While standing still, turn the steering wheel left and right rapidly about 1/8th turn each way and watch the front wheels to see if they respond right away. If not, have a helper do that while you watch the steering components underneath. You're looking for movement between the ball and socket of any tie rod end or ball joint. If you don't know what to look for, an inspection at a tire and alignment shop is in order. They will also "read" the tire wear for clues to an alignment issue or worn parts problem.
Also look at the steering gear box for play that can be adjusted out. The clue is that none of the steering linkage will be moving when you work the steering wheel back and forth a little.
August, 12, 2011 AT 7:43 PM
Thanks alot! I'm takingit to a mechanic since I do not yet own the truck. Want to buy it, but i'm slightly concerned with the steering issue. Do you figure these are a good truck?
August, 12, 2011 AT 7:59 PM
No opinion on Jeeps, but I have a huge opinion on newer vehicles. The engineers have built in way too many complicated, unreliable, trouble-prone, expensive, unnecessary computers, and I refuse to own one of those vehicles. My daily driver is an'88 Grand Caravan. It's the one I trusted for three recent cross-country trips. My newer vehicles sit at home.
If you search through this forum, you'll be amazed at how many problems people are having related to these computers. It's a very high price to pay for all the toys and gimmicks people demand.
An '89 model will have very few electrical problems, and if it does have one, it's pretty easy to diagnose and inexpensive to repair. There are no common, or "pattern" failures that I'm aware of.