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Car sliding all over in wet / snowy conditions.


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gravitysdepth
Novice

Dec 8, 2017, 6:47 PM

Post #1 of 6 (132 views)
Car sliding all over in wet / snowy conditions. Sign In

Long story short. Have to bring car back to dealership as they inspected it for an extended warranty on the sub frames. Upon inspection they also said before they could put on the subframes and perform a full alignment, a few parts had to be replaced. Front drivers side lower ball joint, rear upper latteral links and rear toe links. I ordered all the parts and am planning on doing it myself.

So now my concern. The last 2 weeks before going to dealership for inspection of the subframe, I noticed my car slides when I hit a patch of snow (even if only one side of car left or right) drivers over it while the other side is on pavement. It is almost like an uncontrollable gliding like you hit your brakes on black ice.

I went to jack up the car to look under and noticed with no key in ignition I was able to move the wheels from left to right without even touching steering wheel, just by grabbing and turning at the 3 and 9 oclock position. Again, just a ball joint?

I imagine when they were inspecting the suspension they would have checked rack and inner / outter tie rods. Is this normal for a cars front tires to be able to turn manually?

I have a 2010 2.0L dodge caliber sxt trim. 296K on her, FWD with discs on front drums on back. Is there something else that would cause this. I havent been driving it because it feels very unsafe when the weather is bad. I am planning on doing all the repair work aside from the warranty work - just want to tackle anything in the alignment areas so I dont have to get it aligned again if the ball joint is not the only issue.

Lastly. I know the alignment is slightly out as the steering wheel is slightly turned left when wheels are straight. Steering feels rather loose and turns very easily... Sorry for long post.


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Dec 8, 2017, 10:05 PM

Post #2 of 6 (108 views)
Re: Car sliding all over in wet / snowy conditions. Sign In

Quote you ">I went to jack up the car to look under and noticed with no key in ignition I was able to move the wheels from left to right without even touching steering wheel, just by grabbing and turning at the 3 and 9 oclock position. Again, just a ball joint?<"
Can you explain just that better? Suggests you can turn steering wheel with key out or just what do you mean?


Driving on snow/icy situations is unique to each time never mind in vehicle isn't perfect it's own challenge and wrong time to diagnose it's unsafe enough with a perfect vehicle many times.


Off the direct problem at hand just a note: 296,000 MILES! Fine but I can't think of much of any vehicle that really endures those miles without endless problems if only seat springs, hinges, any part that moves it's beyond any design intentions. Yes you can tackle things as they come and keep going on some but seriously think about time and $$ vs another a lot less miles than this when it's going to beat you up like it is.


Do wait if still all slippery out to test drive if need to find more wrong to make it totally safe to drive the road conditions are bad enough alone without the suspension and steering problems,


T



gravitysdepth
Novice

Dec 8, 2017, 10:53 PM

Post #3 of 6 (102 views)
Re: Car sliding all over in wet / snowy conditions. Sign In

Thanks for your reply Tom. Sorry, it has 296,000 KM on it; not miles. What I meant in regards in the wheels moving is as follows. I drove the car into my garage, jacked it up - Removed the key from the ignition. Grabbed the actual tire and moved it up and down at the 12 and 6 position with no movement, then I grabbed the tire at the 3 and 9 position and the whole tire allows me to turn the steering column left and right with no restriction (as if I was turning the wheel from inside the vehicle).

I am not complaining about this vehicle what-so-ever, she has done her duties and considering it is on OEM Transmission and Engine am extremely satisfied. The point of this however is to gain more knowledge and understanding of auto repair than it is to make it last a life time. If I have to replace piece after piece to avoid purchasing a new vehicle the knowledge is much more important then the price tag in the long run. However I just don't want to replace pieces aimlessly and being no further in understanding the problem at hand. For me, it is not the dollar value, but the experience I am interested in.

Also, keep in mind that I will be taking this into the dealership to perform a final diagnostic before being road driven again, so it will not be gaining knowledge while at a risk of road safety.


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Dec 9, 2017, 12:43 AM

Post #4 of 6 (93 views)
Re: Car sliding all over in wet / snowy conditions. Sign In

OK - Steering wheel should be locked never mind the rest of the car which is another issue.
Basics with traction/drivability. NOTHING CAN BE ANY BETTER THAN CONDITION OF TIRES TO SURFACE - the rest is condition of the vehicle. That is what you have to have all 100% then an alignment can happen. That's it find and fix everything to do with what suspends and allows it to steer at intended,


T



gravitysdepth
Novice

Dec 9, 2017, 9:14 PM

Post #5 of 6 (76 views)
post icon Re: Car sliding all over in wet / snowy conditions. Sign In

Noticed my power steering fluid was low after inspecting today. Posting some videos for some ideas on what the problem could be with the steering / wheels moving freely.

Rocking the car back and forth (moves rather easy), and clicking noise that sounds like it is coming from around transmission area.https://youtu.be/1-39qS9uvSo

Looking under the car while my wife turns the wheel... can't find anything that sticks out. However when turned all the way to the left or the right you hear a pressure noise and can see the hose flex. Power steering fluid also low.
https://youtu.be/eROWUiiZYI4

No key in ignition while on jack stands. Wheels turn freely.
https://youtu.be/jgxJ4Qtu_eY


(This post was edited by gravitysdepth on Dec 9, 2017, 9:52 PM)


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Dec 9, 2017, 9:59 PM

Post #6 of 6 (68 views)
Re: Car sliding all over in wet / snowy conditions. Sign In

That's a real nice try at the videos! First - just carefully fill the PS to proper level will get back to that.
Being able to turn the steering wheel or a wheel at all (will a little) isn't right. It's supposed to lock when key is out but doubt that's any up front problem.
First video hear a clunk that doesn't belong and just see the shop light find where it clunks.
Second video is inconclusive of anything to me.
3rd one at about 1.30 minutes see the inner tie rod end boot of the rack and pinion (think it's the driver's side) is wet with oil probably the PS fluid leak.


It shows the salt from driving which is very fast to remove evidence makes it hard to tell what is plain wet or an oil wet. Hard time to find leaks but suspect a seal in the rack at the miles if keeping this thing a rebuilt rack would be best. You have grease fittings on outer tie rod ends - grease them and watch if they move or up and down by hand. No free-play allowed by millimeters - none. If seen on joints they are gone.


I know you must want this all done yesterday but these wet, salted and snow conditions are just not the best time to be sure on leaks.


Again - the steering wheel is supposed to lock mechanically at the wheel with keys out. There may be an override that is stuck defeating it or plunger to "star wheel" hidden in steering column is stuck or broken in some manner alone shouldn't be the problem just not meant to be that way unless key is in AND turned towards run position whether actually running or not - about all vehicles operate that way direct from key's lock cylinder or by a cable if remote to that "star wheel." You can search out pictures or a video on how those work at least concept if not your model exactly.


Laugh - snowing here first real one have to go out and work at removing it myself now! Just amusing if I had any vehicle work and it wasn't fast and easy it would wait till this quits and things cleaned up to do later,


Tom







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