Steering wheel jerk..Whats going on???? - Dodge Cummins Diesel Forum
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Old 03-15-2011, 08:18 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Steering wheel jerk..Whats going on????

Only started this morning or at least I only noticed it this morning on the way to work. Last week has been same routine and same weather. Okay the problem... When turning a corner, all is okay until about 1/4 turn tell straight then the steering wheels seems to jerk around. Almost like stuck in a mud rut when the tires push the wheel around slightly.

Does this turning both directions can be hard or soft turn but either way at 1/4 turn left tell straight.
Got home and pulled p/s lid off and it had a lot of air pressure (maybe little over a second that air could be heard escaping) that was released. When I took the cap off, the stick has blackish residue but really no fluid. Could low fluid be the cause of this? I will add fluid when I get back to work tomorrow.

I got under the front end with a pry bar and all the links (bushings) seem tight, aka no excess movement with weight of truck on every thing. Also I hear a squeak noise coming from I think the left front tire area but no clue what it is (noise is heard while driving with wheel at 1/4 turn either way.) I lifted the LF tire of the ground and pried up on it and had a tiny bit of movement but not much at all, also seemed to spin smooth.

Any ideas other then top off the fluid???
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Old 03-15-2011, 11:48 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I think what you heard may have been vacuum leaking, instead of positive air pressure leaking out. First things first, fill it to the proper level with ATF+4 fluid and then cycle left to right and back a time or two to remove air. You can do this on jackstands. Start there and see if your problem goes away.

Also, any signs of leakage under the truck around the PS box or pump?

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Old 03-16-2011, 08:50 PM   #3 (permalink)
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So it was the easy fix. Topped off the fluid and all seems back to normal. And it was pressure not vacuum. It pushed the cap into my hand instead of sticking to the reservoir.

The one think I can't explain....I have no leaks on this truck other then the minor rear main....??? So now I have the p/s fluid that like likes to disappear sense I have checked the fluid before and it was fine.
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Old 03-17-2011, 06:39 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I actually just had the same "jerking" motion on my steering. Worse at low speeds better at higher. Got the truck of the ground and found one of my front u-joints was binding up do to wear. May want to start there. You can feel with the tire off the joints give if they are bad.

Just a thought.
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Old 03-18-2011, 10:05 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Rippin, Good to hear it was just fluid. It's a little odd about the positive pressure. Hang on...if it was hot, then that makes sense. If it was cold, then I have no clue. If it was hot, then the fluid got hot and then heated the large area of air in there creating positive pressure. That makes sense.

One thing that you may check is the cap itself. I saw a recall on newer ones - 08 and up - for caps that would not vent. I think these things are supposed to allow pressure to bleed off. It's like a hydraulic power unit tank; they have to breathe.

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