Question about 2002 Ford Expedition
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Posted on Jan 02, 2017
SOURCE: my front tires are slanting
First, are they slanting inwards at the top, or towards the front?
If your tires are slanting inwards like you are turning the car (the front is facing in more than the back when they should be facing straight forwards ... like it's pigeon-toed) then you have an alignment problem. For this you will have to go to a mechanic who can do alignments and they will straighten it out.
If the tire is slanting inwards towards the top of the tire, there are a few issues that could be the cause ...
1. Jack up your SUV so one of the front tires leaves the ground. Grab the tire and push on the top and then the bottom of the tire (above and below the rim). If the tire moves when you push on it, the tie rods or tie rod ends are probably shot. This is a piece of the steering system, and tends to be one of those parts that every car eventually has problems with. If you do not work on your own vehicle very often I recommend taking it to a mechanic to have these replaced since the steering system is so vital to your safety while driving. If you DO most of the work on your own car, and have a lot of experience with it, you should be able to pick up tie rod ends at any auto parts store. While you are there, I recommend getting a Haynes manual for your vehicle -- it will have exact directions on how to change out the tie rod ends, with pictures and all that goodness. If you ever have future problems with the car that you want to fix, this manual will almost always help you get it fixed.
2. If your tire does not move when you check the tie-rod ends, but the tire is still slanted inwards, take a look at your springs and shocks or struts. If the springs are broken or fully compressed when the car is sitting on the ground, then you have to get the suspension pieces repaired. This I HIGHLY recommend taking to a mechanic, even if you DO know what you are doing most of the time. The springs would need to be compressed using a special tool, and if the procedure is done wrong, the springs can shoot off of the compressors and either kill you or cause MAJOR damage to your stuff -- a friend of mine almost died when one of his spring compressors broke ... the spring ended up bouncing around his garage for about 20 minutes, destroying everything it hit, while he hid under the car. Fortunately he survived with no injury, but his garage and car were both totally destroyed in the process).
3. If the springs are not fully compressed while the Bronco is sitting on a flat surface, then it might be the shocks / struts. The only difference between a chock and a strut is that one is in the center of the spring, the other is located right next to it. Make sure that the rubber pieces on your shock/strut are in good condition, and that there is no fluid leakage. If these are broken, I recommend taking your bronco to a mechanic, because as above, these are very dangerous parts to replace if you don't know exactly what you are doing.
The only other issue that I can think of off the top of my head that would cause your tires to slant inwards is loose lug nuts ... but if it is happening on both front tires this is VERY unlikely. Make sure all of your lug nuts are tight or your tires might fall off while driving.
If you have recently swapped out the engine in your bronco for something much bigger, then you might have put more weight on the front suspension that needs to be accounted for ... and none of the above solutions will fix it. For this, you need to upgrade your front suspension to account for the extra weight -- this would require a specialty store, and after-market parts (like a lift kit).
There is also a VERY small chance that you have 2 bent axles ... but if both front tires are slanting in at about the same angle, 99.999% chance that this is not your problem. If it is just one tire that has this problem, then you will probably notice a strange bounce while driving, and this is a more likely scenario ... but I really don't think it's that.
If none of these solutions work ... please put a bit more info about your issue and I will see if I can help some more. If you were able to include a picture of the vehicle that shows how the tires look, that would be a great help. Best of luck .. and be safe if you do the work yourself.
Posted on May 24, 2011
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