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Old 10-28-2011, 09:36 AM   Thread Starter #1
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Default Steering Wheel Loose/ Rattle U Joints

04 SL- 64k miles. Over left turns, when there are bumps in the road, I can feel a slight rattle, looseness in the steering wheel. When the steering wheel is in the normal position, I get a tiny bit of play (1mm or so) of up and down movement.

I have read before that people have tightened the steering U joints. Is there a write up for this? Any other things to check?
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Old 10-28-2011, 09:53 AM   #2
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Default Re: Steering Wheel Loose/ Rattle U Joints

How about checking your tie rod ends...that would be the first thing I'd look at.
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Old 10-28-2011, 11:11 AM   #3
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Default Re: Steering Wheel Loose/ Rattle U Joints

If its moving up and down I would think that something is up with the mechanism that moves the steering wheel up and down. There should be some some u brackets under the dash that holds the shaft in place, the two screws might be lose. Movement left to right would be issues with your steering rack or bad tie rods like Don had mentioned.
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Old 10-28-2011, 11:59 AM   Thread Starter #4
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Default Re: Steering Wheel Loose/ Rattle U Joints

Thanks for the replies. Really hoping its a loose bracket!
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Old 10-30-2011, 06:59 PM   Thread Starter #5
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Default Re: Steering Wheel Loose/ Rattle U Joints

Well, had a look under the dash. No bolts appear to be loose, the U joint bolts are very tight the way it is. Any advice on how to check tie rod ends?
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Old 10-30-2011, 07:10 PM   #6
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Default Re: Steering Wheel Loose/ Rattle U Joints

Originally Posted by big_c View Post
Well, had a look under the dash. No bolts appear to be loose, the U joint bolts are very tight the way it is. Any advice on how to check tie rod ends?
You have two locations to check on the tie rods, inner and outer. The way you check is by lifting the car up and moving the wheel front to back at 9 and 3. If it moves then you have a bad outer tie rod. If it doesn't, it's good.

To check the inner tie rods, you remove the wheel, disconnect the tie rod from spindle and push it up, if it stays up, it's good, if it's loose and just drops, it bad and need replacement.


Good examples:

Tie rod end

Inner tie rod

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Old 10-30-2011, 07:15 PM   #7
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Default Re: Steering Wheel Loose/ Rattle U Joints

I had this problem about 4 weeks ago.. First went to dealer.. Without even looking he was like it s the motor in telescoping steering wheel $450... I was like BS.. Feels like a bolt is loose.. Sure enough.. Took for screws out.. Took down the piece under the dash board... And there is a bolt on the right side of the steering wheel was loose.. Tightened up with Allen wrench... Good to go... 450$... My ass... Hate the dealer... Love this forum.. Encourages me to take apart stuff and see for my self... I am pretty sure that is where your problem might lie though... Oh yeah the top piece of the steering wheel has to come off to...Click the image to open in full size.
Without ripping my shut all apart again bolt is about right there on both sides...
Good luck
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Old 10-30-2011, 07:17 PM   #8
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Default Re: Steering Wheel Loose/ Rattle U Joints

Originally Posted by Raz76 View Post


You have two locations to check on the tie rods, inner and outer. The way you check is by lifting the car up and moving the wheel front to back at 9 and 3. If it moves then you have a bad outer tie rod. If it doesn't, it's good.

To check the inner tie rods, you remove the wheel, disconnect the tie rod from spindle and push it up, if it stays up, it's good, if it's loose and just drops, it bad and need replacement.


Good examples:

Tie rod end
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=so0vL-ZOwY8

Inner tie rod

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5MkaagWF8ws
+!0 on the demonstration i am sure that will help, i have to change my whole rack and pinion my self getting the pop when i turn wheel.
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Old 10-30-2011, 07:25 PM   #9
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Default Re: Steering Wheel Loose/ Rattle U Joints

Originally Posted by Staggered357 View Post
I had this problem about 4 weeks ago.. First went to dealer.. Without even looking he was like it s the motor in telescoping steering wheel $450... I was like BS.. Feels like a bolt is loose.. Sure enough.. Took for screws out.. Took down the piece under the dash board... And there is a bolt on the right side of the steering wheel was loose.. Tightened up with Allen wrench... Good to go... 450$... My ass... Hate the dealer... Love this forum.. Encourages me to take apart stuff and see for my self... I am pretty sure that is where your problem might lie though... Oh yeah the top piece of the steering wheel has to come off to...Click the image to open in full size.
Without ripping my shut all apart again bolt is about right there on both sides...
Good luck
He already looked there after I had mentioned that bro. He said that it's tight.
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Old 10-30-2011, 08:15 PM   #10
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Default Re: Steering Wheel Loose/ Rattle U Joints

Originally Posted by Raz76 View Post


He already looked there after I had mentioned that bro. He said that it's tight.
No doubt...
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Old 10-31-2011, 03:37 PM   Thread Starter #11
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Default Re: Steering Wheel Loose/ Rattle U Joints

You guys rule- thanks for the pointers. Staggered- I will check those hex bolts next. I previously just checked the 14mm U joint bolts, Although I did see the round hex bolts on the side, will try that next. If that is not the problem, going to move to the tie rod end check.
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