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Q: difficult handling when driving at high speed on 1998 Volvo S70

car exhibits difficulty handling when driving express way; excessive wear on outside of front tires; lower ball joints & front brake pads and rotors recently replaced. is the tire wear and bad handling due to need of an alignment
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Did your car handle poorly prior to having the ball joints, brakes and rotors replaced? How badly worn are the front tires and what percentage of the front tire foot print is actually worn?
If the tires are worn it will effect handling. Wear on the outer edges suggests alignment is "toe in too far". I am sure when they replaced the ball joints and brakes that if the shocks were bad it would have been said to you.
If your rear tires are good rotate them to the front and see if the handling is better, (you generally want the better tires in the rear of a car for best stability). Check the tire pressures as well often overlooked, too high a pressure may make a car wonder.
An alignment checking toe set, caster and camber will show quickly if any thing is bent our out of specification. Your tire wear shows you need to have your steering aligned any way.
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