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Wheel wobbles pretty badly

So, about a month ago, I was driving to the airport (DFW Airport, which, in my opinion, has a horrible way of approaching if you’re not taking the freeway) and took the directions my GPS was giving me (Which were horribly wrong, by the way). I ended up on a backroad, with no street lights, while it was raining. Speed limit was 45, I was going about 40. Needless to say; Decent speed + Slippery road + Pitch black = Me screeching to a halt too late to avoid going over a curb.

The impact bent my wheel up pretty bad, and popped my tire, so I definitely hit hard. I had both of them replaced once I got back from my trip, thanks to a handy on-site repair service. However, just recently, all sorts of weird stuff has been happening.

First off, the noise; It’s not common, but sometimes, the car will creak when I’m going over small bumps, turning corners, speeding up, or slowing down. It’s a horrible noise.

Second, the front left wheel (The one that went over the curb) feels like it’s wobbling pretty bad. I’ve noticed that it gets worse when I drive faster, which is… why I’ve avoided going over 50 MPH since it began.

Any idea what’s wrong with my car? I’m worried, don’t have a lot of money to fix it, and need to make a four hour drive to move ASAP!

Please help. :frowning:

Well it appears you have at least a bent rim. I suggest that in addition to replacing that rim, you should have the suspension checked for damage. I certainly would not want to take your car on the freeway let alone a four hour drive.

Funny that it was DFW. Some years ago I was driving through there and managed to get lost so I turned one the GPS, It took me back behind the service buildings and on gravel service roads. I was expecting it to direct me on the runway. I considered not using it’s directions, but it brought me exactly where I wanted to go.

Yeah, that’s exactly what my GPS did. I was back in the back, where they have all of the lonely, out of the way control towers and stuff like that, with no lights ANYWHERE.

Anyway, the rim has most certainly been replaced. Did that immediately upon returning from my trip – In the parking lot at the airport, actually. I’ll see if I can’t swing by a Pep Boys or something later this morning to get the suspension checked out.

Creaks going over bumps, turning corners, speeding up and slowing down points to suspension troubles. Hits hard enough to pop a tire are hard enough to tweak or bend suspension parts. For safety’s sake, your life and the lives of others on the road, please get this to an alignment shop, explain what happened, and let them look the car over. At the very least, you need an alignment done. But, you could be looking at replacing suspension parts as well.

You’ll also need a new rim. A rim from a salvaged Sentra would be fine. These can be had at most salvage yards fairly cheap. Sentra are popular cars, so nearly every yard should have something.

Guys–The OP already told us that both the rim and the tire were replaced, so the solution to this safety issue is way beyond simply replacing a bent rim!

03079leom–You need to drive the car (very slowly!) to a competent mechanic.
Unfortunately, almost all of the young guys working at Pep Boys are not in the category of competent.
Yes, I did read that you are currently short on funds, but a cheap mechanic can wind up costing you far more in the long run through replacement of needless parts, skipping vital repairs, allowing you to drive out with confidence in a bad repair, etc.

You need to take the car to an independent shop that has a reputation for good front end work. Most likely they will find damage to a ball joint, or a tie rod, or a tie rod end, or…God only knows what. However, no matter what is necessary to repair the car, it is not safe to drive in its current condition.

If you think that car repairs are expensive, try to imagine the cost (both monetary and psychological) of an accident caused by your negligence. You could wind up with a settlement against you that attaches your salary for a decade or more.

Do the responsible thing and have the car repaired tomorrow by a well-reputed independent mechanic. Even if you need to borrow the money for this repair, you need to either do it or park the car until you have the funds to do it.

Let me agree with VDCdriver. Until you know what is wrong, driving more than parking lot speed in a vehicle that possibly has serious front end damage is somewhere between suicidal and homicidal. Turn the emergency flashers on and wait for light traffic, then drive the thing to a competent mechanic. Or get it towed. It’s conceivable that once the problem is diagnosed, he’ll OK you to drive faster, but for now, drive like your left front wheel may fall off at any moment … which it might.