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The car wash killed my steering, why?


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Hey all, sooooo I have babied this MJ since new in 88 and always ran it through the car wash. I ran it through the full meal deal wash and wax car wash that you stay in the car yesterday and it got stuck in the middle for some reason.  The wash rollers bumped under the rear tires and finally caught it (before the car inches behind me hit) and moved it out to the end.  BUT one of the rollers twisted my front tires to the left (yes I had my hands off the wheel) and now while the truck drives still drives straight down the road, my steering wheel is off to the left by the about 30% so the JEEP logo and 3 arms are not centered anymore.  I bitched at the car wash owner who calmly pointed the sign "not responsible for damage" with all the leageze in small print below it...

 

Anyway what the hell happened?  I can't find anything amiss when I look at the linkage.  Thanks for ideas!

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 I would first take pictures of up underneath to get a better feel of what's a matter. But if I had to guess, considering no worn components before hand I would say the steering box spacer broke or it might've cracked your frame .

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I would have the alignment checked and tell the alignment shop what happened. Probably knocked the alignment out. It’s no different than hitting a pot hole or bumping a curb when parking. 

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the crack in the frame usually appears between the steering box and the trackbar where the push/pull is the greatest. 

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I would think if frame was cracked or along those line it would drive funny with the steering wheel moving all over trying to keep it straight 

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Looked closely at frame and the spacer and the only thing I could find was two clean spots in the grime which is a little strange but other than that everything looked normal.  Alignment shop is high on my list now. Thanks for the replies!

Steering.jpg

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Yes I agree, my HOA however doesn't allow it and heading into my 7th decade of life with mobility issues and well ya never had it happen before in several 100s of car washes, so I am kinda limited on choices, but I appreciate your point of view and would love to do it myself, I use to really enjoy cleaning her up  on Saturday mornings, now I feel just lucky to keep on Jeepin. 

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Sounds like the HOA that my brother has, got to have certain color mail box yard cut a certain way no out buildings and if you fart wrong you get a nasty letter 

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Well that stinks!! I also think drag link or possible tie rod. I had mine bend from hitting a curb after being forced of the road to avoid a crash when it was almost new. 

As an original owner myself I was wondering if you would post a picture of your well cared for truck?

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   Before jumping to conclusions I would give the final verdict to the alignment technician. 
   That is what I do for a living. I would be shocked at the slow speed of a car wash bending those parts. Higher speed impact yes. That front end design holds up pretty well it can take a good beating.
 

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