How to Troubleshoot the Steering System in a Honda Accordby Contributor
Honda introduced the Accord in 1976 as a hatchback, and since then has offered it an almost bewilderingly different number of body styles and versions depending on the market. In the past, troubleshooting steering would almost always begin with the brakes, which weren't very good, but since the 1990s the brakes have improved significantly. Here are a few tips for keeping on top of your steering system.
Take your car in to inspect the steering gear and linkage when the service is due light goes on (or every 12 months). On older models you should service the power steering system, tie rods, steering gear box and boots every 7500 miles.
Maintain your wheels, front-end alignment and brakes. Rotate and balance your tires on a regular schedule, keep pressure even and replace worn tires in pairs. Wheels should be the first place you check if you encounter most of the problems below.
Use Honda Power steering fluid (Honda says others will reduce cold weather performance). If the fluid is contaminated, the screen in the reservoir may be partially blocked. Replace the reservoir if necessary. Make sure the hoses are connected and the fluid isn't leaking.
Look at the linkage and steering rack if your steering feels loose or sloppy. Your tie-rod ends and rack mounts may be worn or loose. You should also check the strut mounts and ball joints.
Examine the power steering system if the steering wheel seems hard to turn or has too much play. The problem could be as small as a loose or worn steering belt, but you may need to fix the pump or the rack. Problems with the steering rack mounts can also cause loose steering.
Check the brakes as well as the steering linkage if your car pulls to one side. Your brake calipers or drums could be dragging. Wear in the tie rod ends and a bad steering rack can also cause your car to pull.
Stop shimmying by adjusting or replacing the tie roads and steering rack. Excessive play can cause your car to wander even as you steer straight.