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loose steering mk 2.5 mx5


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lizmx5
New User

Feb 11, 2015, 6:44 AM

Post #1 of 7 (1102 views)
loose steering mk 2.5 mx5 Sign In

hello! Having steering issues with my mk 2.5 1.8L mx5 (65000 miles). The steering wheel gradually became off-set over the course of about 2 years) so that if I held it dead straight the car would pull to the left. I took it to a wheel alignment specialist recommended by a friend. It came back worse - had to turn the wheel even more to the right to go straight. (The steering did feel tighter, however). Took it back and he readjusted. This time it was back how it started. Took it back a third time and after some tyre-swapping the guy concluded that the alignment was spot on and so the tyres must be uneven. So for a while it was how it started - slight pull to the left. It has 4 matching make and model and approximate same wear all round good quality tyres. But 500 miles later it's gone awol - it pulls left sometimes, right sometimes, quite drastically sometimes too. The steering has become very loose, sometimes I can wiggle the steering wheel and the car barely responds. Help! I guess by help I mean - any ideas on what's broken? I don't want to take it to another garage for another wheel-alignment, seems pointless. Any advice greatly appreciated - I've got two long journeys coming up in the next couple of weeks and I don't feel confident with it. Which is a shame in such a fun car!


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Feb 11, 2015, 7:20 AM

Post #2 of 7 (1090 views)
Re: loose steering mk 2.5 mx5 Sign In

Someone is missing something:


Vehicles that pull to one side reasons:


* Tires - not even or pressure off a lot - rotate and see if changes, check pressure exactly.
* Alignment - seems rules out? Maybe not?
* Brakes dragging. You would check for even brake wear or a warm wheel on one side maybe not the side it pulls to.
* Curvature of the road does matter for almost all but usually you see it and expect it road by road.


** Rare (once!) had a power assist work by itself without prompt from the steering wheel. Just started that car and wheel turned a bit by itself! Not fixed and not a current type but would see if it can do that anyway and not a clue where to begin for the fix short of usually a new rack and pinion?


* Suspension parts out of spec. Height of vehicle not even, load in vehicle way off. Yes - very heavy people do change alignment while in it but not adjusted to that. I've known of vehicles getting aligned for known loads that would be common to correct that a person or cargo.


When you get an alignment most things should be checked before doing the job. Tire pressure, tire condition, all suspension parts up to snuff. Steering wheel pointing straight ahead and centered as needed or noticed on a test run before you get it back.


That's about all I can think of. With it being erratic seems something isn't being noticed yet - keep looking for the flaw, feel wheels for warmth and check tires a lot for signs of anything wrong,


T


PS: Try this- Car sitting still with wheel pointing straight ahead. Count turns from center to full left and to full right should be the same - exactly! Don't overwork power steering in doing this test. If it's off - the answer is in WHY or who did that?



Discretesignals
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Discretesignals profile image

Feb 11, 2015, 5:12 PM

Post #3 of 7 (1077 views)
Re: loose steering mk 2.5 mx5 Sign In

Sounds to me like you need to find another alignment technician. Front end inspection should reveal what the problem is.





Since we volunteer our time and knowledge, we ask for you to please follow up when a problem is resolved.

(This post was edited by Discretesignals on Feb 11, 2015, 5:12 PM)


lizmx5
New User

Feb 15, 2015, 5:41 AM

Post #4 of 7 (1044 views)
Re: loose steering mk 2.5 mx5 Sign In

hi both,

Thank you for the input.

With regards to tyre pressures - it does look like I've got a slow puncture back left. Will monitor that now, I'm not driving the car much at the moment so these things are less noticeable.

In the meantime I've taken the car in (different garage to the one that did the alignment), at first the mechanic said it sounded like the brushes might need replacing. Now's he's had a proper look and has said it might be a shock absorber, so he's gunna take them off and see. He said there's no leak tho, so they might be completely dry? Does this sound reasonable to you guys?

Next question has to be - how much should I be paying for replacement it that is the issue - had a quick Google and I can't find a rear pair for less than £100. Labour estimate? Any advice on this would be great so when I get a quote I've got an idea on how reasonable it is.

Thanks again for the comments.


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Feb 15, 2015, 6:23 AM

Post #5 of 7 (1042 views)
Re: loose steering mk 2.5 mx5 Sign In

What do you mean by "brushes?" Bushings or something and which ones?


Tyre pressure certainly counts and if aligned with it way off so is the alignment.


Shocks: Air, air struts, air spring or what are we talking about? If just shock absorber part has a problem it shouldn't really cause the pulling but might have something to do with the set height of the vehicle. Shop or you should see it off or go ahead and measure fender lip thru center of each wheel to ground which should be the same on each axle on level ground.


These are all things the alignment tech should be checking BEFORE aligning it or fix whatever first,


T



lizmx5
New User

Feb 16, 2015, 11:08 AM

Post #6 of 7 (1013 views)
Re: loose steering mk 2.5 mx5 Sign In

Oops, yep, I meant bushings!

Just had a quote of £350 for part and labour to replace rear shocks however mechanic can't guarantee that's the problem. Alternative garage quoted best part of £400, but said it's unlikely that the rear shocks would cause the symptoms, more like steering column or bushings.

So I'm gunna get a second opinion. I can't pay £350 for something that isn't guaranteed to fix the sodding thing.

Agree re lack of thorough checking at time of alignment. Symptoms weren't as severe at the time, but the alignment didn't fix the pull to the left so further investigation would've been more helpful.

Also worth noting that I misread prices when I googles it before - they're at least £100 each. Yikes.

Thanks again for all comments so far, always good to have outsider input.


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Feb 16, 2015, 11:37 AM

Post #7 of 7 (1009 views)
Re: loose steering mk 2.5 mx5 Sign In

Oh boy. Now two techs or places can't figure out if the issue is shocks or steering column!! You need better techs than that.


Prices for what you get will vary. IDK how these come and what's included or not for this car. Also haven't looked up the exchange rate of "Pounds" to "USD $$" rate but think a pound costs about $1.40 US - right? I'll let you figure actual costs vs what you might expect as even similar here doesn't have your VAT tax or more making stuff more expensive right away.


Steering column bushings again: Not common to me at all with anything except possibly an accident in its history and not fixed properly would explain a lot of this mystery.


I'd go for a whole matching used column if this was accident damaged or whatever is best by your own techs what to do but know it's for real as I'm not convinced,


T







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