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Saw yet another car pulled over at the side of the road yesterday, what is the cause?

the car was sitting on the road with it’s front/left/driver side tire at about 90 degree ange from the car. Seemed like the shaft was disconnected from the wheel/tire.

what causes the car to basically lose it’s wheel? is it from failing to replace the wheel bearings in time? bad tie rods, outer or inner?

You would have to look closely or have a picture to tell for sure. I saw a wheel fall off a car because the lug nuts were too loose and the driver never bothered to wonder why the front wheel wobbled.

Sounds like a failed tie rod joint.

90 degrees, is that from the vertical plane of the car or the horizontal plane. In other words, did the tire come out from the bottom (or top) so it is parallel with the ground or is it turned out 90 degrees either from the front or the rear (extreme left or right turn)?

I think if an outboard CV joint broke in half, something like that could possibly happen. It would depend on how the rest of the front suspension was affected when the CV joint broke in two.

GSJ: Possibly on a car with one ball joint/side. A car with upper and lower BJs would maintain camber, while the tie rod handled toe.

I think you’d need a fairly strong side-loading of the wheel, even with only a lower.

Total failure of ball joint or tie rod.

–what causes the car to basically lose it’s wheel?--

Was it a Ford?

Found On Road . . .

I would say ball joints or outer tie rods. Its cold out and metal becomes stressed and brittle in the cold plus it is not very often inspected. Even if inspected, they can break. Mine was a quality Moog part, one year old, and broke right off with no warning. Luckily both don’t break at the same time.

I’m going with ball joint here as well. The last time I saw a wheel that looked like this is when my upper ball joint failed on my '57 Chevy. The joint just popped out when I hit a pothole.

Until the OP tells us the orientation of the tire, y’all is just guessing.

My Wife lost the half shaft and wheel assembly off the front of a 2000 Focus we had one time(I think a careless mechanic overtorqued the tiny little bolts on the strut assembly when replacing the timing belt,when the bolts failed it turned the whole shebang loose-Kevin

it turned out 90 degrees either from the front or the rear (extreme left or right turn) lug nuts still on the tire, but didn’t see the back side of the tires to know what broke.
sorry, no pics of it.

Then that sounds like a broken tie rod end.

Agree, and now we ain’t guessing.