Edmunds Answers



  • MrShift@Edmunds 09/06/08 11:06 pm PST

    Hard to say without examining the parts. Certainly you will probably need a new wheel, a new hub, a new rotor and brake pads, maybe a new brake caliper. Do you have insurance? It may cover this.

    Usually a wheel falls off because:

    1. Someone forgot to tighten it

    2. Studs break off the hub

    3. wheel bearing seized and disintegrates

    Figure your car is worth maybe $2,000--$2,500 if it's in decent shape, and less if it has wear and tear on it, so you have to balance that number with the repair estimate and figure out if your car is worth fixing. Only you know what else is wrong with it. It's hard to find a decent used car these days for less than $4,000--$5,000, so if yours is clean and otherwise in good shape, it might be worth fixing.

    This is all straighforward nut and bolt work. Any good shop should be able to give you an estimate. Of course, I'd have it checked out for suspension damage.

  • tony78 09/06/08 11:22 pm PST

    Although most vehicles wheels don't normally just fall off on thier own,,i suppose it could happen but we have tro call a vegas bookie to get the odds on that one.

    The something that fell on the ground could of been a part of something that was on your car before the wheel fell off.

    What is the connection between the wheel falling off and the car ending up in the impound yard ?

    Depending on how fast you were travelling ( and a slew of other factors ) at the time the wheel randomly fell off will determine how much damage the vehicle sustained.

    Some towing services charge about $ 150.00 to $ 200.00 for a hook,,about $ 2.50 a mile and about $ 30.00 per day for impound.

    Add that charge to the cost of repairing the car and you could be looking at hundreds to thousands of dollars in repairs.

    Some states may require you to still pay the tow and impound fee,,regardless of the disposition of the vehicle.

    Oh,,and as for your stiff steering,,don't worry its no longer stiff anymore.

  • jwagnr 10/24/08 5:55 pm PST

    wheels fall off in multiple ways: someone who worked on the car last didnt tighten down the lugnuts enough, like somebody said before studs snapped...but more than likely since you heard a thumping noise the realistic way it happened was someone didnt tighten the lugnuts enough or someone doesnt like you and loosened the lugnuts on you which is horrible but people do it. i would say yes it is completely worth it if the car is in good shape. for one if the tire didnt blow out then you more than likely will not need a new rim and tire as it more than likely rolled off in perfect shape except for maybe hitting something. this happened to a customer of mine already when somebody loosened his lugnuts on his 98 for contour. i pulled a used hub assembly with a new backing plate for behind the rotor from a junk yard, thats an easy one, you should get two new front rotors and new pads for the front because more than likely the rotor on the side that fell is trashed might as well add a brake job in since whoever fixes it really cant charge you full price in labor for a brake job since they have the one side apart already...all you really would have to buy is: new front brake rotors, front brake pads, a used hub out of a junkyard, a new wheel bearing for whatever side fell to put in the used hub assembly...and just pay for labor and possibly some bodywork if you want if it messed up the body at all when it dropped. really it would be worth it, why not spend anywhere from $800.00 to probably around $2,000.00 depending where your at compared to dumping money into a used car which could give you more problems and will cost you more money to buy or buying you a new vehicle which will put you in the hole with a monthly payment...good luck


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