Steering issues

Steering: Get Back On Track

A vehicle should drive where it is pointed. If you experience the following symptoms, certain components should be checked so that the vehicle will track correctly and respond to drive input.

Steering symptoms

  • shimmies
  • pulls
  • wanders
  • has excessive play

Components to be checked

  1. The first check should be for worn wheel bearings, which cause rotating wheels to wobble.
  2. Next up are the ball joints, which, if they exhibit any sloppiness, will produce unwanted wheel movement and erratic steering.
  3. The tie-rod that connects the two steering knuckles to each other, keeping the wheels pointed in the same general direction, also warrant a check.

Beyond these items, the power steering box or rack or power steering pump may be bad, in which case repair or replacement is required.

TIP: The most common problem is excessive wheel play, which is normally caused by worn ball sockets, a worn idler arm, or too much clearance in the steering gearbox.

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Written by Maryann Croce