The phone call started with, “How much to put my timing chain back on, I think it fell off” This set Dan back a bit. What..!? Dan’s mind was straining with the concept of how that could possibly happen? The customer went on to say that they were driving on Cooper Hill Road, hit a bump, the car stopped moving. Now park doesn’t work any more, the car just rolls, and when the tow truck arrived the driver discovered there was more to the problem, the passenger side tire was toed-out – a lot. This caused the driver an extra challenge in unloading the vehicle, not to mention us getting it into the shop. We used our tow car to gently tow the Nissan in, and even that was only achieved with a tech standing on the front passenger side of the car while pushing the front of the tire back in. We’d pull the car forward a little and push the wheel back in, pull forward and push in, until we got the car position for one of the lifts. Even as the car went up on the lift the right front tire kept dropping like it wanted to stay on the ground.
Just a bump?
Once we got under the vehicle it was clear to see that the driver of this vehicle was a lucky, lucky person. Cooper Hill is low speed back road, the bump was just enough to cause the severely rusted control arm on the car to break. When it failed, it ripped the CV-joint apart on the driveshaft, which in turned flew up into the drive belts and ripped them apart. Just think… this car had just exited off Route 4, a road that we all know where 65MPH is not an uncommon speed.
Vehicle inspection performed
While the vehicle was on the lift a general safety inspection was performed. During that inspection the driver’s side control arm did not look so good. The tech used a hammer to check the integrity, and not with a big hammer or hard swing, but the hammer penetrated the control arm. The driver’s side control arm wasn’t broken apart like the passenger side, but it wouldn’t to be long before it was going to fail. Both front tires were smooth as a baby’s bottom, and both lower ball joints were found to be worn/loose. The power steering belt had been ripped off and was now wound around the crankshaft pulley. We called the customer with our findings and the recommend repairs along with an estimate.
Safe to drive? Not really
The customer said, “so to make this car drive-able it needs an lower control arm & driveshaft.” Dan attempted to explain the other safety concerns, but the customer stated, I’m only going to fix what is broken. Dan asked, “What about the power steering belt?” With a good amount of hemming & hawing the customer agreed to replacing the power steering belt.
You can bet we documented the customer declining the other safety related repairs. The customer picked up the car and was off driving in my world with a car that really should have not be hurling down the road. As he left he commented that this was the car his daughter drove.
Northwood Garage handles over 25 brands of tires for your automotive needs.
We proudly provide expert auto repair and tire service to Northwood, Strafford, Nottingham, Epsom, Barrington and Deerfield New Hampshire.
Northwood Garage… Keeping your Car Good to Go! Since 1955