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About a week ago, I had my whole front suspension changed. Both shocks, all tie rods, inner and outer, both upper control arms as well as the sway bar links. Now my car drives so bad. When trying to drive about 40mph my car almost loses control. Any time I hit a bump or if it's raining, it's almost impossible to drive due to the car pulling me all over the road. My steering wheel is off and to the left a little but I've driven with a bad alignment before and this is not the same. There is also a lot of vibration and it almost feels like my wheels are going to fall off. It seems like both my wheels are pulling away from each other. I was told that my sway bar was bent and needed to be replaced. From all I have read it seems impossible for the sway bar to actually bend. So any ideas?

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    Can you share why all this was changed in the first place?
    – Criggie
    Commented Mar 7 at 2:34
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    No car that sort of work done would be returned with that degree of problems by any even slightly reputable repairer. Wheel alignment (mentioned by others) is an utter necessity in such a case. It seems unlikely that this has been done. Your steering wheel being "to the ;eft a little bit" is one more indication of an immensely incompetent job. || I've found that a few (or even one) very large Samoan friends standing silently by my side helps :-). (That they are entirely peaceful and harmless need not be mentioned). Commented Mar 7 at 12:43
  • I think my strut tower is the culprit it's rusted pretty bad Commented Mar 7 at 14:14
  • Just as a sanity check, are the lug nuts on any or all wheels lose?
    – herrtim
    Commented Mar 8 at 13:52
  • This reminds me of my truck once swaying so badly from left to right and back that I wasn't able to drive more than 10-20 km/h. On a rough road in the mountain! When home trying to move it in reverse the cause was immediately apparent as both front wheels went both the other way: the steering link between the two was disconnected. Your story sounds like that experience.
    – HarryH
    Commented Mar 8 at 17:56

3 Answers 3

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The only way for a sway bar to bend would be an accident, so you are right to suspect they are full of it. It sounds like whoever did the suspension work botched the job and are now trying to cadge more money out of you to fix it.

Take it back and insist they fix it for zero cost, they made a mistake and they need to fix it. Stick to your guns. Bring large friends with tattoos for backup if you have to.

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    +1 for tattooed friends. To OP ... yes, stick to your guns. I've seen bent sway bars, but even if it were a bent sway bar, it wouldn't act as you're suggesting. They dorked something up and should be making it right. With the list of repairs shown, I'm taking it this was not a "cheap" fix. They should have also aligned the front end after replacing the parts. Part of an alignment is ensuring the steering wheel is straight. Commented Mar 6 at 17:04
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Turns out I'm pretty sure it's a bad strut tower. Open my hood and the strut tower is really almost rusted thru and my strut mount bolts are moving slightly.

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    Could you share a photo? Even if it would be an unrelated fault they should have 1. made a test drive 2. told you about it. Therefor it is to assume that they are cheating on you
    – Martin
    Commented Mar 7 at 20:46
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    I suggest not going back to the same place that did all the other work. I cannot help but think that if they were competent then they would have spotted that as a problem. IMHO. If they were the people who said you needed all the work mentioned in the question and it was a few thousand dollars, then perhaps you might know someone in the legal profession who could advise you on getting a refund. I am neither a lawyer nor a mechanic. Commented Mar 8 at 19:12
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    @AndrewMorton - Strut towers are not something you'd normally check when doing alignments. You wouldn't lift the hood in most cases, so no way to tell and to be fair, there'd be no expectation there might be an issue there. Commented Apr 29 at 11:23
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Spare from obvious things like forgotten nuts that need tightening (these will usually make noises as well), the most probable cause for sympthoms like these is that the mechanic failed to adjust the front axle geometry.

The procedure is obligatory when the suspension is disassembled and reassembled.

It requires specialized and expensive equipment that most small workshops don't have.

My mechanic doesn't have it either, but when he does something related to the front suspension, he runs the car very carefully to a nearby workshop that does only axle geometry. After the proper angles between the front wheels are set, the steering wheel suddenly becomes "reasonable".

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