Steering a little sticky ?

DIF

Original poster
Member
Jan 1, 2013
13
Hi everyone, just bought a 07 Envoy SLT in Excellent condition with 51,000 miles.
My question is about the steering.
Steering seems fine, it tracks straight, doesn't wander and is otherwise great.
But, while driving straight and turning the wheel slightly left or slightly right, it will stick there and I have to turn it back to center again.
Otherwise making larger turns etc it will come back close to center on it own.
It's only when slightly off center the steering sticks.
Any thoughts on what could be the problem if any.
Thanks in advance :smile:
 

CaptainXL

Member
Dec 4, 2011
2,445
DIF said:
Hi everyone, just bought a 07 Envoy SLT in Excellent condition with 51,000 miles.
My question is about the steering.
Steering seems fine, it tracks straight, doesn't wander and is otherwise great.
But, while driving straight and turning the wheel slightly left or slightly right, it will stick there and I have to turn it back to center again.
Otherwise making larger turns etc it will come back close to center on it own.
It's only when slightly off center the steering sticks.
Any thoughts on what could be the problem if any.
Thanks in advance :smile:

I have never experienced our steering automatically coming back to the center on its own.

However I would flush the power steering fluid when you get the chance.
 

Chickenhawk

Member
Dec 6, 2011
782
Any history of front-end damage? Are the front tires (or rear tires, if they switched them before you bought it) worn evenly across the tread or are they more worn on the inside then the outside?

I am not an alignment expert but it almost sounds like too much toe-out. If changing the power steering fluid doesn't seem to help, you may need a wheel alignment.

Also, if you are used to driving a front-wheel-drive car, this truck will feel very different. There is no tendency for the wheel to self-straighten around a corner like there is on a front-wheel-drive car.
 

DIF

Original poster
Member
Jan 1, 2013
13
CaptainXL said:
I have never experienced our steering automatically coming back to the center on its own.

However I would flush the power steering fluid when you get the chance.

I had checked the fluid and it looks very clean, but I'll look into flushing it out for good measure.
My other thought is it may be the Rack and Pinion sticking.

Chickenhawk said:
Any history of front-end damage? Are the front tires (or rear tires, if they switched them before you bought it) worn evenly across the tread or are they more worn on the inside then the outside?

I am not an alignment expert but it almost sounds like too much toe-out. If changing the power steering fluid doesn't seem to help, you may need a wheel alignment.

Also, if you are used to driving a front-wheel-drive car, this truck will feel very different. There is no tendency for the wheel to self-straighten around a corner like there is on a front-wheel-drive car.

If it can be believed, CarFax shows no history of collision and from everything I've inspected so far on the vehicle, I haven't found any existing or repaired damage.
I haven't had it up on a lift yet so that could be telling once I do.
Got it from a Dealer with 4 Brand new tires already on it so can't say much about tire wear etc.
Although that in itself could indicate there may have been excessive tire wear for whatever reason.
But considering the 50K + mileage it should have needed new tires anyway.

I did consider the alignment being a problem but would presume ( I don't count on it ) if new tires were put on, it "should" have had an alignment done.
But I agree, you may have hit on something regarding the alignment because I do notice, looking at the vehicle from the front, both front tires look to be leaning inward at the top and not totally straight up and down.
Been driving AWD trucks for the past 8 years so it could well be I'm not used to the different steering feedback, and not coming back to center on it's own may be normal.
But to elaborate more on what I'm experiencing with this Envoy:
It drives and handles very well except, as I mentioned, when turning the wheel slightly off center, left or right, the wheel actually stays there as if there is some force holding it and the vehicle will continue to go in that direction until I straighten it out.
In that respect, the steering just doesn't feel smooth and free.
And I'm only turning it about 1/8 of a turn,... any more than that, then the wheel will tend to move, somewhat, back toward center again.

Thanks again for everyone's feedback and thoughts.
Much more responses on this Forum than the one I just came from :wink:
 

The_Roadie

Lifetime VIP Donor
Member
Nov 19, 2011
9,957
Portland, OR
Out of spec caster will affect self-centering. I'd get it done so you at least start with fresh tires and a good alignment. If you encounter a shop that says our platform has NO caster or camber adjustment, flee. They are incompetent goofballs.
 

CaptainXL

Member
Dec 4, 2011
2,445
the roadie said:
Out of spec caster will affect self-centering. I'd get it done so you at least start with fresh tires and a good alignment. If you encounter a shop that says our platform has NO caster or camber adjustment, flee. They are incompetent goofballs.

Interesting. Saw a few replies you had on the OS. Will definitely make sure they do this next time I get new tires.
 

Chickenhawk

Member
Dec 6, 2011
782
Maybe it's the sceptic in me but I would always assume the opposite; when a dealer puts on four new tires, they probably didn't do an alignment.
 

CaptainXL

Member
Dec 4, 2011
2,445
Chickenhawk said:
Maybe it's the sceptic in me but I would always assume the opposite; when a dealer puts on four new tires, they probably didn't do an alignment.

I would just bring it over to Firestone where I have the lifetime alignment. Tires would more than likely come from Costco.
 

Guano

Member
Jan 4, 2012
423
Wut they said,
& Check that ABS doesn't have your front brakes clamped on too tight, mine would barely turn and or attempt to return (with 2 hands wrestling) before abs went offline due to bad fnt hub sensor ...now 1finger turns wheels.:thumbsup:
 

DIF

Original poster
Member
Jan 1, 2013
13
Just wanted to post more info for what it's worth.

I thought the steering seemed sticky as mentioned in my original post but didn't find anything damaged/worn or in need of repair since then.
At the same time I posted about tire PSI because all the tires had 37 PSI when I got the Envoy, and on the door jam it recommended 30 front/36 rear.
Recently changed the Front tires PSI to 32 and Rears to 35 and did a lot more driving since then.
I figured it would improve the ride a bit, but ..... No More sticky steering :wootwoot:

I would never have even thought about it, but changing the tire PSI cleared up that problem.
Now it steers freely the way I thought it should straighten out after turns, and returns so close to dead center it's a non issue.

Overall, there's a Very Noticeable Improvement in the way this Envoy Rides, Handles and Steers.
Completely different vehicle for the better :yes:
 

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