Steering Wheel "wiggles"....

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Old 04-25-14, 07:57 AM
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Steering Wheel "wiggles"....

Hit a pothole or two this spring....

Steering wheel is wiggling and you can kind of feel the car wobbling around....

Any ideas?
 
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Old 04-25-14, 08:14 AM
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Wiggles as in up and down or left and right? Or as in there is "Slop" in the wheel.

Slop is when there is kind of a dead area when you turn left to right where nothing gets transferred to the wheels. In newer cars you don't get much of that, but in older ones, if you had a bad steering gear box you could have nearly a foot of turning from right to left before the wheels start turning.

If it is slop, you may need to get the tie rods checked as the joints might be damaged. Steering components can break and you will lose complete control of an entire wheel, possibly even both. It would likely be in your best interest to take it to a professional and get it diagnosed.

If the column is moving around and you have tilt, there is usually a bracket inside the dash and when they are made of cast aluminum and get pulled on a lot they have a tendency to break. Especially when people use the wheel to pick themselves up out of a car, or pull themselves up into a truck.
 
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Old 04-25-14, 10:10 AM
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i'd jack the front end up and check the wheels for play. have a look at the suspension bits and see if anything feels/looks loose or bent.
 
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Old 04-25-14, 04:19 PM
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my money is a broken belt on one of your tires. get it fixed before it blows out.
 
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Old 04-27-14, 06:15 AM
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Or a bent wheel................................................
 
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Old 04-29-14, 07:29 PM
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left to right wiggling typically is a tire balance. Get your tires balanced first, and rotate from front to back.
 
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Old 05-10-14, 09:15 AM
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Thanks everyone.

As far as I can tell, it's just a left-right wiggle. It's constant, at any speed. Under 20, as a passenger, you might not even notice it, but after you feel it at higher speeds you can feel it as you're going slow too.

The alignment seems just as OK as it's ever been.... just a little off, and maybe only caused by this problem. This is an 18 year old car that probably hasn't been re-aligned since back in 2004, if ever.

As for your post Liroku, I can say with certainty that it's not "slop". The steering mechanism is spot on.



jthompson... could a tire imbalance happen overnight? This wasn't a slow and steady progression. It simply didn't happen until it did happen.



iceman681... This seems like the most reasonable explanation to me, although I know virtually zero about tires and didn't even consider there were belt type supports, somewhat like re-bar with concrete. I kind of feel stupid admitting that now because of how much sense it makes.

I bet this is the problem. My tires are old, old, old. They should probably all be replaced anyhow, for general safety's sake.

Hoping that's the problem anyhow. Seems like the easiest and cheapest fix to me.


I'll let you know how it turns out. Thanks.
 
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Old 05-10-14, 09:50 AM
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You didn't even tell us what year/make/model/mileage of car you have.

I would like you to tell me what you expect from us when we can't even picture what you are talking about.

When I was an apprentice the first thing the mechanic told me was whenever I was communicating with someone to start out with the make/model/year/mileage of car I'm talking about.

Good luck.

Bob
 
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Old 05-10-14, 08:54 PM
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Seriously, this is something best inspected by a front-end specialist. I think it would be money well spent. You can always do the actual work yourself if you want. But hiring a pro can save you money and time.
 
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Old 05-11-14, 03:19 AM
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Low speed wobble usually a broken belt in tire but you need to get front end checked as you could have a dangerous part.
 
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Old 05-23-14, 06:50 AM
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I work behind the counter of an automotive store
Sometime Im called a genius and sometime much more
But life could be so happy
Id grin from ear to ear
If the owner would just tell me
The model,make,and year
 
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Old 06-22-14, 10:06 AM
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1996 Toyota Camry. Sorry.


Never had a single problem with steering before the pot-hole plague of February of 2014 in NWI. Hell, I could have read a book with two hands while letting it steer itself it drove so straight before then.

It still drives straight, more or less... the wobble seems to kick it right and left enough to keep it even.

Also worth noting, and perhaps I've been taking my life into my own hands by doing so, but I've put roughly 200 miles on the car in highway conditions since this happened. Would a broken tire belt likely have snapped by now?

There are a lot of things that you can just "get used to" in life like arthritis or memory loss, or the ability to run a mile in 5 minutes.... I don't reckon I'll ever feel safe in this car again until I fix the problem.
 
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