Don't mess around with a shimmy in the front-end.

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Apr 01, 1993

Dear Tom and Ray:

My mom owns a 1988 Merkur Scorpio that I drive quite often. It has 109,000 miles on it. The problem we have is when you hit the brakes to stop, the steering wheel shakes and shimmies to the right and left all the time, and occasionally pulls in one direction. What do you think the problem is?

TOM: I think your mother may be trying to knock you off, Benjamin. Were you a difficult child? Did you give her a lot of back-talk?

RAY: What my brother's trying to tell you is this car could be dangerous, Ben. Whenever you feel a vibration in the front end, it's important to get it checked out right away.

TOM: It could be worn out ball joints or tie rod ends, especially with 109,000 miles on the car. And if either of those things breaks, a wheel could fall off. Wouldn't that be exciting!

RAY: So take it to a mechanic right away and have him check out the entire front end. If you're lucky, it'll just be something like warped disc rotors. That may cause enough vibration to loosen your fillings, but at least it won't kill you. But don't wait.

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