When the steering wheel is turned to the right or left, it feels like the steering slips, or lets go for a couple of seconds. It jerks, but not all the time, only occasionally. Sometimes more than others, especially when it's cold. It has gradually become worse, and we are hoping to fix this ourselves, if we can figure out what it is that needs fixed! You can feel it especially in the front passanger tire, or when turning to the right. I haven't noticed it when in reverse.
A common problem with this model. Its the sterring speed sensor.A small disc shaped switch at the bottom of the steering shaft next to the floor. IT actually slips over the steering shaft, so, you'll have to disconnect shaft,pull column back towads you to replace. The reason for this switch is to stiffen steering at higher speed.Once it goes bad it starts sending mixed signals to the steering box. A simple fix? Unplug it at the switch like I did mine after I replaced it the second time.
Have you tested for play in the steering with the truck jacked up with the front wheels in the air. As you will be-able to see & feel all the joints on the truck, the thew most common one I have found is the universel joint down on the columnto to the steering box.
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Re: jerky steering in 1999 GMC Suburban
The steering is a very complex bit of gear. and it could be very dangerous to mess about with.is there a self employed mechanic near you? an old style mechanic thet does not rely n computers would be best and cheaper. P.S do not put this off it could cause a bad accident. joe
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If the key won\'t turn it suggests the steering wheel is pressing hard on the stop that locks it. Try twisting the steering wheel left and right while attempting to turn the key. That happened to me once when I parked on a hill and turned the wheels so it would bump the curb and not roll away. I had to jerk the steering wheel pretty hard before it let go. If that doesn\'t fix it you may have a real problem inside the switch where something came loose and is blocking the switch from turning. I sure hope jerking the wheel with fix this for you.
to bleed power steering, with front wheels off ground slightly with front wheels pointing straight ahead.engine off. remove power steering filler cap.add power steering until fluid level stop dropping,wait couple minutes and wait, add fluid until level stay at full cold mark on power steering cap dip stick. dont over fill.when fluid level stop dropping, start vechicle,let it idle few minutes. see if fluid level drop if so add more fluid full cold mark.then turn steering all the way to left and right with out hitting a stop.turn steering wheel several times, then turn front wheels pointing forward check power steering fluid level.if power steering fluid level stop dropping air should be out of system, if steering turning wheel dont turn smoothly and power steering fluid look light tan color air getting in the system.check all power steering lines to rack and power steering pump for leaks.be sure you replaced all the power steering lines with new o rings if not you will get a leak.if you find a leak, you need to fix the leak and bleed system again.dont drive vechicle if your steering dont feel right,have vechicle towed to a garage.
I would check your track bar bushings. If they are worn it will let the front axle shift from left to right. You will usually feel this as the wheel is almost back to center and it will feel worse on a long sweeping turn where the sudden shift will feel more pronounced.
set the front wheels in straight ahead position by driving vechicle a short distance on a flat surface. raise and support the vechicle safely on jack stands.place a drain pan below the steering gear. disconnect negative battery cable.disconnect fluid lines.cap the openings.mark the relationship of the pitman arm to the pitman shaft.remove pitman shaft nut and then remove the pitman arm from the pitman shaft using puller J - 6632. remove the steering gear to frame bolts and remove the gear assembly. TO INSTALL align the flat of the flexible coupling with the flat on the shaft push the coupling onto the shaft until the wormshaft bottoms against the end of the shaft.install the pinch bolt. make sure the bolt passes through the shaft undercut. tighten the pinch bolt to 75 ft lbs. place the steering gear into position guiding the coupling bolts into the proper holes in the shaft flange. install the steering gear to frame bolts and torque to 66 ft lbs.install the coupling flange nuts and washers. make sure the coupling alignment pins are centered in the flange slots. tighten the nuts to 20 ft lbs. maintain a coupling to flang dimension of 0.250 - 0.375 inches. install the pitman arm.install the hoses. you are done except bleeding power steering system. BLEEDING POWER STEERING. fill the the power steering pump reservoir to the proper level and let the fluid remain undisturbed for at least 2 minutes. start the engine and run it for only about 2 seconds.add fluid as necessary. keep doing this procedure until fluid level stop dropping. then raise the front of vechicle so the front wheels are off the ground.set the parking brake and block both rear wheels front and rear. manual transmission should be in neutral. automatic transmission should be in park. start the engine and run it at approximately 1500 rpm. turn the wheels off the ground to the right and left lightly, contacting the stops.add fluid as necessary. lower the vechicle and turn the wheels right and left on the ground.check the level and refill as necessary. if the fluid is extremely foamy, let the vechicle stand for a few minutes.with the engine off and repeat the procedure. if fluid looks foamy. once all done.dont drive vechicle on highway until normal steering is obtain.
Some times just putting pressure on the steering wheel either left or right turnwill allow the key to be turned. What happens is corrosion sets up and does not allow the steering wheel to turn completely to its index position. Just jiggling it back an forth will allow it to index. After you get it to turn properly, squirt a little WD-40 into the key hole and work the steering back and forth while turning the key.