1996 Nissan 240SX steering and steering wheel

Tiny
BMX4637
  • MEMBER
  • 1996 NISSAN 240SX
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • MANUAL
  • 140,000 MILES
Hi,

My car has some issues with the steering.I will drive for about 15 minutes and during this time period my steering wheel, somehow, will be at an angle to the left and sometimes an angle to the right (45 degrees most on either side). All this while driving straight.

For example.I get in my car and the wheel is at a 10 degree angle to the left (while tires are straight), I start the car drive around and while driving the angle will be to the right a few degrees (still car will be driving straight) and when I park the steering wheel is straight.

The angle changes, most notably when I turn left or right. The car does not pull to a certain direction. However in the rain the car 'shakes' almost like a very strong crosswind, regardless of speed. Any information would be greatly appreciated.

Alex
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Tuesday, April 20th, 2010 AT 4:05 PM

10 Replies

Tiny
MHPAUTOS
  • EXPERT
Hi there,

Thank you for the donation,

You will have to get all the steering linkages and rack mounts checked for wear and also have the suspension checked as well, this will be an alignment issue due to one or more worn components, start here.

Mark (mhpautos)
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Tuesday, May 11th, 2010 AT 4:06 PM
Tiny
BMX4637
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Thank you for replying,

I perform 90% of the work myself because I work on airplanes. I do know however the front right outer tie rod has a bit of play. I have had this issue before but would usually cause the car the lean a certain direction (which my car does sometimes). The direction change of the steering wheel I can imagine would be at the steering rack? Possibly loose teeth? Another issue is the previous owner had cut the front springs which now precedes past the metal retainer and onto the body.

I lifted the front of my car today because the steering was feeling extra loose after hitting a few bumps. It is pretty dirty under there but nothing seen out of the ordinary. Power steering fluid was fine.

If the car is out of alignment, which I'm sure it is, how would this affect the direction of the steering wheel after turning left or right?

Thank you,
Alex
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Tuesday, May 11th, 2010 AT 5:14 PM
Tiny
MHPAUTOS
  • EXPERT
Hi there,

The tie rod end and the cut springs will both affect the alignment, there is no way of determining which way the alignment will take the car if there is a problem, usually the car will tend to follow the camber of the road at best, at worst it will be all over the place.

Mark (mhpautos)
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Tuesday, May 11th, 2010 AT 8:04 PM
Tiny
BMX4637
  • MEMBER
Hey Mark,

I was talking to a friend last night at work and he told me a similar situation happened to him, however he turned the steering wheel and the tires didn't turn at all. His problem was that the entire rack and pinion mount was loose/disconnected and therefore couldn't steer. Can the mounts of this cause this problem?

Thanks,
Alex
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Wednesday, May 12th, 2010 AT 3:51 PM
Tiny
MHPAUTOS
  • EXPERT
If the rack became loose you would loose a percentage of steering effect, if the rack was very loose you would still have steering, albeit sloppy and a lot of knocking noise as well.

Mark (mhpautos)
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Wednesday, May 12th, 2010 AT 5:48 PM
Tiny
BMX4637
  • MEMBER
I had someone turning the steering wheel back and forth and clearly the steering rack is not held on securely enough because it moves back and forth. Glad to find out what the problem was.
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Tuesday, May 18th, 2010 AT 3:54 PM
Tiny
BMX4637
  • MEMBER
However, my car overheated yesterday and it turns out the radiator hose is being squeezed by a vacuum and is not siphoning fluid from the reservoir. The reservoir and hose to the radiator is not clogged. What can be the problem for this?

Alex
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Tuesday, May 18th, 2010 AT 4:08 PM
Tiny
MHPAUTOS
  • EXPERT
Replace the radiator cap.

Mark
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Tuesday, May 18th, 2010 AT 4:43 PM
Tiny
BMX4637
  • MEMBER
Great. Your the man Mark
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Wednesday, May 19th, 2010 AT 3:20 PM
Tiny
MHPAUTOS
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Thanks for using 2carpros, feel free to post any further problems, you feed back is always welcome.

Mark (mhpautos)
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Wednesday, May 19th, 2010 AT 5:33 PM

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