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Old 04-25-2004, 01:42 AM   #1
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Default 2001 Steering Pop

I've done some searching on the forums here and have heard many different things on this issue, but nothing that really sounds like the same problem I have...

What happens is when I steer towards the right I get a 'popping' or binding feeling in the steering wheel about every 10 degrees or so. This will only happen when the steering is under a load (I.E. taking off from a stop and turning right around corners/intersections). When I'm cruising around and just do lane changes, or turns at speed I don't hear/feel anything. When I take off from a stop and make a left hand turn, it is nice and smooth, no problems at all - even when turning the wheel to the right to re-center it after the left turn. The handling feels fine, and still handles corners easily, I just get a 'pop-pop-pop-pop' around right hand corners. The popping feels like it'* coming from the steering column somewhere.

I've only had my car a couple of weeks and am wondering what this problem is. I had my mechanic take a look at this and the only thing he found was my tie rod ends are loose on the car. He said that both sides are loose and should be replaced soon - at about $250 for both and an alignment. He couldn't find any other problems with the rack or anywhere else.

My question is will this be the most likely cause, or should I have them look deeper? I just read a lot of posts about this type of problem and found it to be lubrication issues, or needing shafts replaced. I have a good mechanic who has always served me right in the past.

I am going to have the tie rods replaced in a week and a half (plus some other small things done too). I guess I'll know then if that fixes it, but wanted to hear any other ideas.

Thanks for any info.
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Old 04-25-2004, 11:16 AM   #2
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Is the sound more of a clicking sound than a poping one?
Inspect for worn or damaged outboard joint,cut or damaged seals.
Loose tie rod ends can make a poping sound but I would expect noise in both directions?
Also look at the strut coils, see if it is broken or loose. The weight transfer may make the noise?
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Old 04-25-2004, 03:25 PM   #3
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Thanks for the ideas. Yes, you could describe the sound as a click. I do agree that if it was the tie rods doing it that it would happen when I steer both directions. I haven't had much time to stick my head under the hood yet, but will do this and look for the suggestions you made.
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Old 04-25-2004, 07:43 PM   #4
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Intermediate steering shaft GM Part # 26100571 could be your problem.Had mine replaced at 30k under warranty.
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Old 04-25-2004, 11:15 PM   #5
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Could this also be an upper strut bearing? If so, how would you tell the difference between the bearing and the intermediate shaft problem?
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Old 04-25-2004, 11:29 PM   #6
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i was thinking somewhere in the struts too
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Old 04-25-2004, 11:35 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkFahey
Could this also be an upper strut bearing? If so, how would you tell the difference between the bearing and the intermediate shaft problem?
If the bearing were worn enough the car would pull or wander while driving. The shaft should only clunk while turning the steering wheel.
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Old 04-26-2004, 03:46 AM   #8
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Well, I guess we can bump that week and a half up to tomorrow...

While I was driving today I heard a clunk noise come from somewhere behind me, and found my rear driver side window 3/4 of the way open. Tried the power controls - won't go up or down. I got out and could move the window with my hands up and down. Sounds like the window regular is busted.

I'd order the part and fix it myself, but I don't have time to do it. Plus I can't let it wait till I have time to fix it cause rain will get in - not to mention not being able to drive it. Looks like I get to dump another $300-500 on top of the steering problem. :( Too bad for me that I don't have a warranty.

Oh well. I can't expect to buy a 3 year old car and expect to not have any problems with it. I do feel better now that I vented though. lol. Should be a great car once I get the bugs hammered out...

I will do a reply to this post if the tie rods fix/don't fix the steering popping/clicking noise. I will also mention the other ideas to my mechanic when I bring it in tomorrow. I did look at the springs and they are both fine and it doesn't appear to be bearing problem as the car drives straight as an arrow down the road.
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Old 04-26-2004, 06:39 PM   #9
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Don't get me here,I love my Bonneville but they sure do have alot of problems. My 1995 Taurus was basically a bullet proof vehicle.
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Old 04-26-2004, 11:55 PM   #10
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The Bonnies do have a never-ending appetite for eating window regulators. Maybe someday NAPA or some other aftermarket company will start making them at a reasonable cost.
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