Jaguars are made to excel as high-performance vehicles while ensuring comfort and safety. The best way to keep your Jaguar in its optimal condition is regular maintenance to prevent problems. An issue that can occur with your Jaguar is a wandering steering shaft. This can prove to be dangerous to you as a driver and should be addressed quickly. To ensure that this is done, you need to be aware of the reasons and symptoms behind a wandering steering shaft.
A Wandering Steering Shaft
In order to ensure that you are able to safely drive your Jaguar, you rely on the fact that the steering shaft stays in its proper place. The steering shaft is the part that connects your steering wheel to the steering gearbox.
For there to be a smooth ride in your Jaguar, the steering shaft needs to respond to every move of the steering wheel. The moment the steering shaft begins to wander, the safety that you have come to expect from your Jaguar is compromised.
Common Reasons for a Wandering Steering Shaft
One reason why the steering shaft wanders is due to worn gears or links. To keep the steering shaft in place, there are gears, bolts, and links throughout the system. If you are constantly driving on rough roads, the potential for breaks in the steering system becomes great, especially if your Jaguar is not made for off-road terrain. The longer you are driving your Jaguar on terrains that are not suitable, the quicker these gears and links will be worn down. This will cause the steering shaft to wander and it will not stay in the location you need it to when driving.
Another reason for a wandering steering shaft in your Jaguar is an imbalance in the caster. The caster is the angle in which your steering shaft is positioned. In order for there to be a proper driving experience, the caster of the steering wheel should be positive. This means that it is angled forward and towards you. With a positive caster, you will have greater control over your steering and your vehicle.
When a negative caster occurs, the angle of the steering shaft is backward. It is in this position that the steering shaft will begin to wander. Your Jaguar will become difficult to drive, as in a negative caster position, it will be harder to control over bumps, dips, curves, and imperfections in the road.
Symptoms of a Wandering Steering Shaft
If the steering shaft in your Jaguar is wandering, it may not be as noticeable or pronounced as you would expect. So you should be aware of a few symptoms that will indicate a wandering steering shaft.
The first symptom is strange sounds. If every time you turn your steering wheel you hear popping or clunking sounds, then there could be an issue with the steering shaft. The gears could be worn down and create strange sounds as they are incorrectly forced together.
A second symptom that can alert you to a wandering steering shaft is turning difficulty. If the steering shaft is not locked into place, then it will be less likely to respond to your direction. This will be most evident when you are turning. It will feel like the steering mechanisms are fighting against you. This will lead to a dangerous driving situation because you will not be able to react as quickly as you need in split-second driving conditions, and accidents can happen.
A third symptom that you want to be aware of is the steering wheel not going back to the middle when you lessen your grip on it. One of the many benefits of power steering is that when you turn the wheel, it will recenter after the turn is complete. If you have a wandering steering shaft, then the wheel will not recenter. It will be stuck in the direction of the turn that you just made.
Repairing a Wandering Steering Shaft
As you can see, having a wandering steering shaft can be dangerous to you and to your passengers. If you notice any of the symptoms that were mentioned above, it is time to bring your Jaguar in for service.
At Master Mechanics Auto Repair, we are easily accessible from the areas of Battle Creek, Portage, and Kalamazoo, MI, so you can make a convenient appointment with us for a quick inspection. We have trained and certified technicians in Jaguar models, and we will use the latest equipment to address and repair your wandering steering shaft. Once completed, you will return safely back on the road with confidence in our repairs. Call us today for an appointment.