What is the Flex Coupling-Steering Damper all about?
When you are driving, vibrations that result from wheel contact with the road moves through the suspension, steering components, and eventually the steering column. The flex coupling incorporates a rubber disc that absorbs excess vibrations that make your vehicle hard to handle or cause driver fatigue. Without the flex coupling, the vibrations you would feel in the steering wheel would make your hands and arms tired and sore after just a short time interval. In addition to vibration dampening, the flex coupling enables the steering column to turn freely even when it isn’t completely straight. A universal joint is designed into the flex coupling that allows your steering column to rotate freely while being at an angle due to suspension travel. If the steering damper is damaged or worn, you will feel more road vibration in the steering wheel. If the flex coupling portion comes loose, your steering will be less responsive to small side-to-side movements and feel jerky.
Keep in mind:
- Symptoms from several other vehicle problems can mimic those of a loose or binding flex coupling. Be sure to have one of our expert technicians diagnose your vehicle’s flex coupling before replacement.
- If your flex coupling is binding, it can pose a potentially severe steering issue including loss of control.
How it's done:
- The faulty flex coupling steering damper is identified
- The defective flex coupling is removed
- The new flex coupling is installed
- The battery is reconnected and radio is reset
- The steering is checked for proper operation
It is likely your flex coupling will need repair during the course of its lifetime. Whenever steering or suspension work is performed, have the flex coupling checked as well. If your flex coupling is worn or seizing up, it needs to be replaced for optimal vehicle handling and safety.
What common symptoms indicate you may need to replace the Flex Coupling-Steering Damper?
- Clunking noise in the steering when turning side to side
- Steering wheel doesn’t readily turn back to the center position
- Steering feels like it locks up when turning intermittently
How important is this service?
Steering is one of the most important functions of your vehicle. If you cannot properly direct your vehicle where you want it to go, it will pose a danger to passengers, other motorists, and pedestrians. Have your failing flex coupling or steering damper replaced immediately.