Possible causes for pop or crunch noises that can be felt in the steering wheel or heard coming from the area of the steering column are:
- Steering intermediate shaft;
- Strut mounts;
- Tie rod ends; or
- Steering column.
Important: Ensure that the noise is not coming from another source before the power steering gear is replaced.
Power Steering Gear Diagnostic Procedure
1. Verify customer concern.
2. Use Chassis Ears J39570 (SA9217NE), or equivalent, or visually inspect to isolate location of noise.
3. Turn the steering wheel while holding onto the intermediate shaft to determine if the shaft is causing the noise.
4. Disarm the SIR (Supplemental Inflatable Restraint) system before disconnecting the intermediate shaft using factory and/or industry standard approved practices. Remove the intermediate shaft and extend and contract its length to redistribute the lubrication.
Note: Turning the steering wheel too far with the intermediate shaft disconnected will result in damage to the SIR roll coil. While intermediate shaft is removed, carefully turn the steering wheel 180°(1/2 turn) each way and check for noise. It may be helpful to restrain the lower end of the steering column and check for noise while applying torque to the steering wheel.
5. Reinstall the intermediate shaft into the vehicle and again feel and listen while turning the steering wheel.
NOTE: This Repair/Service Procedure is excerpted from a Technical Service Bulletin published by General Motors Corporation, and is intended for use by trained, professional technicians with the knowledge, tools and equipment to do the job properly and safely. It is recommended that this procedure not be performed by “do-it-yourselfers.”