I have a '99 Grand Am 2.4L w/ 80,000 miles.
My problem is that when I pull out of a driveway, parking lot, etc. To the left it pulls to the left. Same thing if I pull out and turn right. It pulls to the right. Sometimes it is light, sometimes really hard (if you let go, you'd be in the ditch). I will tell you what I had done to it. I bought it used (private party) and it needed front tires, left front strut, and then I had it alligned. It was doing this " pull right/ pull left thing" from the start. Sometimes the steering would get tight and then " pop" and my mechanic said that was the steering rack. I had him put in a used rack for less that $100 for the part because I couldn't afford the $300+ a new one would cost. After that it started making a " clicking/ popping" noise while steering sometimes. You don't feel anything in the steering wheel like before though. I was looking on your site and the closest thing I see to my problem is " front strut upper bushings". Do you think this is the problem for the pulling one way then another? I'm lost and my mechanic doesn't really know. Would the steering rack cause this problem? Please give me an idea! Thanks!
First place I would check is the suspension components primarily upper and lower ball joints and the control arms. Especially if you are hearing a popping noise (something is dislocating and popping back in place when you turn and/or straighten back).
I don't think I would drive the vehicle until this is checked out. Could have catastrophic results.
October, 30, 2006 AT 2:55 PM
Hi, this sounds almost EXACTLY like the problem I was having. I bought my car used from a Toyota dealer in 2003. It has roughly 60k miles on it, I drive a 2000 Pontiac Grand Am Coupe, 2.4 liter, 4cyl.
At anyrate, whenever I try to back the car up, it jolts off to one side or another and the car locks up. After moving forward *just fine* I then parked the car and tried turning my steering wheel, because of this loud pop. Im not mechanically inclided what so ever, I barely know what a dip stick is. I need to get my car into the shop to have it looked at, but a friend of mine came over the other day and took a quick look at the car and when we looked down between the CV joints we noticed the steering knuckle was completely broken. You may want to have a look at that piece, Im not sure what all the steering knuckle is connected to, but forwhatever reason mine looked like it had been snapped off.