Bad Steering Rack, Again
'07 Cobalt LS, FE1, EPS, 65K miles.
Bought used, 2 yrs ago, from an estate; probably had been sitting a while. I haven't found any evidence of an accident.
Checking against the VIN, all recalls have been done.
I had to replace the rack & intermediate steering shaft the winter after we got it. The u-joint had kind of locked up, and the pinion shaft was wobbly. (Which I blamed on the u-joint failure.) Now, the steering feels 'loose' and the pinion shaft is wobbly again. I haven't checked the u-joint.
This seems very strange. I drove Cavaliers for 25 yrs - usually with fairly high mileage - before getting this Cobalt. I never had a steering problem with them. To get two rack failures so quickly on the Cobalt makes me wonder if there's some underlying problem. Possibilities I can think of:
- Bad design? But, I don't find any rack recalls.
- Bad luck? I bought the 2nd rack used (not reman). Even so, why should that be a problem? I'd never seen a bad rack before.
- Something else is wrong. This is my big concern.
Tire wear is even. I don't find anything wrong when I check the suspension. All the same, it's not tight. I've replaced the control arm (rear) bushings (never again) and the stabilizer bar bushings and links. I keep checking the struts, because it just feels like something's not right; but, they seem OK.
So, bottom line, I need to replace the rack. I can get a new one ($$$) or a reman, or maybe find another junker. I'm kind of leaning toward a cheap reman (Cardone, as opposed to Delco). Partly, that's because I'm cheap; but, also, it seems like there's a fair chance anything I put it is apt to fail again.
Any insight/experience/speculation would be appreciated.