Q: Steering wheel jerks when going over bumps

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I've been noticing a lot of looseness in the steering wheel only when going over bumpy roads. If I come to a stop and there is an imperfection on the road, the steering wheel would jerk to that side, making me hold on to the steering wheel tighter. If the road is bumpy, the steering wheel would jerk whenever the car is going over an imperfection on the road. The jerks are more pronounced when brakes are applied and coming to a stop while hitting a road imperfection rather than "tugging" when driving over bumps. I did raise the car up and wiggle the front tires in the 3 and 9 oclock positions as well as the 6 and 12 positions; both are stiff and show no play. What could be the reason?

My car has 115000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

You should check the steering rack and pinion mounts to see if they are worn? If okay then will need to have the vehicle on a vehicle rack and look for problems as steering is moved back and forth. You may have bad components that should be identified this way.

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