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Old 09-27-2013, 10:20 AM   Thread Starter #1
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Default Clunking In Steering Gear

My '05 has picked up a new noise in the steering somewhere.

It's a fairly loud clunk - clunk - clunk noise from the steering gear somewhere when cranking the steering wheel around a full turn or more.

It only happens when the steering in cranked hard during sharp turns at very low (driveway) speeds, so there's a big load on the system. I mostly hear it when jockeying back and forth in my driveway trying to line her up to get in the garage, or in a parking lot cranking the wheel hard to get into a parking spot.

Hoping this is not something in the steering rack itself. Could it just be the U-joint I see near the firewall where the steering shaft comes through it?

Any advice is appreciated.
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Old 09-27-2013, 12:11 PM   #2
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Default Re: Clunking in Steering Gear

Originally Posted by 05SmokeSE View Post
My '05 has picked up a new noise in the steering somewhere.

It's a fairly loud clunk - clunk - clunk noise from the steering gear somewhere when cranking the steering wheel around a full turn or more.

It only happens when the steering in cranked hard during sharp turns at very low (driveway) speeds, so there's a big load on the system. I mostly hear it when jockeying back and forth in my driveway trying to line her up to get in the garage, or in a parking lot cranking the wheel hard to get into a parking spot.

Hoping this is not something in the steering rack itself. Could it just be the U-joint I see near the firewall where the steering shaft comes through it?

Any advice is appreciated.
I would chck your suspension and steering components.
Although, based on your description, it sound like you need to replace an axle.
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Old 09-28-2013, 09:44 PM   #3
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Default Re: Clunking in Steering Gear

This could be serious, so you need to get on it quick.

You should check your ball joints:
Jack up the driver side of the car on the side tabs so there's no load on the suspension, then grab the tire in the 3 o'clock and 9 o'clock positions with your hands and check for play by alternating pushing and pulling at those positions--kinda what your hands would do when "you're doing the Twist" dance. You're trying to push and pull the in the directions the wheel would turn on the road. If you feel -any- play, you likely have a bad ball joint or wheel bearing. Next put your hands in the 6 o'clock and 12 o'clock positions and do the same thing to check for play (make sure you use a jack stand since your hand will be under the tire). You'll need to muscle it a bit, and if you have play, it will feel and hear a knocking/tapping. You're only trying to move the wheel an inch in each direction and which change to the other direction--like quick rocking action. Ditto on the passenger side.

Before you switch the jack to the other side, pull the front wheel and check the front rubber boots on the CV axles. CV axles usually don't fail unless the rubber boot has failed in some way (cracking, slipped off, ripped). Also, typically only one side gives out and you'll hear/feel a loud ratcheting sound on a hard turn which sounds like what you're describing.

If it's a ball joint, it likely needs to be pressed in, so you're likely going to need to take it into a shop. If it's the CV axle, you have to remove your entire front assembly (brakes, hub and maybe LCA), plus the axle nuts are usually torqued to like 20,000 ft/lb, and sometimes you need a special tool to pop a new one into the tranny--basically this is also a shop job.

If the CV axle knuckle snaps and you're going slow, you hear extremely loud banging, you'll lose forward motion and risk ripping apart brake lines, sensors, wheel well, etc.

If your ball joint gives, your wheel falls off. Mine was failing on my Accord and I couldn't figure out what was causing the creaking sounds. I did a 80 mile stretch on the highway averaging 90 mph, got off my exit and turning into my driveway, wheel feel off and I went into a nice slide.

The point it... you're going to want to fix this quick.

If it's none of those, then I'd guess it's your rack, but I know very little about steering systems.

Good luck!
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Old 09-30-2013, 01:08 PM   Thread Starter #4
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Default Re: Clunking in Steering Gear

Thanks for the advice guys.

Looks like I'll just need to take her in to the shop. Don't think I've got the time or the tools to deal with this myself.

I'll at least put her up on two jacks stands and do the push-pull on the wheel test first just to see if that shows any symptoms.
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Old 10-05-2013, 08:46 PM   #5
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Default Re: Clunking in Steering Gear

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Old 02-06-2014, 05:06 PM   #6
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Default Re: Clunking in Steering Gear

Originally Posted by 05SmokeSE View Post
My '05 has picked up a new noise in the steering somewhere.

It's a fairly loud clunk - clunk - clunk noise from the steering gear somewhere when cranking the steering wheel around a full turn or more.

It only happens when the steering in cranked hard during sharp turns at very low (driveway) speeds, so there's a big load on the system. I mostly hear it when jockeying back and forth in my driveway trying to line her up to get in the garage, or in a parking lot cranking the wheel hard to get into a parking spot.

Hoping this is not something in the steering rack itself. Could it just be the U-joint I see near the firewall where the steering shaft comes through it?

Any advice is appreciated.
having exact same problem in my '06. Did you ever find the cause?
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Old 02-07-2014, 09:37 AM   Thread Starter #7
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Default Re: Clunking in Steering Gear

Originally Posted by acrossawire View Post
having exact same problem in my '06. Did you ever find the cause?
Not yet.

But I've got my car in the shop today for a front end alignment and I'm going to have them check out all of the suspension components when they to.

So, we'll see what they find.
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Old 02-18-2014, 01:10 PM   #8
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Default Re: Clunking in Steering Gear

Originally Posted by 05SmokeSE View Post
Not yet.

But I've got my car in the shop today for a front end alignment and I'm going to have them check out all of the suspension components when they to.

So, we'll see what they find.
Any updates on your issue?
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Old 02-18-2014, 04:46 PM   Thread Starter #9
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Default Re: Clunking in Steering Gear

Originally Posted by Sammaxvq35 View Post
Any updates on your issue?
Yes. Sorry I'm late with responding.

They found a bad tie rod end and had to replace that before they could even do the alignment.

The clunking noise I had is now about 95% gone. I can still hear it a little bit when cranking the steering wheel really hard when not moving much (like when trying to maneuver into a tight parking spot), but it's mostly gone now.
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Old 03-17-2014, 04:27 PM   #10
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Default Re: Clunking In Steering Gear

Have you lowered your car with lowering springs? If so, park your car, leave it on and have someone turn the steering wheel back and forth slowly. While they do that, squat in front of the wheels and take a look at your strut and spring. If you pay close attention, you should be able to hear the noise faintly and see your strut and spring jerk at the same time... My car does the clanking noise, noticed the my struts jerked along with the noise. its lowered on twin springs. feel like it has something to do with that.
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