Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: The steering shaft (I believe it's the intermediate shaft) disengaged from the steering column.

asked by on

My trucks steering wheel free spins. So took the bolt out of the bottom of the shaft that connects it to the splined shaft coming out of the steering box. When I push the shaft up it renegades and the steering works, but that leaves about an inch to an inch and a half gap between the shaft and the steering box. Now I could just shim the shaft up but. I would like to know why this is happening and what caused it. I want to fix it properly. It seems to be a safety hazard.
My car has a manual transmission.

A: Freely turning the steering wheel past the ...

Freely turning the steering wheel past the normal extent (travel limits), while the shaft is disconnected from the splined yoke will damage the "clock spring" in the steering column that the air bag relies on to fire. That assembly should be inspected and repaired.

The steering shaft has linkages that are fixed, by design, in position and you are right if you have to leave "gaps" anywhere in the assembly, such as where the yoke splines to the shaft coming out of the gearbox obviously something is broken or has moved out of position. It is going to be hard to guess at the fault without an in the field inspection and/or a better explanation of what you mean by the steering wheel just freely spinning. Such cannot happen unless the splines somewhere in the column assembly are basically completely destroyed on the linkage (typically a u-jointed splined yoke) or a complete break in the shaft. If you would like to have this issue inspected by an expert, a certified pro from YourMechanic can diagnose the steering problem in person so that this can be repaired.

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

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

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: Metal noise when turning left.

The noise over bumps could be related to the steering rack or mounts. You have already replaced everything else. As for the screeching noise, there is a chance that the brake dust shield is rubbing the rotor The shields...

Q: Anti theft module, ECU and ignition switch 2004 Mitsubishi Endeavor

Hi there - this may be more a matter of the equipment availability to "program" anti-theft components. Most mechanics do not have access to anti-theft/security components in the vehicle. These are only available to dealers licensed by that manufacturer. This...

Q: Coolant blowing out tailpipe

Hi there. A coolant leak on the these GM vehicles is common due to failures in core plugs. Core plugs are holes where block castings are filled from, and sealed to keep coolant in. I would have a certified mechanic...

Related articles

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 P0052 code means This code is seen when the Engine Control Module (ECM) tries to control the...
P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...