Steering Problems

Asked by May 03, 2008 at 09:03 PM about the 1997 Dodge Stratus 4 Dr ES Sedan

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

When turning the wheel, it won't turn back automatically on its own.  You have to manually turn it back to being straight.  What can this be?

10 Answers

995

out of power steering fluid?

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
2,260

check the p/s pump for proper operation

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
540

both those guys are wrong you need new tires.. they have what is called tire pull and you need to replace them to correct that problem

2,260

good possibility..perhaps start with new tires on the front and get an alignment...

275

Davids right, if it was a power steering problem you would probably only really notice it while the car is stationary. The fact that the problem exists while the car is moving means it has to be with the tires.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
40

The two big possibilities that immediately come to my mind are upper strut mounts and bearings, or sludge build up in the steering rack. The upper bearings or mounts are the primary pivot points and if they are seizing, then that will most certainly limit or restrict the wheels ability to return to center normally . This type of condition is usually accompanied with a rubbing, clunking or grinding noise in the area of the upper strut. The other problem is just as common, but considerably easier to remedy. Check the quality of your p/s fluid, and if possible, try to determine if it'd the right fluid type and that's at the right level. Follow the OEM instructions to Drain enough out (I just use a turkey baster from the dollar store for this.) fluid from the steering resevoir, and fill it back up with Lucas Oils Power Steering Stop leak and Conditioner. Once your fluid levels have returned, raise the front of the vehicle, and turn the steering lock to lock about 5 or 6 times. this willl help to flush the crud out of the P/S system and too help loosen up the overall feel for the steering. Worked on my Windstar w/ rack and pinion steering. Total cost $35.00, with beer included. Quote my wife was given for replacing the front rack which the first garage wanted to do was $1,978. nothing to loose except a bit of time. I'd use it again in a heartbeat.

10

or maybe its a rack and pinion thats whats wrong with mine

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
10

or maybe its a rack and pinion thats whats wrong with mine

20

There's a 99.9% chance that the LOWER (and possibly upper if equipped) BALL JOINTS are bad. I'm a professional mechanic, and am AMAZED by some of the stupid responses you've gotten, such as "bad tires"... LMAO! Other potential possibilities are bad tie rod ends (although you usually can tell if they are bad pretty easily, a worn/binding steering rack, or worn/binding front struts and or strut mounts. As I recall, i've seen many Stratus's over the years with bad lower ball joints, many that fail and the wheel basically comes almost off the car. The "binding" that you are referring to is a major HINT that you need to get your vehicle inspected by a professional tech (like me, for instance). Quit being a cheap bastard and take your car to a shop and get it fixed! The life you save, could be your own... Good luck, AJ

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
30

I don't know.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

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