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Matt, Mechanical Engineer
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 22930
Experience:  BEng hons Mech engineering, in auto industry 22 years
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i have a xtrail 2012 you have to keep correcting steeling which

Customer Question

i have a xtrail 2012 you have to keep correcting steeling which tends to wander will not centrilise properly when turning on roundabout you have to keep a tight hold of steering wheel as steering snatches to go in the other direction
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  Matt replied 4 years ago.


The first thing I'd do is is check that the tyre pressures are correct to those stated in the manual / on the door jamb sticker

then check for worn suspension joints by jacking the car up so the wheel is off the ground and shake the tyre from top to bottom and from side to side (with someone holding the steering wheel). There should be no play in either direction.
Any play in 1 direction will usually require a suspension 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 this one you have to shake the suspension strut it self up and down with the wheel off the ground

if OK then take the car to a place that does 4 wheel suspension alignment, most places use the back wheels as a datum and assume that they are perfectly straight and true. Often this is not the case and many modern cars are now adjustable at the rear as well as the front.

A 4 wheel alignment measures all four wheels independently and each is set -up without referring to each other.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

all you say has already been done car has only 7000 miles on the clock but still have problem with sreeing been back to main dealer three times he has given visual check has found nothing out of place had it test driven with another garage they agree with me steering is faulty they said go back to dealer as it is under warenty

Expert:  Matt replied 4 years ago.


in that case check if the drive belt on the front of the pump is in good condition and the pump isn't making any odd noises especially when you turn the steering

Then check that the tyre pressures are correct to those stated in the manual / on the door jamb sticker,

if this all seems OK then I'd jack the car up so the front wheels are off the ground and move the road wheels from lock to lock by hand feeling for any tight spots as you move it

if its tight throughout the movement this could be a faulty steering rack or a seized strut top bearing
if you've been getting any strange clonking or 'boings' from the front suspension this points to a worn strut top

if there are tight patches of movement then its likely that a steering column universal joint is seizing up

so try dousing the joints one at a time in WD40 - or similar penetrating oil and turning the wheel in between to see if this makes any difference