Question Todd, Is it possible to have a front end alignment performed if the steering control box, controls arms, & tie rods are broken? Following is why I am asking: My son has a 2002 Grand Am and noticed that the front tires were worn & had bands protruding at certain areas even though they are only 3-months old. He took the car back to company that originally replaced his tires & was told that they did not have any type of warranty against wear. He went ahead & had a front end alignment performed at another company (since he did not want to deal with the other) on Saturday since he did notice a slight shimmy at high speeds. He had to wait a few days to get new front tires but he went to a third company to get this done since it is closer to where he works. They mounted & balanced new front tires but then told him that the new tires would not have any warranty because the steering control box, control arms, & tie rods are broken. To verify this he took his car back to the company that performed the alignment. They told him that these items were in fact not broken & they would have noticed this and would not have performed the alignment if that was the case. They did show him the condition of these items but did admit that the only way to know for sure about the control box is the disassemble it. They had no evidence that would warrant this action. Everything was "tight" and the shimmy has gone away. He does not have any noticable steering issues. Do you agree this assessment? Sorry for the length of the inquiry. I look forward to your response. Mike.
Answer Hi Mike:
well any kind of a front end shimmy the first thing to looks at is wheels and tires. then loose front end parts.. that car was noted for control arm bushings pulling out of the arms but if it was throughly checked out and that ere no loose or broken parts I guess you need to take their word for it. The steering gears on those cars were noted for leaking but a leak is not going to cause tire wear. as for the alinment it's self no there is no warranty on an alignment anywhere. you could have the car aligned and drive 1/2 a mile down the street and hit a big pot hole and it throw the alinment off. those cars are not usually hard on tires unless it's a V6 engine in it. then the extra weight of the power train cause a bit more tire wear that and a heavy foot on the gas pedal. Cheap tires wear out quick and ware goofy on just about any car. You get what you pay for. as far as a shimmy from time to time new tires May have an issue with a shimmy due to the tires take a set from the way they were in stoarge before they were installed they could have been on the bottom of 20 tires sitting on them and it take some timme for them to take a set to the rim they are on. also som cheap tires when they sit cold overnight the first mile or 2 untill the rubber warms up will have a shimmy and then it goes away. Very common on just about any car. good luck :)
General auto repair,electrical issues,driveability issues,anti-lock brakes,SIR systems,HVAC,engine performance,Gm specific. I have worked at my current dealership since the 1990 model year anything much older than that I have limited exposure to. I do not have very much transmission experience so those question you may want to ask of another expert. When you send me a question let me know the exact make/model/engine and year for the car or suv you have it makes it easier to answer the questions that way.
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Experience in the area: I have been a technician in GM dealerships for over 22 years and I am a ASE master technician. I work at a Buick and GMC truck store Previously I worked at a Pontiac GMC store for 18 years. I Served a a lead technician when dealership was on a team system.
I just recently moved to a Buick,Hummer,Saab Store when my franchise was purchased by this dealership.
Organizations: ASE master technician
Education/Credentials Education/Credentials:High school diploma,2 year vocational school degree
2 year college degree. Associates degree in applied sciences (auto technology)Awards and Honors: GMC master technician
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Master ASE technician in 9 categories