Extreme wobble with steering wheel "sawing"

10

Asked by skywalker Jan 20, 2020 at 07:52 PM about the 1998 Subaru Forester L

Question type: General

98 subaru forester suddenly began shuttering
extremely bad, ro the point I thought I had a flat tire
but all were inflated. Pulled back into road and
began accelerating and steering wheel begins to
violently saw bk and forth and car wobbled so bad
I pulled over again. Once again begin to accelerate
and hear a knocking type sound but much slower
and harder than CV axle knocking/ticking and was
driving straight. Checked ball joints and tie rods
and all seem to be tight, although driver side outer
boot is split. Tried driving again and car rode fine.
The following day I found driving to check it out
again and all seemed well for about 8 miles and
car and steering wheel began to violently wobble
again and had to pull over. Again began to drive
and as soon as I left foot of gas pedal t began to
violently shimmy again with loud knocking  as well.
Get home and check front end again and find both
boots on rack and pinion are split but don't believe
that is the cause of the steering wheel jerking from
left to right so violently. Also car pulls hard to the
right but only ly when the wobble and shaking is
present

10 Answers

281,375

Stop driving this car unless you want to die. Have it towed to a good front end shop.

10

I start a new job wednesday and dt have the time or finances to take to a shop. Hoping for some suggestions from preferably a mechanic or someone else with similar experience so I can try repair myself

8,270

Like FOR said, the car is not safe to drive. Boots split on the CV axle and rack and pinion likely mean the bearings are toast from grease leaking out. Replace the CV axle and have the rack and pinion inspected. A good alignment shop will be able to see what else is worn and or needs replacing. Uber to work while you wait for funds to repair.

28,510

Ignored so far is any mention of loose wheel lugs! So check that the front ones are all snug. Then check that the axles end-nuts are secure too. There's a small chance that your ps fluid is very low, or cavitating air from its crushed or cracked small top inlet o-ring. Remove the top inlet tube on the ps pump (10mm socket), and pry out the o-ring sitting inside; go to hardware store and get a SLIGHTLY thicker one of the same size and pop it in, resecuring the hose. Add ps fluid to reservoir until nearly full, start car, and saw steering wheel slowly from end to end until all jerking stops...usually two full cycles is fine. Check and replenish reservoir level if necessary. This is a very common repair on older Subies, and cost 50cents for the 0-ring and a few bucks for ps/AT fluid (they're the same). Good luck. If your problem is NOT addressed above there's a chance an axle has popped partly out of the tranny, screwing up the inner joint (DOJ) function. Popping it back in securely is of course best done on a lift in a shop. Maybe you DO need an axle, but unlikely a steering rack unless carefully diagnosed as such by a competent wrench. But DO be careful, eh? Ern TSG/B

281,375

Loose nuts on CG's? Say it ain't so.

10

Forgot to update post. When I was driving trying to figure out what was wrong, I was driving on a private road. When I started the car the following morning to move into the garage, the driver CV axle broke at the lock ring at the hub. The wobble and jerking wheel was caused by the CV axle failing and trying to lock up

10

Forgot to update post. When I was driving trying to figure out what was wrong, I was driving on a private road. When I started the car the following morning to move into the garage, the driver CV axle broke at the lock ring at the hub. The wobble and jerking wheel was caused by the CV axle failing and trying to lock up

1 people found this helpful.
28,510

Too funny, FOR. Have a good one. Ern

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