Subaru Outback Forums banner

1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey all. I've owned my '98 Outback manual for a few years now (bought from previous owner) and I have never had a problem with it. Its got quite a few miles (239K) but the engine and rest of components seem to be going strong. About a year ago, after a long road trip and upon returning home, the steering wheel began to jerk hard to the left, and then return to center, and then jerk again. The spacing between each jerk decreases as the car speeds up. I was able to get the car home, and the next day, no more jerking. I didn't see this problem again until just recently, when the exact same jerking starting happening again, except this time not going away. The jerking seems to only occur when the engine is warm, and the brakes seem to have no effect on the motion. Got underneath the car, and the front CV joints look fine, with no cracked boots and only a little play. The brake on the left front seems a little sticky, but doesn't smell burnt or produce any smoke while driving. The power steering/alternator belt doesn't feel loose or cracked. There are absolutely no out of place noises when this problem occurs, just a whole lot of shake. This has also occurred with two different sets of wheels and tires, so it seems that alignment isn't the issue? Any advice is appreciated!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Had the car up today but forgot to check those. Ill check tomorrow. Does checking basically entail visual inspection and checking the hub and control arm assemblies for play? Thanks for the answer.
 

·
Premium Member
2001 VDC/SC One of a Kind
Joined
·
12,616 Posts
Yes. Look for rips in the forward bushings, oily residue at the rear ones. Use a prybar and see how much they move. It should be really tight, limited movement. Try to pivot the wheel by grabbing the top and bottom of the tire. Then side to side. Look for movement in the ball joint and steering tie rods.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Yes. Look for rips in the forward bushings, oily residue at the rear ones. Use a prybar and see how much they move. It should be really tight, limited movement. Try to pivot the wheel by grabbing the top and bottom of the tire. Then side to side. Look for movement in the ball joint and steering tie rods.
Got underneath the car again today. Moving the wheels didn't yield any results, however, I noticed that the inner tie rod boot is completely ripped open on the driver side of the car (the same side the steering jerks to), and the ball joint looks rather crusty. The outer tie rod end is completely intact, as is the entire tie rod on the right side of the car. Is this the most likely source?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Yes. Look for rips in the forward bushings, oily residue at the rear ones. Use a prybar and see how much they move. It should be really tight, limited movement. Try to pivot the wheel by grabbing the top and bottom of the tire. Then side to side. Look for movement in the ball joint and steering tie rods.
Replaced the gunked up inner tie rod. Problem seemed to be solved for a day, but drove it this morning and the problem persisted. Bad power steering pump or belt? Maybe a bent wheel?
 

·
Registered
2001 2.5 RS & 2000 OB
Joined
·
171 Posts
If it's only pulling to the left, I'm starting to doubt the PS pump. Focus on the brakes. When's the last time they were bled? When was ABS activated last? Have you lubed up the slide pins on the left front?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
If it's only pulling to the left, I'm starting to doubt the PS pump. Focus on the brakes. When's the last time they were bled? When was ABS activated last? Have you lubed up the slide pins on the left front?
Never had the brakes bled or lubed the slide pins. Theres no issues while braking, such as sponginess in the pedal or dragging, or any sort of smell/burning. Now that I think about it though, the issue first occurred upon heavy braking upon meeting traffic after a road trip. Pop the caliper off and take a look?
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top