1. Autos
Send to a Friend via Email
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Troubleshooting Problems With Steering and Suspension

More help in troubleshooting and diagnosing the shimmies, wiggles and shakes.

By

Uneven tire wear.

Uneven tire wear is both a problem and a symptom.

photo CC licensed by @Chris
... continued from previous page.

Symptom: Steering wheel vibrates at speed. Excessive vibration while traveling a constant speed, especially highway speeds.

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.

  1. About.com
  2. Autos
  3. Auto Repair
  4. Troubleshooting
  5. Troubleshooting Problems With Steering and Suspension

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.