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Discussion Starter #1
Hey folks - Here's a challenging question!

My 2007 4WD Patriot with 216k miles is acting strange. I had the steering rack (rack and pinion) replaced last month after it started leaking fluid. Note however that I was advised by one mechanic to pretty much replace the entire front end (to the tune of $3000). I ended up just fixing the immediate problem.

After that work it was OK for a few days but then developed a strange knocking sound and vibration when I turned to the left and/or hit a bump. This vibrated right through the steering wheel, and was somewhat disconcerting... I actually cut short a trip I was on and drove home. One shop took a quick look and thought it might be the transfer case but wasn't sure. Anyway, I got the original mechanic who changed the rack to ride with me to hear it and of course the problem completely disappeared! It has not had this problem since and I have no explanation for this,..

Now, out of nowhere the Jeep now seems to be understeering, and the also steering seems to have lost some feeling of the road. In addition when I hit a bump in the road the vehicle seems to momentarily 'slip' sideways. It is also riding rougher than before.

Do you think this is a suspension issue, e.g., shocks, struts, sway bar, ? Or is it something to do with the steering still not being right? The steering simply feels loose.

Thanks for any insight.
gb
 

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Sounds like a suspension issue to me. Actually, the symptoms you describe sound similar to what I've heard others describe when their subframe was damaged. Given the age/mileage of your Patriot, I'd definitely get that checked. Do you live in the salt belt?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Sounds like a suspension issue to me. Actually, the symptoms you describe sound similar to what I've heard others describe when their subframe was damaged. Given the age/mileage of your Patriot, I'd definitely get that checked. Do you live in the salt belt?
MR_ET2,
Sorry, thought I replied to this. No I live in San Diego and there is no salt here except at the beach areas and I'm 6 miles from the Pacific. I took it out on a 200 mile drive today and was swaying all over the place - not quite dangerous, but you had to hold the wheel tight. Body control was terrible. Could be anything, it seems - I will get it checked out. Thanks and let me know if you have any additional ideas!

Gb
 

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You might be looking at the wrong end of the vehicle. I live in the snow belt so it greatly exaggerated the problem on mine, driving on snow covered roads the ass end would wildly sway back and forth trying to pass up the front end. I've had the rear end rebuilt 3 times on my 2010. The factory suspension is non adjustable and when out of alignment made mine unroadworthy. Two things to look at are rear tread ware mine the inside of the tires were burnt down to steal belts coming out. The second is the angle of the rear tires, all 3 times the alignment failed the tops of the rear tires were noticeably tilted into the wheelwells. There are aftermarket adjustable toe and camber parts for dialing in rear alignment.
 

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I admit I'm the type that looks for simple solutions to complex problems . . . don't overlook your tire pressure.
 
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