Automation in automotive industry.

How to Diagnose Problems with steering

Problems to look for include the following:

  1. Bump steering :Steering veers to one side when the vehicle hits a bump. This may indicate the steering rack is not level or that the steering arms are bent. This also can occur if the parallelogram steering linkage is not level.
  2. Excessive steering wheel play :Caused by loose or damaged steering linkages, tie-rod ends or damaged steering column bearings. It also can be caused by a damaged steering gear or loose steering gear bolts.
  3. Difficult or hard steering :Causes include a damaged steering pump or damaged steering column bearings, along with internal damage in the power rack assembly or seized steering column U-joints.
  4. Drifting or pulling :The result of loose or damaged steering linkages or a damaged steering gear valve. In addition, the vehicle may simply need a wheel alignment.
  5. Excessive road feedback :Causes include loose or damaged steering linkages, tie-rod ends, steering gear mounting bolts and column bearings. It also can be the result of loose or damaged steering column bearings.
  6. Failure to return to center position :This may indicate binding in the ball joints, steering gear and linkage. It also can be caused by unbalanced power assist, such as the power steering fluid not being routed in the correct direction.
  7. Off-center steering wheel that doesn’t pull :The steering linkage may have been knocked off center when the toe was adjusted. Other causes include bent steering arms and linkage.
  8. Sticking or poor return :This can be caused by binding steering column bearings, a binding U-joint and/or loose or damaged steering linkages and tie-rod ends.
  9. Wandering :This is caused by loose or damaged steering gear bolts, along with loose or binding steering linkages and tie-rod ends. Other causes include loose steering column U-joint bolts and improper steering gear preload adjustments.When the test drive is over, check the vehicle again for any leaks. Put the vehicle back on the rack and inspect all steering components carefully for any evidence of a leak. During this process, be sure to turn the steering wheel its full rotation to the left and right, making sure the wheels turn with it appropriately.

    When the vehicle is returned, you can ask the vehicle owner to be observant for any unusual conditions. To help prevent false alarms, give your customers specific conditions to look for: rattling noises, pulling, difficult steering, etc. If possible, give them a checklist with simple descriptions. Steering systems could be just one component of this checklist. In addition, remind customers that their vehicle might feel odd or unfamiliar at first simply because they haven’t driven it for a while

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