Loose Steering


Asked by ladyofthehouse Nov 30, 2012 at 07:02 PM about the 2006 GMC Yukon XL

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

My steering is very loose.  I was told that I probably need shocks and brakes.  I have noticed my brakes are a bit soft.  But I've also heard I need struts.  What's the difference? and do you agree with the diagnosis

5 Answers


Brakes stop the car. Struts keep it from bouncing around like shock absorbers. For loose steering, I would have the ball joints and tie rod ends looked at.


You should also check the upper and lower control bushings ,before the front end fails completely .Chevy suspension often fails in this area.

John Saffrahn

I agree with tenspeed but as for gt. Yea bad control arm bushings can definitely cause loose steering but as far as being common goes I can't say I agree with that part. Misalignment can also cause a loose steering feeling while traveling in a straight line because the tires fight each other to face forwards and the movement between the two facing forward won't change the direction the vehicle travels. If you take it to a shop to have it aligned and just tell them the steering doesn't feel right. They will inspect everything mentioned here and more. If a tie rod end has to be replaced then it will need aligned anyway. Also mentionable, front wheel drive cars have rack and pinion steering which gives a very tight feel and trucks have conventional steering, aka recirculating ball, aka gear box. The conventional steering will feel a little looser but not too much.

Best Answer

I finally broke down and went to a mechanic. The diagnosis? Replace Pitman arm, Idle arm, Steering box or gear box (something about shaft and bearings) also alingment. Thanks to you all I was able to understand the mechanic and not feel as though I was being taken advantage. Sincerly, ladyofthehouse

John Saffrahn

I don't believe the gearbox is bad unless you have been running the power steering fluid on empty for a while. I would suggest a second opinion.

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