Replaced left & right ball joints. Now when driving the car will **** to the left. Steering wheel goes off center. Jerks again & steering wheel realigns. Also, have had to replace front wheel bearing 5 times. Car is a 2002 Kia Rio. Purchased in 2005 w/35K on it.
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Re: Car jerks to left w/no warning
My opinion, not a good car. But that is a different story. It would be easiest to bring the car in for an alignment. The technician will tell you what the car needs to do the alignment. But if you want to do it yourself then you will need to inspect all the steering componants (tie-rods,struts, lower ball joint, wheel bearings, brakes, wheels, tire wear,tread pattern, and tire pressure, and lug nuts (loose or overtightened). Good luck.
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If the suspension is so worn that the wheel can be wobbled then yes you either have a bad ball joint or a worn tie rod. There are a couple of possible causes. Do you trust your mechanic? If so take his advice and get the ball joint replaced. I would ask him to guarantee that this will fix the problem before letting him work on it though, otherwise it might turn into a job where suddenly, you need this too and this too and this too and a cheap job winds up costing you a ton of money.
I would be looking at the ling pin of front suspension set up for the clunk on full steering lock If you have a live front axle ( one where the diff housing runs from left to right with steering joints at the wheels Like the old jeeps / land cruisers /ford mavericks) there are bearings top and bottom to allow the wheels to turn on steering. These bearings fail regularly (king pin wear) and the resultant movement upsets the running position of the drive axle inside . Hence as the stub axle falls about the u-joint on the drive shaft cannot stay in the correct operating plane and locks up. Have a front end specialist check it out for worn points and ball joints.. If you have an independent front suspension then the problem may be in lower or upper ball joints.
Most likely the problem is either the tie rid ends or the ball joints, my opion is not drive the car until fixed, I have had both break while I was driving and not something to experience, luckly both my issues were at low speeds.To check a ball joint problem jack the car so the wheel spins freely, take both your hands and place one on top of tire an the other on the bottom of the tire and wiggle the tire ,make sure you try to move the wheel towards you NOT side to side (up and down) if any mmovement then it is the ball joint. The tie rod is a little more work how I check is to disconneck the tie rod which consist of remove the cotter key from the bottom of the nut holging the tie rod unscrew the nut pop the tie rod out of the socket and check for mobement if there is movement then tie rod must be replaced, warning any time you replace a tie rod you must then get the car allined.
Sounds like its the Rack & Pinion. Hard turning is a tell-tell sign. I'm wondering if it's also harder to turn left, than it is to the right. It will only get worse, and you may loose steering altogether. Left will usually quit first, and it really gets your attention when it does!!
A good shop can replace it for $400 to $500. Make sure that includes the required front-end alignment. It'll drive like a new one....
Could be steering shaft on bottom of column that connects column to gearbox. Rag joint or u-joints on shaft are dry or seized. Try spraying rubber rag joint & u-joints on steering shaft with a good penetrating oil like PB Blaster. Work steering wheel all the way to left,spray, then turn all the way to right & spray some more.
Removal & Installation
This procedure requires the use of the following special tools: J 9519-E Lower Ball Joint Remover and Installer, J 34874 Booster Seal Remover/Installer, J 41435 Ball Joint Installer, J 45105-1 Ball Joint Flaring Adapter and J 45105-2 Receiver.
On 4WD vehicles, remove the wheel center cap and drive axle nut.
Raise and support the vehicle.
Remove or disconnect the following:
Tire and wheel
Wheel hub and bearing, if necessary
Outer tie rod retaining nut
Out tie rod from the steering knuckle using a suitable puller
Brake hose bracket retaining bolts and bracket
Upper control arm-to-steering knuckle pinch bolt and nut
Upper control arm from the steering knuckle
Lower ball joint retaining nut
Steering knuckle from the lower control arm using a suitable ball joint removal tool
Steering knuckle from the vehicle
Lower ball joint flange with a chisel
Install tools J 9519-E and J 34874 to the lower ball joint, then use those tools to remove the lower ball joint from the lower control arm.
Install or connect the following:
Lower ball joint to the lower control arm, using tools J 9519-E, J 41435 and J 45105-2
Remove the tools from the lower control arm.
Tools J 9519-E and J 45105-1 to the lower ball joint
Flare the lower ball joint flange with J 9519-E and J 45105-1, then remove the tools from the lower ball joint.
Steering knuckle to the lower control arm
Lower ball joint retaining nut and tighten to 81 ft. lbs. (110 Nm)
Upper control arm to the steering knuckle
Upper control arm pinch bolt and nut and tighten to 30 ft. lbs. (41 Nm)
Brake hose bracket to the steering knuckle
Brake hose bracket retaining nuts and tighten to 7 ft. lbs. (10 Nm)
Outer tie rod to the steering knuckle
Outer tie rod retaining nut and tighten to 33 ft. lbs. (45 Nm)
Wheel hub and bearing, if removed
Tire and wheel
Lower the vehicle
Drive axle nut, if 4WD, and tighten to 103 ft. lbs. (140 Nm)