Know The Difference

Know the Difference Between Normal and Abnormal Functioning of Your Vehicle

Normal noises

  • A hissing noise happens every time the steering wheel turns.
  • A fluid noise happens during every full turn.
  • A noise occurs every time the system relief valve operates.
  • Some types of steering pumps emit a pump 'growl'.

Abnormal Noises

  • Loose Belts. Belt-driven steering pumps give off squealing nose. Tighten belts.
  • A clicking noise sounds during turns or change of direction. Some part may be loose and need to be tightened or replaced.
  • There is a change in the 'normal' noise of the steering pump.
  • Air may have entered the system or fluid is low.
  • Valve may be faulty or pump is wearing out.
  • Hoses may be kinked or plugged.
  • Filter may be plugged.

Drift or Wander

  • Incorrect or unequal tire pressure - side to side.
  • Steering wheel to road wheel linkage components may be loose or worn.
  • Wheel bearings may be improperly adjusted or worn.
  • Front end needs realignment.
  • Rear end needs realignment.
  • Fifth wheel or trailer plate may be dry or have a poor finish.
  • Steering gear mounting bolts may be loose on frame.
  • Pitman arm is loose on the sector shaft.
  • Steering gear may be improperly adjusted or worn out.
  • Loose rear axle assemblies or trailer bogies.
  • Radial tires on vehicle designed to use biased ply tires. (1972 - earlier)
  • Brakes are dragging.
  • Frame is bent.
  • Shocks or springs are faulty.

No Recovery

  • Tire pressure is low.
  • Front end components are binding. (Must be checked with weight on front end)
  • Front end alignment is incorrect.
  • Kingpins on front axle are tight. (Must be checked with weight on front end)
  • Fifth wheel or trailer plate may be dry or have a poor finish
  • Steering column is binding
  • Steering pump has insufficient flow.
  • Steering gear is improperly adjusted.

Shimmy

  • Tires are unevenly or badly worn.
  • Tires or wheels are improperly mounted.
  • Wheel bearings are improperly adjusted or worn.
  • Steering linkage components are loose or worn.
  • Wheels or brake drums are out of balance.
  • Front end alignment is incorrect.
  • Hydraulic system has air in it.
  • Steering gear has 'free' play.
  • Gearbox may be improperly adjusted.

External Oil Leaks

  • Check all fittings, hoses, pump or gear. (Leak location may be difficult to find because oil may flow away from source to lowest point.)
  • Vent plug leak at side cover - failure of sector shaft oil seal inside side cover.

Darting or Oversteering

  • Fifth wheel or trailer plate may be dry or have a poor finish.
  • Front end components are binding or loose.
  • Steering column is binding.
  • Steering gear is improperly adjusted.
  • Steering gear control valve sleeve is sticking.
  • Rear axle mounts may be faulty. (Rear steer)

Increased Steering Effort in One Direction

  • Tire pressure is unequal.
  • Vehicle is overloaded.
  • Hydraulic system has inadequate pressure.
  • Gear Box has excessive internal leakage in direction of turn.
  • Steering gear valve is not properly adjusted.
  • Control valve is not properly adjusted.

Increased Steering Effort in Both Directions

  • Tire pressure is low.
  • Vehicle is overloaded.
  • Hydraulic fluid level is low.
  • Hydraulic fluid is incorrect type.
  • Steering pump has low pressure or flow.
  • Steering system components are binding.
  • Return line has some restriction or too small a diameter.
  • Tires are oversized. (Check against manufacturer's specifications.)
  • Steering pump drive belt is loose.

Excessive Heat (150°F/65.5°C)

  • Steering pump has excessive flow.
  • Vehicle is overloaded.
  • Replacement hose or line is undersized.
  • Hose or line restricted - kink, severe bend, internal blockage.
  • Restricted re-centering of gear - caused by column bind or side load on input shaft.
  • Poppets are not adjusted properly
  • Vehicle operated in stationary position for prolonged periods of time.
  • Steering system components are binding.
  • Return line has some restriction or too small a diameter.
  • There is excessive internal leakage.
  • Tires are oversized. (Check against manufacturer's specifications.)
  • Steering pump drive belt is loose.
  • Front end needs lubrication.
  • Front end is improperly aligned.
  • There is air in hydraulic system.

Excessive Play at the Steering Wheel

  • Steering wheel is loose on the shaft.
  • A loose connection exists between steering gear, intermediate column, and steering column.
  • Steering gear is loose on the frame.
  • Pitman arm is loose on the sector shaft.
  • Steering linkage components are loose or worn.
  • Steering gear is improperly adjusted or defective.
  • Steering pump has low pressure.

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