156 steering after "accident". - Alfa Romeo Forum
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Jeremy Solly
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156 steering after "accident".

Ever since my girlfriend decided to drive my 156 Veloce over a traffic island whilst failing to overtake a van, I've had a problem with the car steering to the left by itself.

She was braking when she hit the curb. The OSF wheel was dented in about an inch and burst the tyre - both replaced. The OSR wheel was squeezed so hard it grew a bubble on the site, so that had a new tyre as well.

So, since then I've had two garages confirm that there's nothing bent or broken underneath. I took it for wheel alignment and they adjusted tracking, however the report showed the camber to be wrong, that OSF wheel leans in more than it used to, but they claim it can't be adjusted.

So, two questions really:

1) Can the camber of that wheel lead to a constant gentle steer to the left?

2) If it's not adjustable and nothing's bent, how can it be out of line?

Before anyone asks, the tyre pressures are indeed equal. Perhaps the knock to the OSR wheel could have caused a problem?

Any help/comments/abuse welcomed!
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sorry to hear that jeremy!
dont know what could be wrong though frown
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Sorry to be the one to bring you the bad news; someth IS bent ( It aint me wink ). If camber is out of adjustment this will cause the car to slowly drift to one side. What part is knackered is hard to tell, but probably the lower suspension arm, but it could be the chassis itself eek! .

So back to the garage, and have them investigate further, I'm afraid.


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Jeremy, join the club, I'm afraid to say.

I hit a massive pothole at 45mph about 5 months ago. Since then my car does the same - I've given up trying to get it resolved; I've taken it to various garages about 10 times - main dealers/specialists; I just put up with it until I sell it and get a non-Alfa ...

My heart is broken ...
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Hi guys,

156 cambers are non adjustable, if it is out there is definately something bent.

I have seen two 156's with camber problems, one had a bent subframe and the other had a bent suspension upright.

It is repairable, you just need to find somebody with the right skills and equipment to diagnose it properly.

Generally most wheel aligners can tell you that the car is out of alignment but usually don't know where. You can do some simple checks yourself with a tape measure if you can compare with another car, measure and compare the wheelbase (from centre of wheels front to rear) if one side is shorter than the other it usually indicates a bent subframe if you stand beside the car have a look at the wheel it should sit equally in the centre of the wheelarch.

If this looks ok it is most likely the vertical suspension pillar (from upper to lower control arms) these can bend on impact and cause excessive negative camber. Generally all the other suspension components are pretty strong although get the balljoints and wheel bearing checked if it had a big hit as this can cause premature failure.

Your best option is to find a suspension specialist with accurate jigs to measure the car and suspension components. If you ask around the reputable panel shops you will probably be able to find one who will be able to tell you exactly what you need to replace.

There is no reason why your car cannot be repaired to correct all angles to specification- it could just take some investigation to find the right person to do it.
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Jeremy Solly
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Thank you everyone for your ideas. I have had enough of the Alfa main dealer and so I will take it to a trustworthy "any brand" mechanic tomorrow and seek their advice on alignment and see if they'll let me look under the car with it on the ramp.

Sincere thanks,
Nicola Romeo
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Can you afford to get it on a jig? expensive bit of kit but if anything is bent an up to date jig setup will find it, like I said it's expensive though frown
Jeremy Solly
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Does anyone have any idea of the cost of getting the car onto a jig in the UK? Indeed, a recommendation of a place in Hampshire would be fantastic!


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