I've got a '99 ES w/ 56K. The steering is now "sloppy" and I also a front end "rattle". Any ideas as to the cause? I've been told 2 different senerios. 1) Struts and the rack and pinion. 2) Tie-rods. Tie-rods seem to make more sence.
I'm not familiar with your car, but it sounds like you need to replace the bushings on the tie rods. They need replacing about every 30-50K. There are also some rubber bushings on the power steering unit.
Yeah, my 99 ES w/almost 36,000 miles is doing the same damn thing. The steering just doesn't feel right. It is way too flimsy and has limped to the side by itself on several occasions. Sometimes when I am testing and I jerk it back and fourth the front end seems to pivot or roll a little funny. I could have sworn that the steering was also tighter when I bought it.
When the vehicle is stopped and on and the steering is quickly moved back and fourth from center to left there is a knocking or clunking sound.
Oh yeah, and my steering wheel made a squeaking noise when I would turn it one day when I was leaving my place when it was cold in the morning. I have also noticed an intermittent low rubbing noise when I turn my wheel at low speeds. I have also noticed some vibration in the steering wheel and vibration when the brakes are used sometimes.
The steering attitude also sometimes intermittently changes. When driving on bumpy roads it usually jerks all over the place or pulls. I have checked and changed my tire pressure several times, checked my tires. I have had my steering checked by two different dealers and they all tell me nothing is wrong.
Bushings huh? Could that correct my this problem? Any ideas? How much? Any other possibilities? I am probably going to have to start replacing items since no damn dealer knows what's going on and keeps saying it's fine.
[ December 13, 2001: Message edited by: MoparPerformance ]
Most clunking, clanging, rattles, etc in the front end can be easily located if you watch real closely while someone moves the steering wheel back and forth. If at a pivot point you see one piece move and the other not...that's your culprit.
Inner tie rod bushing are around $10 and take about an hour to install. When they wear out, they cause quite a bit of play in the front end and can cause a "THUMP!" when coming to a stop and when starting off. If one is worn more than the other (more slop) it can make the car pull to one side, cause the steering wheel to be off center and wear a tire like an alignment problem. When they get REAL BAD like mine were (93 Concorde w125K miles), they can cause vibration in the steering like a wheel bearing about to come apart.
If you can do a spark plug change, you should be able to handle inner tie rod bushings. There are several threads elsewhere on the board about them.
[ December 13, 2001: Message edited by: 79lilred ]