So I have a 96 accord and my mother in law hit an animal on the drivers side. Ever since, I’ve been hearing a loud pop when turning hard into somewhere, and I will occasionally feel a slight twitch in the steering wheel and the whole car will slightly jerk to one side while I’m driving. I would like to know if you guys think I need a whole new axel, or tie rod ends, and I would also like to know how easy(or difficult) these things would be to do on my own. How much would I be looking to spend if I took the car somewhere to get this done?
Take this thing to front end shop now. If there is full coverage ( collision ) insurance just pay the deductible and have it fixed properly. This is not a job you can do in your garage with out jacks and a bunch of tools. As for price only a shop estimate will mean anything.
Some insurance companies consider damage from tangling with an animal to be a collision claim, but some call it a comprehensive claim. Years ago I was told to tell the insurance company the animal was running and leaping through the air when we collided, so it was damage from a falling object, a comprehensive claim. Sounds like nonsense, but so do insurance adjusters.
Notice I never said “I hit an animal”.
No disrespect intended, but if you need assistance from an Internet forum in diagnosing the problem (sounds like a CV joint to me, by the way), it may be too difficult for you to do it on your own. Do you have the necessary tools, including jack stands, and a service manual for the vehicle?
I had a general idea of what it could have been and I have all the tools I would need. I like to do as much work on my car myself as I can manage and since I’d never done anything like this myself, I was just wondering if it was something I could manage myself, or if I’d be better off taking it in
The question you need to ask yourself is : How will I feel if my repair fails and someone driving the vehicle is injured or injures someone else ?
The most difficult step when replacing a half shaft on an Accord is removing bolt #6 that secures the strut fork to the lower control arm.
That’s because the inner CV-joint won’t pass thru the strut fork while it’s connected to the control arm.
That bolt is splined. And when it rusts it can be a real bear to remove.
Other than that, the job is straight forward.
If you have the place to work, the time, the tools and the courage, then have at it. If you get halfway in and you fail a tow truck will come and take your car to a mechanic. You will never learn how to work on cars if you don’t work on cars.
If you do the whole thing and have doubts that you did it right, take it to the mechanic and ask to have your work checked.
One compromise to consider, take it to a shop and have them diagnose what the problem is. Then if you think you can replace the parts yourself, have a go at it. Folks here will be happy to offer some more guidance, once you know exactly what part you are replacing. Most likely some combo of problems with the axle, steering, and/or suspension system.
That will cost 100.00 to 125.00 dollars . A charge that might be waived if the shop gets to do the work .
Paying for a diagnosis - buying parts plus a tool or 3 - going for an alignment after the repair - might be just as much money as having the shop do it and have at least a 30 day warranty on labor and a year on parts.
You could be right that the OP won’t save a bundle of cash if he or she does the work by themselves, in the short term, but think of the long term rewards, too. If you do the work yourself you end up with new tools (always fun for some of us) and you end up with a lot more experience and knowledge which will pay dividends for the rest of your life.