Cadillac Catera and Cimarron Forum Discussion, weird steering problem in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; Hey im havin a strange problem with my buddys catera does this car have a steering rack? the steering is ...
Hey im havin a strange problem with my buddys catera does this car have a steering rack? the steering is tight but when u hit the brakes the car pulls left and wheel turns its not a sticky caliper they were replaced and problem still stands
Automobile(s): Platinum 2001 Cadillac Catera Sport
Re: weird steering problem
No rack & pinion steering. The Catera uses reciprocating ball. The power steering is variable effort, where the power assist is strongest as low speeds and decreases as you go faster. Could be that the steering pump might be low on fluid or need a flush. Check the hoses for leaks. Might need a new pump. Not sure if the ECM had to do with steering but you never know. Any codes?
Might not be the steering at all. Worn or damaged front end control arm bushings could be causing the wheels to toe out under braking. Not sure how to check them but I know it involves using a pry bar to force the control arm away from its mount and look for tears in the rubber or hydraulic fluid (the rear/vertical bearing is filled with oil). Could be worn tie rod ends.
Check the idler arm for play... do that with some sort of bar it wont budge if you try to pull it by hand but if it does move that allows for tow out... and as a result you get that pull... mine did that too on badly grooved roads... it pulled left then right then left.. depending on which wheel was being pushed...
I know this is an old thread, but just wanted to post for anyone else searching around... my 98 did the exact same thing. It also had slow leak around rim seal on several tires, when the front tires would get low it would pull much worse, but it was always there. It progressively got worse over time. I just replaced both lower control arms, and this completely resolved the pulling (and significant vibration) when braking.
On the removed parts, the rear (vertical) bushings were obviously worn. But on the passenger side, the bushing actually just fell out of the control arm.
If you feel shaking while braking (in the steering wheel and not brake pedal), and/or pulling to one side when braking, definitely check the control arm bushings.
Only issue now is with front end vibration at ~60mph. From what I've read, this is likely to be either wheel balance or tie rod ends. Since this just started more recently and I rotated tires front to back with no change, I suspect tie rod ends. I'm guessing the 8 or 10 months of severe shaking from bad bushings probably pushed the original tie rod ends over the edge. At least the ends are fairly cheap from rock auto :-)