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Old 09-23-2010, 06:25 PM   #1
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Steering wheel jabs in the opposite direction while turning

I recently got my front upper and lower control arms replaced. Since then Ive noticed that my steering sort of jabs in the opposite direction while turning.

So for example while turning right into my driveway or at even a slight bend at high speeds (on the highway for example), my steering wheel tries applies force in the opposite direction (left). Its not a constant pull...pulls then if I hold it steady it goes back to normal, then pulls again and back to normal.

Im guessing this has something to do with the power steering system, but anyone have any clue?

I got an alignment done today, and that seems to have reduced the pulling force but its still noticeable.
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2002 Mercedes-Benz C230 Coupe
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Old 09-23-2010, 09:47 PM   #2
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I guess a better way to describe the problem is a sort of pulsating in the opposite direction that Im trying to turn at a specific turn angle. Turning more or reducing the turn makes the pulsating go away.
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Old 09-24-2010, 09:20 AM   #3
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*BUMP

Any power steering system experts??
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Old 09-24-2010, 12:23 PM   #4
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My guess is that you need an alignment. Any time you change suspension components, you will need to do one.
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Old 09-24-2010, 12:26 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by capt_paul View Post
My guess is that you need an alignment. Any time you change suspension components, you will need to do one.
Thanks.

However I did get an alignment done and while it reduced the pulsating force, it is still there and quite noticeable.
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Interior white LED lighting with current drain resistor
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Old 09-24-2010, 02:56 PM   #6
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If this just started happening after work was done on suspension components then that would be the FIRST place to look. It sounds like something is loose and allowing one of the wheels to flop around. Lift them up and man handle them in all directions to feel for slop. You'd think this would be part of an alignment but you never know.
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Old 09-24-2010, 03:21 PM   #7
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Why not take it back to the place that did the suspension work? My indy mechanic will bend over backwards to make me happy. If even the slightest thing is not to my satisfaction they will keep at it until I'm satisfied - and I only ever pay for the initial work, even if it has to be re-done.
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Old 09-24-2010, 05:51 PM   #8
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i'm guessing you did not replace the tie-rod?
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Old 09-24-2010, 08:19 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by mleskovar View Post
If this just started happening after work was done on suspension components then that would be the FIRST place to look. It sounds like something is loose and allowing one of the wheels to flop around. Lift them up and man handle them in all directions to feel for slop. You'd think this would be part of an alignment but you never know.
Checked that. The reason I changed the control arms was because the wheels had a lot of play in them. No play after fixing it

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Originally Posted by LILBENZ230 View Post
Why not take it back to the place that did the suspension work? My indy mechanic will bend over backwards to make me happy. If even the slightest thing is not to my satisfaction they will keep at it until I'm satisfied - and I only ever pay for the initial work, even if it has to be re-done.
Yeah I had a huge arguement with this shop. They just claim they didnt touch the power steering system so theres nothing they can do about it. I really wish I had as nice an Indy mechanic as that..
Im in the middle of a move from Ottawa to Toronto. Once I move the first thing Im going to try to do is find a good mechanic there. Ottawa is a pretty small town and good (and reasonably priced) shops are rare to find!

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i'm guessing you did not replace the tie-rod?
Nope didnt touch the tie rod. Just the front upper and lower control arms and endlinks. What are the symptoms of a work tierod? Is that something I should look into?
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Old 09-24-2010, 08:22 PM   #10
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Is it possible that an air bubble in the power steering fluid could cause this? I dont know how the air bubble got in there though!
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Old 09-24-2010, 08:47 PM   #11
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I think the power steering is a red herring, I could be wrong though. If you are at a stop and turn the wheel does it kick back? I'm betting it doesn't. Nothing in the power steering mechanism should have been disturbed for the parts you had replaced although you could have a coincidental failure of the mechanism. It's a robust system that usually lasts the life of the car. Turning the wheels lock to lock several times removes any air bubbles. Did you have the control arms replaced because of wear or was there an "incident" that lead up to replacing them?
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Old 09-24-2010, 09:34 PM   #12
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tie-rod is a ball-joint at the end. when it fails it would cause steering slop and possibly what you are experiencing. I would suggest replacing the tie-rod as well before further diagnosing the issue.
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Old 10-02-2010, 03:16 PM   #13
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I think the power steering is a red herring, I could be wrong though. If you are at a stop and turn the wheel does it kick back? I'm betting it doesn't. Nothing in the power steering mechanism should have been disturbed for the parts you had replaced although you could have a coincidental failure of the mechanism. It's a robust system that usually lasts the life of the car. Turning the wheels lock to lock several times removes any air bubbles. Did you have the control arms replaced because of wear or was there an "incident" that lead up to replacing them?
Nope no "incident" lol.

The bushing were completely worn and I was getting lots of noises etc while going over bumps and vibrations while turning at high speeds (like bends in the highway etc).

Also, the steering wheel kick does happen even when the car is stationary. So if I turn on the engine with the car in park and turn the steering wheel one full rotation in either direction, it starts to kick back int he opposite direction and pulsate. Such a weird problem...most Indy guys I take my car to say they've never seen this before...:S


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tie-rod is a ball-joint at the end. when it fails it would cause steering slop and possibly what you are experiencing. I would suggest replacing the tie-rod as well before further diagnosing the issue.
ANy pics of the tie-rod Frank? Still cant figure out which ball joint youre referring to. Theres the lower and upper control arms and a third arm that is she steering control arm right. Is that the tie rod?
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AVIC F-700BT
Interior white LED lighting with current drain resistor
White LED license plate lights
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55W 6000K DDM HID's with Xenon = Present
White LED city lights with current drain resistors
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Old 10-02-2010, 06:42 PM   #14
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...Also, the steering wheel kick does happen even when the car is stationary. So if I turn on the engine with the car in park and turn the steering wheel one full rotation in either direction, it starts to kick back int he opposite direction and pulsate....
That does sound like a PS problem then. Too much PS fluid? Check the belt and tensioner carefully. With the hood up and someone turning the steering wheel slowly from lock to lock look and see if there's anything out of the ordinary that relates to the kick backs (belt or tensioner jumping up and down etc.) Go for the easy (relatively) guess first if everything external checks out.....the pump.
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Old 10-05-2010, 10:00 AM   #15
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That does sound like a PS problem then. Too much PS fluid? Check the belt and tensioner carefully. With the hood up and someone turning the steering wheel slowly from lock to lock look and see if there's anything out of the ordinary that relates to the kick backs (belt or tensioner jumping up and down etc.) Go for the easy (relatively) guess first if everything external checks out.....the pump.
Ive checked the PS fluid. Did have to siphon out a little bit to get it to within spec, but the problem still exists.

I tried the bleed procedure and did see some bubbles in the reservoir initially. But they ultimately stopped...problem still exists.

Any way you could snap a few pics of which belt/tensioner I should be checking? I am a total noob to the PS system!!

Also, is the pump an expensive part to replace?

Thanks very much!
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AVIC F-700BT
Interior white LED lighting with current drain resistor
White LED license plate lights
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55W 6000K DDM HID's with Xenon = Present
White LED city lights with current drain resistors
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Old 10-05-2010, 11:03 AM   #16
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PS pump is listed for $397 on RMeuropean site. It's not that much work to replace the PS pump (remove belt, remove PS fluid from reservoir, remove PS reservoir, remove PS pump, replace in reverse).

If you are going to replace the PS pump, make sure you replace the seal/o-ring and the lock pin at the PS pump to reservoir connection as well as the PS reservoir itself. PS reservoir is about $23 and the o-ring is couple of dollars and the lock pin is couple of dollars.

Last edited by pcy; 10-05-2010 at 11:05 AM.
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Old 10-05-2010, 12:23 PM   #17
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jc - If you hold the steering at full lock so that the pressure release valves have to open. You should hear a slight swishing noise as long as there is no air in the system in which case it will shreak. Is this swishing noise constant at either lock or do you hear or feel some pulsation?
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Old 10-05-2010, 09:01 PM   #18
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PS pump is listed for $397 on RMeuropean site. It's not that much work to replace the PS pump (remove belt, remove PS fluid from reservoir, remove PS reservoir, remove PS pump, replace in reverse).

If you are going to replace the PS pump, make sure you replace the seal/o-ring and the lock pin at the PS pump to reservoir connection as well as the PS reservoir itself. PS reservoir is about $23 and the o-ring is couple of dollars and the lock pin is couple of dollars.
Thanks pcy.

If the PS pump is diagnosed as causing the problem, Im going to come to you for help on a DIY.

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jc - If you hold the steering at full lock so that the pressure release valves have to open. You should hear a slight swishing noise as long as there is no air in the system in which case it will shreak. Is this swishing noise constant at either lock or do you hear or feel some pulsation?
Glyn,
Just went out and tried your test. When at full lock in either direction, I hear a swooshing (no shreiking) and the swooshing is constant. Also, no pulsation in the wheel or the sound.
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AVIC F-700BT
Interior white LED lighting with current drain resistor
White LED license plate lights
Clear headlights
55W 6000K DDM HID's with Xenon = Present
White LED city lights with current drain resistors
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Lowered on 2005+ Sport Suspension
Side KOMPRESSOR decals
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Old 10-05-2010, 09:04 PM   #19
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Stopped by the local stealership today. His quick (based on the symptoms only without lifting the car up) was that the "outer seals on the rack" are bent, so I need a new rack ($2570 + 3 hours labor )

I told him that the problem started right after a local Indy shop replaced the upper and lower control arms, and he said they mightve damaged the rack while hammering out the control arm ball joints from the receptacle.

Based on the symptoms, any truth to this diagnosis?

Or as Frank mentioned, is it only the tie-rod ends that might be causing the problem?
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Interior white LED lighting with current drain resistor
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55W 6000K DDM HID's with Xenon = Present
White LED city lights with current drain resistors
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Old 10-06-2010, 07:25 AM   #20
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It does not sound like you have a pump problem.

I don't know what the dealer is talking about regarding "bent" seals ???? sounds like BS to me. Are the rack boots filling up with oil?

Sort the tie rod ends & then have a look at a rack rebuild - No need to pay a stealer for a new one.
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Old 10-06-2010, 10:35 AM   #21
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It does not sound like you have a pump problem.

I don't know what the dealer is talking about regarding "bent" seals ???? sounds like BS to me. Are the rack boots filling up with oil?

Sort the tie rod ends & then have a look at a rack rebuild - No need to pay a stealer for a new one.
Phew...thats a relief!

I haven't had a chance to lift the car up and take a look at the boots. I think what he meant was that the actual rack is bent. He was a French guy with pretty bad English and Im an American with pretty bad French. Didn't really help with the communication...lol

Because he didn't even lift he car up, I'm still hoping that its only a worn/bent tie-rod that needs to be replaced. Meanwhile some ****er keyed my car when I was down in Toronto looking at my new condo. Will have pics up soon.

So dealing with insurance to get that fixed first. Will take a look at this problem once I get my car back.
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2002 Mercedes-Benz C230 Coupe
Black on Black leather
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Automatic
Pano-roof
AVIC F-700BT
Interior white LED lighting with current drain resistor
White LED license plate lights
Clear headlights
55W 6000K DDM HID's with Xenon = Present
White LED city lights with current drain resistors
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Lowered on 2005+ Sport Suspension
Side KOMPRESSOR decals
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Old 10-07-2010, 01:52 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by FrankW View Post
tie-rod is a ball-joint at the end. when it fails it would cause steering slop and possibly what you are experiencing. I would suggest replacing the tie-rod as well before further diagnosing the issue.
Thanks Frank..

The more research i do, the more Im starting to believe that this is the problem.

The car is at the body shop now getting repainted, but Ill check it out once I get it back
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2002 Mercedes-Benz C230 Coupe
Black on Black leather
Heated seats
Automatic
Pano-roof
AVIC F-700BT
Interior white LED lighting with current drain resistor
White LED license plate lights
Clear headlights
55W 6000K DDM HID's with Xenon = Present
White LED city lights with current drain resistors
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Lowered on 2005+ Sport Suspension
Side KOMPRESSOR decals
DRL = Off
-------------
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Old 10-07-2010, 02:41 PM   #23
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I don't think a failed tie-rod would jab the steering in the opposite direction. Failed tie rod or tie rod ends show the signs of loose steering and steering shake and the front wheels may shake as well.
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Old 10-07-2010, 03:47 PM   #24
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I don't think a failed tie-rod would jab the steering in the opposite direction. Failed tie rod or tie rod ends show the signs of loose steering and steering shake and the front wheels may shake as well.
Would a bent rack cause these symptoms?
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2002 Mercedes-Benz C230 Coupe
Black on Black leather
Heated seats
Automatic
Pano-roof
AVIC F-700BT
Interior white LED lighting with current drain resistor
White LED license plate lights
Clear headlights
55W 6000K DDM HID's with Xenon = Present
White LED city lights with current drain resistors
Gloss black silver arrow grill
Lowered on 2005+ Sport Suspension
Side KOMPRESSOR decals
DRL = Off
-------------
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Old 01-03-2011, 09:20 PM   #25
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So got this examined while doing some other work on the car. The mechanic boiled the problem down to either the steering rack or the power steering pump. He test drove the car and said that it feels like the system is pressurizing...then losing pressure momentarily..and re-pressurizing, and so he thinks some rack valves might have broken.

What Ive decided is to try and DIY replace the power steering pump first and see if that fixes the problem. If it doesnt, then look into replacing the entire steering rack.

What do you guys think?

Also, is there any other symptoms to look for for a bad power steering pump? Is the power steering replacement an easy DIY?
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2002 Mercedes-Benz C230 Coupe
Black on Black leather
Heated seats
Automatic
Pano-roof
AVIC F-700BT
Interior white LED lighting with current drain resistor
White LED license plate lights
Clear headlights
55W 6000K DDM HID's with Xenon = Present
White LED city lights with current drain resistors
Gloss black silver arrow grill
Lowered on 2005+ Sport Suspension
Side KOMPRESSOR decals
DRL = Off
-------------
Nextmods: LED strip DRL's/fogs, 18' wheels
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Old 01-03-2011, 09:20 PM
 
 
 
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