Steering feels loose/wanders on highway
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2004-2007 Cadillac CTS-V General Discussion Discussion, Steering feels loose/wanders on highway in Cadillac CTS-V Series Forum - 2004 - 2007; The past couple of months my steering has felt a little bit loose on the highway. Almost like it has ...
  1. #1
    xbladr is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Steering feels loose/wanders on highway

    The past couple of months my steering has felt a little bit loose on the highway. Almost like it has some play dead center of the wheel and wants to wander a little bit. I used to be able to casually drive the caddy and cruise but, now I have to give 100% focus to make sure i dont drift off into another lane. I am not sure what could be wrong with the car. It was just 4 wheel aligned 2-3 months ago as well. Almost brand new tires front and back 275 rear 245 front. Anyone have any ideas as to what maybe the culprit?

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  3. #2
    darkman's Avatar
    darkman is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: Steering feels loose/wanders on highway

    Assuming it is not an alignment problem, which can recur even after an alignment from potholes or curb strikes, it may be an issue with the power steering hydraulics or the VES (variable effort steering). I would check the condition of the power steering fluid and change it if it is not translucent and relatively clean. The VES reduces steering effort at low speed and increases it at high speed. If it has a problem, it you can get low-speed effort reduction at high speed where it is not needed. See attached.

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    xbladr is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Steering feels loose/wanders on highway

    Darkman... Awesome info I will look into that this weekend! Thanks so much for the quick response

  5. #4
    rand49er's Avatar
    rand49er is offline Cadillac Owners 10000+ Posts
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    Re: Steering feels loose/wanders on highway

    In addition, I have to ask how are your tires? My worn runflats made the car "track" noticeably on the highway, a feeling similar to what you're describing.
    '05 CTS-V, Maggie, Kooks, Hotchkis, Ground Control, Corsa, B&M, DSS/Hendrix, Full 3M Clear Bra, Autovation, V Headrests, CTS Console, STS-V 55w Fogs, Black Vette FRCs, Specter Werkes, Katech LS9 Clutch, SS Brake Lines, Heavymetals U-Turn Fuel Line Eliminator, Momo Combat Evo Shift Knob, Wldwhl Clear Sidemarkers, Linea Corse LC855 Wheels or OEM wheels w/'06-'07 Center Caps, plus a couple more. 472 RWHP/411 RWTQ (Mustang Dyno).

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    xbladr is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Steering feels loose/wanders on highway

    rand94er: Almost brand new maybe 3k miles on them. They are mismatched though the rear 2 (275's) are toyos i believe and the front 2 (245's) are so off brand I got the wheels like that (Stock chromes) my other stock wheels have some general all season tires on them 245's all around.

    Darkman: I checked the fluid this evening real fast before I had to go into work (took the bike) and it was definitely not clear lol. It was to the full line but it was brownish. I will rock the turkey baster method in a day or two. I have some redline at home ATF that should work correct?

  7. #6
    darkman's Avatar
    darkman is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: Steering feels loose/wanders on highway

    Quote Originally Posted by xbladr View Post
    Darkman: I checked the fluid this evening real fast before I had to go into work (took the bike) and it was definitely not clear lol. It was to the full line but it was brownish. I will rock the turkey baster method in a day or two. I have some redline at home ATF that should work correct?
    There was a time when power steering fluid and ATF were one and the same thing, but that may no longer be the case. While some car manufacturers still specify ATF, GM and many other manufacturers specify a power steering fluid. GM even has two flavors - regular and cold climate. The cold climate version is a synthetic blend that provides both better cold and hot weather performance. ATF would probably work in a pinch, but since you are troubleshooting a steering issue, I would do a full drain and refill with one of the GM fluids or at least a designated power steering fluid. The brownish color means your existing fluid is "burnt" indicating exposure to high temperature.

  8. #7
    xbladr is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Steering feels loose/wanders on highway

    Darkman thanks for the input. I will head to my local caddy dealer and pick up some of the cold climate version of the power steering fluid.

  9. #8
    xbladr is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Steering feels loose/wanders on highway

    Changed out the fluid and it definitely feels better. There is still like 1 inch of side to side play in the center of the wheel when at highway speed that does nothing. I almost feel like I need to have it slightly off center one way or the other to feel stable. Like there is a deadzone at top dead center when wheels are straight if that makes any sense

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