Loose steering?

Handling, suspension, and brake tuning discussions
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dragon4d
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Jan 07, 2010 1:19 am

Loose steering?

Post by dragon4d » Thu Aug 29, 2019 2:54 pm

There is no steering gear box that I can see to adjust loose steering?

I have a vibe 2007 fwd with the 1.8 engine and just replaced front and rear shocks and springs with kyb brand. I also replaced both front inner and outter tie rods and both front lower ball joints. Also about a year ago both front bearings have been replaced. And a front end alignement has just been done. And there is about 1 to 2 on a clock to about 10 to 11 before the wheels start to move.

Is there any adjustment under the drivers steering column that can help tighten up the steering slack?

There are no noises while driving and both wheels when off the ground seem tight and don't move.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. As for km's on the vehicle is around 400 000km to 450 000km. Motor runs like new. As we know the odometer locks at 299 999km and I Havent replaced that, just not worth it.

Regards,
Tim H.

Bookworm
Posts: 355
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2010 11:21 am
Location: Houston, TX

Re: Loose steering?

Post by Bookworm » Thu Aug 29, 2019 4:31 pm

I've never touched it, myself, but remember that this is power steering. That means that the motions you make with the steering wheel are amplified hydraulically.

To find out where everything is, use the repair manual (links posted elsewhere), or just start at the power steering pump and follow it back.

zbyers
Posts: 727
Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2014 6:12 pm
Location: Sheffield, Pennsylvania

Re: Loose steering?

Post by zbyers » Fri Aug 30, 2019 2:15 am

How's your fluid look? Has it been changed or is it low? I'd imagine that you'd have less steering response if you were low, since it'd have no fluid to move around. kinda like how if you have air in your brakes, they're spongey and less responsive.
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andrewclaus
Posts: 176
Joined: Tue Oct 03, 2017 6:38 pm
Location: Golden, CO

Re: Loose steering?

Post by andrewclaus » Fri Aug 30, 2019 3:26 am

There's no adjustment on the steering gear. Look up the symptoms of a failing rack and pinion, see if any of those occur.

Low fluid should first manifest itself with a failing pump (grinding/whining noise).

Have qualified mechanics done all the work you listed? It's hard to believe a good mechanic can't diagnose loose steering. Any tire/alignment shop should be able to figure this one out with a test drive and a few simple tools.

Most of what would cause loose steering that you haven't replaced already would show other major symptoms and should be easy to find, like loose control arm bushings and worn ball joints. And I wouldn't discount early failure of a new tie rod.

If I were looking at it at home, I'd get an assistant to turn the wheel (engine off, car secure) while I got on the ground with a light to see what's moving and what's not. If the steering shaft input to the rack and pinion is rotating but the tie rods aren't moving, it's your steering gear. If the tie rods are moving but the wheels aren't it's a suspension component. A pair of large channellocks and a crow bar can be used to check tightness of joints and bushings, but leave that to the pros.

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