How do you fix the rocking motion in a steering wheel when it isn’t related to tilt/adjustable steering?
I’m assuming that I can remove the steering wheel off of my 1998 Jetta GLX and I’ll see a plastic fitting, gasket, or collar? If I have the steering wheel in the straight ahead position is only when it has play or when I turn the wheel to the left. However, it doesn’t do it when I turn the wheel to the right. What are the different possibilities that could be causing this?
The max freeplay your steering wheel should have is 30mm. You can measure this with masking tape and measuring tape. make a mark on the console somewhere and a mark on the steering wheel. Move the steering wheel to its end of the play and make another mark on the console and measure that.
To diagnose the free play, get underneath the vehicle and grab and pull each component and check for looseness.
The major cause of steering wheel free play is the inner and outer tie rod ends. Check the idler and pitman arms, steering gear mounts, wheel bearings, and steering shaft joints. If all of these are ok then you need a gear lash adjustment. Usually only on recirculating ball designs you can adjust the lash.
These checks can be made by a visual inspection. You might need someone to help you rock the steering wheel back and forth while you feel and listen for any looseness and play in the suspension. Good Luck.
2005-11 Mustang 4 way Adjustable Tilting headrest from TMI Products Inc. ID9713