Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: I am broke down on the road because when I try to drive my steering jerks and so does my wheel

asked by on

When I drive, the front right wheel jerks to the right and jerks the steering wheel to the right as well as makes a grinding noise, like it is scraping something.

My car has 175000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

What you are describing sounds like a problem with the rack and pinion gears. The rack and pinion gear set does two things: It converts the rotational motion of the steering wheel into the linear motion needed to turn the wheels. It also provides a gear reduction, making it easier to turn the wheels by the use of reduction gears where the steering shaft connects. This system uses a torsion bar driven valve to direct and relieve pressure in a cylinder. When the steering wheel is not being turned, the steering valve is at rest. In this position fluid flows around the valve and out to the reservoir which is where the power steering fluid resides when not at work. Slight pressure also enters both sides of the assist cylinder. Because pressure is equal on both sides of the piston nothing occurs when the wheel is straight ad no assistance is need to turn the wheels either way. Occasionally you’ll notice that your steering wheel will make jerking movements or sudden turns to the left or right when not directed by you. This is typically the sign of loose bearings in the steering rack and the result of the steering rack literally moving without input. I would recommend having an expert from YourMechanic come to your location to diagnose and inspect your vehicle.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. I am broke down on the road because when I try to drive my steering jerks and so does my wheel

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: My transmission pops out of gear.

The software update that was performed on your vehicle maybe for a vehicle with a different transmission. Check the version of software that was installed in your car and verify what model that it refers to for your transmission.

Q: Car won’t start. It had problems overheating at first. Then something popped and water came out. I don’t know what’s wrong with it

This sounds like you started off with the coolant getting low due to a leak and then it got worse when overheated and blew the head gasket causing the misfire and no starting from coolant getting inside cylinders. You will...

Q: Car not starting, even with jumpstart

Hello. I strongly suggest checking the starter, alternator and even the new battery to make sure that they are all in working order. Testing those three will give you a better perception of why it's not starting. If you need...

Related articles

What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the...