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Steering Wheel Rattle


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7 replies to this topic

#1 tcspeer

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Posted 19 November 2003 - 10:42 PM

When I drive on rough road I have rattle inside steering column, does any one have any ideal what may be loose in their? Or how much trouble it is to take apart to look.

#2 alias20035

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Posted 20 November 2003 - 01:13 AM

Originally posted by tcspeer
When I drive on rough road I have rattle inside steering column, does any one have any ideal what may be loose in their? Or how much trouble it is to take apart to look.



My 93 Legacy had a rattling wiring harness within the steering column. I wrapped the wires with foam adhesive weather stripping to cure the rattle. This may or may not be the problem.

Other problems could be:

defective steering shaft bearing (is there any side to side play in the steering wheel?)

defective tilt mechanism (any play in the column?, is the column properly locked?)

are you sure it is the steering column, as there are a lot of wiring harnesses that can rattle on either side and under the steering column.

some rattles from the steering rack/front suspension transmit up the steering wheel, so inspect the following:

- tie tod ends (inner and outer)
- ball joints
- upper strut mount
- front suspension A arm bushings
- front subframe bolts (some subframes come loose from the unibody)
- front sway bar bushings and links (very common problem)
- steering rack play (some adjustments can be made)

Fixing the wiring harness rattle is easy.

This will require disabling the airbag system so you don't accidentely blow your head off while working on the steering column. Disconnect the negative battery terminal and wait fifteen minutes. Find the yellow air bag connector under the dash which connects the air bag module to the steering wheel air bag inflator. It usually has a green part on the yellow connector. The connect is double locked, so be careful to disconnect it properly, don't tug hard to separate. The inflator is now "unpowered" and 99% safe.

See your Haynes manual for the proper airbag safety instructions.

There are about 6-8 screws on the underside of the steering column, some are longer than others, so note which screw came out of which hole. Once the screws are apart you should be able to twist the column off, the top and bottom shell have a few tabs to hold them together which can be usually be separated by pressing the lower shell inward. The shell must by gently bent to remove it from the ignition key "ring".

Aside from adding foam weather stripping to the wires, you can also glue thin foam or felt to the lower steering column shell so the wires don't rattle against plastic.

#3 Setright

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Posted 20 November 2003 - 02:44 AM

It is actually "normal", and not something you should worry about it the steering function is okay. My Legacy rattles too, but the steering works perfect, direct, plenty of feedback...nothing to be concerned about.

Unless of course something under the car is loose or broken.

#4 pat1234

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Posted 20 November 2003 - 05:31 PM

I have a 97 legacy gt and the dealer said the rattle is normal on it and the fixes they do with foam in the column or something like that is just a temp. fix and not worth the $$. t occurs in the U type joint that is in the steering column.

The rattle happens over rough bumps, going up driveways while turning ect. and it has been doing this for a few years now.... the noise doesn't bother me.

pat

#5 tcspeer

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Posted 20 November 2003 - 07:50 PM

Thank's I will check out these things all of you have suggested. It is not a harness rattle, because it is loud like something loose in the front supension or maybe those joint's in column.

#6 bmsmith

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Posted 22 November 2003 - 11:04 PM

Check out this PDF:
http://www.endwrench...03/INSIDERI.PDF

Look at page 20 (page 18 is the 1st page) and read the section titled "Steering Knocking/Rattle Noise when turning".

While it isn't a perfect match to your question, it's the closest thing I've ever seen that describes what I hear and feel in the steering wheel when I drive over very rough roads. The thing that I think is different is that I can get it to happen without necessarily turning - although on rough roads just keeping the wheels going straight takes some force and hense the rattle? Dunno...

- Brian

#7 pat1234

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Posted 22 November 2003 - 11:17 PM

BMSMITH,

Thanks for the article...... it is exactly what I have. This article reassures me that the noise is harmless and even though the dealer told me that it was safe and would not result in further damage it always bothered me.....not no more.

The dealer also told me that they have tried the damper fix on other vehicles but it only temporarily fixed the problem and it was not worth the money unless the noise really bothered me.

Pat

#8 tcspeer

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Posted 22 November 2003 - 11:31 PM

BMSMITH, thanks that is just what mine is doing, mine also does not have to be turning.




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