steering problem?


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Old 12-28-05, 10:35 PM
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Question steering problem?

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I have a 1997 Chysler Sebring. It was pulling to the right really bad, so I had and alingment done. It wasn't that bad. But it still pulled. They told me I had bad tires. So I went had to new front tires put on. That seemed to fix the problem. But when i get on the interstate and get over 60 or 65 mph it is all over the road. I have to fight to keep it staight. Any ideas what i should look at would be very helpful. Thank you!
 
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Old 12-29-05, 10:49 AM
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Now that you repaced the tires, does it still pull to one side or is it simply sloppy? Meaning it drifts either right or left but not always in one particular direction.

Some things you can do in your driveway for free:

Check the tire pressure on all of the tires. Sebrings, especially convertibles, tend to develop slow leaks if they have aluminum rims. They also don't always "appear" low because of the low profile tires. I don't know what type of tires you have but check the side walls to see if they are "directional". Meaning they are meant to be mounted in a particular direction. If they are, it will say so on the sidewall and have an arrow showing the rotation.

Some other common Sebring problems are sticky brake calipers and worn sway bar bushings.
 
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Old 12-29-05, 06:19 PM
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It is real sloppy on the interstate drifts left or right. I don't have the low profile tires on my car. Steering seems fine driving around town. It's just out on the interstate that i have this problem.
 
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Old 12-30-05, 09:52 AM
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I sounds like you may may have some front end wear. The sway bar links may cause some of this if they are really worn or broken. They would probably clunk pretty loudly over bumps if they were that bad. You can see if they are worn by simply looking at them. If they are only slightly worn you may not see it but you also probably would not notice that much while driving either.

The next most common things would be tie rod ends and ball joints.

To check the tie rods:

First sit in the car and jerk the steering wheel back and forth quickly several times. If there is a noticable clunk that is one sign.

Jack the car up so the wheels are an inch or two of the ground. Grab the tire with both hands at three and nine o'clock. Wriggle the tires left to right fairly hard and see if you feel play in the wheel. If so then you probably have a bad tie rod end. Check both sides. You can confirm by looking underneath at the tie rod end while someone else wriggles the tire. You will actually see the play in it. Make sure the car is secure on jack stands before sticking yourself under there.

Ball joints:

While the car is still jacked up, put a fairly long pry bar or similar tool under the tire and pry up and down several times. If there is noticable play then you probably have a bad ball joint. The lowers are the most common to go. Again, if you look underneath while someone else does it you can see the play.

In my opinion, a good, honest mechanic should check all three of these prior to an alignment. The tie rods and ball joints usually require a front end alignment after they are repaired. If this was a mechanic you know and trust, I would bring it back to him and see if he already checked those things. If not, try the things I said first and see if you can pick up what it is on your own before you go to get it fixed.

The worst thing anyone can do is go to a garage and say "I don't know what's wrong but I need it fixed." I don't mean to bash the industry. There are just so many mechanics out there that you're bound to come across one or two that are more than willing to take advantage of people.

If you think this is a repaair you are going to do yourself, then get a good service/repair manual first. They are very helpful and well worth the money.

Good luck!
 
 

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