Steering Sticks

Tiny
CANDACE8403
  • MEMBER
  • 2005 FORD F-350
The basic description that I have been giving people is that the steering will "stick" or "lock up" to the point that I have to use some force to get the steering wheel past the stuck point, when it releases, it's a "jerk, " THEN it sticks the other direction and I have to force the steering wheel back the other way again. So, in other words, when the truck decides to do this, in order to drive a straight line I am literally turning the wheel back and forth, probably only an eighth of a turn each way, but back and forth. If it's bad enough, I have to pull the truck over. If I pull over, sit and turn the wheel back and forth a few times, loosening it up (when I'm stopped, I can't say that I really feel it stick at all), I can pull back on the road and be fine. A lot of the time, it happens right after I've turned a wide corner (not specifically right or left. It does it both ways), say taking a corner at an intersection as a yield or turning through a wide intersection onto say, an entrance ramp to the highway. I've had it happen on Main Street in O'Fallon where the speed limit is 35, and on an entrance ramp to the highway. I've noticed it a little milder when I'm doing 60-70mph down the highway, it just doesn't "jerk" quite as violently at those speeds. I would say in a lot of cases, even when the truck doesn't have "an episode, " I can still feel a stiff spot when I'm driving down the road/highway. This is not a vibration-type problem.

The garage/mechanic never could seem to get the truck to act up but felt like it was the steering box. Since I was kind of stuck, not knowing and not being able to drive it, I finally told them to just do the steering box after they had the truck for around 3 weeks. Didn't work. I drove the truck to work3 times before I finally got it to act up coming home again. I kept thinking I felt it slightly, but wasn't positive until it had an episode getting on the highway coming home.

This all started this spring. It didn't start out being the "violent sticking" back and forth, but just felt like tight spots. I immediately thought of power steering fluid because I had seen a puddle on my garage floor a month or so prior but hadn't been able to determine where it had come from. The puddle never returned and I honestly can't say for sure if I specifically checked the power steering fluid or not. Anyhow, when I checked the fluid after the truck started acting up, it was very low in the reservoir. I re-filled. The problem did not improve. I tried drawing a lot of the fluid out and re-filling with some Lucas Oil power steering additive. Still did not improve. By this point, I think it was locking up from side to side like above.

Everyone's first thought seemed to be the power steering pump but I think that was just because of the fluid issue. I talked myself out of this and the mechanic kind of confirmed because if the power steering was bad, it would be binding up when I'm stopped or moving very slow and turning the wheels, not at the faster speeds. I don't notice it doing this. It's been difficult to diagnose since it can go a hundred miles or so between episodes. Some are leaning back to the power steering pump and indicating that the hydraulics could be slipping and allowing the fluid pressure to drop, leaving me with more "manual steering" for a moment before kicking back into automatic, thus causing the overcorrection and need to turn back the other way. Which of course is a never-ending circle of events.

Please, I'm looking for any suggestions here as I'm worried about driving the truck as-is. Steering is not something you want to have a problem with at 60 mph.

Thank you!
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Tuesday, August 31st, 2010 AT 11:52 PM

13 Replies

Tiny
TECH1FORD
  • MEMBER
Hello,

This is a classic steering box that needs to be replaced here is a video that will show you how it on a similar car but the process is the same.

https://youtu.be/KKeFqHLuRQ0

Please let us know what happens.
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Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010 AT 4:44 PM
Tiny
RON123ABC
  • MEMBER
I have the same problem I have replaced hydro boost, ps pump and still have the same problem. I had to do the steering box to fix it. Cost me $289.00
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Tuesday, October 27th, 2015 AT 7:18 PM
Tiny
WALLEYERICH
  • MEMBER
Thanks for this post fixed my truck :) I love this site
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Thursday, December 24th, 2015 AT 3:15 PM
Tiny
RON123ABC
  • MEMBER
  • 2005 FORD F-350
  • 6.0L
  • V8
  • TURBO
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 250,000 MILES
Sometimes when I turn at a intersection my steering will stick and I have to force it to turn and at times I will be driving down the highway and it will stick and when I turn it back it will jerk back and when I try to correct that it will jerk back the other direction it will keep doing this until I pull over and stop and turn the steering wheel all the way to the right and to the left then take back off and it seems do do fine then. I have had the hydro boost, gear box and the ps pump replaced and still have this problem
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Friday, October 19th, 2018 AT 6:33 PM (Merged)
Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
From your description it kind of sounds like lack of lube in a way on steering components. Also when was last time belt and tensioner was replaced? It may have oil on it slipping occasionally on high loads. Or it has air in system. After pump replacement was it bled for air? Make sure reservoir is full, jack truck up with wheels off of floor then do a turn to turn 10 times recheck fluid. That is the only thing I can think of unless there is a bind someplace causing your problem.
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Friday, October 19th, 2018 AT 6:33 PM (Merged)
Tiny
RON123ABC
  • MEMBER
OK I will check the lub and I have bled it by turning back and forth. Do I need to leave resevior cap off or on I have tried it both ways I get bubbles when I take the cap off but when I leave it off I don't see any and also I'm getting more bubbles when I pump the break than I do when I turn the steering wheel back and forth
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Friday, October 19th, 2018 AT 6:33 PM (Merged)
Tiny
RON123ABC
  • MEMBER
Also to add it does it someday and some days it dont
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Friday, October 19th, 2018 AT 6:33 PM (Merged)
Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
That sounds like air in system do this while running engine with wheels off ground also hit brakes twice. Leave cap on. Check prior and after doing this.
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Friday, October 19th, 2018 AT 6:33 PM (Merged)
Tiny
RON123ABC
  • MEMBER
OK thanks
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Friday, October 19th, 2018 AT 6:33 PM (Merged)
Tiny
RON123ABC
  • MEMBER
Got the air out the system. Drove it to work this morning and I drve about 5 miles and made a left turn the steering stuck had to pull over turn the wheels back and forth till it got easy to turn the I headed on to work I noticed it was pulling to the right went about 15 miles and when I turned left into work parking lot it stuck again I parked and turned the wheel left and right a few times till it was free again
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Friday, October 19th, 2018 AT 6:33 PM (Merged)
Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
I really don't know what to say on this I have gone over tsb's prior to answering your question only thing I can say is to have a pro look for binding or maybe scan for codes see if something comes up on it. If it is the original gear box i'd have to say something with the hydraulic valve in it but not really sure. The only thing I can suggest now is to check the items in the pic as well as mesh preload which whoever rebuilt this will know what that is. If it still doesn't cure it replace the box. Unless it was replaced when it was rebuilt as it may be one of the items in pic causing the problem.
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Friday, October 19th, 2018 AT 6:33 PM (Merged)
Tiny
JACOBS70
  • MEMBER
  • 2007 FORD F-350
  • 6.0L
  • V8
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 96,000 MILES
I recently took my truck in to have some work done. I was told the steering gear needed replaced. I had the work done that was recommended. I picked up truck up and within driving it approximately 120 miles, I have now lost all power steering. My question is could the mechanics replacing the steering gear somehow cause my power steering to fail? There was no prior indication that my power steering was having problems (no squealing or whining, etc) I find it coincidental that the shop messes with the steering gear and now all the sudden my power steering goes out. Please let me know if this could be somehow related to the steering gear being replaced. Thanks
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Friday, October 19th, 2018 AT 6:34 PM (Merged)
Tiny
FREEMBA
  • EXPERT
You re on the right track. Please take the truck back to the shop that performed the work and have them to recheck everything. Meanwhile, check the belt and the power steering fluid level.
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Friday, October 19th, 2018 AT 6:34 PM (Merged)

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