I’m back with some new info on my steering debacle from yesterday, no internet at the house yet and being very close to going over my cell data plan makes things tough. I was able to get underneath the car and take a good look at everything (well, semi-good, I’m not exactly sure what I’m doing). Anyway, on to the new findings.
Clearly, this boot for the inner tie rod is ripped in half, as seen in the photo. I’m not sure if that could be the direct cause of my issues, but it needs to be replaced. Will I need to replace the whole inner tie rod since it has been exposed to who knows what for who knows how long? Seems to be a fairly easy fix and rather cheap depending on if I do it myself or take it to a shop.
The consensus seemed to be that, prior to looking under my car, that one of the steering U-joints had started to fail. This is still very possible, but I wasn’t entirely sure what to look for while I was under there. I had a roommate turn the wheel side to side and he could feel where it was grabbing but I couldn’t see any glaring issues at that point in the u-joint or anywhere else. It was making some squeaking noises but nothing seemed to be catching at all. This is a bit more expensive to fix and doesn’t look terrible to change as long as I can jack the car up a good ways since I don’t have a post lift (Oh how I wish!).
Now is where I’m at the crossroads of what is actually causing this and is it worth it for me to replace all of that with the chance of things still not working or take it to a shop, which I haven’t done in ages.