steering wobble

steering wobble

Postby visitor [OP] » January 30th 2010, 1:04am

This has been going on well over a year now, a generally subtle side-to-side wobble of the steering wheel that occasionally gets more noticeable. It can be felt when braking, but not in the pedal at all. We've had it aligned and had the front suspension parts checked for looseness, but there are no obviously bad components.
The (hydroboost) pump does whine, but maintains power braking and steering always. It is not the original pump - was replaced before we bought the van. There is a slight stain on the front fluid line, but the reservoir can go 6 months or more without noticeably losing fluid. We did flush to synthetic ps fluid, but there was no detectable performance difference.
Is it likely the steering wobble is related to the pump whine? I have checked other posts regarding similar symptoms, but there don't seem to be definitive solution posted to this specific issue.
Thanks!
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Re: steering wobble

Postby roger » January 30th 2010, 1:13am

just had that problem with my 94 astro the brake rotors were warped and had to be replaced now the wobble when braking is gone
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Re: steering wobble

Postby Mr_Bowtie » January 30th 2010, 3:22am

What year is said Van and how many miles?

Possible play in steering gear box? :shrug:
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Re: steering wobble

Postby astroturf » January 30th 2010, 3:47am

Could be a worn steering box, tire/wheel balance problem, warped rotors, broken belts in your tires. The list goes on and on. Where in the world of Astro are you located?
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Re: steering wobble

Postby astroturf » January 30th 2010, 3:52am

Just had a thought. Awd eat idler arm assy. When were yours last replaced, and with what brand?
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Re: steering wobble

Postby Mr_Bowtie » January 30th 2010, 3:56am

Turfs right the posibilties are endless. Might wanna consider taking it to another shop for a second opionon.

Could try rotating the tires and see if that helps. Your Van is AWD so you want to criss cross them front to back.
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Re: steering wobble

Postby astro355 » January 30th 2010, 6:25am

Mr_Bowtie wrote:Turfs right the posibilties are endless. Might wanna consider taking it to another shop for a second opionon.

Could try rotating the tires and see if that helps. Your Van is AWD so you want to criss cross them front to back.


Differently check the tires by rotating them and seeing if the wobble in the steering wheel goes away. I had this problem a month ago with a bad tire. It went something like this and caused the steering wheel to "wobble" horribly.

[youtube]<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/VjfcPOGGUSE&hl=en_US&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/VjfcPOGGUSE&hl=en_US&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>[/youtube]
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Re: steering wobble

Postby visitor [OP] » January 30th 2010, 1:01pm

There is no sensation in the pedal - only in the steering wheel - when braking, which is why I don't suspect the rotors.
We run a different set of tires summer & winter. Summer we pull the ATC fuse & run mismatched tires. Winter we rotate & run matching tires, with no apparent tread/belt wear.
This is still a fairly subtle symptom @ 108K, but hoping to track it down & fix before it worsens.
I will carefully check the steering gear adjustment...
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Re: steering wobble

Postby astroturf » January 30th 2010, 3:44pm

Who checked your front end for wear?

Have you taken a dial indicator to your rotors?

Where in the world of Astro are you located?
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Re: steering wobble

Postby astro355 » January 30th 2010, 5:18pm

visitor wrote:There is no sensation in the pedal - only in the steering wheel - when braking, which is why I don't suspect the rotors.
We run a different set of tires summer & winter. Summer we pull the ATC fuse & run mismatched tires. Winter we rotate & run matching tires, with no apparent tread/belt wear.
This is still a fairly subtle symptom @ 108K, but hoping to track it down & fix before it worsens.
I will carefully check the steering gear adjustment...


Ok, the best bet would be to rotate the tires and see if the wobble follows the tire(s). Or are you saying that you have noticed this problem over a period of time with different tires on the van?
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Re: steering wobble

Postby visitor [OP] » January 30th 2010, 10:58pm

astroturf wrote:Who checked your front end for wear?

Firestone, who did the lifetime 4 wheel alignment & Monro, who did our most recent inspection. I deal with the guys @ this Monro & they're pretty knowledgeable.
astroturf wrote:Have you taken a dial indicator to your rotors?

No, but, again, wouldn't I feel this in the pedal?
astroturf wrote:Where in the world of Astro are you located?

CNY

astro355 wrote:...are you saying that you have noticed this problem over a period of time with different tires on the van?

Yup
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Re: steering wobble

Postby astro355 » January 31st 2010, 12:07am

If the rotors were warped, you would feel it in the pedals. And if its not the tires, I would take this a little more seriously. Possible culprits are:

-wheel bearings
-idler arms
-tie rod ends (inner and/or outer)
-steering gearbox
-power steering pump
-low fluid level
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Re: steering wobble

Postby therealmckoy » April 12th 2010, 4:36pm

i have a 97 astro and i got a wobble when i adjusted my steering rack, now is it a wobble like shaking or bump in the tire or is it a wondering in the lane? get the van off the ground by jack and push and pull in all directions to find the play, shove your buddy under to look for moving parts ie ball joints idler arms.
if its a wondering in the lane adjust your rack but very very small!! amounts hope this helps!
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Re: steering wobble

Postby ShAgSTRO » May 3rd 2010, 2:52am

I always thought this was normal, my tahoe kinda wobbled and my astro now wobbles (a bit more noticeable though). My dad took it to a mechanic when he had the van and the mechanic even said it was normal. Plus I looked it up and everywhere I look, says that the stros have bad handling so I haven't paid any mind to it. Mine wobbles when driving straight, less of a wobble actually, more of a sway...is this normal for the stros?

sorry for the piggy backing, might help others though :D
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