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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-27-2006, 12:39 PM Thread Starter
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trying to figure out what happened

My car is at the alignment shop this morning. Last Wednesday, I parked the car in the driveway and haven't driven it since. When I parked it, the wheels were straight, and everything was good.

I go out this morning, get in, and drive away...my steering wheel is about 30-45 degrees turned to the right to go straight, and the car is pulling a bit to the left.

I've got a 17 year old that I've thus far blamed on this anomoly (also due to some other things that I *THINK* weren't in order (heater off, seatbelt twisted, etc. - things I don't normally leave that way). I'm not positive he took the car out joy riding, and was wondering what other things could have happened to cause this alignment issue? Ball Joints? UCA's? The car has somewhere around 80k on it (Odo quit last spring at 61k)

I'm looking for reasons not to kick the kid's a$$. I'm 90% sure the car was taken out and probably abused, but that 10% of doubt is killing me. There doesn't appear to be any other obvious damage, and I'll know from the shop later today if anything is bent.
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-27-2006, 12:46 PM
 
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KISS - Keep It Simple Stupid. No need to come up with elaborate reasoning for what might be wrong when the obvious is staring you in the face...

Wait and see what the shop says, then kick his butt. lol
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-27-2006, 12:48 PM
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watch them take it up in the air and check it out. dont let them bend or break something when your not watching and let that be the cause of it. if th steering wheel is at an angle then your toe is obviously off and our tie rods do tend to move or get out of adjustment if not tightened well.

this same thing happened to my mothers ford crown vic years ago. she got an alignment and 2-3 days later the steering wheel was at a weird angle. took it back and while we were waiting i heard a huge bang and they came around saying there was a bent tie rod. yea i was pissed and they replaced it free seeing how i heard it.

not saying they did that but you need to loosen the threading on the tie rod to adjust for toe *aim your hands foward and keep your elbows and arm at a 90 degree angle, now move your arms left to right and that is toe.* makes sense that if they forgot to tighten up the tie rods then it would throw its adjustment off while driving.

anywho let us know what they say and keep an open mind. im not saying they will or have done this at the shop you are going to, but it has happen.

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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-27-2006, 01:06 PM Thread Starter
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Well, this is a very trusted shop for me...I don't believe they'll try to pull anything, and the car wasn't just in a shop recently.

Yes, it would seem the left front is toed out too far to create that compensation on the wheel, but unless you hit something, or unless something lets go, that doesn't just happen by itself. I know how to do alignment adjustments...I just don't have the measurement equipment, but on my 4x4's, I've always set the toe myself using a tape measure.

Southpaw, you're probably right, but there's a lot of history with this kid (my step son), and I don't want there to be any doubt. Right now I still have doubt in my mind....his theft and replacement of the car keys, for instance, would have to be near artful, as we keep them locked up most of the time. I'm beside myself pissed off right now and don't want to take his head off unless I'm dead sure he did it.
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-27-2006, 05:42 PM
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A Good shop would be able to tell you weather there is wrong doing or not...sorry to hear about your car, I have an older brother who used to have a problem with stealing cars and joy riding. But his lying was his worst enemy. Hope every thing works out for you.

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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-27-2006, 06:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Desert Rat
Southpaw, you're probably right, but there's a lot of history with this kid (my step son), and I don't want there to be any doubt. Right now I still have doubt in my mind....his theft and replacement of the car keys, for instance, would have to be near artful, as we keep them locked up most of the time. I'm beside myself pissed off right now and don't want to take his head off unless I'm dead sure he did it.
I know exactly where your coming from my kid took my car twice with out asking and cracked it up (minor fender benders not alot damage) but he will not do that again. We came to an agreement.

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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-28-2006, 09:38 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Desert Rat
....his theft and replacement of the car keys, for instance, would have to be near artful, as we keep them locked up most of the time.
'Any chance the kid could have gotten his own set of keys made some time in the past?

I really don't see the front end getting messed up like that unless it hit something pretty hard...
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-28-2006, 09:42 AM
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Kick his *** Seabass!

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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-28-2006, 10:12 AM
 
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It only takes a moment to trace a key (or press it into some paper and rub a pencil tip back and forth on it). After that all you need is a blank key, a file, and a little motivation to experiment (well in pre PATS days anyway).

Hell my brothers whittled a few out of popsicle sticks and stuff in his younger days. Not that I recommend that, it might be hard to explain the splinters in the ignition if it breaks off. Much better to just shoplift a file and a few key blanks to play with.

No need to artfully steal the keys and put them back afterwards, just wait for mom to run into 7-11 for a minute and make your move...

Last edited by Southpaw; 11-28-2006 at 10:18 AM.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-28-2006, 11:36 AM Thread Starter
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got the car back. It was dark when I dropped it off, but in daylight I can clearly see where he curbed it. The rim is chewed up. Fortunately, it aligned again, but I'll probably go hunting for another wheel in the local yards.

He's 18 in February. I don't think I'll be saying much to him between now and then. He has his own car, but we had his drivers license suspended because of all the trouble he had been getting into with the cops. He's been begging to get his DL back. I'll take pleasure in telling him there's not a snowball's chance in hell of that, and he can just sit and look at his car out the window.

I also found his friend's pocket knife that obviously fell out of a pocket in the back seat. Yet the kid is still sticking to his lies. Unbelievable.
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-28-2006, 01:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Desert Rat
Yet the kid is still sticking to his lies. Unbelievable.
Yea, my sister does that. There is so much evidence aginst her story and me and my parents are 110% sure she did it but she will still try to lie. Its usually such a stupid lie to LOL.

You should take HIS car for a joy ride and hit somthing, that might get a point accross. JK, 2 wrongs dont make a right MOST of the time.

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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-28-2006, 01:36 PM Thread Starter
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No, I think I'll just make him sell it.
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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-28-2006, 03:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Desert Rat
No, I think I'll just make him sell it.
I believe this is an appropriate punishment for theft and lying to the authorities (mom and dad).

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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-28-2006, 11:14 PM
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have him pay for the alignment and a replacement wheel and call it a day.........better to have him drive his own car if he's gunna be hittin stuff, lol

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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-29-2006, 02:12 PM Thread Starter
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have him pay for the alignment and a replacement wheel and call it a day.........better to have him drive his own car if he's gunna be hittin stuff, lol
Better that he drives no car at all, as far as I'm concerned.

He's got no money and is looking at fines and stuff coming up for court dates for other crap he's done. I'm not taking what little money he has because I'm sure as hell not paying for any of that for him.
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post #16 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-29-2006, 02:32 PM
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He needn't pay for it immediately, but he should pay for it. Make him aware that his debt just went up by whatever the alignment cost, plus the wheel. If he chooses to sell his car to pay for the debt, that is his choice to make but he should be reminded that if he sells his car he will NOT be driving any of yours. Besides, not having a car would put a serious crimp on his earning potential and thereby his ability to pay his debts and fines. I know what I'm talking about, my nephew is currently staying with my parents and is having the same "difficulties" that you are describing.

Bear in mind that whatever happens to him should be done to make him learn from his experience, not just what makes you feel better. (lol; As much as you think kicking his *** might serve both purposes, it won't.)


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post #17 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-29-2006, 04:25 PM
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Quote:
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Bear in mind that whatever happens to him should be done to make him learn from his experience, not just what makes you feel better. (lol; As much as you think kicking his *** might serve both purposes, it won't.)
Just kick his a$$!At least you'll feel better.lol j/k.I did this to my dad one time but i did not damage his car.But he had me up against the wall and was ready to do some damage.But i was a stupid kid at the time.
I dont want to deal with the day my son does this to me.Hopefuly he wont and I sure as hell wont put up with it.Staight to bording school if he does the crap i used to do.

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post #18 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-29-2006, 04:34 PM Thread Starter
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if you knew how much boarding schools cost, you'd think differently!

Yeah, I'll get compensation for the wheel and alignment somehow. He's not driving his car either...no drivers license and no insurance. I'm holding the keys and will continue to do so.

Kicking his a$$ would be extremely gratifying right now, but I'm doing my best to take the higher road.

He's 18 in February. The a$$ kicking he gets then will be my footprint on his a$$ as he heads out the door. He hates it so bad living with us (cable TV in his room, his own phone, freedom, a dog I hate that he loves and gets to keep, hardly any chores to do, school just 4 days a week, and some very simple rules to live by) , but it's just horrible. I'm looking forward to this little know it all heading out into the world on his own. He won't last 2 weeks.

Am waiting for him to get past all the legal trouble so I can get him in to talk to a military recruiter. As far as I'm concerned, that's his only hope.

Anyways, I guess I got this pretty far off topic.
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post #19 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-29-2006, 04:48 PM
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Quote:
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if you knew how much boarding schools cost, you'd think differently!
$10k a year.

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post #20 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-29-2006, 06:12 PM
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Yea, I to was guilty of taking cars without permission...... and my dad was a car dealer!

I'm over it now, thanks to a very lenient and understanding Dad.


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post #21 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-09-2006, 11:24 AM
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I took my stepmothers car once. I artfully snuck into the parents bedroom while they were sleeping Anyway, somehow I got away with going 100+ 20 miles down the interstate with no license and took the car back home about 2 hrs later shaking in my boots because a cop had tailed me for quite a while, I pulled up in the driveway and the cop just kept going, thankfully. But unlike your stepson, I know how to drive a car without hitting curbs/banging up the suspension and I returned the car unharmed.

That was the last time I ever thought about "borrowing with intent to return," it scared me straight. They never found out tho

Ironicially, my stepmothers car was the '96 bird that I now own, lol.

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post #22 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-11-2006, 08:51 PM
 
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Yeah, kick his a$$. That'll get you in BIG trouble with the cops and child abuse agencies. BAD move.

Don't know what I'd do in your shoes. A buddy of mine just bought a 68 Camarro, all tricked out with Edlebrocks, and every performance part on Earth. He got it for $800.00 bucks. Seems the seller of the car was the father of a kid who just got a DUI. Dad sold it to the first guy who came along, my buddy. Pop probably would have taken 50 bucks for it. Kid spent thousands tricking this thing out.

Just a thought.
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