Binding Steering

Binding Steering

Binding steering while cornering is often caused by dry worn ball joints, but there are other causes that must be considered. The two steering gears commonly found on vehicles today are the recirculating ball and the rack and pinion. The recirculating ball steering gear is found on older vehicles and many of today's light and heavy trucks. Rack and pinion steering gears are installed on front wheel drive vehicles and some light trucks. It is fastened to the firewall or frame with rubber insulation bushings (rack bushings).

When these bushings become oil soaked or wear, they don't cause binding, but instead result in vehicle wander. This is because the rack now moves in its brackets, resulting in changes in toe. Steering wander is when a vehicle wanders left and right causing the driver to continually compensate as the vehicle wanders back and forth. As seen in the illustration; a binding ball joint, a binding rack gear, or binding strut mount bearings result in problem steering.