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Now the back end goes sideways

2007 Chevy Impala 1LT
Auto trans; Flex Fuel 6 cyl
42,500 miles
All proactive book maintenance kept up to date

History:

  • Recently hit upraised segment of paving on interstate at 70+ mph and bottomed out on the uplifted edge.
  • Two shops had difficulty pinpointing that it was left front strut making noise and creating ride and handling difficulties.
  • Finally used “sonic test” to make the diagnosis of damaged left front strut.
  • Filed insurance claim that is still open.
  • Damaged strut never leaked and showed no evidence of damage. Apparently had to be under compression to misbehave.
  • Entire left front strut assembly (strut, strut mount, strut bearing) replaced.
  • Front end aligned after strut replaced.
  • Minor under carriage damage directly beneath driver’s seat that left minimal dents and scraped off painting/rust protection has been touched up with proper rust protection and new paint.

PROBLEM: Now that the front end handles securely with the new strut assembly and alignment the rear end of the car “walks”/slews sideways on rough paving, especially when turning corners and/or braking. Car going back to shop and they will examine the ENTIRE suspension system (struts, shocks, springs, etc.) AGAIN.

QUESTION: Given that the car ride and handling prior to the 70+ mph impact on the raised broken paving segment was normal and with no problems and that since then it has problems, yet neither strut and neither shock have APPEARED to be damaged, any suggestions how best to present my case for further work to the insurance company if I run into opposition to continuing work under the open claim?

Thank you.

Looks like the system was not assembled and adjusted right. This is often the case when a car is improperly repaired after a collison. I would tak it back and heve it rechecked and adjusted. you pay for PROPER repairs!

First, check the tire pressure to be certain that your tires, particularly the rear tires are not over inflated (or under inflated). I am surprised that both front struts were not replaced. Sometimes the damping rate difference between the struts can cause a problem. I’m from the old days when we replaced shock absorbers in pairs, but I think the same would apply to struts.

Have a friend follow you around and look at your wheels as you are driving and also look to see if the car is (crabbing, dog walk or dog trot)(select favorite term). That is where the rear wheels are not following in the same path as the front wheels.

You might be better off if you drive the chase car and a friend drives the Impala so you can see first hand. I suspect that the car is crabbing (my favorite term for this) or one or both rear wheels really bounces around when the car hits a bump in the road.

Then talk to your mechanic, he will know what to do. PS, if you have a video camera, tape it.

They need to be looking at the rear not the front. My guess is a bent rear control arm. Its need to also have the wheel base checked. One side is longer than the other. A 4 wheel alinement needs be done too.

Thank you for the feedback. I shall definitely have a discussion with the shop about this. They already agree they need to address my concerns and I’ve also spoken with the insurance company about how after the repair everything is now worse rather than better.

I’ll also try to get someone to help me watch the back end of the car while it is driven!

Oh yes, I’ve also double checked that the tire pressure is corrent on on four tires.