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Hello all, not a mechanic here but looking to diagnose a problem. Once I reach speeds of 55+ my cobalt likes to swerve side to side. It occurs mostly on straight aways but when I am in a curve it handles just fine. No shaking in my steering wheel or steering column. I was told it was my driver hub bearing but replacing it did not solve the problem. I feel and look like a drunk driver, has anyone else had this issue ? only 119k miles and never had any major problems before this. Also I had an alignment done when I replaced the tires beginning of this year (2020) but that didn't solve it. I have aftermarket front struts but everything else is original. The struts were done over 5 years ago and this problem didn't begin until last year. There is also sort of creaking or groaning sound coming from the rear axle at very low tight turns most noticeable in line a the drive thru :) I'm not sure if the 2 issues are related
Thank you to anyone who may be able to help!!
 

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My experience with Cobalts and other similar GM cars is that the rack and pinion may be bad. Many times the bushings on the rack go bad for some reason. Many times it’s due to an oil leak, like a valve cover or oil pan that is leaking oil down onto the bushings and has caused them to deteriorate. The the rack will cause swaying of the steering because it is no longer held tightly to the subframe.

I also have seen the rack just wear out internally. Also causing a similar issue. Not always. Usually before that happens the rack will be noisy and clunk. Later becoming loose.

Tie rod ends also can cause this. It can be a combination of a bad rack, and bad tie rod ends. Rack and pinions will come with brand new inner tie rod ends.

Once last thing that’s very common on the Cobalt is the front lower control arms being worn out. Again, they’ll usually have been making a clunking or squeaky bushing noise for a while before they get really bad. But not always. It’s usually the rear bushing that goes bad. It is highly recommended to use a quality complete control arm. The cheaper ones may go bad after a couple of years. Usually the cheap ones will be useful for 2-6 years, but they can be hit or miss. Really so can the more expensive stuff, but usually I see the more expensive parts lasting much longer.

I recommend you find a shop or mechanic that does a lot of suspension and steering repairs. There are a lot of mechanics that will try and do these types of repairs, and miss a lot of things. Or overlook things. I see it a lot since I have an alignment machine and other shops don’t. Lots of things can be overlooked if you aren’t familiar with working on these chassis. At least what I see and hear, stay away from the chain shops. They will rip you off. Even when they say they sell a lifetime alignment, for instance, they use it as a way to fish for things to sell you.

What needs to be done is to put the car on a lift. I would inspect the steering parts and control arms. That is where the problem will most likely be. If all checks out, I’d be very surprised also I like to stick a pry bar between parts to see if they move. Sometimes they won’t move while inspecting by hand so a pry bar sometimes helps.

Also the rear axle bushings do occasionally go bad. They will creak when they are dry rotted. They could potentially cause swaying, but usually just clunk or creak.
 

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Have you figured out what it was yet? Just wondering if it was the rack and pinion. I had a car come in with an oil soaked steering rack and it has destroyed the bushings causing the car to shift back and forth while driving.

I also had another car come in with a similar issue. Some other shop had installed control arms. They somehow forgot to tighten the bolts that hold it to the subframe and was driving similarly to the car with the rack problem. Luckily for this guy I was able to fix it in a few minutes.
 
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