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What causes excess play in the steering wheel?

Ford engine. Have to fight the steering wheel as there is a lot of play.

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GEAR BOX COULD HAVE LOT OF SLACK OR THE DRAG LINK COULD BE WORE OUT

Posted on Nov 30, 2012

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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SOURCE: 1997 ford f250 steering problem

it could be the front axle u-joint binding up. i had the same problem, and that's what it was. i put greaseable u-joints on both sides.

Posted on Mar 19, 2009

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SOURCE: Excessive play in steering wheel of 1999 Blazer with 130,000 mile

could need a new pitman arm or rag joint or gearbox

Posted on Jun 09, 2009

  • 87 Answers

SOURCE: sloppy steering,play in steering wheel

Nort really, You have rack and pinion gear, Need to check tie rods, inner and outter, wheel bearings and any linkage in the front end first.

Posted on Mar 17, 2010

  • 152 Answers

SOURCE: excessive play in steering wheel. What could be

What year is your vehicle? If it is older and is equipped with a gearbox instead of rack and pinion you need to take the slack out of the gearbox. There is an adjustment nut on top of the gearbox. You will need a ratchet with a long extension and a socket, I think its 17mm. You will see the nut with a slotted post in the middle. Loosen the nut then use a long screwdriver to tighten the screw about 1/4 of an inch. Dont tighten it too much you can cause the steering to bind if you do and ruin your gearbox. Just tighten it enough to take the salck out,. I had to do this on my 95 bronco.

Posted on Apr 07, 2010

  • 1340 Answers

SOURCE: I have a 1988 ford

With all that work done,you should also get a front end alignment as all those components combined could greatly affect the steering.Any front end suspension work as well as new tires should have an alignment done after.If you get it done and still have problems simply reply back to this post and I will get an auto link to read your comment and we can go from there.Good luck! Greg

Posted on Sep 18, 2010

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1 Answer

Viabration through steering wheel ?


There are a couple of things that can cause vibration ie wheel balancing that might be wrong usually vibrates when driving at 100-120 km/hr,ball joints that a worn,wheel hubs bend,steering knuckle excessive play,steering rack excessive play,worn steering UJ,worn steering column....

Apr 12, 2015 | Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

Rack pinion


There is one adjustment to the steering gear, but this doesn't remove very much play in the steering. And once set, I have never seen them back off ( it's the big nut on the back of the rack, break it loose, then turn the inner nut, Just a little through. You get it to tight and it will be hard to turn). If you have a lot of play, look at the tierod ends, inner and out. There are also two universal joints on the steering shaft that could cause a lot of play. One by the rack and one under the dash. There are bushings/bearing that hold the steering shaft in place, These don't cause much left or right play, they will cause the steering wheel to be sloppy at the column.

Sep 07, 2014 | 2004 Ford Expedition

2 Answers

I have a ford focus 2003- today when I exited the car nothing was unusual..when I went to try to go to work the key will go in ignition but won't turn AT ALL. Anyone know what I can do to fix it?


your steering wheel has tension on it - are your front wheels parked against a curb or were you turning your steering wheel while you shut off the car? Try pulling hard left and turning the key. If that doesn't work, pull hard right while turning the key. You may have to pull really hard if you are a smaller person.

Jul 06, 2014 | 2000 Ford Focus

1 Answer

How To Repair Ford Taurus


if the steering wheel is vibrating it may only be tire balancing ,, but whoever put on the tires should have done this ,,, if you jack up te car in front ( and do use axle stands ) catch the wheel top and bottom there should be very little play in it when you rock it ,,, try the same across the wheel ie quarter to 3 ''' if you find excessive play a bearing or steering linkage part is worn ,,,alignment wont cause vibration only uneven tire wear ,,,,,check the play asap because if a balljoint of steering part is badly worn this could become dangerous

Nov 22, 2013 | 2004 Ford Taurus

1 Answer

Play in stering linkage


The most common of all problems in a steering system is excessive steering wheel play. Steering wheel play is normally caused by worn ball sockets, worn idler arm, or too much clearance in the steering gearbox. Typically, you shou Id not be able to turn the steering wheel more than 1 1/ 2 inches without causing the front wheels to move. If the steering wheel rotates excessively, a serious steering problem exists.

An effective way to check for play in the steering linkage or rack-and-pinion mechanism is by the dry-park test. With the full weight of the vehicle on the front wheels, have someone move the steering wheel from side to side while you examine the steering system for looseness. Start your inspection at the steering column shaft and work your way to the tie-rod ends. Ensure that the movement of one component causes an equal amount of movement of the adjoining component.

Watch for ball studs that wiggle in their sockets. With a rack-and-pinion steering system, squeeze the rubber boots and feel the inner tie rod to detect wear. If the tie rod moves sideways in relation to the rack, the socket is worn and should be replaced.

Another way of inspecting the steering system involves moving the steering components and front wheel BY HAND. With the steering wheel locked, raise the vehicle and place it on jack stands. Then force the front wheels right and left while checking for component looseness.

Jun 10, 2012 | 2004 Chevrolet Impala

1 Answer

Hy does my steering wheel have play in it?


Tie rod ends,the Pitman arm,and the idler arm are the most common parts to cause steering wheel play.Even if none of these is worn badly,the play will add up to make it worse.The best way to find the part or parts with excessive play is to observe the linkage while someone moves the wheel back and forth.They should just "twitch" the wheel,not turn it lock to lock.I'm sure you'll see what's worn out(just remember that a little play at the linkage will translate to a lot in the wheel,so if you see ANY exccessive movement that doesn't look right,just replace the part).

Jun 02, 2012 | 1991 Ford F150

1 Answer

2000 Jimmy feels like its floating and lot of play in steering wheel. Best area for problem: torsion bars, sway bars, tie rods shocks?


Hi.. All of the above need checked plus track rods and ends, steering box play, steering column linkages,also at the wheels check the wheel bearings for excessive play and finally the ball joints holding the hub casings. I hope this info is of some help to you please let me know..
Regards Ronnie.

Oct 21, 2010 | 2000 GMC Jimmy

1 Answer

Excessive play in steering wheel. What could be


What year is your vehicle? If it is older and is equipped with a gearbox instead of rack and pinion you need to take the slack out of the gearbox. There is an adjustment nut on top of the gearbox. You will need a ratchet with a long extension and a socket, I think its 17mm. You will see the nut with a slotted post in the middle. Loosen the nut then use a long screwdriver to tighten the screw about 1/4 of an inch. Dont tighten it too much you can cause the steering to bind if you do and ruin your gearbox. Just tighten it enough to take the salck out,. I had to do this on my 95 bronco.

Apr 07, 2010 | 2000 Ford Expedition

1 Answer

1995 Ford Crown Victoria - shakes/vibrates @ highway speeds.


Alignment has alot to do with the tires not shimmying.. Like zero toe setting. Loose componants like tie rod ends and the idler ar worn. You can ck for excess front end play by holding the front and back of the wheel and pushing and pulling on it, like rocking it. OR have someone rock the steering while you watch where the play is from underneath. By rocking I mean turn the steering wheel back and forth. Look at all th joints and pivot points for excess play, which is, movement not immediate to the rest of the steering system. Tire balance is very important. Wheel hop is a sign of a bad tire and it overtaxes the shock absorber. Shocks don't cause shimmy because they are a vertical movement controlA shimmy is lateral or side to side.Wheel balance weights must be spit. If a 2 oz. weight is needed to balance the tire, Oe once should be on the inside of the wheel and one ounce on the outside directly across from each outher.. Loose wheel brgs will cause shimmy, but they would not last long. Caster setting on the wheel alignment will also cause shimmy. Like on a shopping car. too much caster causes the wheel to start fluttering and is very hard on other componants. This may be why you have worn tie rod ends and a bad pitman arm. Worn control arm bushings and ball joints directly affect titre wear and can only be feltwhen the front end hits a dip and detected by side wear on the tire edges. Summary: replace the tie rod end and have the car aligned. Good Luck, -Ned_ sorry about the book

Sep 24, 2009 | 1995 Ford Crown Victoria

1 Answer

The front end and steering wheel shakes when i hit a hole or bump


This usually indicates a problem with the suspension components. Check for play in front end suspension, 1st thing I would check would be the steering damper, it's often overlooked, and could be the cause. If that checks out ok, jack up and check for play in wheels, which could be caused by worn ball joints, tie rod ends, wheel bearings. A lot of possibilities, generally play in any components can trigger the shaking you're experiencing when hitting a pot hole or bump. Good luck!

May 09, 2009 | 1988 Ford F 150

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