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Discussion Starter #1
While driving a few days ago I hit some ice and slid into a curb on the driver’s side. The car bounced across the road and then hit the passenger side. Now when I drive it feels as though I have no shock absorption. I feel every bump in the road. Additionally, the car occasionally pulls to the left and has to be corrected to get back on track. However, other than occasionally pulling I can let go of the steering wheel and the car drives straight. I'm asking for help here because I've taken it to two different places (one being the dealer) and been told two different causes for the problem. Both estimates were well over $1000.00 to repair it and did not guarantee they'd fix the problem. One place said it was the struts the other place thought it was the control arms, bearings, and "knuckles".
I'd appreciate any feedback including questions I should be asking or information I should be provide to clear this up before I spend a bunch of money. This is for my 2010 TDI Sports Wagon.
 

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Get an independant check from Firestone or someone without telling them the symptoms or the cause and see what they say. Just take it in for an alignment check. It will cost about $70 which isnt a lot to pay for peace of mind. My guess is you've probably bent your track rods.
 

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First off we don't know which model/year you drive you could add that to your car spec.

Now the parts you have listed don't include wheels or tyres weren't those touched? You don't say what speed this happened to give an idea of the force of impack. I sounds like your suspension leg(s) are bent if you have no shock absorption. It isn't normal to replace wheel bearings but again we don't know the force of the impack. ;)
 

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There is so much that can be bent. Pretty much everything. Sorry to say that but it's true. The struts are possible. However, the control arms could also be bent. The knuckle is a little stronger but it could also be bent. However, take it to a place that can identify what is bent instead of blindly replacing everything.

Also, Keithuk, the end of his post said "2010 TDI Sports Wagon" :)
 

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As others have said, there's lots of stuff that could be bent/comprimised, and it all depends on how hard, and in what way you hit the curbs. If the side of the wheel smacked the curb hard, it'd very likely the control arm was bent, possibly along with the tie rod, especially if the wheel hit the curb at an angle (did the steering wheel jerk out of your hands?). The fact that your front suspension feels really hard could very well be a bent strut, but not necessarily. Bent control arms would change the geometry of the suspension and cause binding of other connected parts of the suspension as they move through their arcs.

Scratcher suggests letting an independent shop examine the suspension without any prompting of the accident or symptoms, but I suspect the technitian would miss subtle deformations in the suspension if he doesn't know what he's supposed to be looking for. A lot of those suspension parts look "bent" in the first place.

Instead, I suggest telling the technitian everything, but insisting that he show you around under the car while it's on the lift, pointing out all the parts he suspects are comprimised. Once you both know what you're looking for, it's easier to both agree on what's bent/broken and what's not. Most shops have policies that prevent customers from hanging out in the service bay, but I've never had a shop refuse to let me see for myself.

Good luck. BTW, why won't insurance cover this? Sure, premiums might go up, but you could be talking thousands of dollars here.
 

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As others have said, there's lots of stuff that could be bent/comprimised, and it all depends on how hard, and in what way you hit the curbs. If the side of the wheel smacked the curb hard, it'd very likely the control arm was bent, possibly along with the tie rod, especially if the wheel hit the curb at an angle (did the steering wheel jerk out of your hands?). The fact that your front suspension feels really hard could very well be a bent strut, but not necessarily. Bent control arms would change the geometry of the suspension and cause binding of other connected parts of the suspension as they move through their arcs.

Scratcher suggests letting an independent shop examine the suspension without any prompting of the accident or symptoms, but I suspect the technitian would miss subtle deformations in the suspension if he doesn't know what he's supposed to be looking for. A lot of those suspension parts look "bent" in the first place.

Instead, I suggest telling the technitian everything, but insisting that he show you around under the car while it's on the lift, pointing out all the parts he suspects are comprimised. Once you both know what you're looking for, it's easier to both agree on what's bent/broken and what's not. Most shops have policies that prevent customers from hanging out in the service bay, but I've never had a shop refuse to let me see for myself.

Good luck. BTW, why won't insurance cover this? Sure, premiums might go up, but you could be talking thousands of dollars here.
2nd. You could spend thousands in replacement parts and labor and still not fix it. Give it to insurance and let them pay for it.
 

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"First off we don't know which model/year you drive you could add that to your car spec."

I'm not sure but I think it might be a 2010 jetta sportwagon Keith.:)
 

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I'm not sure but I think it might be a 2010 jetta sportwagon Keith.:)
True Niel but any other posts he makes we are going to ask the same question if he doesn't tell us everytime. Its much easier to add this info to his car spec then its always visible.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for all the feedback. I've taken it to a third place and now have consensus on the problem being the control arms. I'm still a bit concerned that it feels as if there is no shock absorption. I was traveling at 10 - 15 mph when I hit the curb at about a 45 degree angle. I slid across the street and hit the right side at a considerably slower rate of speed at closer to a 90 degree angle. I did not feel the wheel pull either direction upon either impact. I've also just noticed that the tires that came with the car are already pretty worn down, which surprises me since I've only got 24,000 miles on them. I was thinking I'd have some snow tires put on and have the person take a look at the suspension so I could get a fourth opinion. I've considered filing an insurance claim since even if I shell out a thousand dollars to replace the control arms I may have to take it right back and have the struts replaced.
 

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I've also just noticed that the tires that came with the car are already pretty worn down, which surprises me since I've only got 24,000 miles on them.
What kind of tires do you have on there? The Continentals? Lately I've noticed a few cars with OEM tires such as Continentals (as in my Dad's Toyota Matrix) which burn through tires around the 20-30,000 mile mark. This seems to be typical in spirited driving with tires with treadwear ratings of around 400.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I had new tires put on and the car handles much better. I'm a bit surprised that of the three places that I took it to for the suspension none of them mentioned the fact that my tires were almost bald. As I said in another post I just happened to look at the tires not really expecting them to be that warn since I've only had the car for 18 months. Anyway, when I had the tires replaced I asked them to look at the suspension. I described the same symptoms I have described on this website. They said they did not see anything wrong with the suspension. The place not only sells tires but repairs suspensions.
 
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