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Discussion Starter #1
Hello guys. Heading into work last week, I was turning into the parking area and noticed too late that a largish stick was laying in the middle of the driveway. :banghead: I tried to veer around it, but caught enough that I heard a good smack underneath the car. I checked the car underneath as best I could, but didn't see anything obvious (fluid leaks, damaged parts, etc.)

I then noticed a few days later that my car had begun pulling to the left. I figured I will probably need to get an alignment, but the thing is that it seems to pull to the left more the faster I go. At low speeds, its barely noticeable. I'm concerned that this is indicative of front suspension damage.

This morning I saw with a shock that my front driver's side wheel was below 20 PSI, but the TPMS (factory system) never went off! (Other wheels looked fine) Could I have damaged a TPMS sensor? Where exactly is this sensor located? This of course might explain some of the pull, but would that also dealign the steering? Right now to drive straight, the wheel must be 5 to 10 degrees to the right from TDC. Is it possible that I could have bent the rim by driving on it with low pressure for a few days?

I also know that my passenger side stabilizer link:

05 Swing support, front, right 1 31356751080 $44.83

was said to be needing replacement a few months ago, any way that this could be contributing to these symptoms?

Thanks for any thoughts/advice on this!
 

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Hello guys. Heading into work last week, I was turning into the parking area and noticed too late that a largish stick was laying in the middle of the driveway. :banghead: I tried to veer around it, but caught enough that I heard a good smack underneath the car. I checked the car underneath as best I could, but didn't see anything obvious (fluid leaks, damaged parts, etc.)

I then noticed a few days later that my car had begun pulling to the left. I figured I will probably need to get an alignment, but the thing is that it seems to pull to the left more the faster I go. At low speeds, its barely noticeable. I'm concerned that this is indicative of front suspension damage.

This morning I saw with a shock that my front driver's side wheel was below 20 PSI, but the TPMS (factory system) never went off! (Other wheels looked fine) Could I have damaged a TPMS sensor? Where exactly is this sensor located? This of course might explain some of the pull, but would that also dealign the steering? Right now to drive straight, the wheel must be 5 to 10 degrees to the right from TDC. Is it possible that I could have bent the rim by driving on it with low pressure for a few days?

I also know that my passenger side stabilizer link:

05 Swing support, front, right 1 31356751080 $44.83

was said to be needing replacement a few months ago, any way that this could be contributing to these symptoms?

Thanks for any thoughts/advice on this!
So where you at with the tire? Low pressure would explain all the pull, just fyi...it might not be only that...but it 'would' explain it...and it would pull stronger the faster you went if it was just low on air.

That by itself wouldn't unnecessarily damage anything...driving on low tire pressure.

Sensor is in wheel, I thought. Anyway, I know the tpms is atuned to different drops of pressure, but like you, I assume it'd be more finely tuned...and suspect your sensor is bad...maybe damaged by this accident...maybe it was damaged before...need someone else here that knows the specifics.

I don't know if you could drop tire pressure from a massive collision with stick and that you really don't have a 'leak' per se, but of course you've put air in and are monitoring it with accurate tire pressure gauge and not a plastic dime store gauge (sorry...nothing personal!)

Oh, look better underneath, fill up tires exactly to door jamb pressure and see if you have a pull...and monitor for leaks.

Search a lot here and learn what you're looking at underneath...or take to a trusted mechanic...check regional forum if you don't have one.

HTH

Doug
 

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Sure...

...just pull 'er onto my handy alignment rack here, and we'll have a look.

Maybe the lack of a $45 part for a few months threw it off?:facepalm:

3 months = $15/month. Start saving up...

Shall we take up a collection for you?
 

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^ You could've just said: make sure tire pressure is correct and report back to us. No need for an essay
But then I wouldn't have said what I did which included looking underneath the car better, as it didn't seem like he'd done more than a glance or knew what he'd be looking for...and thus my advice to suggest he study more around here.

And if it was a thud enough that he's concerned enough to post and ask how to check things...I blabbed on trying to respond to his other concerns.

Could've just said search, but once I read his post knew he was concerned and should be...and I was just trying to help him... I could've told him "search" and could've found some appropriate smilie for you, I'm sure. But seeing as how I know you like reading my essays (I'm not on a phone...and have use of all ten fingers...so if it takes you 30 secs to read and that bothers you...just don't read. The OP can choose to read what I say also...

I miss a lot of stuff...and partly it's coz I don't know everything...you know...and partly coz I have a life and can't spend a half an hour analyzing every post...and as I said before...I don't have the time to write short posts and help. Just ignore me, Mango...it's fine and very easy. You know I don't suggest stupid or dangerous things...besides diying in general...many here correct me or add on and do what they can.

That's all I'm doing...trying to respond to the OP as I would if he was standing in front of me asking me a question. I think it'd be rude to say "check tire pressure and report back"--pretty often, people have an instinct that's right and it doesn't cost anything to investigate further...it's a 3300 lb thing moving fast with people in and around it...pretty much the whole thing needs to be correct for it to be safe. You never heard better safe than sorry?

WTF does it cost you if I chose to advise the OP to look better under the car...I didn't remind him to use an led flashlight for the 1,000th time, did I?
I know you've heard me say it a billion times, and I understand how annoying that would get if you think "I've read this a billion times" but I don't know the OP, he/she is newish here, and don't know if he knows this...I'm not writing to you or for you at all...sorry...nothing personal!:rofl:

Did I suggest he clean his icv or maf? I encouraged him to look...hmmm...maybe take photos...easier.

Anyway, OP...sorry for diversion...I get like this sometimes...and others get like this towards me sometimes.

OP...thanks...needed to get that out of me!

Doug
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Update:

Filled up to 38 PSI as per door jamb spec in the morning. Checked it a few times since, looks like its dropped to 34.5 PSI. TPMS lit up red after a few moments of driving, so that system should be working as expected. So, slow leak almost certainly. Now its pulling to the right, but much less than before, so I still have to check the pressures on the other tires.

Thanks for your responses. I did search before I posted, but clearly I didn't search well enough or for the right things. :facepalm:

dmax, thanks very much for the writeup. I appreciate your patience with a slightly panicked E46 driver :thumbup:

I don't know if you could drop tire pressure from a massive collision with stick and that you really don't have a 'leak' per se, but of course you've put air in and are monitoring it with accurate tire pressure gauge and not a plastic dime store gauge (sorry...nothing personal!)

Oh, look better underneath, fill up tires exactly to door jamb pressure and see if you have a pull...and monitor for leaks.

Search a lot here and learn what you're looking at underneath...or take to a trusted mechanic...check regional forum if you don't have one.
I use an Accu-Tire gauge and a cheapie 50 PSI tire inflation pump for checks and fills.

I know I should have taken a better look, but unfortunately I had no good tools to do so in the parking lot. Lesson learned from that, carry more tools!

...just pull 'er onto my handy alignment rack here, and we'll have a look.

Maybe the lack of a $45 part for a few months threw it off?

3 months = $15/month. Start saving up...

Shall we take up a collection for you?
rowdy lee, yeah, I'm aware I should have fixed the stabilizer link as soon as I learned about it. Got a bit gunshy about DIYing it and delayed. Won't make that mistake again...
 
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