Another odd steering problem - UPDATED (9/22)!! - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


1992-1999 Series I L27 (1992-1994 SE,SLE, SSE) & Series II L36 (1995-1999 SE, SSE, SLE) and common problems for the Series I and II L67 (all supercharged models 92-99) Including Olds 88's, Olds LSS's and Buick Lesabres Please use General Chat for non-mechanical issues, and Performance and Brainstorming for improvements.

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Old 08-25-2006, 11:00 AM   #1
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Default Another odd steering problem - UPDATED (9/22)!!

I have a wierd steering problem that I am trying to diagnose/fix. My steering wheel shakes slightly at all speeds but gets really bad when I brake at high speeds (similar effect to warped rotors). But I know it'* not the brakes otherwise it would wobble only when I brake. Steering is responsive with very slight play in the wheel. It is a bit hard to turn, kinda like it'* fighting me. Not as smooth as it should be, though.

I have replaced the rotors, pads and calipers (my old one'* were seizing) and have bled the system clean of it'* old fluid. The tires have been balanced twice and rotated once. The tires also have correct air pressure. There is plenty of tread on the tires and they are in good shape.

Granted, it is possible it'* the tires, but I am not sure as they are in good condition. I also don't want to just start throwing parts at it for the heck of it. I was thinking it may be ball joints, correct?

I have looked around the forum and I cannot find anything exactly similar to what I am expirencing. Please help!
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Old 08-25-2006, 11:08 AM   #2
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Those symptoms you describe are warped rotors to me.
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Old 08-25-2006, 11:56 AM   #3
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Are your calipers releasing properly? Could one be stuck dur to a bad caliper rubber hose?
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Old 08-25-2006, 12:17 PM   #4
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They appear to be functioning properly. I had my wife pump the brakes as I was under with the bleader screw and they were working great. They grab real nice, too.
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Old 08-25-2006, 12:36 PM   #5
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What you mention doesn't sound steering at all.

Maybe a wheel bearing..but you should hear it groaning.
Maybe a bad wheel or tire...but that wouldn't act like you describe

I'm stuck...on warped rotors...

Hang in...I'm gonna go ask FLash for his inpujt.. ya know..old guys know stuff.
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Old 08-25-2006, 12:58 PM   #6
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I suspect warped rotors as well, and perhaps a collapsing caliper line. I'd suggest having the rotors checked/turned, and replace both front brake lines.
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Old 08-25-2006, 01:10 PM   #7
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Well there is a 'whine' coming from the front end (not sure from where). Might be from the front left side. It almost sounds like wet rubber on wet rubber, no groaning though.

A colapsing caliper line? The rubber hose or steel line?
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Old 08-25-2006, 01:14 PM   #8
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The rubber hose to the caliper itself.

You're in the 'zone' of mileage for them to weaken. They will collapse and prevent the caliper from fully opening back up when the pedal is released, causing the caliper/pads to drag on the warped rotor. This could be why you feel it all the time.

A wheel bearing typically won't cause a 'shimmy'. Warped rotors are common.

Fix the brake lines as a preventive measure, as they will cause the rotors to warp again. Keep in mind that mildly warped rotors can be turned, and may give you another year of service if the warping isn't too bad to turn out. But if they are warped, the BEST option is to simply replace them.
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Old 08-25-2006, 01:26 PM   #9
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Is this a known issue with these cars? Guess I never knew they could collapse. I may just do the bearing assembly just in case. I don't know if it'd be worth turning the rotors, I picked them up at AZ for $25 per (approx.). Might be about the same price to replace them.

Come to think of it, my front driver wheel has more brake dust on it than the other side. I'm talking almost black v.*. grey.




****EDIT: Should that be a dealer part or is that something AZ would have?
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Old 08-25-2006, 01:51 PM   #10
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Definitely go with the dealer on a part like that. It isn't a common problem, except with age. We've probably seen about a dozen cases of this issue in the past year, mostly amongst the 95 and older cars. Age wears on our beasts.

Try NAPA premium rotors. They've had good reviews here, but cost a little more. Also make sure your rear brakes are in good shape. As they wear, they cause the fronts to over-work, increasing the risk of warping.
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