Pull is a tugging sensation, felt by the hands on the steering wheel, that must be overcome to keep the vehicle going straight.
Drift describes what a vehicle with this condition does with hands off the steering wheel.
- A vehicle-related drift/pull, on a flat road, will cause a consistent deviation from the straight-ahead path and require constant steering input in the opposite direction to counteract the effect.
- Drift/pull may be induced by conditions external to the vehicle (i.e., wind, road camber).
Excessive Steering Wheel Play
Excessive steering wheel play is a condition in which there is too much steering wheel movement before the wheels move. A small amount of steering wheel free play is considered normal.
Feedback is a roughness felt in the steering wheel when the vehicle is driven over rough pavement.
Hard Steering or Lack of Assist
Hard steering or lack of assist is experienced when the steering wheel effort exceeds specifications. Hard steering can remain constant through the full turn or occur near the end of a turn. It is important to know the difference between hard steering/lack of assist and binding.
Hard steering or lack of assist can result from either hydraulic or mechanical conditions. It is extremely important to know if this concern occurs during driving, during very heavy or static parking maneuvers.
Sometimes confused with shimmy, nibble is a condition resulting from tire interaction with various road surfaces and observed by the driver as small rotational oscillations of the steering wheel.
Poor Returnability/Sticky Steering
Poor returnability and sticky steering is used to describe the poor return of the steering wheel to center after a turn or the steering correction is completed.
Shimmy, as observed by the driver, is large, consistent, rotational oscillations of the steering wheel resulting from large, side-to-side (lateral) tire/wheel movements.
Shimmy is usually experienced near 64 km/h (40 mph) , and can begin or be amplified when the tire contacts pot holes or irregularities in the road surface.
Wander is the tendency of the vehicle to require frequent, random left and right steering wheel corrections to maintain a straight path down a level road.