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Jim Grant Tech Tips Jim Grant Tech Tips
A collection of helpful articles based on reader submissions
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  Jim Grant's Tech TipsJim Grant's Tech Tips
Below is a collection of Jim Grant's Tech Tips sorted by Vehicle Make. These Tech Tips were answers to questions submitted to Jim by users over the course of many years.
If you have any questions, please feel free to email us.



Lincoln - Mercury
  Jim Grant's Tech Tips

'00 Cadillac STS, Steering Wheel Jerk

Q: The steering wheel on my ‘00 Cadillac STS turns side to side when traveling over mildly rough roads, and to a lesser degree when soft cornering. Dealer mechanics have not offered a conclusive diagnosis.

- Ken

A: Not knowing what has and has not been checked I would first suggest checking the condition & level of the power steering pump fluid and that the serpentine that drives the belt is tight and in good condition, after which the front-end components should be checked. We’ve seen a good amount of tie-rod end problems. They seem to wear and loosen prematurely. A loose or worn tie-rod end can cause a feed back through the steering wheel. If all the front components are tight be sure the steering rack is secured tightly. Once again movement of the steering rack will back feed to the steering wheel. After the steering rack, the intermediate shaft from the steering rack to the steering wheel should be checked for wear. If no external components are found to be loose or worn then there may be an internal power steering problem, which takes us back to the power steering pump. Contaminated power steering fluid can result in undesirable operation of the power steering rack. Contaminants can cause sticking valves that turn into worn valves if left un-serviced. The valve that seems to have the most trouble with contaminants and wear is the pinion spool valve in the steering rack itself. This valve is the control gate for fluid pressure to turn right or left. If this valve is sticking or worn it can get jumpy when the steering wheel is turned. The result is a feeling that someone else is playing with the steering wheel while you’re driving. The bumps in the road cause feed back through the steering that causes the spool valve to act up. If it all leads down to the spool valve being the problem, try having the power steering fluid flushed. If that doesn’t correct the problem you may be replacing the power steering rack.

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