Ball Joints, Tie Rod, Control Arm, Rack & Pinion, Wheel Bearing, Newport News, VA 23605

 

Your vehicle’s steering and suspension system serves many important functions.  It cushions you from bumps and uneven street surfaces.  It prevents important underside components from making contact with the road.  And, last by not least, it allows you to direct your car or truck where you want it to go.

Rack & Pinion

The rack and pinion mounts to the cross member under the engine, and connects the steering wheel to the front tires. It is the center point connecting the steering column to the tie rod assembly, which then connects to the spindles or steering arms. 

 

Wheel Bearing
  • Wheel bearings enable wheels on a car to spin freely and stay secured to the car. Cars have four wheel bearings, one located at each wheel. If the wheel bearings wear out, you will feel the wheels and steering wheel shake.

Tie Rods
  • Without tie rods, your steering system would fail. Tie rods are the pivot point between your steering system and your steering arm and wheel. The outer tie rod end is adjustable. This means that you can change the length of the tie rod to fix your vehicle's alignment.

Struts & Shocks

Shock absorbers and struts do more than just provide a comfortable ride. Their most important function is to influence the control and handling characteristics of your vehicle. Without them, a vehicle would continually bounce and bound down the road, making driving extremely difficult.

Symptoms of Common Steering and Suspension System Issues

Vehicle pulls to one side while driving – tires with different levels of tread wear or inflation can cause this.  It may also indicate that you need an alignment, or that your steering and suspension components have become worn and need replacing.
Continued bouncing after hitting a bump or a pothole – your vehicle will go up or down when you hit a high or low spot in the road, but it should immediately return to smooth driving.  If it doesn’t, the most likely cause is worn shocks or struts, or in some cases a damaged leaf spring.

Steering seems to slip as you hold the wheel in a turned position – low steering fluid, a loose steering pump belt, or worn or damaged steering rack components can cause this.

Steering wheel takes a great deal of effort to turn – this can be caused by a power steering pump going bad, a leaking steering rack, or low power steering fluid.

Steering wheel bounces up and down while traveling at highway speeds or when braking – this can be caused by a number of different things.  Your wheels may be out of balance.  Your tires could be unevenly worn or incorrectly inflated.  You could even have loose wheel bolts or problems with your brake rotors.

Steering wheel “wander” – if you notice your vehicle swaying from one side to the other when you turn the wheel, you might have bad strut bearings or tie rods.  Broken steering rack mounts or worn ball joints also cause this problem.
Knocking or clunking when hitting bumps or cracks in the road – this may be a sign that your shocks or struts need to be replaced.  It can also indicate bad ball joints or strut bearings.
A loud screeching, screaming, or whistling sound when turning the steering wheel – this is often a sign of the steering pump belt being loose or worn out.  It can also indicate problems with the steering pump itself.

© 2015 Economy Auto Repair & Tires Newport News, VA 23605

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