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A collection of helpful articles based on reader submissions
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Below is a collection of Jim Grant's Tech Tips sorted by Vehicle Make. These Tech Tips were answers to questions submitted to Jim by users over the course of many years.
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Lincoln - Mercury
  Jim Grant's Tech Tips

'88 Toyota Corolla, Bent Something

Q: About a year ago, my Toyota Corolla ‘88 skid and ran into a side walk (it hit hard, right hand passenger side). I felt it start shaking while driving, I took it to a mechanic, he checked the front wheel (the side it hit) and said, the rim was bent. I put on a new rim and the car kept on doing the same thing. I took the car to a different mechanic and he said "tires are bad" I end up changing all 4 tires. The car is not shaking as much. I tried a different mechanic, he told me once it hit the curb, the lower part of the front shock turned bad and he changed it ($$$). It still shakes (when driving very slow 5mph, or about at 55mph + ). I went to a different mechanic and he said the other side CV axle needs to be replaced, I am tired of spending money needlessly. Could you please suggest something about that. I would really appreciate it......Nick

A: There’s no question that you bent something. Because the shake is related to the movement of the vehicle, tire rotation, this tells you that the bent part has to be turning. Identifying the cause is as easy as taking measurements of the parts that turn. Any shop worth it’s wrenches will have a tool called a dial indicator. A dial indicator measures in thousands of an inch. That may seem extreme, but it only it takes the equivalent of 3 to 4 human hairs of variation in the wrong place to cause a shake in nearly any vehicle. The test performed with a dial indicator is called run out. A run out test proves if a rotating part is turning in a true circle or is wabbling. Begin testing for excessive runout where the wheel/rim bolts to the vehicle. That area is pretty tender to side impacts. Also the axle is not out of question, but it should not be replaced unless the dial indicator says it’s wabbling. An hour or so of good diagnostic time should find the real cause.

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