A rear-end collision causing front-end suspension problems?



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blueroses
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18 Oct 2011, 6:57 pm

I was rear-ended by a drunk driver while stopped at a traffic light a few weeks ago and most of the problems with the car have been fixed. However, the car has been pulling to the right since I got it back from the body shop, so I had them take a look at it again today. They told me the SAI and Included Angle are off in the front, whatever that means.

This is a nearly brand new car that only had 3,500 miles on it at the time it was hit. I never had any problems with it before the accident. When I was stopped at the light, I was waiting to make a turn, so my wheels were turned, if that makes a difference.

The body shop was paid by the insurance company to look at the alignment initially, but did not do so because, as they explained to me today, "The guy who does the alignments checks was out sick that day, so it got overlooked." So, by previously billing the insurance company for a service they did not provide until today, they essentially committed insurance fraud and are not giving me clear information; they are just talking in circles to protect themselves at this point. And, since it's a problem with the front of the car and I was rear-ended, the insurance company is refusing to pay for it.

Can anyone shed any light or tell me if it's feasible that this problem is related to the accident? I have medical issues and physical therapy right now, due to my injuries, plus am working full time. It's hard for me to get rides from people and I live in a rural area where public transport is a no-go. So, it's not a good time for me to be without a car, which I would be if I bother going around and getting second opinions or trying to fight this.



Fnord
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18 Oct 2011, 7:02 pm

blueroses wrote:
A rear-end collision causing front-end suspension problems?

Yes, it is possible.

It is likely that when your car was rear-ended, the impact lifted the rear end, thus forcing the front end downward and forward with a greater amount of force that from a panic stop. Even then, a panic stop can put the front end out of alignment if the brakes are applied hard enough.

You made no mention of whether or not you were injured. Are you alright?


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blueroses
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18 Oct 2011, 7:11 pm

I have a bulging C5/C6 in my neck, a shoulder sprain, cervical sprain and whiplash. There was actually a car behind me who was hit and pushed into me, so my car didn't even take the brunt of the impact, but apparently, from what I've been told, women and people with smaller frames are just much more likely to sustain those types of injuries. Lucky us!

I'm juggling physical therapy and work right now, so it's a really bad time for me to be without a car if I need to get a second opinion. But, from what you are telling me, it sounds like it would be in my best interest to get one. Thanks for your response.



Fnord
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18 Oct 2011, 7:13 pm

Best wishes to you; I hope you recover soon!


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blueroses
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18 Oct 2011, 7:14 pm

Thanks! Me too!



HondaZx2
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18 Oct 2011, 7:45 pm

basically they are trying to short cut you. YES they need to fix the alignment. whens the last time someone bought a new car that came from teh factory with a mis-alignment (unless the person was to lazy to get it fixed from the dealership).

when dealing with crap-bag body shops, be sure to check the alignment of all doors, trunk, hood, gas cover, etc. compair to a new car of same body/make. take GOOD pictures of the new car and yours for evidence. be sure to mention you compaired your car to a brand new on a dealership lot. a little inspection like that will scare the hell out of a body shop.

if they still wont fix it, report them to the insurance companys. also, news stations love to hear companys being fraudulent.



ruveyn
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18 Oct 2011, 8:32 pm

If you had the brakes on or the front wheels were turned a major impact in the rear can put the front end out of alignment.

ruveyn



johansen
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19 Oct 2011, 1:47 am

Its not the force exerted on the road by the tire that caused the alignment problem.

Your car's frame is bent. SAI and Included Angle are generally not adjustable.
These newer cars with their unibody frames and such are not very friendly to fix.
You might get lucky and they could unbolt whatever and put plates under whatever holds your front end together, but often these cookie cutter frames cannot be modified without a cutting torch...



blueroses
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19 Oct 2011, 3:37 pm

Thanks for your input, guys. I appreciate it.

I made an appointment to take it to the dealership I'd bought it from, in order to get a second opinion and accurately diagnose the problem. Ordinarily, I would not want to take a car to a dealership for service, but if they determine the suspension problem was not caused by the accident, they would be forced to cover it under warranty.

Since they will not want to eat the cost of the repair, they have a vested interest in backing me up and telling the insurance company the problem is related to when I got hit. When I told the person at the dealership the insurance company was telling me a bent strut in a car that just had a collision was most likely a factory defect, they laughed.



DW
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22 Oct 2011, 1:56 am

If you had your foot on the brakes than yes. Locking the front wheels with the brakes while the car gets impacted by a sudden force especially from the rear puts a huge amount of strain on the front suspension. So yea... very possible.



zer0netgain
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22 Oct 2011, 4:04 pm

johansen wrote:
Your car's frame is bent. SAI and Included Angle are generally not adjustable.
These newer cars with their unibody frames and such are not very friendly to fix.


That was my thought as well.

If the frame gets bent, it would affect the alignment of wheels not otherwise involved in the collision.



cw10
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24 Oct 2011, 4:41 am

blueroses wrote:
I have a bulging C5/C6 in my neck, a shoulder sprain, cervical sprain and whiplash. There was actually a car behind me who was hit and pushed into me, so my car didn't even take the brunt of the impact, but apparently, from what I've been told, women and people with smaller frames are just much more likely to sustain those types of injuries. Lucky us!

I'm juggling physical therapy and work right now, so it's a really bad time for me to be without a car if I need to get a second opinion. But, from what you are telling me, it sounds like it would be in my best interest to get one. Thanks for your response.


Good to hear you're recovering. The middle driver is hating life right now because now he has a ticket just for hitting you. Make sure your insurance company gets whatever they can from the other insurer. I was involved in an accident a few years ago and it turned out we had the same insurance company so there was less paperwork involved and much of it was done internally.

I'll pop an aspirin in your honor. :)



GoonSquad
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24 Oct 2011, 8:47 pm

zer0netgain wrote:
johansen wrote:
Your car's frame is bent. SAI and Included Angle are generally not adjustable.
These newer cars with their unibody frames and such are not very friendly to fix.


That was my thought as well.

If the frame gets bent, it would affect the alignment of wheels not otherwise involved in the collision.


I was thinking bent frame too.

I got rear-ended like that driving an old hoopty in high school, and it bent the frame.

@ OP,

You need to get a lawyer and a new car...


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