Possible cause of steering shake! Page 1 / 2

thejazzpianoma, Jan 4, 6:36am
Greetings all,

Car is a 99 Citroen Xsara (thats a fairly simple normal Citroen with regular power steering and suspension).

Sometime's when turning the wheel slightly at town speeds (especially on smooth seal) I can feel a moderate/slow rhythmic shake to the steering wheel.

Its a gentle but noticeable shake, could almost be what it feels like to lose and regain power assistance in a rhythmic manner (if that's possible, was wondering about power steering pump but haven't had that happen with one before).

Interestingly the tires seem to be wearing normally, there is no shake when I apply the brakes with hands off the wheel and the condition comes and goes through the course of a drive. Power steering fluid is brown and smells bad, which added to my power steering pump theory.

Any ideas!

I am yet to give the car a proper once over but thought I would put it out there in case someone knows exactly where to start.

mugenb20b, Jan 4, 6:40am
Just out of interest, are both front tyres the same brand and tread type!

nathan84, Jan 4, 6:42am
sure the belts not slipping!

thejazzpianoma, Jan 4, 6:43am
I think so but will check.

thejazzpianoma, Jan 4, 6:45am
Seems tight and no squeeling but will confirm this too.

The condition comes on with a slight turn and isn't noticeable with a lot of lock which also makes me think its probably not the belt. But will check for sure.

tonyrockyhorror, Jan 4, 6:55am
Separated tyre. The 'South Auckland' shuffle.

mugenb20b, Jan 4, 6:59am
It's interesting that you say it only happens 'sometimes'. I don't know Citroen Xsaras at all, but, I would jack the front of the car up and spin the wheels by hand and check for bulges (broken cords) and flat spots first (as well as tread and tyre type). Once the tyres are eliminated, I would start to look for kinked or pinched power steering pipes and hoses, although, that will be very unlikely, but I have seen it once before (power steering pump was screaming too). Flushing the hydraulic system may help, but like you say, it could well be the pump.

thejazzpianoma, Jan 4, 7:01am
Good thinking. I have a suspicion this car may have sat for some time at some point in recent history. I will check them out thoroughly. this sounds quite feasible.

thejazzpianoma, Jan 4, 7:05am
I think you and tonyrockyhorror could be on to it there. I am thinking the tire could be damaged in such a way that it takes the smooth road and a paricular turn angle/stress to make it appear. That could account for the seemingly random nature.

I have not done hardly any km's n the vehicle and am having a reall "off day" in terms of energy/brain function so it will be interesting to see what we find.

If I can't see anything obvious I will do a front/back swap of the tires and see if it makes a difference.

mugenb20b, Jan 4, 7:09am
Sounds good to me.

thejazzpianoma, Jan 4, 7:15am
Woo hoo! Guaranteed profit! (Mrs Jazz)

sr2, Jan 4, 7:26am
Bit of a long shot as I??

thejazzpianoma, Jan 4, 7:33am
Also sounds very feasible!
Thanks for that as this was the sort of non-obvious irritation I suspected could be at play. hence my asking first on this one!

I will look into this as well and will be sure to post back what the problem was once its found. Could be interesting.

BTW, I have very little experience with Frenchies as well (Italian and German are more my style) this particular one seems very ordinary in design though. I suspect the suspension would not be dissimilar to the setup on the car that gave you the trouble.

Car has nearly 190K on the clock so plenty of time for some wear (although aside from the power steering fluid seems to be very nicely cared for).

supernova2, Jan 4, 7:46am
Given the choice I buy Renault if it had to be French.Citrus just dont appeal for some reason.But Im picking its either a faulty tire or something binding in the turning points ie ball joints bearings bushes or whatever it has.The real problem will unfortunately be "Its French".For all we know it may have been designed into the thing at the factory just to confuse service techs later in the piece!.Cheers

thejazzpianoma, Jan 4, 8:06am
LOL, I have to admit its a bit of a French Corolla in that it dosn't have a lot in the way of redeeming properties. But it was a lot of very tidy well looked after car for very little money. The simple Peugeot single cam engine seems very economical and easily accessible.

Same thing wearing a Toyota badge would have been 2-3 times the price.

Time will tell whether I warm to it.

tonyrockyhorror, Jan 4, 9:31am
BTW can you confirm these come with an electric white flag on all specification levels! Nothing worse than tiring your arm waving a white flag as often and vigorously as the French do.

thejazzpianoma, Jan 4, 9:13pm
No, this one is quite basic, just the manual flag wrapped up in the boot next to the union protest sign underneath the wine rack.

tonyrockyhorror, Jan 4, 9:19pm
Please tell me it at least has a beret rack and a cheese board in lieu of a cup holder!

kazbanz, Jan 4, 9:23pm
try something really simple. Swap the two front wheels with the two rears and see if the problem goes away

bellky, Jan 4, 9:27pm

rsr72, Jan 5, 2:48am
-worn steering rack ball joints!

craig04, Jan 5, 2:50am
Do you have parkinsons!

pge, Jan 5, 9:15pm
It would be a better situation if Mrs. Jazz was the one who had Parkinson's.-

carmedic, Jan 6, 4:32am
Change and flush the PAS fluid, I had the same thing on a Peugeot 306 (same car ish).

petermcg, Jan 6, 5:11am
I agree this is first thing to try.

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