Symptom: Steering wheel vibrates at speed. Excessive vibration while traveling a constant speed, especially highway speeds.
- Wheels out of balance - have wheels re-balanced.
- Tires worn unevenly or excessively
- Loose wheel bolts - check wheel lugs for correct tightness.
- Warped brake rotor - inspect brake discs (rotors) and replace if needed.
Symptom: Loose or sloppy steering. Steering has excessive play and wanders from side to side.
- Power steering fluid low - check power steering fluid and add if needed.
- Worn strut bearings - inspect strut bearings for play and replace in pairs.
- Worn or broken tie rods or steering rack - inspect steering components and replace as necessary.
- Worn ball joints - inspect ball joints and replace if needed.
- Broken steering rack mounts - inspect steering rack mounts and repair or replace (some cars can be fixed, others require replacement of the entire steering rack.)
Symptom: Clunking over bumps. Feeling clunks and knocks through the steering wheel when you go over bumps or even cracks in the road.
- Worn shocks or struts - replace shocks and/or struts as indicated.
- Worn strut bearings - inspect strut bearings and replace both if needed.
- Worn ball joints - inspect ball joints for play and replace if needed.
Symptom: Screeching and screaming. Steering emits loud screeching when steering at low speeds, such as parking.
- Low power steering fluid - add power steering fluid as needed.
- Loose power steering belt - adjust power steering belt.
- Worn power steering belt - replace and adjust power steering belt.
Remember, this is a guide to help you diagnose steering or suspension problems. Sometimes more than one issue needs to be addressed to fix the symptoms.