1996 Chevy Cavalier steering jams up completly on left turn

Tiny
BELINDA123
  • MEMBER
  • 1996 CHEVROLET CAVALIER
  • 4 CYL
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 22,500 MILES
Yes when I make a left turn sometimes, well most times the wheels just jam up and I can not turn.
Do you have any idea?
Thank you Belinda
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Saturday, August 7th, 2010 AT 7:41 PM

5 Replies

Tiny
IMPALASS
  • EXPERT
Hello Belinda

I will need a little more info to better assist and make sure we are on the same page. Is your model just the Cavalier or the LS or the Z24? Also what is the engine size in liter.
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Saturday, August 7th, 2010 AT 7:45 PM
Tiny
BELINDA123
  • MEMBER
It is a 4 liter and an LS
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Saturday, August 7th, 2010 AT 7:57 PM
Tiny
IMPALASS
  • EXPERT
Hello

Thanks for the info

Please make sure you take your vehicle to a front end shop and have them check it out. This could be a tie rod failing. If this breaks your tires can go opposite ways.

Next and most likely it is your rack and pinion that is failing on one side. Do you notice any power steering fluid on the ground? Have you checked that? Is there any fluid leaking from the rack itself? Does your power steering make any noise when turning like a whining sound?

Have you had any front end work done at all on the vehicle lately or hit a curb how long ago did this start?
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Sunday, August 8th, 2010 AT 12:26 AM
Tiny
BELINDA123
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Could you give me some idea of how much it would cost for rack and pinion or if it's worth it.
Thank you
Belinda
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Sunday, August 8th, 2010 AT 12:03 PM
Tiny
IMPALASS
  • EXPERT
Hello Belinda

Well, that would be hard to say

My estimator doesn't show the part or labor for the rack. Could be as much as $500 to $600 dollars.

My suggestion is to go to a couple of reliable shops and get an estimate. Three would be great and then compare and ask for any warranties.

Again, it sounds like that but that is why I suggested taking to a shop to double check. I had one car that also turned hard to the left. You would try to turn turn turn then finally the steering wheel would turn to the left. Eventually the parts in the rack separated and sent it though the power steering pump and jammed it which locked the pulley wheel which made the belt break.

So my suggestion is get the estimates and then compare.

Then you will need to decide if the repair is worth keeping the car. You do have many miles on it so it has been a good car. Remember that a onetime repair doesn't equally new monthly car payments. But if the car is costing you more and more money then maybe it is time. Again, I don't know the condition of your vehicle.

Does this help?
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Sunday, August 8th, 2010 AT 9:22 PM

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