Hi guys... I have a '98 F-150 with 115k. When I turn my steering wheel I am hearing a pretty noticeable rubbing-type noise sourcing from my steering wheel. (I am not referring to the power steering whine we all hear or anything outside of the interior of the truck.) It's almost like my steering wheel column needs to be cleaned or lubricated. It is most noticeable when rotating the steering wheel quickly (either direction) such as when making a U-turn... Any ideas would be much appreciated!
1998 STX Ford F-150
2003 Harley Davidson Edition Ford F-150
while in park with engine running, slowly turn steering wheel left to right. If you hear a "squeaking" noise, more than likely you have a dry (meaning out of grease) pittman arm. The factory pittman arms dont have greasable zerks. But you can get a cheapo grease gun, a needle valve grease fitting, and squirt some grease into the pittman arm bushing (about $20 for the gun and fitting, or borrow one). My 97 f150 still has the factory pittman arm at 165,000 miles but i have to grease it once every 50,000 miles or so (an easy, 5 minute job). Or just get a new pittman arm installed that has greasable zerks. Cost is probably around $150 to $200 to change out the pittman arm at a shop.
Although I do not know for sure what a bad pitman arm would sound like, I think atleast that this is more of a rubbing type noise coming from the steering wheel area in the interior only. Sounds like you are right on track Reloader... Have you done this before? If so, is removing the steering wheel a fairly complex job, and is lubricating the steering wheel column difficult? Thank you both for the ideas...
First, get a good repair manual. You will have to deal with removing the horn/airbag cover and the airbag module itself. Then you should probably be able to see the friction surfaces that could be making noise. If this is something that you really aren't sure of because of the airbag system, take it to a dealer and tell them that you would like them to lubricate the friction surfaces inside the steering column. This might be a better idea because of the airbag system in the steering wheel.
I might add, I have not done this on cars with airbags, but I have done it on a few older cars, and it cured the problem. The proper lubricant also must be used. Yes, the steering wheel has to be pulled. I forgot to add that in my previous post.
I had an 00' Escort at work this week making a noise like you're describing. It sounded like plastic rubbing together, sort of a "squeak" sound. It was the clock spring. It is behind the steering wheel & has to do with the airbag. Be sure to disconnect the battery before you mess with the airbag, it could go off in your face! Hope this helps!
The sound your are describing sounds pretty similair. What exactly is the 'clock spring' and what did you have to do to correct your issue (did you just replace the part or what?) Did you do it yourself or have it done? Thanks!
I have this same problem in my 97 XLT, it started up a couple weeks ago after very spirited driving on some twisty mountain roads ... besides that squeaking/rubbing noise in the steering wheel, I also noticed that the wheel doesn't re-center itself after (for example) making a right-hand turn on the street. I have to turn the wheel back to center myself to straighten the truck out. Is that a result of the clock spring? Does it need to be replaced, regreased, or reinstalled? I'd like to know so I know what I'm talking about when I take it in to get serviced (no way I'm messing with it myself with all that high-tech airbag stuff going on in there hehe)...
I was waiting for someone to mention the recall that Ford had on '97's (other years?) for that very problem. I took my '97 in when it wasn't but a few months old for the same thing, and they told me it was a recall issue. No lubrication somewhere or another. If you know where to check, Carfax maybe, see if that recall doesn't show up. If so, and your truck shows no record of having the repair by Ford, you can take it in any time and get it done. I think all recall issues are transferrable to future owners. It's worth a shot, and why not do it on someone else's dime. Hope this helped. Later. Eric
my 98 does that too. I have 61,000 miles on myne and i started noticing it back over the summer. Kind of a rubbing sound, not a squeak or grind but a slight rubbing you can hear at lower speeds. I dont think its a major thing but i wouldnt mind applying alittle lube where needed, i mean on my truck, or something
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