Q: Front end after ditch

asked by on

Hello, My daughter hit black ice and ended up in the ditch at about 40 mph. She was pulled and towed home, although the tow guy and others seemed to believe there appeared to be no issue other than the front bumper and grill guard.

The car started having a shake after a couple days and the wheel lugs busted through the rim or at least 3 out of 4 did.

The rim was replaced with new lugs and bolts. We purchased a new hub and bearing also but did not replace it as they did not appear damaged. The tire was mounted and balance onto the new rim. Tire shows no damage either.

She again drove the car for a couple days and the shake is back at 40 mph.

Any ideas?

Thank you Paula

Hi Paula...what you are describing is not unusual and is readily repaired excepting under one circumstance and that is if the collision caused any damage to the sub-frame and/or the mounting bosses that hold the control arms. All other parts involved are modular, "bolt on" and are readily replaceable in the field. Any rotating element, such as a tire and wheel assembly, is going to have a residual imbalance. Normally, you do not feel the "residual" at all because the tire/wheel assembly is held very rigidly in place by the strut, control arm and tie rod end. With regard to the vibration at 40 MPH, my initial guess is one or more suspension components has been damaged and may be loose. So long as the frame of the car is not damaged, this is totally repairable but of course there are going to be components that probably are going to have to be replaced. An initial possibility, which will at least indicate the extent of the damage, is to see if you can get a free alignment "check" with a read-out of the present settings. Some shops will do that as a courtesy. They are not adjusting anything; the machine is merely used to measure the present status of he alignment. A mechanic could use that data, as a part clue, to determine where and how bad the damage is. If, for example, the wheels read as reasonably aligned right now (i.e., not too far out) that would be indicative of simply loose parts (again, loose parts will allow that residual imbalance to be transmitted and felt by the driver). Another possibility is simply schedule a visual inspection and road test with one of YourMechanic’s certified mechanics. An inspection of the front end would reveal the damage that likely needs to be repaired. At that point the Mechanic could estimate the repair for you. Once new parts are installed, the vehicle must be aligned on appropriate equipment in a professional shop. Please let us know how we can assist you further with this issue.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1,000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Front end after ditch

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Service Engine soon light began flashing on and off on 2010 Nissan Sentra... Car started sputtering, ... now all dash lights are o

Hi there - the security system is now active, but this sounds more like the car battery has died (sputtering, then dead engine). Have the car battery checked, possible something electrical left on overnight, or battery is just old? Try...

Q: The rear passenger side wheel is pointing inwards it was checked out by a mechanic and they only said its the control arm

The mechanic may be right, but sometimes the terminology gets a little hazy on the Mercedes. That rear suspension has 5 links on each rear wheel, damage to any of them can cause the wheel to point in the wrong...

Q: Nissan Xterra shaking stuttering and check engine light

The flashing check engine light is likely due to misfiring. If the engine is misfiring that can damage the catalytic converter. Try not to drive the car until it is repaired. Inasmuch as ignition components were removed, my guess would...

Related articles

How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.