaching a shop, for best results, tell them what the problem actually is you want solved, not what you think the remedy is.

A couple of years ago, Consumer Reports published ratings of regional and national tire chains, in the same issue as their ratings of tires. I noted with interest that, out of two pages of tire chain ratings, Mavis–which is the dominant tire retailer in my area–was listed dead last.

If consumers think that Mavis is terrible in regard to selling tires, surely their mechanical services couldn’t be good.


It doesn’t seem that difficult – I mean technically – to sell tires. You buy them from whoever makes them, and sell them to whoever needs them. There’s plenty of tire shops, so no problem for the customer to find the place w/the best prices. If there’s customer antipathy to that particular chain, it must be about something other than the tires; probably selling the wrong type of tire for the customer’s need, or just not being careful with the replacement procedure. There’s a bunch of stuff that can go wrong w/ dismounting/mounting/balancing if diligence isn’t part of the shop’s creed I’d guess.