OT: Pre-Trip Van Issue - What's Wrong?

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Happiegrrrl2

Trad climber
Topic Author's Original Post - Sep 25, 2017 - 02:05pm PT
I have noticed 3 ties in the last month or so that when I turn the steering wheel fully to the right, before it returns to the center position, it seems to get caught up for a fraction of a second before moving smoothly.

Obviously I will take it to the shop, but since I just realized today that yes, this is a thing that is happening and not just something I imagined, I thought I'd give you all something to tease me over(and perhaps offer suggestions).

Yes, I already did a quick search and see it could be a number of things, and yes, I could wait until the guy takes a look. That won't be until next week though. I'll be driving fairly short distances on local roads for now, but the question begs - Am I gonna die in the interim?
grover

climber
Castlegar BC
Sep 25, 2017 - 02:46pm PT
Hmm....doesn't sound good.

Perhaps try turning only left?

Three lefts equal one right.

Good luck Happie.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Sep 25, 2017 - 03:49pm PT
You need ball joints until proven otherwise. This is a no go situation.
Russ Walling

Social climber
from Poofters Froth, Wyoming
Sep 25, 2017 - 04:25pm PT
Dingus Milktoast

Trad climber
Minister of Moderation, Fatcrackistan
Sep 25, 2017 - 04:28pm PT
That won't be until next week though. I'll be driving fairly short distances on local roads for now, but the question begs - Am I gonna die in the interim?

Maybe. But even worse you could take out others with you.

DMT
ruppell

climber
Sep 25, 2017 - 04:30pm PT
Holy sh!t, is it that time of year already?
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Sep 25, 2017 - 04:35pm PT
We love you happie. try not to drive untill you get it checked out. The wheel can actually collapse and wreck all kinds of expensive sh#t. ball joints and tie rods are relativly cheap but the dammage and danger of what happens when the wheel falls off is NOT. If you do not have gold AAA you should get it ASAP and have the rig towed to a reputable shop. I know that is really tough when you live in the Van. Best of luck!
Winemaker

Sport climber
Yakima, WA
Sep 25, 2017 - 04:35pm PT
As Russ suggests. What iteration is this? That van is sucking you dry. Ball joints, some type of recirculating ballitis, tie rods.....
Cosmiccragsman

Trad climber
AKA Dwain, from Apple Valley, Ca. and Vegas!
Sep 25, 2017 - 04:44pm PT
when I turn the steering wheel fully to the right, before it returns to the center position, it seems to get caught up for a fraction of a second before moving smoothly.



Check the, NUT, behind the wheel.


#MULTIMETER
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Sep 25, 2017 - 04:54pm PT
WBraun

climber
Sep 25, 2017 - 05:06pm PT
Also be very careful and make sure you get an honest mechanic for the diagnostics.

This type of diagnostic can easily be amplified into repairs you don't really need
because you have no experience with these different components of your suspension system.
ruppell

climber
Sep 25, 2017 - 05:21pm PT
Werner,

It could also be that after 20 years and how many miles the front end needs to be rebuilt. Steering and suspension components only have so long of a life. I agree an honest mechanic is a must but even then it might be time for LBJ, UBJ, pitman arm and tie rod at the minimum.
Gary

Social climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Sep 25, 2017 - 05:23pm PT
Strangely enough, this might be an instance where a multimeter is useless.
Climberdude

Trad climber
Clovis, CA
Sep 25, 2017 - 06:15pm PT
Haarpy,

I love hearing about your adventures. Does your van have a steering stabilizer, which looks like a smallshock absorber attached between the steering arm and the frame? It could be the steering stabilizer as I have had this same problem with a damaged steering stabilizer. I would hope it would be this as opposed to the ball joints, which will much more expensive to replace. As others have suggested, I would suggested driving as little as possible and getting this inspected as soon as possible.
zip

Trad climber
pacific beach, ca
Sep 25, 2017 - 07:12pm PT
At the present time, I have nothing to say that I haven't said many times before.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Sep 25, 2017 - 07:18pm PT
zip, would you be referring to a fishing parable involving bait?
beerlyman

Social climber
State of Confusion
Sep 25, 2017 - 07:54pm PT
Is this a Chevy?
Happiegrrrl2

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 26, 2017 - 02:32pm PT
The van passed inspection three weeks ago; the mechanic has a good reputation and isn't likely to be ignoring/missing something that wouldn't have passed inspection or was butting up against a non-pass. Although I suppose it is always possible they overlooked something.

I have an appt for next Wednesday, and if I see someone who I know can spot problems beforehand, I'll ask them to take a look.

Zip - Nothing to say, except then you couldn't help saying something.....

As for "bleeding me dry" - I don't get how people can keep saying THAT over and over when it has prove to be untrue. Must be nice to have the ability to own brand new vehicles, because I don't know ANYONE who has a used one of ANY age(much less a 1990) that has had to spend as little as I have since I got this one. And I have heard of plenty of people with NEW ones that have had repair bills that that have been more than I have spent on every repair done to this van since I got it in 2012. It's been nearly 5 years and besides oil changes/tires and such, I have paid less than $1500. That included a radiator that actually wasn't the problem(a story I choose not to tell on ST to save face for someone on this forum) and brake stuff, which....you naysayers never had to have your brakes on your "reliable" vehicles worked on?

Geez....
Dingus Milktoast

Trad climber
Minister of Moderation, Fatcrackistan
Sep 26, 2017 - 02:35pm PT
Must be nice to have the ability to own brand new vehicles,

Yes, its wonderful to avail oneself of modern marvels. But you gotta pay to play, otherwise you get what we have here.

DMT
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Sep 26, 2017 - 02:59pm PT
happie, one of the kids on our construction crew has a brand new pickup truck with a $500.00 a month payment. he has a good job, put in 40hrs a week but is behind on payments, let the insurance slip so could not get inspected. He got pulled over and towed a month or so ago because his inspection expired in feb.. Brand new rigs with big payments ain't all they are cracked up to be........
Happiegrrrl2

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 26, 2017 - 03:18pm PT
^ Yeah, I know. But in theory new vehicles are the way to go! Because you know you look like you're successful, if you have a shiny car.

I was talking to someone the other day just bought a brand new car. Six year loan and $350/mo payments.

If I thought I COULD responsibly manage the finances for a new vehicle, then maybe I would go for it. But dang that thing, what's it called....knowing oneself.... Just can't convince my mind that I could keep current with payments and related costs over the years to maintain the value of the "investment." Just can't convince myself that I need to go work for a corporation so I can have the exterior facade that is all bright and shiny, and that their soul in exchange for dollars deal is in my best interest.
ontheedgeandscaredtodeath

Social climber
Wilds of New Mexico
Sep 26, 2017 - 03:25pm PT
Getting lectured by climbers for having an old rig is bizarre! Who are these people?? Not everybody can afford a new Mercedes Sphincter van. Just get the steering thing looked at ASAP- sounds sketchy.
David Knopp

Trad climber
CA
Sep 26, 2017 - 03:25pm PT
i have never posted on your van travails before but now i couldn't resist-you could possibly have a decent non-make-you-crazy transport and not work for a big corporation. You don't need anything fancy or new, just something reliable-may i suggest something in a honda? i have a 14 yr old element, 260 k miles, never needed anything but tires and oil, and yeah the brakes done. Something like that. i wish you all the best!
skcreidc

Social climber
SD, CA
Sep 26, 2017 - 04:03pm PT
If it only goes left, you are ready for some NASCAR

In theory, if you have a new car you should be able to get 60k miles out of it before something goes wrong (and hopefully more), and it's under warrenty. Cars, vans, and trucks are in a constant state of decay and it is tough for your mechanic to keep up with it. With an older vehicle it helps if you become fluent in repair of that vehicle.
kunlun_shan

Mountain climber
SF, CA
Sep 26, 2017 - 04:14pm PT
Happiegrrrl, if all you've spent in the last 5 years for repairs is $1500 (not including tires and oil changes, and including a radiator you didn't need), I agree that's pretty hard to beat!
Spider Savage

Mountain climber
The shaggy fringe of Los Angeles
Sep 26, 2017 - 04:15pm PT
This topic is waayyy more interesting than whether or not NFL players kneel or stand and the poor folks in Puerto Rico.
Dingus Milktoast

Trad climber
Minister of Moderation, Fatcrackistan
Sep 26, 2017 - 04:29pm PT
^ Yeah, I know. But in theory new vehicles are the way to go! Because you know you look like you're successful, if you have a shiny car.

Don't be bitter. You dropped out by choice.

DMT
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Sep 26, 2017 - 04:34pm PT
With an older vehicle it helps if you become fluent in repair of that vehicle

Didn't you mean to say:

"With an older vehicle it helps if you become affluent?"
Ksolem

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Sep 26, 2017 - 04:49pm PT
In theory, if you have a new car you should be able to get 60k miles out of it before something goes wrong...

You must be buying Fiats :-)

My 2009 Tacoma has zero problems at 170K. Just maintenance. Still drives like new. I figure the water pump or some such thing will bite me one of these days...
SomebodyAnybody

Big Wall climber
Torrance
Sep 26, 2017 - 04:56pm PT
Happiegrrrl, if all you've spent in the last 5 years for repairs is $1500 (not including tires and oil changes, and including a radiator you didn't need), I agree that's pretty hard to beat!

Yes, she got lucky and hit a sweet spot with that particular unit, but it also means she's living on borrowed time, old rigs will always start having many things large and small failing once they are in that age and mileage range, and if you can't do the work yourself they become a money pit.

I can afford new cars, but we've always bought our cars at 2-3 years old with about 25k miles on them, drive them until they have 120 to 150k at 8-10 years old. Someone else takes the depreciation hit, we get a long period of reliability, warranty, and they require very little maintenance.

Our total maintenance on them is usually one battery replacement, two sets of tires, and about 4 sets of windshield wipers. When the second set of replacement tires is worn out we sell the cars. It's worked very well for us over the last 30 years, we've never had a breakdown, never had to hassle with having a car in the shop for repairs. Oil changes and tire rotation are quick and easy at home. Low stress and financially sound.

But then we've always viewed cars as a necessary evil, just another tool like a computer or a cordless drill, not as a status symbol or lust object. People are weird like that, one of my VPs at work just bought a new Corvette for 70k and another coworker bought a 60k truck. It seems crazy to me, but they'll be working long after I've retired, so I hope they enjoy those nice cars.
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Sep 26, 2017 - 05:02pm PT
Isa's 2010 ford focus needed head gasket at 3 years and about 60K. off warente. It can happen. Obviously there is a lot of piece of mind with a new vehicle but payments SUCK! My 03 chevy van is leaking a bit and not feeling up to a serious road trip right now so we plan on taking the 86 westy for a 2 1/2 week spin in oct. It's just a Van. Keep on top of all the fluids, point it down the road and hope for the best :)
kunlun_shan

Mountain climber
SF, CA
Sep 26, 2017 - 05:09pm PT
Yes, she got lucky and hit a sweet spot with that particular unit, but it also means she's living on borrowed time, old rigs will always start having many things large and small failing once they are in that age and mileage range, and if you can't do the work yourself they become a money pit.

I totally agree!
Don Paul

Big Wall climber
Denver CO
Sep 26, 2017 - 06:08pm PT
My last 4 or 5 vehicles I bought for between $1-2k, 20 years old or more, with mileage between 100-150k. I look for people who take great care of their vehicles to the point of keeping maintenance records, something I would never do. Then I drive the car until it no longer runs, donate it to charity for a tax write-off, and get a new one. A late 90s Dodge Caravan or similar is perfect. If I added up all my car payments and repairs over the last ten years, I bet its less than $50 a month, and I am no car mechanic.

* side story. A friend of mine went on a climbing trip to Australia, as part of his world tour with his 100 lb haulbag. I guess there is a big used car market in Sydney, where he bought a car for about that price, then toured all around Australia, and a few months later sold it at the same market .... for a profit.
Stewart Johnson

Mountain climber
lake forest
Sep 27, 2017 - 05:52am PT
Older cars / vans need a certain amount
Of maintaining to stay running well
W.L.

climber
Edge of the Electric Ocean Beneath Red Rock
Sep 27, 2017 - 06:17am PT
Yes, its wonderful to avail oneself of modern marvels. But you gotta pay to play, otherwise you get what we have here.

Don't be bitter. You dropped out by choice.

Nailed it.
MikeL

Social climber
Southern Arizona
Sep 27, 2017 - 06:52am PT
The mechanics of automotive front ends must have changed considerably since I was a kid. (Now I’m one of those people who generally has a late-model vehicle.) When I was a kid, I worked as an assistant mechanic during the summers in high school at a Firestone dealership, and my buddies all had hot rods. (But not me, not with my father.) I can’t ever remember someone’s front end falling out driving under most any circumstance (unless one was off-road doing stupid things or in very challenging conditions). Of course (I’m sheepish to admit) we would push and pull this and that to show how any play in the mechanism meant that things needed immediate replacement.

Sure, get it looked at. But I wouldn’t be worrying and losing sleep over those clicking and hesitations.

What the Duck said.
Gary

Social climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Sep 27, 2017 - 06:56am PT
You must be buying Fiats :-)

A Fiat going 60k without a problem? You're kidding, right?

Happie, pay no attention to us, we're all just jealous. You're out there living the dream.
chainsaw

Trad climber
CA
Sep 27, 2017 - 07:31am PT
If you hit a curb or ran over something big recently you may have a mechanical problem but I think not since you didn't mention crashing. Ball joints dont just fail. Inspect the castle nuts that hold them together. They should have cotter keys in them that prevent them from coming apart. If a balll joint has come apart comletely, you will see it when you jack up the van till the front wheel is off the ground. The hesitation is likely a sign that you are low on power steering fluid. If the steering or suspension were at fault the problem wouldnt "correct " itself after a pause. Check your power steering fluid and look for leaks. If you can jack it up, get the front wheels off the ground and check for horizontal or vertical play (wobble) in the sterring and suspension. If your controll arms, ball joints or tie rods are hosed, it will wobble when you grab the wheel and try to wiggle it. These components wear slowly and dont just suddenly fail. Steering stabilizers look like a shock absorber between the wheels. On a van you may have one but if you do and it is worn, it wont cause any lockup problem. It will simply stop dampening which will just make steering less smoth. If your power steering rack is worn, that is a costly fix. But you probably have a standard steering on your van with a steering arm and no rack .Keep the fluid full. Lastly, get the front end greased up. You may have some friction due to sand and dirt in your steering due to offroad use. Good luck and always get a second opinion from a mechanic before committing to expensive repairs. About half the techs out there are on minimum wage and not terribly competent or even honest. They will sell you a $2000 repair when all you need is $6 of power steering fluid.
chainsaw

Trad climber
CA
Sep 27, 2017 - 08:20am PT
Good luck happygirl
T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
Sep 27, 2017 - 08:51am PT
Must be nice to have the ability to own brand new vehicles,

Yes it is,
but now y'all makin me feel like a stoopid gross materialist crankloon.;)

Redwoods NP
Redwoods NP
Credit: T Hocking



Hope you find an affordable fix,
safe travels Happie!
SomebodyAnybody

Big Wall climber
Torrance
Sep 27, 2017 - 09:23am PT
It's funny how the "ability" to own a reliable vehicle seems to directly correlate with the "ability" to get off your dead ass and go to work.
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Sep 27, 2017 - 09:28am PT
Or...in the case of many young climbers driving around in new built out Sprinter Vans have a "daddy" who got out and worked.
Trustifarivans
Cosmiccragsman

Trad climber
AKA Dwain, from Apple Valley, Ca. and Vegas!
Sep 27, 2017 - 09:34am PT
Well one good thing.
With a gypsy lifestyle
one should be able to live off SS
when they retire.
SomebodyAnybody

Big Wall climber
Torrance
Sep 27, 2017 - 09:40am PT
Yeah, except for that whole having to pay into it and working enough quarters to qualify, along with the benefit level being tied to earnings part.

Good luck surviving on the minimum SS benefit, hope you enjoy cat food.
zip

Trad climber
pacific beach, ca
Sep 27, 2017 - 10:10am PT
^^^^^^^

TRUE DAT!
Dingus Milktoast

Trad climber
Minister of Moderation, Fatcrackistan
Sep 27, 2017 - 10:48am PT
Well our Happy isn't a trustivanian that's for sure! :)

I dunno from what but I don't see Happy holding her hand out for donations or anything. She's just asking for some advice from her community. Why that warrants condescension and scorn I don't get. She made her career choices and seems to be living with the results just fine.

I salute that and her courage to forge her own path. I could never live the dirtbag life, ever.

Some of us are built for corporate success or at least corporate living. Others thrive in a more self-driven entrepreneurial mode and chaff at the thought of conforming to a large organization. There's room for us all, frankly. If we want to heap scorn on others for not following our path, fine. But that's just religion.

The same applies for Happy's critiques of the corporate world. She's entitled to her opinions but she should no more apply her code to us than we should apply ours to her.

But Russ nailed it early on.... Happy requesting auto mechanical advice is like an bi-annual rite here on the Taco and its pretty cool at that.

Cheers friends
DMT
SofCookay

climber
Sep 27, 2017 - 10:51am PT
Gee, a lot of judgey (and rude) people on here about Terrie's lifestyle. I've known Terrie for over 10 years and she is one of the hardest working people I know. She is self-employed, she calls her own shots, and she supports herself just fine, so lay off.

Good luck with the van, Terrie, looking forward to seeing you in JT this winter.
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Sep 27, 2017 - 11:20am PT
I'm sorry, I don't know Terrie and did not, in any way, mean to refer to her lifestyle. I also have a van that I spend a lot of time.
I was referring to the cat food quip concerning living on SS. I'm sorry if it was taken as a comment on Terrie's lifestyle....for me it seemed like topic drift. Ihave deleted my post.
Nuglet

Trad climber
Orange Murica!
Sep 27, 2017 - 11:43am PT
If power steering is the issue, I've had good results with Lucas products.

Don't believe the hype on newer rigs. Sprinters are have super costly maintenance schedules, E-series vans are known for exploding spark plugs, diesel injectors are 1.5K per injector, blue additives, etc... pre-2000 is are the best bet in IME
hagerty

Social climber
A Sandy Area South of a Salty Lake
Sep 27, 2017 - 03:08pm PT
I had similar symptoms on my Jeep Grand Cherokee once. Power steering pump and the two pressure lines and fittings. $850 for parts, labor, and tax. No clue what that might cost on a van of that vintage.
Happiegrrrl2

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 27, 2017 - 04:16pm PT
Thank you SoftCookay, for having my back. And Donini, I didn't take your cat food comment to be pertaining to me, but a general one about the concept of trying to survive solely on SS benefits(which I won't be, unless I somehow become unable to make artisan things to sell.

Dapper Dan

Trad climber
Redwood City
Sep 27, 2017 - 04:30pm PT
I would start by bleeding/flushing your power steering reservoir and lines. A lot of people tend to overlook that particular fluid, you may have some crud floating around in the lines etc....
Winemaker

Sport climber
Yakima, WA
Sep 27, 2017 - 06:19pm PT
Hope it's nothing expensive. As far as new cars, I've only ever owned one, always bought used with 10k miles or so on the speedo and have had extremely good luck with that. My current ride #1 is a 2009 V-6 Rav4 which has been awesome in both reliability and performance. It just ticked over 150k miles and total repairs are (2) sets brake pads front and rear and 1 set front rotors, struts & shocks, spark plugs (at 120k miles!!!), two sets of tires, oil and filters, and air filters. The cams are chain driven, so no need to replace the timing belt. Total cost (I do all the work myself) less tires is about $700 ±. Tires hurt, but no options there.

Bought an immaculate 2007 Mazda 3 back from my ex-wife this spring (80k miles) for $4k and sank about $1k for shocks, struts, brakes, & tires. I expect it to last for another 60k miles.

What's scary is to calculate how much you've spent on gas to drive 150k miles. The Rav4 since I got it is right at 24 miles/gallon, so 6250 gallons of gas @ $2.75/gallon is a bit over $17000. Ouch. That's the major expense.
rottingjohnny

Sport climber
Sands Motel , Las Vegas
Sep 27, 2017 - 06:55pm PT
Ford power steering pumps are notorious for under-performing...Buy a re-built and you'll probably have the same problem...When i win the lottery , i'll buy you a new van...rj
ionlyski

Trad climber
Polebridge, Montana
Sep 27, 2017 - 07:13pm PT
Chainsaw's post
NutAgain!

Trad climber
South Pasadena, CA
Sep 27, 2017 - 10:29pm PT
I know verify little about automotive stuff... but when doing research for buying an Econoline for 4x4 xconversion vs Sprinter 4x4, I read up a lot about wheels and tires.

If you have a Frankenstein van with prior work and modifications, check if the wheels/tires are over-sized compared to stock. Apparently that can put a lot of strain on tie rods, pitman rods, and other steering parts.

The way I look at used cars is this: it's worth spending money to fix them until the repair expenses exceed the monthly payment on a new one. You're saving money as long as you honor that (sort of- assuming you would buy a new car every time you finished off your old payments).

I try to save in advance and then by a car when I have enough, rather than going into debt with car payments. That is a luxury that many cannot afford if they want a newer car, and yet it costs less in the long run if you can do it. Owning a house is the only thing I think is reasonable to go into debt for, because if you waited until you could afford paying cash you'd be dead and wouldn't need it any more.
WBraun

climber
Sep 27, 2017 - 10:41pm PT
Yeah, check power steering fluid.

Chainsaw remembered.

Also, make sure the belt is tight too ....
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Sep 28, 2017 - 03:18am PT
Chainsaw. the two that I saw completly fail the wheel just flopped over and what was left put a sizeable dent in the pavement likly bending and wrecking stuff. If you are mechanicly inclined you can do the wheel shake and inspection thing yourself but in happies case she is better off just getting it inspected by a pro ASAP. It may well be a power steering issue??? Anyways best of luck Happie and hope it is not a big deal. Broken tie rod end would be ideal. last time I had one of those replaced it was about 64 bucks.
Gary

Social climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Sep 28, 2017 - 05:34am PT
The way I look at used cars is this: it's worth spending money to fix them until the repair expenses exceed the monthly payment on a new one.

I'd rather have reliability. A vehicle does you no good when it's constantly needing repair. There are some lonely roads in the west, especially roads that lead to climbing areas.
Happiegrrrl2

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 28, 2017 - 06:45am PT
Fluid level for the win, it looks like. I just did a quick check, but want to double check with it on a more level spot and heated up more, but after driving appx 2 miles, turning off to stop in to the deli, and coming back less than 1/2 mile, and on a slight decline, the level looked like it was halfway between Cold and Hot levels.

I will still take it to the shop, and let them know if I added fluids, and to check my level and see if there is something else.

I feel silly that I didn't already check the level, but I was misremembering what I read in the owner manual. I thought it aid this van should not use additional fluid, and though I initially thought "check the level" when I noticed the sticking, I also thought "it's not supposed to need....". But, it was the transmission fluid that it said that about, and not the power steering.

And yes, I know someone will say "You're still supposed to CHECK the transmission fluid level." I have done that a while back, but will do so again.
Dingus Milktoast

Trad climber
Minister of Moderation, Fatcrackistan
Sep 28, 2017 - 08:06am PT
chainsaw for the win. No multimeters were harmed in the making of this thread.

DMT
hooblie

climber
from out where the anecdotes roam
Sep 28, 2017 - 09:47am PT
so you're saying we can throw away the dipsticks on our multi-meters?
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Sep 28, 2017 - 09:50am PT
hoobs, this is a family friendly forum.
Dingus Milktoast

Trad climber
Minister of Moderation, Fatcrackistan
Sep 28, 2017 - 09:51am PT
The dipstick for my van is like 3 feet long. I broke the knob off the end, too. Checking the earl when the engine is hot is... a touchy subject for me. But I dun wan to buy another one.

Go figger, with your multimeter.

DMT
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Sep 28, 2017 - 09:54am PT
Dood, drill a hole innit and put in a #6-32 screw!

Yer welcome! :-)
Dingus Milktoast

Trad climber
Minister of Moderation, Fatcrackistan
Sep 28, 2017 - 12:36pm PT
Cheers Reilly :)

DMT
Gary

Social climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Sep 28, 2017 - 01:38pm PT
The dipstick for my van is like 3 feet long.

The dipstick for my Subie is 6 feet long. Or so says the Wife.
Dingus Milktoast

Trad climber
Minister of Moderation, Fatcrackistan
Sep 28, 2017 - 01:44pm PT
Well tell your subbie congratulations.

NOW!

DMT
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Sep 28, 2017 - 01:46pm PT
happie. topping off the fluid may just do the trick. if the noise goes away and it seems to steer properly you should be good to go :)
Majid_S

Mountain climber
Karkoekstan, Former USSR
Sep 28, 2017 - 09:25pm PT
every time a girl came to my shop to explain a car problem I cried

"I was driving, I heard something down there and I got scared and car stopped

or I was driving and a red light keep coming in and out and then heard a big bang and engine stopped

The best was when this Mexican lady that came and said

" Jesus keep blinking keep blinking at me and car died"

I looked at dash light and she had a photo of Jesus over the oil light

well lady, this time Jesus cost you $3000

Anyway, keep the wheel straight and put a small tape on the left side of the steering wheel at 270 degree.

start the car and point your finger at where tape is on the steering wheel.

turn the steering wheel 1 inch to the left and 1" to the right and both front tires should respond to the steering wheel movement.

if wheels respond the steering wheel no more than 1.5 " of steering wheel movement in either direction then 90% of steering system is functioning good.

Now if the steering becomes stuck in the middle or slips on one side, you could have bad power steering pump. bad belt or bad steering rack.

End of story
EdBannister

Mountain climber
13,000 feet
Sep 29, 2017 - 09:17am PT
Galen Rowell owned a garage before he went full time photography.. then he only had to deal with Ron burning a hole in the Aquamist slide by using a loop to focus sunlight, accidentally.
Gary

Social climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Sep 29, 2017 - 12:25pm PT
Well tell your subbie congratulations.

NOW!
Actually, she's referring to the driver!
Happiegrrrl2

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 4, 2017 - 09:22am PT
Update: The mechanic said the fluid level is within correct range(I decided not to add on my own, worried I might overfill), and a check found no leaks or visible issues which would suggest problems. He took it out to drive and the issue didn't occur, and he felt the steering seemed fine. They billed me $40 and said "So far as we can tell, there's nothing wrong. If it happens again, bring it in immediately so we can check it out." which....if it is happening only sporadically, that's kind of useless.

It has not "done it" since I called to make the appointment, of course.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Oct 4, 2017 - 09:32am PT
Gremlins!!!!!!
Studly

Trad climber
WA
Oct 4, 2017 - 09:42am PT
As I suspected, it was the fluoride in the water all along.
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
Oct 4, 2017 - 10:52am PT
Glad to hear the outcome, Happie!

The most frustrating car problems are those that are intermittent, but on the other hand, most serious problem are persistent, not intermittent.

This may have been a rare thing, like some piece of road debris that got caught up in one of the linkages, then became dislodged. You'll probably never know.

But whatever it was, thank goodness it is gone. Good expenditure of $40, for piece of mind!
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Oct 4, 2017 - 04:56pm PT
Glad you got a clean bill of health. Hope you have a safe and happie pilgramage to J tree.
Peace.
T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
Oct 4, 2017 - 05:58pm PT
Safe travels Happie!
Rock!...oopsie.

Trad climber
the pitch above you
Oct 4, 2017 - 06:05pm PT
Thread hijack alert!
I want to thank Jim Brennan for causing me to lose an hour watching Kids in the Hall videos with his post from several days ago. Can't help but throw this one up given recent events:
sween345

climber
back east
Oct 5, 2017 - 05:10am PT

A little reading on the subject

http://www.aa1car.com/library/2003/bf20340.htm

If the steering is slow to return or "sticks" when turning to either side, it may indicate binding or corrosion in the flexible coupling in the steering input shaft, or rusted or worn upper MacPherson strut mounts.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Oct 5, 2017 - 08:22am PT
Happi, did they put it up on the lift and get underneath and yank and shove? If not then I don't think you got 40 samolians of value for their inspection. I'd have been happy to take it for a test drive for $20, but then I must go to cheaper restaurants for lunch.
Happiegrrrl2

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 5, 2017 - 09:35am PT
Yes, it was up on a lift. I heard the mechanic talk to the front desk person before she called me over. He described a pretty thorough going-over and also being unable to feel anything off when he test drove. He seemed slightly frustrated about it as one might be in an "I don't know what the hell she is referring to" thing.

But don't worry. I am certain I will have another "mystery ailment" with the van before too long on the road.

And FWIW, the rattling sound came back big time while I was driving through Nebraska this spring. It was a windy day and it sucked, big time. But I think I realize what the issue is - one of those little posts with a pad to cushion the hood when you close it is missing. I remembered, after the fact, that I am pretty sure I saw it in the parking lot some time last year and not realizing it was from my own van, threw it away as trash. I need to get some sort of cushioning thing rigged in there before I head out.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Oct 5, 2017 - 09:38am PT
Well, good, they sound pretty honest and competent, I hope. Steering issues are serious so stay on top of it. Safe travels! :-)
John M

climber
Oct 5, 2017 - 09:45am PT
Good news Terri. It sounds like you are learning, which is a good thing when owning an older vehicle. Safe Travels!
Studly

Trad climber
WA
Oct 5, 2017 - 09:51am PT
May I suggest Amtrak?
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Oct 5, 2017 - 03:34pm PT
Nah. lottery tickets for the new Promaster :)
john hansen

climber
Oct 5, 2017 - 03:37pm PT
So where are you heading this winter?

Always fun to tag along..
Jon Beck

Trad climber
Oceanside
Oct 5, 2017 - 05:41pm PT
I need to get some sort of cushioning thing rigged in there before I head out.

It is called "duct tape", get a roll.
Dingus Milktoast

Trad climber
Minister of Moderation, Fatcrackistan
Oct 5, 2017 - 06:00pm PT
Happi a short piece of discarded garden hose, laying on its side not on the end, and glued into
place can be an effective shock absorber for that sort of application. All you need is some good go-rilla glue, a knife and a piece of hose to work with. Easy to try, if you can find some hose. Maybe even cut an inch off the emd of your siphon hose ? ;)
DMT
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