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Hit Rock - Need Advice

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Hit Rock - Need Advice

 
Old 06-11-2019, 05:26 PM
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Default Hit Rock - Need Advice

Hi All,

I need some advice. I hit a rock the other day in the road - sizable, about 3 or 4" square. I couldn't see it because of the way the sun spotted the road and created shadows. I felt a large bang but felt more in the tire/rim, like when you hit a really bad pothole. I stopped and had to go find out what I hit (since I didn't see anything in the road) and walked back to find this:



You can see where I hit the rock a bit father back where he blacktop is chewed up.... Tire was still fine, but I noticed a small split in the sidewall. Drove home, and there were no adverse affects, aside from a distinct pull to the right and the steering wheel cocked to the left about 5 degrees. Figured the alignment was pulled out, and perhaps some damage to the suspension. Took it to my local trusted mechanic and they checked out the suspension - everything looks fine, but the alignment was definitely off. They corrected it and I picked it up today. It drives great - not one issue with any odd noises vibrations, etc. But... it's still pulling just a smidge to the right, I think, and the wheel is still cocked to the left 1 or 2 degrees off center... minor. But, I'm not sure if it's in my head or it's pulling to the right, since the steering is fairly tight on center. But, I'm pretty certain it is pulling slightly.

So, I threw it up on stands and took a look underneath. I see nothing with the suspension at all - nothing looks even remotely banged up. But... I then discovered some (what I think is minor) damage underneath. Take a look and let me know your thoughts. At the least, I'll have a body shop fix up any exposed areas so they won't rust. But... I'm debating if this is bad enough that I contact insurance to have a look as I want to have this car for a long time and I don't want lasting issues that aren't resolved properly.

Front scrape:


Rail, about 1/2 way back:



Rail, about 3/4 way back:



Small ding (definitely paint-less dent repair candidate):



Tire/Rim (tire has small split, but it's cosmetic only and only about 1/16 inch deep, but rim ding (along with some previous rash):



I'm bummed, but could be much worse. Thoughts on how severe this might be? I'm concerned that it's possible that the reason the pull to the right (if it exists at all and isn't just in my head) might be there is because there's actually more damage than it appears. I don't want to involve insurance if I don't have to... but I also don't want to assume all is fine and find out later there was more to it.

Thanks for your input...
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Old 06-12-2019, 05:48 AM
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Did this go between the front wheels and then under the car? Wheel damage looks like the wheel hit it on the outside and would be a concern to me. There are wheel refurbishing shops in all major metro areas. Hopefully this isn't your only car 'cuz it will probably take a couple of days to repair an refinish.

Cars all pull to the right in North America due to road crown but should track straight in a parking lot or other non-crowned area.

-- Chuck
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Old 06-12-2019, 06:13 AM
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Thanks, Chuck. The rock trailed/rolled down the passenger side, essentially where the rail is and the rear wheel clipped the outside. Luckily, any visible damage (the wheel and front bumper) is masked by all of the other dings and nicks... the passenger side wheels are rashed up a bit, probably from the previous owner's parallel parking skills (I've had the car for a year). Honestly, the rim isn't bad at all - small nick compared to some of the other scrapes you can't see from the picture. I'm now convinced that the major bang I heard was the rail damage and not the wheel. It wasn't a multiple hit thing where I felt two or three distinct jolts... just one, which makes me think it rolled a bit, the high side ended up hitting the rail (and the bang) and then it started to roll out from under the car and the wheel nicked it rather than rolling over it. But it was definitely enough of a hit on the wheel to knock the alignment way out - shop said that wheel was way off.

That makes total sense on the crown, and I kind of suspect that. Since I see the wheel off slightly, I don't know if my mind is playing tricks on me and I'm just looking for something to not be right. Like I said before, there's not an ounce of anything that feels out when driving it - steering is tight, no vibration, etc. I had heard that the wheel can be adjusted independently of the alignment if there's a mismatch... does that ring a bell?

For damage, I'm mostly concerned about the damage underneath on the rail. After sleeping on it last night, I woke up feeling slightly better knowing it likely isn't anything to worry about, aside from making sure it's sealed up well to prevent rust. But, that one dig about halfway back on the passenger rail concerns me as it's pretty deep.
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Old 06-12-2019, 06:34 AM
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I'm assuming the alignment shop checked that the wheel was true. Confirm your tire pressures all around, I find my car sensitive to proper pressure. Slight pressure difference in the rear can cause a similar condition. How does the car feel under braking?

I had a similar chunk of concrete run under the car and it damaged the headshields on the cat and made some other dents. Nothing structural I can detect. I have a spare front wheel as I ran over the corner of a curb a few years ago and have nagging doubts every time tire pressure on the right front is low. Will be sending it out to be refurbished and held in reserve.

-- Chuck
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Old 06-12-2019, 07:46 AM
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Thanks Chuck. Good idea on tire pressure... haven't checked it for about a month.

I do plan to have the wheels refurbed. AP2v2 wheels are just too expensive to replace, even on eBay and none of the damage is too bad to require replacing rather than fixing.
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Old 06-12-2019, 01:00 PM
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It is very possible the damage to the tire is causing some pull to one side. Obviously the tire must be replaced. That change might reveal the true condition of the wheel.
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Old 06-12-2019, 01:08 PM
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Yes, appears to be tire sidewall damage. Replace it. I bet pulling improves.
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