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Steering Shaft Problems

by Amy Rodriguez

Driving a car down the road gives the driver the feeling of control, especially when it comes to the steering of the vehicle. But, if the steering has problems, such as with the steering shaft, driving can be dangerous.

Identification

A steering shaft is the portion of the steering system that attaches the steering wheel to the rack system between the front car wheels. This shaft transfers the motion of the steering wheel into the steering system for movement of the wheels.

Considerations

Steering shaft problems can arise due to the constant movement of the shaft. When turning the steering wheel, if the return of the rotation seems to stick, there may be corrosion on the shaft or on the attached couplings. Also, there should be no jiggling of the assembly. Loose shafts can hinder steering function and accelerate wear on the system.

Prevention/Solution

The steering system can be inspected by placing the vehicle on a stationary ramp to allow access underneath. Have someone sit inside the car and wiggle the steering wheel so that any movement to the shaft under the car will be apparent and problems detected.

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