Checking the steering components first, raise
the front end, keep steering column unlocked and hold one of the wheels in the 9 and 3 position. push and pull motion feeling for any looseness. IT should be solid feeling.
Inspect Upper/Lower Ball Joints - The ball joints act as a universal joint that is connected to solid suspension arms and spindles. Ball joints have little to no clearance to hold suspension components in-line while steering or traveling over rough roads. If the ball joints become worn they will allow suspension components to move out of line causing the car the wander from one side to the other. When checking the suspension components lift the car slightly but leave the wheels on the ground, this will take pressure off of the ball joints to allow proper inspection. (Heavy pressure on ball joints will make it difficult to test for play in the ball joint). Use a large pry bar and insert between the ball joint components rock back and forth while checking for excessive movement in the ball joint. Little to no play should be observed. If excessive play is observed the ball joint has worn and needs to be replaced.
There may also be wheel bearing play or gearbox play.
Thursday, October 21st, 2010 AT 5:42 PM