what could be wrong with the front end of my 2002 cavalier


Asked by Jan 08, 2012 at 09:52 AM about the 2002 Chevrolet Cavalier Sedan FWD

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

so we just recently changed teh shocks and struts in the front of the car and the brakes and that in the back....now all of a sudden she is pulling really bad and loosing steering is all over he rd....i am not sure what is wrong anyone have any advice

14 Answers


Maybe you could have a mechanic check your tie rods in the front. Or you could have a bad ball joint!!

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

my fiance is the one that works on my car and sometimes me and we figured that it might be either one of those but wondering if there is any other advice cause have never seen one just go like that with no warning or anything....and dont think ball joint cause not clunking when i am turning i am loosing like all the steering getting worse and worse i am not even driving it now...

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Ok, maybe you could check the wheel bearing!! even with a new one, if it's not put in properly it will not last. Unless of course, if its a whole hub assembly then its not that !!! Maybe your steering rack and pinion is gone! have him check that out too.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

yeah i just changed the wheel bearings it is not that and yeah someone else mentioned rack and pinion..do u buy chance know what that cost.....and the back are hub but not the front.....like i have no steering and it is not the power steering cause no noise or anything i have to like have the steering wheel completely upside down before she will turn left ...oh yeah only messing up on the left

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

jack up each tire and try to turn wheel left and right by hand at each tire and feel for looseness in comparison to steering wheel then rack then inner tie rods then outters by holding each part stationary while turning wheel it should move exactly in relation to wheel movement if any play that means that part is bad and replace to check ball joint pry in between lower control arm and steering knuckle with pry bar to see if any play if u had bad steering parts ur steering wheel would shimmy side to side while going down the road so would ball joints and when u did struts did u put the camber close to where it was before replaceing struts will mess with alignment and if u have bad camber it will pull to one side i would get an alignment hope this helps let me know


well we just went outside and checked all of this while you were writing it lol and everything is tight so we are lost.....only thing we can think of now is the racken pinion....but yeah she is pulling bad to the right but when we try to turn left ALOT of play in the steering wheel which there never was before we know it needs an alignmentsince we change the struts but cant see it making the car act that bad while driving....but he didnt check the camber so could be that but he dont think so but yeah that does help alot there has not been much to ever stump either one of us but this has us beat


if u have a level handy to run up and down the side of the tires that will give u an idea on how bad the camber is of if any the bubble should be inbetween the lines or close to it and try to move steering wheel with wheels up of the ground while forcing the tires in opposite direction with the car running if it turns apart from one another the gear in the rack is worn out and slipping can u give me a better description of whats is happening do u know if the steerwheel is straight when the wheels r straight that would be a good indication of a jumped tooth on rack gear do u have hard steering ginding noise in one or both directions?


hey this is the fiance and its not hard or grinding but with the steering wheel is strait one wheel is strait and the other is off enough that its noiticeableso thats y i though it was the tie rod but its tight so the next thing i could think of is the rack and not to sure how to check the rack my father is comming over in the morning and if u could gimmie some things to check and how to do them i will look at them and try them.there isnt much i havent done on a car and this has me stumped this has never happend to any of my cars b4 so this is new for me lol but all ur help is really helpfull thanx tom

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

r u talking toe or camber don?


i am not sure what he is talking about(toe or camber) but i know what he means lol when the car is parked and hte wheel is straight the right tire is straight but the left one is tilted out you can tell just by looking at the tire that there is something wrong with the left side cause the tire is like turned outward when steering wheel is straight if that makes sence to you lol ...i am wondering if maybe where he just changed the shocks if it would be possible for them to have come loose or something and htat is why it is doiing that?? and yes thank you tom it is really helping well him cause he is doing the work but givng me more understanding of what maybe doing it also....


im talking about toe and i dont know what would do that


well we figured out what it was lmfao it just needs to be aligned everything is tight.......


thats what i said in first place lol but it doesnt make sense that the toe is off when all u did is shocks....... hmmm? intriquing ! it would knock camber out of wack i own an 03 cav base 5 spd


well i also changed on of the tie rod but that was a whille ago and didnt start acting up till i did the struts

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