Knocking felt and heard in Steering Column

Tiny
MACLION22
  • MEMBER
  • 2008 CHEVROLET COBALT
  • 4 CYL
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 80,000 MILES
I started noticing during slow turns, I would hear/feel a clunk coming from my steering wheel area. I was replacing the control arm's on both sides with a friend and had him listen in to see if he knew what the sound was. I was able to repeat sound while my vehicle was turned on and sitting in park. What I did was to turn the steering wheel all the way to the right, just before the wheel would lock, and followed doing that with turning back to the left and while I would do so it would produce a knock/banging sound which seemed to be coming from somewhere near the gas and break pedals but we were not for sure. This sound was fairly easy to repeat by rocking the wheel back and forth. The knocking could be felt on the tie rod end on the driver side. I've replaced both control arms/new ball joints for some other rattling concerns, as well as had the recall work done (ignition) at the dealership just this past Saturday and had them diagnose the problem of the steering wheel thud, they told me the found the problem and had a solution which was to replace the sway bar links. This was also not the solution, just was the last piece to stop the front end rattling. I am looking for any help on the matter my mechanic buddy thought it could be the rack and pinion or that I needed to replace the intermediate shaft?
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Monday, June 16th, 2014 AT 7:07 PM

9 Replies

Tiny
CADIEMAN
  • MEMBER
You will need to check the two steering rack mount bushings. They may be letting the rack move around causing this.
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Monday, June 16th, 2014 AT 7:40 PM
Tiny
CADIEMAN
  • MEMBER
As u drive the rack can move back and forth. Also check the shaft bolts one may have come loose.
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Monday, June 16th, 2014 AT 7:58 PM
Tiny
MACLION22
  • MEMBER
Would this cause the very loud knocking sound I am hearing? I am going to a new shop from some co-workers recommendation. Sure hoping something like that doesn't cost an arm and leg. Also been reading that some shops have had success fixing this problem by replacing the lower column bearing replaced.
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Monday, June 16th, 2014 AT 8:05 PM
Tiny
CADIEMAN
  • MEMBER
Tighten the shaft bolts for starters.
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Monday, June 16th, 2014 AT 8:44 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
The cobolt is actually built on the saturn ion chassis so I know these cars well. What I have seen is sway bar bushings clunking. But from what your describing sounds like the intermediate shaft. That had clunking issues on them and the saturn ion. Try this unbolt the intermediate shaft from the rack and pion. Then pump the intermediate shaft up and down like 5 times to move the grease around. Then bolt it back up and see if the noise changes.
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Monday, June 16th, 2014 AT 10:05 PM
Tiny
MACLION22
  • MEMBER
Ya I will give that a shot. Ive read some of the TSBs a few of them referenced replacing the intermediate shaft. I have seen a lot of people talking about the knocking sound, I hope its just in need of a little tlc this problem is somewhat common on this model.
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Monday, June 16th, 2014 AT 10:49 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Let me know what you find can't believe the dealer didnt try that.
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Tuesday, June 17th, 2014 AT 6:41 AM
Tiny
MACLION22
  • MEMBER
Update- Ended up replacing the intermediate drive shaft, had a mechanic do it since this was out of my range of knowledge. He showed me the part and demonstrated how it was supposed to allow an up and down movement in a spring like capacity and mine was not. Also one of the U-joints was rusted and had a little play in it. So far little shop 1 dealership 0. From what I have been reading looks like GM sued the maker of the intermediate shaft a few years back so I plan on seeing what if anything I can get back on the cost. But if anyone else has this similar issue looks to be so far that replacing the intermediate shaft is the way to go.
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Friday, June 20th, 2014 AT 9:20 AM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Glad to hear you got it fixed had a feeling it was the intermediate shaft.
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Friday, June 20th, 2014 AT 8:45 PM

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