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Toyota Service
Toyota Service, Dealership Svc. Mgr.
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 2452
Experience:  Over 30 years experience in the automotive field
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scion XB: I have a 2009 scion xb QUESTION: After my front

Resolved Question:

I have a 2009 scion xb

QUESTION:
After my front right tire was run into something it went out of alignment, had three alighnments and it still pulled to the right. The tire shop pushed and pulled and was able to align but now I hear a lot of creeking near the right. What are some possibilities of what this could be and what should I do next to resolve this?

DETAILS:
Lets say for simplicity:
Monday 4 new wheels and tires and an alignment was done
I tested the car very precisly because i had a lot of problems with the quality of work from the toyota dealer ship i was dealing with.
The car is mine but some vinyls were added and one of the product managers used the car. He hit something with the right front wheel. The guy acted like it wasn't a big deal but it turned out it was. The wheel was damaged and will need to be replaced but its not bad enought to escalate the need to replace it. but it did cause the car to go out of alighnment. I took it to a shop and they aligned it and gave me a sheet showing all the numbers. The car was still pulling to the right, on the highway, it was if they didn't do anything. I then took it back and they seemed to be very attentive. They aligned it again and the numbers were basically the same. I drove the car and it was the same. I talked to the young eager mechanic with the more experienced mechanic. The mechanic pointed out the the spacing between the outer diameter of the front tire to the wheel housing was different from right to left, indicating it might need the frame to be pulled and straigntened. They reccommended that I take it to a body shop. I took it to a body shop I have dealt with and have been happy with the work. They took it to wheel works another tire shop and double checked the alignment. They aligned it and again no change. So they pushed and pulled (this is their words) on the right side to get it to align. This seemed to work but now I hear like a creeking everytime I start or stop. It was louder when I turn left into a steep parking lot. I could really hear it almost pop. So now I'm concerned what other problems I may now have or maybee it's ok, it's just a result of bending things around ( I don't think that is true but I'm open). So I would like to better familiarize myself with what could possibly be wrong with the car. I want to order shop manuals for this car but I'm not sure what might be the best shop manual for me. I like to do brakes and any other work I can but it would be really nice to have a graphic manual; do you know where I can get one? My main question is What could this be and what should I do to solve this problem?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  Toyota Service replied 2 years ago.

Toyota Service :

Hello. Welcome to Just Answer. Please allow me to assist you by discussing your request in detail, Thanks

Toyota Service :

Hello. I am sorry that you are having this problem. Perhaps I can help you out on this.

Toyota Service :

Quaetion: You replaced the wheel due to an impact. How badly damaged was the wheel?

Customer: All four of thw wheels and tires were replaced, because the car was going to be used as somewhat of a show car. That was monday and then within a week some guy messed up the right front wheel, causing marks into the TRD wheels. The wheel was damaged but no to the point where it needed to be replaced. All the places that looked at the wheel and the tire said that wsn't the problem
Customer: what ever this guy did, caused the alighnment to go out, it then started to pull to the right
Toyota Service :

It sounds to me (and I am hesitant to say this) that whoever is lookign at your alignment might have a calibration problem wtih their machine. Is the car available?

Customer: two different companies did alignments on the vehicle and the numbers come up almost the same. The car is now aligned but now it's got some creeks and pops. This problem occured after whatever they did last, which is not clear to me. They used the terminology push and pull
Toyota Service :

On these cars, there is no "push and pull" needed to obtain an alignment. The only thing an alignment technician can do on these cars is to adjust the toe-in. The caster and camber angles are determined by the front struts. Predetermined, actually. If somebody pushed and pulled, they moved the strut's relationship with the inner structure of the inner fender, where the strut mounts onto.

Toyota Service :

A pull, a hard pull, caused by an alignment condition, is easy to spot on the readout of the alignment machine.

Toyota Service :

Now

Toyota Service :

You start bending the inner fender area, where the strut bolts onto, you can obtain a "correct" alignment, "On Paper", but, that does not rectify the issue.

Toyota Service :

I would be interested in seeing the following measurements, these you can do with a tape measure:

Toyota Service :

The clearance between the rear of the front tire and the front of the fender.

Customer: The alignment machine didn't indicate a problem really but you could see the difference in outer wheel to fender dimesnion when you compared the left to right. The ALIGNMENT seems to be fixed now I haven't checked to see if the dimsension have change since what they did last.
Toyota Service :

If this is the case, you either have a bent strut, a bent spindle, of they bent something to obtain the alignment


 

Toyota Service :

Both sides should be identical.

Customer: Is there a picture of these areas so that I can see what you are saying. I was an automotive designer for over 15 years so I'm not completly ignorant to what you are saying but I want to understand better so I know what might need to fixed. Cout the struts be bad now?
Toyota Service :

Yes; the struts could be bad. ,,,,but not bad enough where you could "see" the issue.

Customer: I think they bent something to obtain the alignment. Does that mean I'll have to live with the creaks now? Hearing the sound that it made when I turned left made me even more concerned.
Toyota Service :

it does not take much to bend a strut; a hard impact into a curb, at 15-20 mph can harm the strut.

Customer: Yes maybe. I know i asked the first shop and they said the struts looked good, but it also wasn't making that noise at the time
Toyota Service :

They should NOT have bent anything to obtain the alignment. If they did, they 'compensated; for a bent part. That is never a good idea. The popping sound you are hearing is most likely coming form the bearing support at the top of the strut.

Customer: and I'm sure they would have loved to had replace the struts because they did that kind of work. If I replace the right strut, should I replace the left and do I need another alignment if I have the struts replaced?
Toyota Service :

Yes. You should always replace the struts as a set, and yes, you should have another alignment performed. You need to ensure that your toe in (which can be adjusted) is correct, or you could ruin a new set of tires in a few thousand miles.

Customer: I'm trying to build up my terminology so that I can talk to the last shop but I'm worried about them working on my car since they can't really define in mechanical terms what they did. What's ur opion on that? Should Istay away from the last place
Toyota Service :

I recently had an xB in the shop that hit a concrete block in a parking lot. 15 mph hit. Needed the strut and the spindle, plus a rim.

Customer: yes, I like the way you think. I have a new set of tires and I'm concerned about that. I know something is wrong but I'm not sure what it is. I hope it's the struts. What else do you think it could be?
Customer: that is if it's not the struts?
Toyota Service :

I would strongly suggest you avoid the guy who bent things to obtain the alignment.

Customer: OK, thanks, XXXXX XXXXX theat
Toyota Service :

the spindle. That is what turns the tire when you turn the wheel.

Customer: what kind of shop do you think I should go to to resolve this issue
Toyota Service :

steering wheel sorry

Customer: Steering wheel not spindle?
Toyota Service :

I always recommend the dealers. They install parts with an unbeatable warranty, 12 months/unlimited mileage.

Toyota Service :

Frame guys tend to bend things, and they rarely do alignments onsite.

Toyota Service :

the spindle is what moves the tires left and right when you turn the steering wheel.

Customer: UGH not the dealer near me, they screwed up my wheels, I have proof that they did but they are not responding so I might have to take them to court. I'm talking about the wheels they took off, the old TRDs. Maybe I should go to a different toyota dealership?
Toyota Service :

The tires bolt to the lugs, the lugs are part of the wheel bearing, and the wheel bearing fits into the spindle. The spindle moves left and right when turning is desired.

Customer: So first, I'll get the struts replaced, Can a dealership check to see if it's the spindles easily?
Customer: OK, thanks for explaining that
Toyota Service :

A good alignment machine is needed after you replace the stuts. Only then can you tell if the spindle is damaged. The good thing here is you only need to replace one side; they are not replaced in pairs like struts.

Customer: But that's the thing I think we had to good alignment machines, they came up with the same numbers. Each shop did an alignment twice
Toyota Service :

I also recommend you replace the strut bearing supports, or, more commonly termed the "strut caps". Well worth the investment, especially when there is a noise issue; which is probably a compromised support due to the bending actions

Toyota Service :

Yes, but they bent things to make it work. That is unacceptable.

Toyota Service :

Please remember that an accurate alignment is only provided by a machine that is calibrated.

Toyota Service :

Drop one alignement head onto the floor, by accident, the head goes out of calibration instantly.

Customer: well they said pushed and pulled. The body shop guy is trying to get more specifics of what they did. He talked to them once already and they said they thought I was hearing Engine Noise. This doesn't sound like engine noise and it didn't happen till after the push pull
Toyota Service :

Calibration is expensive; some shops do not care to have their machines calibrated every few months, or after somebody drops a alignment head.

Customer: of course they both said their companies were calibrated thats why the body shop wanted to get another alignment, in case the other shops was out of calibration
Toyota Service :

I think they performed an action that is not recommended by the factory. This would account for the noise.

Customer: so first - replace struts and strut caps. if alignment doesn't happen replace the right spindle
Toyota Service :

That is exactly what I would be doing if your car was in my shop. Yes.

Customer: is there a viual manual you can reccomend that will help me to trouble shoot and do small repairs on my car myself
Toyota Service :

Toyota has an awesome site....I am not sure what the URL is...but you can Google techinfo.toyota.com

Customer: What if the alignment numbers are right, what if these machines are correct , then the solution is still to replace both struts and strut caps? Then right spindle?
Toyota Service :

This is a site, hosted by Toyota, they allow subscriptions. What you get is access to the factory shop manuals. Well worth the money.

Toyota Service :

I would replace both struts and caps.

Toyota Service :

Perform the alignment

Toyota Service :

If it still pulled hard

Toyota Service :

replace the right spindle

Customer: How do Identify what Toyota Dealership might work best for this paticular issue?
Toyota Service :

realign

Customer: if you meant to send a link to the toyota site I didn't get it
Toyota Service :

if that does not work out, you need a frame guy who can measure and restore the factory specs (if the guy bent the inner fender strut area)

Customer: The CAR does not PULL NOW it just creaks
Toyota Service :

That would be the strut cap causing the issue.

Toyota Service :

Or damage to the area where the strut mounts into the inner fender by bending it

Customer: Thats what the first shop said, I need to get a fram guy to do this. and thats why I took it to the body shop. The body shop said the scion doesn't have a frame it has a unibody. His response sounds like BS to me does it to you? I was shocked when he took it to a tire shop but I understand him trying to see if maybe the first shops alignment machine was off
Toyota Service :

Unibodys can be straightened by a frame shop with a good machine. This is common these days, We should call them Unibody machines, instead of frame machines.,

Customer: ok, but he understood what I meant
Toyota Service :

Ok


 

Toyota Service :

Most frame guys do not have an alignment machine. I do all the alignments for the frame shops in my area.


 

Customer: ok, well I think you have me pointed in the right direction. You recommend a toyota dealer to do this work because they calabirate their alignment machines every 2 months? I would hate to go to replace everything and then find out I need to go to a frame shop
Customer: what you said has helped me but I'm still not sure how to find the best shop to do all the work?
Customer: Toyota dealer that is fine but what one besides the one I'm in dispute with
Toyota Service :

I cannot comment on dealers and their calibrations. I am hesitant to recommend specific dealers if I do not have any direct interaction with them. Sorry.

Toyota Service :

You could call them and state your case, ask them flat out how old the machineis and when was the most recent calibration. That is what I would do,

Customer: well is there a resource I can use that might point me in a good direction? Would you reccomend yelp or are their some questions I could ask that might identify a one that would be good for this job?
Customer: Well thanks for your time, have a good night
Toyota Service :

Just Answer is markedly better than yelp. Trust me. I have 30 years in the auto business, there are Toyota/Lexus/Scion techs here with years of experience and thousands of satisfied customers

Toyota Service :

The JA techs are verified. What goes on at Yelp, and places like that are not quite as stringent as this site is.

Toyota Service :

You are very welcome,. it was a pleasure to assit you. Do you feel that my input has been satisfactory?

Toyota Service :

If you feel that my input has been to your liking, a Positive Rating would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Customer: ok, I called the shop and I got more detail than just the push pull. below is what they said they did, let me reiterate
Toyota Service :

I would really like to hear back from you after you get this issue sorted out, if you could do that, that would be awesome.

Customer: I brought it to shop two because the car still was pulling to the left after the two alignments from shop one did not work. Thier alignment machine said everything was fine but the car was still pulling SHOP TWO: did two alignments and their numbers came up almost the same - Shop two fixed the alignment by lossening the suspension bolts so that they could adjust the cradle. so this seem to fix the alignment. so no i have the creeks in what seems to be the suspension - do you still recommend to replace the struts and the strut caps even if a new alignment shows that everything is ok?
Customer: I mean pulling to the RIGHT
Customer: does adjusting the cradle sound correct to you?
Toyota Service :

Adjusting the cradle? I disagree with that action. I'll bet they elongated the bolt holes on the bottom of the struts. That is a common practice; not recommended, but unfortunatly, they do it. If so, you def need new struts

Toyota Service :

The cradle would have to take a significent whack to merit any kind of attention.

Customer: well that seem to fix the pull but now I got the creek and i can feel it more when i stop or start or enter into a buissness from a street
Toyota Service :

I would look into the strut caps as the cause of the creak .

Customer: ok, thanks you have been a lot of help but do you know of manuals I can buy so that i don't have to pay some hugh yearly subscription fee
Toyota Service :

The Toyota site offers a subscription that is not a year, I am pretty sure of that. Stay away from the aftermarket manuals. They have been found to be inaccuate at times.

Customer: ok, it does have two day option but it would be nice to not have to do that everytime especially for a non-expert like me.
Customer: thanks again do you think if I replace the strut caps that I should go ahead and replace the struts?
Toyota Service :

Always replace the caps when you replace the struts.

Customer: ok
Toyota Service :

I always recommend that.

Toyota Service :

If you are going to spend the money for the labor to replace the caps, replace the struts; it is cost effective to do that; the labor is the same....why pay them to take the strut apart and not replace it whilst they have it apart? Saves you money.

Toyota Service :

Thanks for choosing Just Answer. Have a great night.

Toyota Service, Dealership Svc. Mgr.
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 2452
Experience: Over 30 years experience in the automotive field
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