1998 Honda Accord Clicking/popping/kicking while steering

Tiny
JAMESMCG
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 HONDA ACCORD
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 65,000 MILES
The steering on my Accord Euro has been clicking and what I can only describe as 'kicking' while turning right. Sometimes I'll be driving slowly in traffic moving the car a little right and it will just 'kick' a little more right - it wont turn the car anymore - it just kicks a little.

This has gone from intermittent to constant in the last month. I had it serviced and checked about a month ago. Unfortunately it was one of the days when the the steering wasnt kicking!

Could this be the CV joints in the front?

It doesn't happen when turning left! Just when the steering right.

I should also add that this even happens if the car is stationary.

Thanks!
James
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Tuesday, April 6th, 2010 AT 2:39 PM

3 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Most likely it is nothing more than the upper strut mounts are binding. They have bearings in them to allow them to turn with the wheels while holding up the weight of the car.

If you can reach your hand up in there above the tire, feel the top of the spring on each side while a helper turns the steering wheel slowly in either direction. The springs should turn smoothly. If you feel one bind and not turn on top, then suddenly snap free and turn, you found the problem.

An inspection at a tire and alignment shop will identify other worn parts such as loose ball joints or worn control arm bushings.

Caradiodoc
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Tuesday, April 6th, 2010 AT 4:26 PM
Tiny
JAMESMCG
  • MEMBER
They're currently looking into getting a replacement rack. They think it'll cost around $1000 with another $250 labor.

He put it on the rack and and had a good look, I'm hopeful he's right.

Does it make sense?

James
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Tuesday, April 6th, 2010 AT 5:55 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Yes, the rack and pinion assembly can cause the symptoms you described. It happened to my mother's '95 Grand Caravan, but it is not very common. The rack will cause the same symptoms when the front wheels are jacked up off the ground. If the binding and jumping goes away, still suspect the upper strut mounts.

$1000.00 seems WAY too much for a rack and pinion assembly, but most of my experience comes from working at a very nice family-owned Chrysler dealership through 1999. Up until then, the only way to get a new rack and pinion was if the old one was still under warranty. The listed retail price was only $450.00, and labor only took about an hour to replace it not including the required alignment. Some other brands take a lot longer to replace the assembly, so $250.00 for labor seems about right, especially if it includes the alignment.

Remanufactured rack and pinion assemblies have some modifications that increase their reliability. They cost a lot less than than new ones. Caravan units cost around $150.00. You might want to inquire at one or two other shops for a second opinion and estimate.

Caradiodoc
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Tuesday, April 6th, 2010 AT 6:12 PM

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