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If your steering is off, drags to the left when accelerating, is a bit loose etc, I guess the first thing to do is check your tyres and wheel alignment.

If these do not correct the problem, what are the other possible causes?

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I would check the following:

  • The wheel bearings:

    With the steering wheel locked straight rear tires chucked. Lift front of the car, so one tire is slightly off the ground. Squat down in front of the tire and place hands on the tire at 3 and 9 push on one side than the other. The bad bearing should be evident by slop, assuming the tierods are good because you stated if it checked out. This can be checked for sure with another person or mirror, watching for (movement between the steering knuckle and control arm = balljoint) (movement between the steering knuckle and wheel/hub = bearing)

  • The rack mounting bushings:

    Get under the car and grab the rack between or just on either side of the two mount points, push up then pull down on it. If the bushings are bad there will be noticeable play

  • The inner tie rods:

    These should have been checked with the alignment. However, they sometimes get overlooked. If you have one wheel off the ground and the wheel turned all the way to the opposite side. Take hold of the rod coming from the rack. push in then pull. If there is play then replace.

  • The lower ball joints:

    With the wheel or wheels of the ground. Take hold of the tire from the bottom tread. Puch then pull. If there is play. then replace. Note too that this could also be from the wheel bearing so have someone watch the back side or use a mirror. Check procedure already stated in Wheelbearing check.

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