Q: Suspension woes.. power steering leaks, noises heard when driving

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When I first purchased my truck it pretty much went into the direction that it desired. You can pretty much say it had little to almost no steering. I changed the bad tires that were on it and my husband tightened some of the other suspension components. Mind you my steering wheel sits to the right ( 12 and 6 o'clock positions). My studs broke while driving in the front driver's tire. After replacing them, my power steering pump began whining; I have to add fluid about every 2 weeks. Going over bumps or rugged terrain sends my truck jolting and violently rocking from side to side. This is accompanied by a loud clunking rattle; there's also a sound like sharpening knives when accelerating. What could this be?

My car has 185000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hello, we will be happy to help you get rid of those woes. I’m assuming that the tire fell off which would cause a lot of damage especially to the side that contacted the ground. There’s likely some broken or bent suspension components left such as a sway bar end link, tie rod, control arm, spring, or strut. A technician will have to evaluate your vehicle and closely inspect the driver front to determine what components are compromised. With an impact that hard you likely have suspension components touching each other that are not supposed to be which are making the knife sharpening sound you describe. I also recommend to do a brake evaluation because the knife sharpening sound is a common description of a backing plate scraping the back of the brake rotor while it is rotating. It may have bent during impact. The backing plate can be bent back away from the rotor but damage to the rotor and pads can occur if its not fixed soon enough. Also will suggest inspecting the wheel bearings on your vehicle. It is likely the wheel bearing was too damaged upon the impact. Lastly it is possible that the rack and pinion suffered damage. A damaged rack and pinion could be why your leaking power steering fluid. I suggest that you have your vehicle inspected by a technician such as those available here. We will send you a diagnosis estimate for a brake and suspension evaluation so you may consider us in helping you repair it.

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