Serving as the link between the steering column and the steering box, the steering shaft transfers motion from the steering wheel onto the steering system. It's designed to withstand constant movement and rotation for a long time. But eventually, it will show signs of wear and tear. A shaft that's worn out because of constant movement can make the steering wheel slack, jiggle, or .wander off., making a busted shaft a driving hazard. So before a broken shaft cause more serious steering problems, fix or replace it as soon as you can. If the shaft needs lubrication or has to be replaced, here's a step-by-step guide on how to remove it from your vehicle:
- Socket and ratchet
Step 1: Locate the steering shaft.
Open the hood and locate the shaft. This is usually located between the steering column and the steering box, which are found at the engine bay's driver side. Check with your vehicle manual if you're having problems figuring out where exactly is the shaft located.
Step 2: Disconnect the steering shaft from the steering column.
Using a socket and ratchet, unbolt the shaft from the column. To remove it from the assembly, push the shaft towards the steering box and pull it up until it disconnects from the steering column.
Step 3: Disconnect it from the steering box.
Using an open-end wrench, unbolt the shaft from the steering box. Once the bolt is loosened and removed, you can now pull the shaft off of the engine bay.
Step 4: Lubricate the shaft (if necessary).
If your problem is a poorly lubricated shaft, inject some grease into it. Make sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions on how much grease to use. If replacing the shaft is the only solution, skip to the next step.
Step 5: Install the lubricated or new steering shaft.
Installation is basically the reverse of removal. To attach the lubricated or new shaft, simply bolt it back in place, making sure that each end is securely linked back to the steering box and steering column.
Tips to keep in mind:
- A good technique when troubleshooting a problematic shaft is to jack up your ride, let a buddy sit inside the car and turn the steering wheel while you're under the vehicle. Carefully look for unusual shaft movement, which could be a sign of a worn-out shaft.
- Depending on your car make and model, you might need to remove additional parts in order to access the shaft. These can include the wiring under the dash since you might have to remove the steering wheel first, an auxiliary heater, and universal joints and clamps. Check your vehicle manual to check which parts you have to remove first.
- Now's the perfect time to inspect other parts of the steering assembly for signs of damage or wear and tear. If other parts are showing signs of old age, fix or replace them immediately. A newly installed steering shaft will wear out faster if its connecting parts are malfunctioning.