The intermediate steering shaft is an important part of the car that not many people know about. It is responsible for transferring motion from the steering wheel to the wheels, allowing you to control your car. If it becomes damaged or worn out, it can cause a lot of problems with your vehicle.
This article will discuss the symptoms, causes, and replacement cost of a bad intermediate steering shaft. We will also explain the working and function of the steering shaft and answer some of the most frequently asked questions related to this topic.
Table of Contents
What is an Intermediate Steering Shaft?
An intermediate steering shaft is a component of a vehicle’s steering system that connects the steering wheel to the steering box. It is also sometimes referred to as a “steering relay shaft.” The intermediate steering shaft helps to transfer the driver’s input from the steering wheel to the gearbox, which then turns the wheels and steers the vehicle. It is an important part of the steering system and helps to ensure that the vehicle steers in the direction the driver intends.
A few different parts are accompanied by the steering shafts, including universal joints, rag joints, and flexible couplings. Universal joints are often used at both ends of the shaft to allow for a range of motion, while rag joints are used to connect the shaft to the steering gear. Flexible couplings are also sometimes used to help reduce vibration and noise.
Where is the Steering Shaft Located?
The intermediate steering shaft is located in the middle of the vehicle, beneath the dashboard. A metal shaft connects the steering wheel to the rack and pinion assembly.
The intermediate steering shaft is made of high-strength steel for durability, and it is typically coated with a corrosion-resistant material to protect against rust. The intermediate steering shaft is a critical part of the steering system, and it must be maintained in good condition to ensure proper function.
How Does a Steering Shaft Work?
The intermediate steering shaft is the rod that connects the steering wheel to the rest of the steering system. The intermediate steering shaft is connected to the steering wheel via a universal joint, and it is connected to the steering gear via another universal joint. The intermediate steering shaft is a key part of the steering system, and it is responsible for transferring the turning force from the steering wheel to the steering gear.
The universal joints allow the intermediate steering shaft to transmit the turning force while compensating for misalignment between the steering wheel and the steering gear.
Symptoms of a Bad Intermediate Steering Shaft
A few different symptoms can indicate that the intermediate steering shaft is damaged or worn out. These symptoms include:
- Problems While Turning
- Rust on Needle Bearings
- Loose Steering Wheel Tilt
- Popping or Clunking Noise From Steering System
- Misaligned Steering Wheel
Let us see these symptoms in some detail:
1. Problems While Turning:
If your car is having trouble turning, it might be due to a faulty intermediate steering shaft. If the Intermediate Steering Shaft is damaged, it can cause problems with your vehicle’s steering. The damage may cause the steering to feel stiff or loose and make it difficult to turn the wheel.
In some cases, the car may not be able to turn at all. In other cases, the car may turn but not as smoothly as it should. A bad intermediate steering shaft can also cause the car to pull to one side when turning. If you notice any of these problems, it is important to have the intermediate steering shaft checked by a mechanic.
2. Rust on Needle Bearings:
If you notice rust on any of the four needle bearings, it is a sign that the Intermediate Steering Shaft is damaged. The needle bearings are located at the end of the steering shaft, and they help transfer the force from the steering wheel to the steering gear. If these bearings are damaged, they can cause problems with your vehicle’s steering. It is important to have the Intermediate Steering Shaft checked by a mechanic if you notice rust on the needle bearings.
3. Loose Steering Wheel Tilt:
The Intermediate Steering Shaft is responsible for keeping the steering wheel in place. If the shaft is damaged, it can cause the steering wheel to become loose and wobble. One of the main reasons why an Intermediate Steering Shaft can cause the steering tilt and telescope of a steering system to become loose is due to excessive play.
When there is too much play in the power steering system, it can allow the steering shaft to move around more freely, which in turn can cause the steering to become less precise and eventually become loose. Additionally, Intermediate Steering Shafts can also cause problems with the alignment of the steering system, which can lead to even more looseness over time.
4. Popping or Clunking Noise From Steering System:
If you hear a popping or clunking noise when you turn the steering wheel, it is likely due to a bad Steering Shaft. The main reason for the noise is that the Intermediate Steering Shaft is worn out.
When this happens, the metal to metal contact between the shaft and the steering rack produces a grinding or squeaking sound. The other reason this noise occurs is that the bushings supporting the shaft are worn out. This causes the shaft to move around more than it should and produce noise.
If you hear this noise coming from your steering system, it’s important to have it checked out by a mechanic as soon as possible. Depending on the severity of the problem, it may only require a simple repair or adjustment.
5. Misaligned Steering Wheels:
If the intermediate steering shaft is damaged or worn out, it can cause the steering wheel to become misaligned. This can make it difficult or even impossible to steer the car in a straight line and can also cause the steering wheel to shake or vibrate.
This can happen if the shaft is bent or warped. Additionally, if the bushings that support the shaft are worn out, it can also cause the steering wheel to become misaligned.
What Causes a Steering Shaft To Go Bad?
There are a few different reasons why an intermediate steering shaft might go bad. Some of the most common causes include:
- Broken Seal
- Accidental Damage
- Bad Driving Habits
- Manufacturing Defect
Let us explain these causes of a bad intermediate steering shaft in some detail:
1. Broken Seal:
A broken seal on the intermediate steering shaft may cause it to go bad. If you have a car with a broken seal on the intermediate steering shaft, the inner workings of the shaft have likely become damaged as well. The bearings and other moving parts inside the shaft can become seized up, making it very difficult to turn the wheel.
In some cases, the entire steering system can fail, making it impossible to steer the car at all. It is important to have a professional inspect the intermediate steering shaft as soon as possible to avoid any further damage to the system.
2. Accidental Damage:
Accidental damage is another common cause of a bad intermediate steering shaft. If the shaft is involved in a car accident, it can become bent or broken. A bent or broken steering shaft can make it very difficult to steer the car, and it can also cause other problems with the steering system.
3. Bad Driving Habits:
Bad driving habits are the leading cause of intermediate steering shaft failure. When an intermediate steering shaft goes bad, it can cause several problems for your vehicle. Below are some of the most common bad driving habits that can lead to an Intermediate Steering Shaft failure:
1. Not using the proper turning radius – You should always use the proper turning radius when you make a turn. If you cut corners or make sharp turns, you put unnecessary stress on the intermediate steering shaft. Over time, this stress can cause the shaft to fail.
2. Hitting curbs or potholes – Hitting a curb or pothole can damage the intermediate steering shaft. If the damage is severe enough, it can cause the shaft to fail.
3. Speeding over bumps – You should slow down to avoid damaging the intermediate steering shaft when you hit a bump in the road. If you speed over bumps, you put unnecessary stress on the shaft, leading to failure.
4. Driving on rough roads – Rough roads can damage the intermediate steering shaft. If you must drive on a rough road, be sure to take it slow to avoid damaging the shaft.
Bad driving habits are the leading cause of intermediate steering shaft failure. If you want to avoid an Intermediate Steering Shaft failure, be sure to avoid the bad driving habits listed above.
4. Manufacturing Defects:
The Intermediate Steering Shaft can fail in some cases due to a manufacturing defect. If the shaft is not made properly, it can cause many problems. Manufacturing defects are relatively rare, but they can still cause an Intermediate Steering Shaft failure.
Intermediate Steering Shaft Replacement Cost
Replacing an intermediate steering shaft is not that expensive. The average cost for an intermediate steering shaft replacement is between $200 and $350. If you have a luxury vehicle, the cost can be slightly higher.
In addition to the cost of the part itself, you will also have to pay for labor costs. The average parts cost for an intermediate steering shaft is between $100 and $150.
Depending on the make and model of your vehicle, the labor cost can range from as little as $100 to as much as $200. In addition to the part and labor cost, you will also have to pay for any other necessary parts or fluids.
These costs can range from as little as $10 to as much as $100. If you have a warranty on your vehicle, you may be able to get the repair covered under the terms of the warranty. However, if you do not have a warranty, you will have to pay out-of-pocket for the entire cost of the repair.
If you think you have a bad Intermediate Steering Shaft, be sure to have it inspected by a professional as soon as possible. Ignoring the problem can cause further damage to your vehicle and may even lead to an accident.
A bad intermediate steering shaft symptoms include difficulty steering, noise when turning the wheel, and play in the steering wheel. Several causes of a bad intermediate steering shaft include wear and tear, damage from an accident, and manufacturing defects. The
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you drive with a failing intermediate steering shaft?
The answer to this question is, unfortunately, no. If your intermediate steering shaft is failing, it is important to have it repaired or replaced as soon as possible. Driving with a failing intermediate steering shaft can be extremely dangerous and can potentially lead to an accident.
If you suspect that your intermediate steering shaft is failing, it is important to have it inspected by a qualified mechanic as soon as possible.
What is the average lifespan of a steering shaft?
There is no definitive answer to this question as it can vary depending on the make and model of the vehicle, as well as the driving conditions that it is subjected to. However, it is generally accepted that a steering shaft should last for the vehicle’s lifetime if it is properly maintained.
With that said, some factors can shorten the lifespan of a steering shaft, such as excessive wear and tear, corrosion, and damage from impact.
How can you prevent the steering shaft from failing premature wear?
Improper lubrication is the number one cause of premature wear on the steering shaft. Without regular lubrication, the steering shaft will begin to show signs of wear and tear much sooner than it should.
In order to prevent this from happening, it is important to make sure that the steering shaft is properly lubricated regularly. There are several different ways to do this, but the most effective way is to use a high-quality lubricant specifically designed for the steering shaft.
This will help to ensure that the steering shaft remains properly lubricated and protected from premature wear.
How to replace a steering shaft yourself?
If you’re looking to save money on car repairs, replacing your own steering shaft is a great way to do it. This job isn’t too difficult, but it does require a bit of know-how. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to replace a steering shaft yourself.
1. Disconnect the negative battery cable. This will prevent any electrical shorts while you’re working on the car.
2. Unbolt the steering column from the dashboard. There are typically three bolts holding it in place.
3. Remove the lower steering shaft by disconnecting it from the power steering gearbox.
4. Take out the old steering shaft by sliding it out of the vehicle.
5. Install the new steering shaft by sliding it into place. Make sure it’s properly seated before moving on.
6. Reconnect the lower steering shaft to the power steering gearbox.
7. Reattach the steering column to the dashboard using the three bolts you removed earlier.
8. Reconnect the negative battery cable.
That’s all there is to it! Replacing your own steering shaft is a great way to save money on car repairs. Just follow the steps above, and you’ll have it done in no time.
Why does the steering shaft need to be in working condition?
The steering shaft is an important part of the steering system in a car. It transfers the force from the steering wheel to the wheels, which allows the driver to turn the car. If the steering shaft is not in working condition, it can cause the car to veer off course or make it difficult to steer. A faulty steering shaft can even cause the car to roll over in so