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Old 06-07-2008, 02:47 PM   #1
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I have flat-towed my Saturn a couple of thousand miles and I am now noticing a shimmy in the steering wheel from about 25 to 35 MPH. Should I expect to have the front end realigned on a regular basis? I don't see any tire scuffing or unusual wear.
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Old 06-07-2008, 02:47 PM   #2
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I have flat-towed my Saturn a couple of thousand miles and I am now noticing a shimmy in the steering wheel from about 25 to 35 MPH. Should I expect to have the front end realigned on a regular basis? I don't see any tire scuffing or unusual wear.
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Old 06-08-2008, 03:50 AM   #3
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We've been towing our Saturn L series car since we got it in late 2001 (it's an 02). We now have 67K real miles on it and probably close to that towing. We haven't had any specific problems with alignment, but I do have it checked and tires rotated every time it is serviced (every 3K miles). The reason for the rotation is to help equalize wear on the tires and by checking the alignment each service I can keep tabs on the alignment problems. I did recently have to replace a right front tire due to uneven wear patterns, but this is the first time we've had a problem.

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Old 06-08-2008, 04:51 AM   #4
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It seems to me a shimmy is more indicative of a balance problem than alignment. It's possible you could have lost a weight from one of the front tires.

One quick way to tell would be to rotate the front tires to the rear. If the shimmy goes away, then I would strongly suspect balance. If not, then I would still have all the tires rebalanced and also have the alignment checked.

If the shimmy is present only during braking, then your rotors may be warped and probably should either be machined or replaced. GM vehicles, at least up until a few years ago, are notorious for warping the front rotors.
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Old 06-08-2008, 10:59 AM   #5
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As far as the toad front wheels are concerned, mile are miles whether towed or driven. The front end still hits potholes and maybe even gets dragged over the occasional curb, so the toad front end needs routine maintenance whether driven or towed. Most automotive gurus recommend regular alignment and balance check/adjust every year or 12,000 miles. Most of us stretch it out longer, but at the first sign of a problem such as yours, get thee to the shop for balance and alignment.
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