Jim Grant's Tech Tips
'97 & '98 GMC, Steering Problems
I own a 98 GMC
1500 Suburban and my dad owns a 97 Chevy 1500 pickup and they have
both developed the same jerky steering problem. When going around righthand
curves and clover leafs the steering suddenly pulls very easily to the
right. I've already replaced the upper control arms with no improvement.
Is it possible that it could be in the speed sensitive steering electronics?
GM has had a couple
of different problems that are steering related. Internal steering box
problems have been an issue. The power steering in both vehicles is computer
monitored and controlled. If a sensor is failing or reporting erroneous
information the Power Steering Control Module (PSCM) can make adjustments
that will change the level of power assist provided. The PSCM is just
making decisions based on information that it deems reliable. If youre
experiencing changes in the steering effort you should have a technician
verify that there are no diagnostic trouble codes for the steering system.
Also be aware that there is a GM Technical Service Bulletin (TSB) # 86-32-06
for diagnosis of a faulty steering wheel speed sensor that will not set
a diagnostic trouble code but will cause the power steering assist to
change. Pinning down erratic steering problems on todays vehicles
is more than checking the fluid or adjusting the drive belt.