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Slid into a guardrail, one front tire is turned slightly while the other is straight

Hyuandai Sonata LX 2006
A few days ago i slid into a guardrail on an icy road. I was going about 10mph and slid sideways into the guardrail for about 10 ft before i could gain control of the vehicle again. After i slid one of my wheels was turned more than the other and my steering wheel was all over the place. One moment it would be normal and centered and then the next my car would swerve to the left and i would have to keep the steering wheel upside down to go straight, it would then re correct it self and be centered again. this kept on happening every 10-15sec or so. I took my wheel off and did not see any noticeable damage to the tie rods or struts so not sure why my wheel isn’t alligned and my steering is all jacked up. i included some pictures of the front left wheel took most of the impact. Does anyone see anything abnormal?? Not a car guy but nothing looks to bad to me. (Only letting me include one picture since im new so took one of the tie rod)If someone could explain to me what would be causing my steering wheel to be acting like that i would greatly appreciate it! Dont have the money to get it inspected or towed to a repair shop. image

A front end specialist can diagnose it quickly. Could be bent parts (steering knuckle, tie rod end, tie rod, etc.)



Never mind, sorry! I see it!

All I can say is, you bent the hell out of that outer tie rod.


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Usually the lower control arm and lower ball joint are the first things damaged from that type of impact. The outer tie rod looks normal.

Your finances have nothing at all to do with whether or not your car needs repair. That it does need repair was obvious from your description of how it drives even without the photo.

It is dangerous to you and others and should be parked until you get it repaired.

If you can’t afford to fix a car, you can’t afford to own one.


This vehicle is not safe to drive according to your description.

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I managed a body shop for a couple of years…
I seriously doubt that only one part is bent/damaged. It will need a visual inspection by a professional mechanic and then an assessment can be made as to which part or parts need to be replaced (including a tie-rod and possibly a strut, steering rack, CV axle/joint, road wheel, etcetera). Unibody brackets where the components are attached will need a look and possibly measurements will need to be made.

After replacing the obviously damaged part/parts are replaced and any other repairs made, an alignment will determine if it can then be brought into proper alignment.

This is a collision and this is when collision insurance should come to the rescue.

Was there any body damage caused by this collision?

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the outer tie rod may have a slight kink from the factory for tire clearance. not all tierods are straight.

The car has been parked in my garage since i wrecked it, dont plan on driving anytime soon.

If you are a scientific type you could measure the angular deviation in degrees from one wheel to the other. With the steering wheel dead ahead, set up a tight string along the side of the car and parallel to the wheel direction. Now set up another string parallel to the body of the car. Use chairs or something to hold the strings at about mid-wheel height. From the difference is distance between the strings in front and string in back, and their length, you can measure the angle between the two strings. Do the same on the other side. This won’t fix the problem but it should be fun to do and will give you good information to tell your shop. There’s several things that could cause that

  • steering rack
  • tie rod
  • ball joint
  • control arm(s)
  • strut
  • steering knuckle/hub

I would say that if you can visibly see that the tires are now aimed in different directions, then you need to get this vehicle to an alignment shop ASAP. Something is bent, out of whack, or possibly broken. This could very potentially cause another accident and could injure someone.

I would feel better erring on the side of safety.