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Author Topic: "clunk" in the steering column - 08 Outlook  (Read 21119 times, 30 Replies)
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tk421
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« on: December 03, 2009, 10:35:27 AM »

When turning left or right at low speeds, there is a noticable clunk where the steering wheel sort of pops right in your hands.  Has anyone else had this issue?
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« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2009, 10:54:33 AM »

Have your steering checked by your dealership or a reputable mechanic.  Sounds like an issue with the pump or could be steering linkage getting hung up, then freed as you're turning.

Regards,
/BTV
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« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2010, 09:09:18 PM »

I had the same problem, so I searched for previous topics.  They found a TSB about rivets in the steering column.  They ended up replacing the steering column, no more problems.  Covered under warranty.

ETA:  I also had a clunk when going over bumps while turning, they replaced both strut mounts which corrected the problem.  Also covered under warranty.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2010, 09:11:35 PM by bloc0102 » Logged

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Lookout
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« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2010, 01:14:14 PM »

hmm..interesting problem. u should go to a mechanic if it gets worse.
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XRDreamliner
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« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2010, 09:00:21 AM »

I have the dreaded clunk in the steering system on my '09 Outlook with 35,xxx miles.  I also have the zip-tie sound in the steering wheel, which has had one attempt already at fixing (replace SRS spring).  It didn't fix the problem.

So now the dealership tells me they are replacing the bushing in the steering gear to address the clunk AND the zip-tie sound.  GM has published a bulletin TSB #10-02-32-001 to address the clunk.  I guess they got tired of replacing steering racks which didn't solve the problem!

I'll keep you posted on the repair.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2010, 10:08:48 AM by XRDreamliner » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2010, 11:31:38 AM »

XRDreamliner,

I am eager to read the updates about your Outlook.  Thank you for posting all that has been going on with it. 

Happy Holidays!

Michelle-GM Customer Service
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tastykake
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« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2010, 07:43:32 PM »

Not sure if I'd call mine a "clunk" but I too hear click sometimes when turning...but its subtle enough that it hasn't worried me nor my wife?  But since I'm having an issue with the HVAC, I guess I will definitely bring the noise up to the dealership.
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XRDreamliner
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« Reply #7 on: December 26, 2010, 08:56:10 PM »

The "clunk" and the "click" are two different effects -

The clunk will come from the steering rack area - you'll hear it when the vehicle is at a standstill, and you move the steering wheel JUST off-center, either left>right and right>left (basically rock the wheel back and forth).  The cause was identified by the TSB I mention in this thread (steering gear bushing). 

The click noise, which I call the "zip-tie" noise, is thought to come from a rivet or the horn pad area in the upper steering column.  As i mentioned, my dealership previously diagnosed the cause as the SRS clock spring, which was replaced, but it di not solve the problem!  The zip-tie noise, or click, happens anytime during an either left>right or right>left turning of the wheel.  And it is not consistent (comes and goes, in my particular instance).

Now, supposedly my dealership, with the replacement of the steering gear bushing, will solve BOTH the "clunk" and the "click" noises (a little hard to believe, eh?), but maybe removing the slop in the steering column is a remedy for both - we'll see.
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« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2010, 04:05:22 PM »

IS this covered under warranty if your over 36,000 like a power train warranty, and if not, what is the cost of the fix?
Ours is more of a rubbing noise...doent click or clunk..lol more like a rubber on rubber ..noise.
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« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2010, 09:23:30 AM »

SurfinWolf-

How long has the rubbing noise been going on?  Have you had to have the vehicle into the dealership on multiple occasions for this issue?

I have found documentation in my resources That may pertain to the issue that you are describing on here.  I recommend getting your vehicle into your dealership for further and detailed information. 

From the information that I have available to me, this would not be covered under the Powertrain warranty.  I do not have access to the pricing information of the parts and labor to have this issue resolved.  However, your local dealership will have the detailed information that you are looking for.  I would be happy to assist you in setting an appointment to have this issue looked at.

If have further questions, please direct message me.

Have a happy New Year!

Michelle-GM Customer Service
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XRDreamliner
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« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2010, 11:08:31 AM »

Update:  The Outlook is going in for replacement of the steering gear (rack) bushings on the 3rd.

Will attempt to address the zip-tie noise in the steering column, too... although I'm willing to take one small victory at a time.

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« Reply #11 on: December 30, 2010, 11:32:38 AM »

Mine is going in next week too for the steering rack bushings  :Smiley. I'm at 26K. I hope this is the fix!
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« Reply #12 on: December 30, 2010, 12:32:18 PM »

Mine is going in next week too for the steering rack bushings  :Smiley. I'm at 26K. I hope this is the fix!

Had it done to my Acadia back in November and the steering column replaced in August.  No problems thus far.
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sixathome
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« Reply #13 on: January 03, 2011, 08:48:24 AM »

Had it done to my Acadia back in November and the steering column replaced in August.  No problems thus far.
Do you know what/where the bushings are?
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« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2011, 11:27:26 AM »

Do you know what/where the bushings are?

The just said on the steering rack.  I know the knock I was feeling was coming from the left side.  I think they changed all the bushings on the tie bars on both wheels.  I know what these looked like on the 80's model trucks that I have personally done in the past.  I assume it's the same concept on these newer vehicles.
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XRDreamliner
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« Reply #15 on: January 05, 2011, 09:37:10 AM »

Do you know what/where the bushings are?

The bushings are installed in the body of the steering rack housing.  They provide some compliancy between the mounting bolts and the steering rack housing, versus a "hard" mount, probably to address NVH (Noise/Vibration/Harshness).   To install new bushings, the steering rack has to be removed from the vehicle, and the bushings "pressed out" of the steering rack housing.

And for clarity, GM refers to the steering rack assembly as the "steering gear".  Once I understood that I wasn't getting a bushing in the pinion gear, which I initially interpreted when I first read "steering gear", the bushing replacement in the mounts made sense as to why the clunk felt off dead center (either way) would be fixed as a result.

As for the seperate issue of the steering "rub" noise or "click" in the upper steering column, the dealership greased the boot of the intermediate steering shaft.  As a conclusion, they called it a "normal" noise.  Ha-ha, nice try...  so I'm digging into that next go-round. 

As stated before, I'll take the elimination of the clunk as a small victory.
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« Reply #16 on: January 05, 2011, 09:45:15 AM »

That's what I 1st thought as well meaning the bushings were inside the steering gear itself, them being on the outside makes sense. So they must install new PS fluid and bleed the air out, right  Undecided
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XRDreamliner
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« Reply #17 on: January 05, 2011, 09:54:47 AM »

Correct - the dealership installed new fluid and bled the system. 

They also re-aligned the front end since they disturb the tie-rod settings when removing/installing the steering rack.
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« Reply #18 on: June 28, 2011, 11:51:31 PM »

Add me to the list of outlooks with a click clack zip tie type noise coming from the column. Sounds like its near my feet though. Everything works ok. Just an annoying noise.

So has anyone actually had this resolved? Had to pay out of pocket for the repair?

As it stands I had to take the moonroofs out and perform the leak recall all on my own Sad

A lot of this sounds like recall type stuff. so many cars having this issue.
 I have HHR's at work. they all had steering issues, cat converters replaced and front end clunk noises along with similar electrical issues spread across 4 identical cars.
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« Reply #19 on: February 06, 2012, 04:59:50 PM »

The rack is notorious for failure and was updated with a new part sometime during '09 (calendar) production. Our '09 - built in late '08 - had both the rack and column replaced. New rack works fine.
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