Niagara Gazette — •••
MICHELLE FROM YORK, PA.: I recently took my car to a local automotive maintenance chain to get a wheel alignment. They told me I needed to replace the inner and outer tie rods on my two front tires before I could get the alignment. They gave me an estimate of nearly $700. Does this sound like a reasonable price for this type of work? I drive a 1996 Honda Accord LX 4 door.
TOM: I checked the labor and parts guide to determine a price for the work. Pricing the job with OEM parts at a shop labor rate of $75 per hour, it came in at $689 (not including tax). I would say that this estimate is well within the ballpark.
MARY FROM LAKE TAHOE: There is a clunking sound in the rear area of my 2003 Dodge Ram conversion van. The van has 28,000 miles. The sound starts when I first move the vehicle after starting it. If I go slowly, I hear a clunking sound in around the rear tires / wheel area.
TOM: Go for a ride with your service tech so that he/she can hear the noise. After the road test, have them check the rear suspension, specifically the rear shocks, leaf springs, and shackles where the springs connect to the vehicle’s frame (they will have to put the vehicle on a lift). If they find nothing then the clunk could be due to a bad axle bearing or differential pinion bearing. Finally, if all is found to be okay, then check the rear brake calipers and pads. You could have a loose caliper or brake that would cause the noise you described. Best to you.
‘Til next time … Keep Rollin.’
“America’s Car Show” with Tom Torbjornsen airs 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, 9 a.m. Thursday and 11 a.m. Saturday on WBBZ-TV."America's Car Show" with Tom Torbjornsen airs 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, 9 a.m. Thursday and 11 a.m. Saturday on WBBZ-TV.