The track bar on a vehicle moves the axles from side to side. This assembly can be adjusted to make the steering and ride smoother. The track bar is made up of bushings, bearings and a rod which can wear over time. Certain signs and symptoms develop when the track bar fails or begins to fail.
Pulls to One Side
A sign of a worn track bar is when the automobile begins to pull to one side as you drive the vehicle. The track bar ends, bushings or bearing on one side of the vehicle are wearing faster than the other side, creating this track bar problem. Once this pulling begins, it can cause damage to the tires, brakes or axle assembly as well as other suspension components.
Hard to Turn
A sure symptom of a worn track bar is when the automobile becomes hard to turn in one direction. The track bar on the front of the vehicle is wearing, causing problems with the steering column. As the track bar assembly wears down, it places more torque on the steering column of the automobile. This worn track bar makes it difficult to turn the steering wheel.
Steering hesitation is another sign and symptom of worn track bars. The operator is able to turn the automobile in either direction, but the steering wheel needs to be turned further than usual to make the automobile go in the desired direction. The worn track bar is taking longer to engage the tires and wheels. This is often called "play" in the steering wheel.
Tire Shudder or Wobble
The tires on a vehicle begin to shudder or wobble uncontrollably when the track bar is worn. This symptom develops in the bushings or bearings of the track bar assembly. The tie rod or axle track bar bushings have too much space or play from the steering assembly. Once higher speeds are reached in the automobile, the tires begin to shudder during normal driving conditions.
- Photo Credit suspension image by timur1970 from Fotolia.com
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