Help needed with sloppy steering . . . - Kia Forum
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#1 (permalink) Old 04-18-2009, 08:07 PM
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Question Help needed with sloppy steering . . .

Hi, Kia newb here (but with decent experience wrenching on cars), I searched but didn't really find anything similar to my issue:

I have a '98 sportage 4X4 auto with just under 100k, which I purchased recently. The steering wheel/system has quite a bit of slop in it- with the engine on (or off) you can turn the steering wheel nearly an inch either direction without the wheels moving at all. On the freeway you get tossed from left to right due to the ruts, and because of the steering slop, you can't just hold the vehicle straight down the road.

More info:
issue is not speed sensitive- same slop all of the time;
vehicle has stock suspension, wheels, and tires;
none of the typical "whining" of a soon to be dead power steering pump;
belt is adjusted correctly;
steering fluid is full;
the slop seems to start at the power steering box, as the shaft coming from the wheel thru the firewall doesn't seem loose or sloppy;
seems hard to turn the steering wheel in general, could be that I'm just not used to the way the kia steers, but it doesn't seem like the power steering "helps" much

where should i start looking to fix this problem??

thanks!
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#2 (permalink) Old 04-20-2009, 05:27 PM
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any ideas??
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#3 (permalink) Old 04-20-2009, 08:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audio_file View Post
Hi, Kia newb here (but with decent experience wrenching on cars), I searched but didn't really find anything similar to my issue:

I have a '98 sportage 4X4 auto with just under 100k, which I purchased recently. The steering wheel/system has quite a bit of slop in it- with the engine on (or off) you can turn the steering wheel nearly an inch either direction without the wheels moving at all. On the freeway you get tossed from left to right due to the ruts, and because of the steering slop, you can't just hold the vehicle straight down the road.

More info:
issue is not speed sensitive- same slop all of the time;
vehicle has stock suspension, wheels, and tires;
none of the typical "whining" of a soon to be dead power steering pump;
belt is adjusted correctly;
steering fluid is full;
the slop seems to start at the power steering box, as the shaft coming from the wheel thru the firewall doesn't seem loose or sloppy;
seems hard to turn the steering wheel in general, could be that I'm just not used to the way the kia steers, but it doesn't seem like the power steering "helps" much

where should i start looking to fix this problem??

thanks!
Have you checked the tie rods, ball joints, wheel bearings, etc. for looseness? Regardless of car line, you shouldn't have alot slop in the steering. I would check those out and see if anything is loose.

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Mike AKA Paco
For US Kia service info Kiatechinfo
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#4 (permalink) Old 04-22-2009, 05:00 PM
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Audiofile I had a similar problem that was recently corrected. One top of the steering box you should see a bolt head. Use a big flat screwdriver and turn it clockwise (not too sure) to adjust the freewheeling play. I sent my car to a workshop and they did it FOC for me. Problem solved in 100% in 30 seconds
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#5 (permalink) Old 04-25-2009, 02:14 PM
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AAron, thanks . . . i'd read about adjusting the "pretension" in Kia's online manual, but couldn't find exactly how to do that . . .
i'll try this today!

chris

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron Ong View Post
Audiofile I had a similar problem that was recently corrected. One top of the steering box you should see a bolt head. Use a big flat screwdriver and turn it clockwise (not too sure) to adjust the freewheeling play. I sent my car to a workshop and they did it FOC for me. Problem solved in 100% in 30 seconds
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#6 (permalink) Old 04-25-2009, 09:22 PM
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so i tried the adjustment screw on top of the steering gear box, but couldn't get it budge. i loosened the locking nut at it's base, but even after hitting it with pb-blaster the slotted adjustment screw won't turn independently from the locking nut . . . and i still can't find anything on kia's online manual that explains how to adjust the steering gear's pre-load

any ideas?
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#7 (permalink) Old 04-26-2009, 03:43 AM
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Not too sure about the lock nut, but I can confirm that I had a large free play on my wheel that was settled in less than 30 secs by my technician with just a large screwdriver. For sure the adjustment head is THE solution to the problem.
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#8 (permalink) Old 04-26-2009, 03:59 AM
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Come to think of it, I can't remember my techie using any other tool than a large screwdriver.

Last edited by Aaron Ong; 04-26-2009 at 04:03 AM.
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#9 (permalink) Old 04-26-2009, 05:41 AM
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Here's a pic of the free play adjustment bolt. It's located just below the bottle for power steering fluid.
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