Steering is Stiff Unless Its Raining - Chevy Cobalt Forum / Cobalt Reviews / Cobalt SS / Cobalt Parts
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-14-2012, 05:21 PM Thread Starter
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Steering is Stiff Unless Its Raining

I bought a 2005 cobalt ls from my dad a week ago and have noticed that the steering wheel doesnt like to come back to center, I physically have to bring it back. When it rains however like it was tonight, the steering is much better. Its no longer as stiff but still will not come back to center.

My dad says that GM performed a recall on the steering system although hes no sure exactly what they replaced.

Any idea's would be amazing, Thanks

Brandon
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-14-2012, 05:28 PM
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If it is from both directions pretty sure the universal joint of your intermidiate steering shaft is seized up. If it only turns hard coming back from a right hand turn then it might be your steering rack.

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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-14-2012, 05:52 PM Thread Starter
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hmm, tomorrow ill have to check if it does it on left hand turns. I know it does it on right hand turns.

If its the intermediate shaft is there any way to check it or would I have to pull it out to see(like checking a u-joint in a driveshaft)? Or is it covered under a recall?
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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-14-2012, 06:03 PM
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Recall was for power assist motor. If you put it on a hoist and move wheels side to side by grabbing a hold of the front tires you wil quickly realize which one it is, joint or rack. My guess is your U joint is seized. Did you have a knock in the steering before, that misteriously disapeared? Usually they get loose from wear and noisy first then salt grime from the road gets in the cracks and they rust and tighten-up then seize.

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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-14-2012, 06:06 PM Thread Starter
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im not sure, its been doing it since I got it any my step-mom used to drive it. Lets just say she would keep driving if the wheel fell off so asking her if there was a clunk would be like talking to the wall. If I remember correctly when I was doing the sway bar links and bushings the wheels were kind of hard to turn but I didnt think anything of it.
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-14-2012, 06:26 PM
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If you look at the U joint and you can clearly see rust colour at the cups it's probably your joint. But if you want to make sure before you order any parts just disconnect the intermediate shaft at the steering rack spindle and if the wheels turn freely you know it's not the rack.
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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-14-2012, 06:38 PM
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Make sure to mark the U joint in place before removing it so you can put it back the same way, to make sure your wheel still points straight when wheels are straight.

Even if its your rack, ebay has your back, about $120 you get a new rack, comes with inner tie rods attached.

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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-15-2012, 03:05 AM Thread Starter
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im leaning towards the shaft because I cant see how the rack would get better in the rain. I have a hoist in my garage so this should be pretty easy to see/diagnose. I just needed to know roughly what to look at. Thanks, i'll let you guys know what I found tonight
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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-15-2012, 05:23 AM
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The rain reduces the coefficient of friction between the tire and the road, making it seem easier to turn.

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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-15-2012, 05:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by money_man View Post
I bought a 2005 cobalt ls from my dad a week ago and have noticed that the steering wheel doesnt like to come back to center, I physically have to bring it back. When it rains however like it was tonight, the steering is much better. Its no longer as stiff but still will not come back to center.

My dad says that GM performed a recall on the steering system although hes no sure exactly what they replaced.

Any idea's would be amazing, Thanks

Brandon
Brandon,

If I can check into any open recalls on your vehicle, you can send me the last 8 digits of your VIN in a PM and I'll get that information your way.

Best,
Sarah
GM Customer Service
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