CarTalk.com Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Wheels on the car

Recently, I noticed my 2003 car pulling to the left, especially when braking and the steering wheel whas getting a shimmy in it. I took it to an alighnment shop, where they said it was the tires. I checked the inflation and one was a little flat, so I put it up to the same pressure as the others. This worked for a little bit. I drove it on the highway the other day and the pulling and shake were back. So, I took it into the dealer, they said replace both front tires, replace the l/upper control arm, a new upper steering shaft and turn all the rotors & replace the pads.

All for about $2600. Can this be right?

I would get a second opinion and estimate from another independent shop. Maybe all those parts need to be replaced, but the total price sounds high.

Brake job = $300 per axle or less, parts and labor included.
2 Tires = $300 or so, possibly less.

$2000 for front end work? too high, I think.

Agree with JR - get another opinion, use the mechanic finder option (or check with a friend/acquaintance for a referral) for a trustworthy mechanic. It’d be odd for this all to be needed.

That seems like a lot of things to go wrong at once. A second opinion would be a good idea here.

For the tire issue, you could switch the front and rear tires and see if anything changes. That would help you decide if the tires are part of the problem.

For the shimmy, does this happen only when you’re braking or at other times?

The tires were changed around about a month ago. The shimmy happens at all speeds.