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Matt
Matt, Mechanical Engineer
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 21628
Experience:  BEng hons Mech engineering, in auto industry 22 years
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58plate xc70: steering seems erratic, feels like play

Resolved Question:

58plate xc70: steering seems erratic, feels like play between front wheels? I don't feel secure on bumpy country roads. Just bought from main dealer with fresh MOT.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  Matt replied 11 months ago.

Hello

I'd start by checking for worn suspension joints - jack the car up so the wheel is off the ground (you’ll need to do this for all 4 corners) and shake the tyre from top to bottom and from side to side(with someone holding the steering wheel on the front) there should be no play in either direction. Any play in 1 direction will usually require a joint to be replaced, if there’s play in both directions then the wheel bearing may be at fault. If theres play only up and down its the strut top mount - to find thisone you have to shake the suspension strut it self up and down with the wheel off the ground - so you may need to remove the wheel to check this one.

Now with the car jacked up on that side with the wheel about 2 inches off the ground use a steelbar under the wheel and lever the wheel up and down slightly, you should be able to look at the end of the axle and see if the suspension arm is moving up and down separately to the axle.If so replace the bush

To feel if there's a worn strut top bearing then lightly hold the spring by hand and have your assistant move the steering from left to right with the wheel on the ground - aworn bearing will feel 'notchy' through the spring. The wheel needs to be on the ground for the test to load up the bearing

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