Possible damage by highway spinout


#1

I was driving back from my honeymoon with my wife of 6 days on I-95 in the left lane passing a minivan behind a 18-wheeler. All of a sudden the minivan driver decides he likes my lane better and to avoid a collision I pull off the road onto the paved shoulder still at highway speeds. I must have overcompensated because the tires caught the edge of the pavement and in seconds I turned 180 to the south in a northbound lane then slid backwards and sideways to end up facing north on the median.

After recovering, we drove the car about 60 miles back home and immediately got it checked out. After the incident, the steering wheel was vibrating noticeably and the car was pulling to the right. I had the struts/suspension checked out and the tires realigned which seemed to fix most of the vibration and pull in the steering. The car was left with my mother-in-law for about a month since my wife joined me out in Nevada. After driving the car again last week, my wife told me it was vibrating again and the alignment was off. I told her to take the car to have the wheels balanced and realigned and hopefully this would fix it. She did both and reports that the car drives much better now.

My question is…will the car continue to give us problems or did we fix the issue? I have to drive this car 2500 miles from NC to NV next week and do not want it to break down in Oklahoma or somewhere. The car is a 07 Mazda 3 w/ 40K miles if relevant. Thanks for the help!


#2

It’s possible that a tire was damaged in the incident. That can cause the vibration as much as an out-of-balance wheel. You should check the inside and outside walls of the tires for any depressions or bulges.


#3

It may be fine, but if you again feel a vibration you may want to have the wheels spun on a machine that does “road force balancing”. These mechines spin the wheel while applying simulated road force by pressing a spinning drum against the tread. They can detect internal tire damage that a regular spin balancer cannot.


#4

broken belt in tire maybe?