2001 Ford Ranger – Is the Mechanic Dishonest?

Reader Question: Hey Austin,

I own a 2001 Ford Ranger with about 66K miles on it. For some time, my brakes had been squeaking every time I came to a slow stop (i.e. a stop sign).

Anyway, I took my car to this guy and he called to say the brakes were fixed (and they are) but when he took it for a test drive he said there was this shaking when he would turn left or right.

This was weird because I swear that when I took it in this am there was no shimmy when turning either right or left. This guy tells me that my rack and pinion is broken and it’s going to cost me US$450.

So anyway, I left this guy’s shop and sure enough at a certain speed (5 mph) there’s this weird shimmy and like I said, this am there was no shimmy at any speed.

What in the world just happened?

Thanks in advance for your time.


Hey Trevor,

Ya, kinda does sound a little sneaky doesn’t it? A low speed wobble like you describe can sometimes be caused by a bad tire or a tire that the tread has separated and is causing a bubble or high spot in the center tread part of the tire.

I would first inspect the tires, especially the front tires if you can see the steering wheel shake when this wobble takes place. I would even go as far as rotating the two front tires to the rear of the vehicle to see if that helps.

Once you have ruled out the possibility of a tire problem I would take the vehicle to another shop for a second opinion. Anything is possible here.

They could have damaged something while the truck was on the lift, the wheels could have been re-installed incorrectly and a wheel is not seated flush and straight on the spindle, which can cause a wobble or could there be a chance that this problem was there all along.

Nevertheless, it was just not called to your attention and not noticeable until now, now that you are mentally aware of this problem.

Keep me posted, will ya?

Austin Davis

Posted in: Brakes

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