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Symptoms of bad steering and suspension

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Steering & Suspension How to Drivers 1 min read

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In this article you will find out about the symptoms of a bad steering and suspension.

As you know, steering and suspension parts are safety-critical, so it's important that you routinely check steering and suspension components and replace any that show signs of wear. If a part is worn or failing, the issues below could result. 

Symptoms and what they could mean:

Vehicle continually pulls to one side while driving

Double wishbone on the front suspension.

  • Ball joints
  • Bushings
  • Tie rod ends
  • Uneven tire wear/inflation
  • Steering rack
  • May need alignment 

Continued bouncing after hitting a bump or pothole

  • Shocks or struts
  • Leaf spring

A steering pull or drift to one side after turning

  • Bushings
  • Ball joints
  • Tie rod end
  • Rack and pinion
  • Uneven tire wear

Steering slips while turning the wheel

  • Bushings
  • Ball joint
  • Tie rod end
  • Rack and pinion
  • Uneven tire wear
  • Strut bearings
  • Rack mount

Loose or sloppy steering: excessive play or wandering from side to side

  • Tie rod end
  • Ball joint
  • Bushings
  • Rack and pinion
  • Strut bearings
  • Rack mount

Excessive steering wheel vibration

  • Ball joint
  • Bushings

Steering veers to one side when driving over a bump or during hard acceleration

Independent rear axle with a coil spring/shock configuration.

  • Ball joint 
  • Control arm 
  • Tie rod ends 

Steering wheel bounces up and down at highway speeds or when braking

  • Wheels out of balance
  • Uneven tire wear/inflation
  • Loose wheel bolts
  • Brake rotors

Difficulty in turning the wheel

  • Steering belt
  • Power steering fluid level low (possibly leaking)
  • Steering rack
  • Power steering pump

A knocking or clunking sound

  • Control arm
  • Bushings
  • Ball joint
  • Tie rod end

If noises occur while turning, check:

  • Ball joint
  • Tie rod end
  • Steering pump belt
  • Steering pump
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