If hard steering occurs, it is probably due to excessively tight adjustments in the steering gearbox or linkages. Hard steering can also be caused by low or uneven tire pressure, abnormal friction in the steering gearbox, in the linkage, or at the ball joints, or improper wheel or frame alignment.
The failure of power steering in a vehicle causes the steering system to revert to straight mechanical operation, requiring much greater steering force to be applied by the operator. When this happens, the power steering gearbox and pump should be checked as outlined in the manufacturer's service manual.
To check the steering system for excessive friction, raise the front of the vehicle and turn the steering wheel and check the steering system components to locate the source of excessive friction. Disconnect the pitman arm. If this action eliminates the frictional drag, then the friction is in either the linkage or at the steering knuckles. If the friction is NOT eliminated when the pitman arm is disconnected, then the steering gearbox is probably faulty.
If hard steering is not due to excessive friction in the steering system, the most probable causes are incorrect front end alignment, a misaligned frame, or sagging springs. Excessive tire caster causes hard steering. Wheel alignment will be described later in this chapter.
Steering systems, when problems exist, can produce abnormal noises (rattles, squeaks, and squeals). Noises can be signs of worn components, unlubricated bearingsor ball joints, loose components, slipping belts, low power steering fluid, or other troubles.
Rattles in the steering linkage may develop if linkage components become loose. Squeaks during turns can develop due to lack of lubrication in thejoints or bearings of the steering linkage. This condition can also produce hard steering.
Some of the connections between the steering linkage components are connected by ball sockets that can be lubricated. Some ball sockets are permanently lubricated on original assembly. If permanently lubricated ball sockets develop squeaks or excessive friction. they must be replaced.
Belt squeal is a loud screeching sound produced by belt slippage. A slipping power steering belt will usually show up when turning. Turning the steering wheel to the full right or left will increase system pressure and belt squeal. Belt squeal may be eliminated by either adjusting or replacing the belt.
Q1. What type of steering linkage design is used on most vehicles?
Q2. The idler arm supports the pitman arm on the passenger side of the vehicle. (T/F)
Q3. What steering linkage component is used to fasten the center link to the steering knuckles?
Q4. In a manual steering system, what two factors determine steering ratio?
Q5. What is the most common type of worm and nut steering gear?
Q6. In a power steering system, what device supplies hydraulic fluid under pressure to the other components in the system?
Q7. What are the three major types of power steering systems?
Q8. On a manual rack-and-pinion system, what adjustment is required when there is excessive play in the steering?
Q9. What is the most common steering problem?
Q10. What is the most probable cause(s) of hard steering?
Identify and describe the parts of a tire and the methods of tire construction. Explain tire and wheel sizes. Describe tire ratings and the different types of wheels. Identify the parts of driving and nondriving hubs and wheel-bearing assemblies. Diagnose common tire, wheel, and wheel-bearing problems. Describe tire inflation and rotation procedures. Explain static and dynamic wheel balance. Summarize the different methods for balancing tires and wheels. Explain wheel-bearing service.
This section introduces the various tire designs used on modern vehicles. It explains how tire and wheels are constructed to give safe and dependable service. This section also covers hub andContinue Reading