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    Thread: '06 Ongoing Steering/Handling Issue Summary

    1. #1
      What do you mean there's no turbo? northguest47's Avatar
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      '06 Ongoing Steering/Handling Issue Summary: potentially Solved TBA

      Edit: Now moved to correct forum

      So those who've been following my few posts would know that I've had an ongoing issue with what feels like loose/uneven steering, especially noticeable at highway speeds. The car seems to 'wander a bit' and there is some play in the steering wheel. When I brake the car pulls just a bit to the right, when I accelerate the car pulls an even tinier bit to the left it seems.

      Now, before this issue the steering and handling were precise. So I have a baseline of which to compare.

      Thought maybe it was the power steering rack- when we first lowered the car it was too low and the steering would hit the 'bump stops' or something before full lock. This was new to me, being new to lowering cars, but it occurred to me probably lots of lowered cars have this issue.. but in any case I just decided to never do full lock turns, or hit that 'spot of resistance'.

      However, I did in several instances thinking it was just the tires hitting the cold air intake or the wheel well, and I think that by pushing the power steering too far on occasions, like parking and 3 point turns, perhaps progressively damaged the rack. (Edit: rack not causing the handling issue, its just a co-incidence repair as it failed days before the shop booking)

      And thats where I'm at today, folks - little Sparky is getting her rack replaced.


      Last edited by northguest47; 07-02-2017 at 08:32 AM. Reason: clarity, shorter

    2. #2
      Administrator MetroMPG's Avatar
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      Man, you've been through the wringer on this issue.

      Hope this solves the problem once and for all.

      Fingers crossed for Wednesday.

    3. #3
      Administrator MetroMPG's Avatar
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      aw geez I put this in the wrong forum.. oops i'll see if it can be bumped
      I think it's in the right sub forum? Maybe Daox moved it already.

    4. #4
      Administrator Daox's Avatar
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      Yep I moved it. Hope that fixes your issues too!

    5. #5
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      Your thinking of the rack and steering bottoming out is sort of backward. While you are correct forcing the wheel into the wheel well but continuing to turn the wheel harder can cause damage.. you are more likely to pop the inner tie rod end than damaging the rack internally. The fact that it rubs the car before lock to lock actually means you are using the middle of the gear.

      If you had a stock height car, and didn't rub on anything, and turned the wheel to lock (doing donuts for something) you could damage the rack internally. Although from my experience, your most likely to blow out a CV axle before the rack goes.

      I am interested in your results. The k frame needs to come out to do the rack. It is almost impossible otherwise. But I still think your floating issue is the inner tie rod joint. Which will get replaced with the rack, so I feel confident your issue will be fixed (provided the other things you already named are good). The aveo does not have an OEM part number for the inner tie rod.

      The leak could be related to the K frame issue.. i assume its rusted in place and need cut out? The lines on the rack or to the pump can rust and leak too.


    6. #6
      What do you mean there's no turbo? northguest47's Avatar
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      Car got picked up today, issue is not fixed. Super disappointed.. this was really expensive, 1500 canadian bucks to check steering replace rack and do alignment! (before taxes, 850 labour, 450 for the rack, 65 for bushings, 85 for consumables, 60 for hazmat and sublet) The shop didn't cut out the sub-frame, just two siezed lower engine frame bushings that they had to cut out and replace. The steering rack looked like a leaky shock on one side. No mention of replacing the inner tie rod.
      First time car went to this shop, they replaced the driver side control arm, and serviced the coil-overs. I had pre-purchased the passenger side control arm because that's what I thought it would be.. but they told me it was the drivers side (again?? ok if you say so), so I trusted their judgement, returned the passenger control arm to the auto parts store. Geez its frustrating having spent so much money to not even fix this handling issue!
      Here is my description on the record for all you experienced mechanics out there:
      ----------------------------------------------------------------
      -car steering/frame responsiveness is loosey feeling when you sway the car left to right with steering wheel, only noticeable above 40mph, and more noticeable the faster you go (ie. the more you load up the g-forces)
      -car pulls to the right when braking, really noticeable over 55mph (have to compensate by steering to left on hard brake)
      -if curving to the right and braking the car doesn't stay in line, it again seems to pull to the right causing a fishtail effect where the rear end seems to kick out to the left (have to compensate by steering a bit to the left to correct fishtail, this test is the most noticeable way to show something is wrong because... see next point)
      -if curving to the left and braking the car just pretty much stays in line and follows the curve as it should
      -alternating between flooring it and a hard braking in second gear the car pulls to the right on brake and it seems a much smaller but noticeable pull to the left when accelerating
      My thinking is this points to the front passenger side suspension/steering being loose somewhere. Why? If something is loose on the front passenger side that means under braking load the passenger side wheel could 'toe out' a bit because of the play, whereas the drivers side wouldn't and this could cause the car to pull to the right. Similarly upon accelerating the passenger side wheel could also 'toe in' a bit because of the play, whereas the drivers side wouldn't and consequently this could push the car to the left slightly. Reasonable reasoning, no?
      Ok everyone, that's my logic... now I'm not a negative person, and actually should probably be more assertive at the shop but you know how shops are, yadda yadda we did this, yadda yadda, maybe you just need to drive it some more until it gets worse so we can find it. I mentioned the inner tie rod to the shop before the session.
      Could it be uneven brakes? It could but they were completely replaced just a few years ago... I know what a dragging brake feels like.
      I asked the shop did they really get in there with a crowbar when they were looking for play and they showed me the giant crowbar. Where else can the play come from??!? Geez I said to them look with all the money I've spent I want you to put the car back up on the hoist and get in that passenger side with a crowbar, and tell me again you find nothing. How can this issue be this difficult to diagnose?!?! Two shops, and three separate expensive visits! Ya I just spent a whack 'o jack on 'lil Sparky, and if she goes at least two more years, this shop bill will amortize itself, as I forget how many years have gone by spending nothing. Still this is getting beyond frustrating now. And like I said the motor is in such great shape, I just can't give up on this car. I still think paying to fix this steering/suspension/bushing issue is the smartest way to go, fiscally.
      Stumped I tell you, fellow Aveo friends. Gimme some weekend feedback please, I am open to criticism, optimism, suggestions, consoling for the loss of my hard earned cash on this problem. And if it turns out to be the passenger side control arm or inner tie rod, both of these shops are going to get my full write up, time stamped sequence of events, complete sets of documents/receipts.
      Last edited by northguest47; 07-03-2017 at 12:15 AM. Reason: shorten

    7. #7
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      Even in a parking lot, there are a few things you could check yourself.

      However, you sound like you have all your receipts? looks at what associated parts have been replaced.
      I agree with your further explanation, and reasoning. It sounds like the passenger suspension has something loose.
      While it very well could be the control arm bushings, I wouldn't doubt you if that fixes it. The inner tie rod would act the same, and some of these issues could arise with bad upper strut mounts. It is even possible to experience part of these issues with a stuck caliper or broken/disconnected sway bar (most likely end link if that is the case).

      Here is what you need to try, instead of going from braking to accelerating, does returning to coasting do the same?

      You could use your widow maker and put the passenger side front in the air, and just shake the wheel and tire around a little. You will be able to see if there is movement. Grabbing it a 3 and 9 o'clock would show control arm or tie rod play. If it moves, move it again looking at those parts. (Assuming you know what is what) 12 and 6 will really only show bearings, or upper control arm mounts, which will drop and rest when lifted. If you have bad bearings you should be able to grab the wheel anywhere and wobble the tire.


    8. #8
      What do you mean there's no turbo? northguest47's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by petrified.rabbit View Post
      Here is what you need to try, instead of going from braking to accelerating, does returning to coasting do the same?
      Hmm interesting I'll have to take it out to double test that at different speeds, but on first thought I'm gonna say no, returning to coasting does not do the same, well hmmm it depends on which gear I do in in, because in 2nd if I let off there is still the engine braking effect to account for, is that what you mean, try that test?
      Last edited by northguest47; 06-24-2017 at 02:36 AM.

    9. #9
      What do you mean there's no turbo? northguest47's Avatar
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      Another way to explain, say I start at 75mph and hit the brakes hard six times in sequence each time for half a second taking the car down to 30mph. Every time I hit the brakes the car will pull to the right, when I let off, the car will go reasonably straight. So the car would make a right turning arc overall made up of lines where it was coasting so to speak.
      Also I do not possess a giant crowbar, however so perhaps I can make something out of aluminum tube and bolts and a crowbar.
      Last edited by northguest47; 07-02-2017 at 06:04 AM.

    10. #10
      What do you mean there's no turbo? northguest47's Avatar
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      You know there is far more sway in the front now compared to before when the steering felt precise. The front has more roll, its so clear to me now, far more, say driving 25mph and doing s turns, Rabbit you got me thinking here. One of the last things the shop guy had said to me was that it could be the sway bar bushing, just an off the cuff remark, it was almost as if he was thinking that himself.

      If the sway bar was loose on the passenger side, do you think that would present this elusive steering issue? And pull the car to the right when braking hard? Could this explain why if the shops only take the car around the block at city speeds they don't notice it? Remember the test I mentioned, braking on a right curve caused the car to do all weird behaviour, rolling and fishtailing, yet braking on a left curve was ok.. geez the more I think about my own writing wouldn't this make sense?? I said braking on a left curve seemed fine... a left curve its the front left sway bar connection taking all the stress (or maybe think I have this backwards). On a right curve which is where the car felt all wonky that would be the front right sway bar connection.
      I'm taking all the considerations and going through here, but heres where I'm at

      Could it be the front passenger side strut mount? (they were replaced with the suspension)
      Could it be the front passenger control arm? (supposed to have been checked 3 times already)
      Could it be the inner tie rod? (supposed to have been checked 3 times already)
      Could it be the front sway bar? (unknown if checked, emphasis added)
      Could it be the sub-frame, since it wasn't replaced? (I thought they were replacing it, but just the two bushings)

      Ok I can do the crowbar test on the wheel, how do I test the sway bar bushings? (same end-links kit from the original install)




      Last edited by northguest47; 07-02-2017 at 02:51 AM.

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