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Wandering Steering


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:angry: Hi All,

I'm looking for suggestions. I have a 1994 STS, The steering seem's too loose. Whenever i'm on the parkway going arounnd curves, i have too turn the steering wheel alittle extra to go around the curve . I greased the ball joint's which looked like the havent been greased in years. I do get RSS codes S061 and So62 which is right front height sensor, and left rear height sensor could this be the problem?

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The first thing that grabs my eye in your post is, "which looked like they haven't been greased in years". With that thought in mind, your problem could be many things, yes it could be bad ball joints, bad tie rods, bad bushings, links, or bad rack. Does this problem only occur going left or going right or does it occur turning both directions? The left front and right rear sensors codes could be contributing to this but I don't know the system well enough yet to opine on that. I am not sure what happens when you get those codes, the entire system may shut down, but I am not sure what the default for the strut is, soft or hard, probably soft, which may be what you are picking up. Hopefully someone that knows how the suspension works can chime in on that.

My advice is to get the car up in the air and check for looseness by grabbing the wheels at 3 and 9 o'clock and 12 and 6 o'clock and try to move the wheels manually. Any play should be investigated. Look for worn components. How are your tires wearing, is there any moaning at highway speeds or on turns? How is it hitting bumps? How are the tires, what is the pressure? Are the tires all the same size? Is is shimmying? Are the bumps transmitted to your steering wheel. Its seems that you have one or more worn components. You also may have alignment problems. It sounds like your car is seriously understeering. This is a difficult thing to diagnose here. In reality you should have your front end inspected by a knowledgeable front end shop.

When you get it fixed, realize that the suspension needs greasing every other oil change.

Early on sailors navigated by the stars at night and the North star became the symbol for finding ones way home. Once you know where the Northstar is you can point your ship in the right direction to get home. So the star became a symbol for finding ones way home or more symbolically even finding ones path in life.

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Hi Scotty,

Thank's for replying. I had my car at the shop two months ago because i thought it needed a wheel alignment. When the car was on the lift, i did grab the tires on both sides, there was no play at all. The car sits level. did the shock and spring test all were tight. The car goes over bumps fine, no vibration in the steering wheels. There is no visable wear on the tires, they look fine. The person that i brought the car from did change the tires from the Z-rated, to BF Goodrich HR-rated.

As far as the loosness in the steering wheel it happens in either direction. Today i took a turkey baster and drained the fluid out of the power steering box and added a pint of Lucus Oil Power Steering and Rac conditioner. After driving it did feel a little tighter. Maybe my rac is getting worn.

Would draining the whole system and changing the filter help? The car has 109,410.00 on it. I know the car has alway's been serviced by Cadillac but i don't know if or when the fluid has ever been changed.

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Hi Scotty,

  Thank's for replying. I had my car at the shop two months ago because i thought it needed a wheel alignment. When the car was on the lift, i did grab the tires on both sides, there was no play at all. The car sits level. did the shock and spring test all were tight. The car goes over bumps fine, no vibration in the steering wheels. There is no visable wear on the tires, they look fine. The person that i brought the car from did change the tires from the Z-rated, to BF Goodrich HR-rated.

As far as the loosness in the steering wheel it happens in either direction. Today i took a turkey baster and drained the fluid out of the power steering box and added a pint of Lucus Oil Power Steering and Rac conditioner. After driving it did feel a little tighter. Maybe my rac is getting worn.

Would draining the whole system and changing the filter help? The car has 109,410.00 on it. I know the car has alway's been serviced by Cadillac but i don't know if or when the fluid has ever been changed.

Hmm, if you have checked the suspension and dont have radiated slamming or noise in the front end it doesnt appear to be mechanical. You also checked the alignment. The HRs vs the Z rated tires would certainly loosen it up but not that much. No serious tire wear is good... There used to be a lash adjustment on the steering box that you could tighten a 1/4 turn and tighten the steering, I wonder if there is something similar on the rack. I dont think changing the fluid would tighten it up. Ill look at my manual and check back later. Check the stabilizer links, stabilizer bushings and strut rod bushings (#4 below) wear in those parts will dramatically loosen up the front end. Let me digest this.. Mike

post-3-1104100559.jpg

Early on sailors navigated by the stars at night and the North star became the symbol for finding ones way home. Once you know where the Northstar is you can point your ship in the right direction to get home. So the star became a symbol for finding ones way home or more symbolically even finding ones path in life.

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Here is some food for thought, Mike

WOW, it covers a lot of what we spoke about already, alignment, tires, ball joints, tie rods, stabilizers, rack. I assume the tires all around are the same size, tread design and proper pressure. Have someone drive the car and ride behind it and see if you are dog-tracking.

It certainly is leaning toward steering rack, I wonder how the rack is tested for looseness, you said you grabbed the tires at 9 and 3 o'clock and there was not play. How does the power steering pump sound? Its possible that you have too much assist due to too much fluid pressure, what do you think about changing the fluid and filter? Maybe the filter is causing a high pressure condition, unless its on the return side and not affecting anything. How is your ride height, could you have weak springs? Have a look at the friction damper on the steering column. Do you have a manual? Mike

post-3-1104112110.jpg

Early on sailors navigated by the stars at night and the North star became the symbol for finding ones way home. Once you know where the Northstar is you can point your ship in the right direction to get home. So the star became a symbol for finding ones way home or more symbolically even finding ones path in life.

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What up all, All the tires are the same size. i guess it must be the RAC. Everything else is fine. Even with the past owner going from ZR-rated to HR. When i had the ailgnment done it was almost perfect. I gues i will check the height sensors and the Rac. I know there is a few steps to checking the height sensors. Something may be stuck. I will deal with the problem for now, When it gets warm i will go over the whole car i live in New York and its cold. My cadi is a 1994 STS and i'm not asahmed to say i brought it for $500.00 from someone i worked with because of the tranny not shifting I only invested $1,000.00 to fix a car that was always serviced by Cadillac . The car runs like a bat out of hell.

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Where in NY are you? I'm on Long Island. Mike

Early on sailors navigated by the stars at night and the North star became the symbol for finding ones way home. Once you know where the Northstar is you can point your ship in the right direction to get home. So the star became a symbol for finding ones way home or more symbolically even finding ones path in life.

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I also have a 94 STS and get both SO61 and SO 62. These codes set the "Service Ride Control Message" and will set all the four struts to full firm. The suspension will act at its firmest setup until you repair your problem and eliminate those codes.

I suggest you check your inner tierodes by opening the wheel and pushing them in and out to see if there is any play in them.

The tightness you are experiencing after the power steering fluid dranage is probably due to the remaining air in the system. Did you bleed the system properly? In order to bleed the system you need to raise the front wheels on a jack stand and turn the steering wheel lock to lock 20 to 40 times with the car off. I replaced my rack a few months ago myself because the mechanic at the GM dealership told me that the left side of it was worn and I was geting a lot of play from my left inner tierod. Unfortunetly, a couple months after that I had a serious leak from my power steering hose and I had to bleed the power steering again. The steering wheel was tight a couple months but it's great right now. It takes a bit of time for all the air to come out of the system. I hope this helps you in solving your problem.

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  • 1 month later...

Hello All FYI,

I finally got this problem solved. Turns out that, when i had my tranny redone, the stupid f____ing mechanic did not put back all of the bolts that hold my RAC in place. 3-bolts were missing, and 2-were more than half way loose. I had all new bolts installed, and the RAC checked for leaks. This car handles the way it should have from the beginning. :D

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Imaging that? Glad you got it fixed, that could have been dangerous. Personally I think tranny mechanics are slam bang machanics, its important to go over the car with a fine tooth car any time you have work done on the tranny... Glad you got it fixed, I was in Mineola today not far from you... Mike

Early on sailors navigated by the stars at night and the North star became the symbol for finding ones way home. Once you know where the Northstar is you can point your ship in the right direction to get home. So the star became a symbol for finding ones way home or more symbolically even finding ones path in life.

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