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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hopefully this will be a quick question - I'm noticing some "looseness" to my steering lately...like the steering feels like it's rather light or floating (hopefully that makes sense). I've also been noticing a rumble, which seems to be occurring more and more often, which sounds a little like a marble rolling across the floor. And occasionally a "click" or "pop" when I turn the wheel.

I thought it was possibly just because my front tires were very warn - guy at the tire place told me I had about 5,000 miles on them...about 30,000 miles ago. I got the tires replaced earlier this week and had an alignment done. The sounds seemed a little less noticeable for a day, but were rumbling again this afternoon. Last November my husband replaced the tie rod (s?) and cv joint stuff on the passenger side. This is a 2000 ZX2 with 165,000 miles on her.

So my question is, are the noises and looseness in the steering likely symptoms of needing the same work on the driver's side?

Thanks! (Tried doing a search for these symptoms, figuring someone somewhere must have asked before, but kept coming up empty. Oh well.)
 

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The "clicking" noise when turning is often the CV joint (outer joint). Look for grease thrown around the inner fender well as a tell tale sign of a break or crack in the CV joint boot. Yours may not be leaking, but may be worn out due to the high milage. Suspension parts should be treated as you would an algabraic equasion, that is what you do to one side you must do to the other side as well, e.g. brakes, tie rod ends, struts or shocks, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Skyhawk - I know what you mean about the algebraic equation, my husband said almost the same thing last week. Something along the lines of "Dang it. Sounds like Blue is telling me I should have replaced the tie rods and cv joints on both sides." I'm guessing this is what happens when you're not really in the mood to do car repair/maintenance and just want to do what absolutely needs to be done in order to get rolling again. :)

Last fall before we replaced all that stuff on the passenger side we (my husband, my father, my brother-in-law and me) all did the wheel test and there was nothing unusual feeling. All the guys told me that I was just imagining things because they didn't feel any play at all in the wheel and didn't hear anything. But when my nagging and refusal to drive the car until it was repaired finally wore hubby down, everything got taken apart and I wasn't imagining things. The cv joint boot (is that what the squishy cover thingy is called?) was torn and the cv joint bushing (I may have the wrong name there, it was some rubber thingy inside the joint...like the cv joint bursa) was in two pieces. Basically, there was nothing funny feeling about the wheel when we did the standard twist and turn test so it was a lot worse than the guys expected it to be. (This also happened with my timing belt a few years back, I swear...just because I don't know technical terms and tend to be a bit paranoid about my car doesn't mean I don't know when something's not right with her. These guys should start listening to me...or maybe I just need to learn how to do repair work on my own!)


Hmmm...and now that I think about it, I'm fairly certain I remember having the tie rod (rods...are there more than one??) on the driver's side replaced about 3 years ago. That time the guys did the twist and turn test and felt whatever weirdness they're supposed to feel if there's something wrong. It doesn't seem like the tie rod would wear out or break that fast does it. Oh dang...unless running over a fairly large chunk of tree at about 40 mph could break something. I don't really think I noticed any of this weirdness before I hit that hunk of tree. Stupid wind storms and stupid dead trees falling in the road during the night so people won't be able to see them until the last minute and don't have time to avoid it...almost as rude as roadkill deer that aren't considerate enough to drag their carcass off the road before they die, then you hit them and get chunks of dead deer stuck under your car. That stinks! Literally...quite nasty.
 

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I swear...just because I don't know technical terms and tend to be a bit paranoid about my car doesn't mean I don't know when something's not right with her. These guys should start listening to me...or maybe I just need to learn how to do repair work on my own!)
sometimes, i know the feeling. usually jon is pretty good at makng sure the job is done right the first time, so he doesn't have to go back and fix it again. i don't have to nag with him, because he likes doing stuff like that even when it's -30F outside. it's my dad and uncles that i have a problem telling this stuff to.
 

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Just a note. If you still have side to side play in the wheel after replacing outer tie rod. Then more than likely the inner tie rod needs to be replaced also.. A little more of a pain to get this job done. But still can be done by the garage mech..
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
sometimes, i know the feeling. usually jon is pretty good at makng sure the job is done right the first time, so he doesn't have to go back and fix it again. i don't have to nag with him, because he likes doing stuff like that even when it's -30F outside. it's my dad and uncles that i have a problem telling this stuff to.
My husband is great at getting the work done right the first time too, I think it's more that working on yet another thing on this car isn't the funnest thing to do. :) He just replaced the a/c compressor/clutch, accumulator and something else a week and a half ago - that didn't look like it was much fun. Especially since it's freakishly hot lately...maybe we need to get a window a/c unit for the garage!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I was fine without a/c for a while, even once we hit 90 degrees by the beginning of April. But once the temperatures start holding steady in the 90's and we get up to what feels like 100% humidity...a/c becomes quite close to a necessity. Even parking the car in the shade at work, it's like an oven getting in there in the afternoon...and driving an hour home in an oven - not good. It's almost enough to make a person pass out from being overheated.

But other than the risk of heat stroke :) I enjoyed not having a/c. I was getting about 34-36 mpg with no a/c compared to my normal 29-31. Good stuff.
 

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I would also suspect worn inner tie rods at that high milage. I would replace the rack at that milage as the new rack would have new inner tie rods as part of the rack. Compare buying two inner tie rods and the price of a complete rebuilt rack. For a few dollars more you can have a like new steering set up. The brakes, tires, AND suspension and steering parts are your life-line. I wish my wife would tell me when she hears, sees, feels, smells, etc. something odd with HER car. I cannot get her to tell me when it is due for an oil change. How hard is it to divide by 5000?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I wish my wife would tell me when she hears, sees, feels, smells, etc. something odd with HER car. I cannot get her to tell me when it is due for an oil change. How hard is it to divide by 5000?
Maybe she has the same problem I do with remembering when it's time for an oil change...I can't remember to remember what the mileage was when the oil was changed last! :rolleyes: I've even tried writing it down, or getting the little window clings when I buy the oil change stuff, but I usually lose the window cling between leaving the store and when the oil is changed. And if I write the mileage down somewhere completely logical, someplace I could never forget, I'm never in that same state of mind and therefore the same "logic" doesn't apply. Makes me concerned about what I'm going to be like when I get older. :crazy:

But back to the other part of my question...which probably got lost somewhere...the tie rods on the driver's side were replaced 2 1/2 years ago (checked receipts last night), which is probably about 35,000 miles. Does it make sense that they would wear out that quickly, or is it probable (I figure just about anything is possible) that I could have done damage to something when I hit that hunk of tree? The hunk of tree was probably about 10"-12" high and about 15"-18" long, and it hit under the car on the driver's side.
 

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the tie rods on the driver's side were replaced 2 1/2 years ago (checked receipts last night), which is probably about 35,000 miles. Does it make sense that they would wear out that quickly,
yes because it's compensating for the other side going to crap. i'm constantly being told do everything in pairs. "you wouldn't want to do the brakes on just the left side, when both were bad right?" -my dad...
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
yes because it's compensating for the other side going to crap. i'm constantly being told do everything in pairs. "you wouldn't want to do the brakes on just the left side, when both were bad right?" -my dad...
Next question then...would symptoms of tie rod or cv joint damage get worse as it gets hotter outside? I've noticed that the "marble rolling" rumble, "loose" feeling in the steering, etc is worse in the afternoon than it is first thing in the morning. Not just when the car is cold, after sitting for 6 hrs while I'm at work the noises and stuff are more noticeable as soon as I start the car to head home than they were when I started to head to work in the morning.
 

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here's a question for you kcn, does it get worse when you turn, or does it stay the same as straight?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Sometimes I notice a noise when I turn at an intersection, like a pop maybe, but it doesn't happen every time I turn. And sometimes the rumble noise/feeling (I can feel the rumble too) are more noticeable when I turn...right I think, like when I'm driving through a right hand curve in the road. So the noises/feeling doesn't always increase when turning. It seems like they're also little more noticeable when I let off the gas. But they're definitely more noticeable in the afternoon than they are in the morning. I'm driving the same distance in the morning and the afternoon. The exact same route, just the opposite lane. The feeling/sound of the car are different almost as soon as I put it in reverse to back out of my parking spot at work in the afternoon.

....Describing this right now makes me realize why the guys always think I'm imagining things. :)
 
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