The car had been in an accident where I hit a curb with two wheels sqaure on at 20mph, on the passenger side. It was repaired at the dealer where they replaced two arms, two rims, two tires. That was fall, 2 years ago. The dealer’s repair shop denied that there was a vibration problem after the repair. Time has passed, and it has not “gone away.” This persistent vibration happens at around 45mph and above, getting worse as you go faster, making any long-distqance highway travel intolerable (headaches). The wheels are aligned and balanced according to tire shop equipment (within normal tolerances). The drivers side front tire tread wears down in a matter of months, even though the tires are aligned. I suspect the frame is bent… What should I do? Where should I go for real results, to get rid of this vibration problem?
A good body shop.
“I suggest the frame is bent . . .”
Well, if your car had a frame I’d agree, but it’s a uni-body, as are most cars, and the “frame” is integral with the body. It’s all one piece, and once it’s bent it’s really hard to straighten out again, regardless of what they tell you.
I’m not an expert on body damage, but I’ve been through this enough to know that I don’t want to keep crash-damaged cars.
I suggest you sell, trade, or otherwise get rid of this car. It’s never going to get better. Your Fit has suffered damage from which it will never recover. The fact that the left front tire wears down in a matter of months tells you all you need to know. That’s not normal.
Bail on this vehicle before it costs you even more.
In almost every case, when a car strikes the curb with enough force to bend a wheel rim (2 in this case) the gambling odds are that something is bent in the suspension.
The car does not technically have a frame but it has subframes that the suspension components are attached to.
Generally speaking in the front the lower control arm is almost always bent followed by the strut, sway bar, etc.
In the rear it’s generally trailing arms, etc.
Twenty miles per hour may not sound fast but it’s actually a pretty brutal impace when it comes to suspension components and this is often where a problem arises. This kind of thing falls into the mechanical aspect of thing and the majority of body shop guys are not mechanics.
Just for the heck of it and if you have a tape measure, try this. Get someone to help you and hold a tape against the rear of the drivers side wheel rim (not the tire) and measure to the front of the rear wheel rim on the drivers side with the steering wheel straight ahead. Repeat this on the passenger side and compare the measurement. They should be very close. If you’re off 1/2" or something then so much for their alignment process.