• In the 1980s and 1990s we used AOL and Usenet. In the 2000s there were forums and message boards. In the 2010s - and until the very near future - social media. Something new is coming for Lincoln owners... Become an early adopter of what's next by SIGNING UP HERE. Your email address will not be sold or used in any way other than us communicating more details as we prepare for launch - and we will not communicate often.

Sudden difficult steering

Welcome to the busiest full-spectrum Lincoln community online!

Please join us! We'd really love to have you as a member...

Jonniejonner

Junior Member
Apr 27, 2010
19
1
3
Hey all, need some help fixing the tough steering in my 2005 town car. One morning, the steering was noticeably stiffer.

I assumed it was the power steering pump, so I replaced it, flushed and replaced the fluid, and it is just as tough to drive.

Then, I looked in the Town Car's service manual and it says the first thing to check is the intermediate shaft. Mine looked gnarly, so I replaced it. There is a SLIGHT improvement in steering, but it is still not easy. This leads me to my questions:

The service manual says next thing to check are steering column bearings.

The step after that is the ball joints.

My question is would the steering column bearings or ball joints more likely to cause a sudden difficulty in steering?

I am going to jack up the control arms and check for play for ball joints.

The car had been in a minor front end collision when i bought it- the steering veers to the right and the front tires are worn in the inside of the tread. These are all signs of bad ball joints, but the fact the steering became tuff overnight is the part that has me confused.

Which do you think is the culprit? Am I missing something? I don't like to throw parts at cars, so I want some feedback before i make my next move

Thanks
 

oktowncar

Well-known member
Jun 9, 2021
548
433
63
Lake Eufaula, Oklahoma
Hey all, need some help fixing the tough steering in my 2005 town car. One morning, the steering was noticeably stiffer.

I assumed it was the power steering pump, so I replaced it, flushed and replaced the fluid, and it is just as tough to drive.

Then, I looked in the Town Car's service manual and it says the first thing to check is the intermediate shaft. Mine looked gnarly, so I replaced it. There is a SLIGHT improvement in steering, but it is still not easy. This leads me to my questions:

The service manual says next thing to check are steering column bearings.

The step after that is the ball joints.

My question is would the steering column bearings or ball joints more likely to cause a sudden difficulty in steering?

I am going to jack up the control arms and check for play for ball joints.

The car had been in a minor front end collision when i bought it- the steering veers to the right and the front tires are worn in the inside of the tread. These are all signs of bad ball joints, but the fact the steering became tuff overnight is the part that has me confused.

Which do you think is the culprit? Am I missing something? I don't like to throw parts at cars, so I want some feedback before i make my next move

Thanks
Go get you some Fluid film or Kroil penetrant oil and start spraying down things to find the source of the stiffness rather than just throwing parts at it and wasting money.
Spray down one joint/bearing at a time and see what loosens up..
 

Jonniejonner

Junior Member
Apr 27, 2010
19
1
3
Go get you some Fluid film or Kroil penetrant oil and start spraying down things to find the source of the stiffness rather than just throwing parts at it and wasting money.
Spray down one joint/bearing at a time and see what loosens up..
Thanks that's a good idea. I tried WD40, but it didn't do shit. I only sprayed the intermediate shaft, which wasn't the problem

I am going to buy these lubricants you suggested--do you recommend doing the whole shaft?

Like starting by the firewall and greasing one point at a time?
 

04TC

Junior Member
May 10, 2016
432
195
43
Tampa, FL
Did you check to make sure nothing is wedged in the steering system? It's a long shot, but I had similar symptoms with my car and the cause was one of the heat shields fell off and got wedged in there.
______________________________
 

Jonniejonner

Junior Member
Apr 27, 2010
19
1
3
Did you check to make sure nothing is wedged in the steering system? It's a long shot, but I had similar symptoms with my car and the cause was one of the heat shields fell off and got wedged in there.
I'll check. When the front wheels were off the ground the wheels turned seamlessly
 

oktowncar

Well-known member
Jun 9, 2021
548
433
63
Lake Eufaula, Oklahoma
Thanks that's a good idea. I tried WD40, but it didn't do shit. I only sprayed the intermediate shaft, which wasn't the problem

I am going to buy these lubricants you suggested--do you recommend doing the whole shaft?

Like starting by the firewall and greasing one point at a time?
Every joint, every bearing.. Do one at a time so you can narrow it down from gearbox to steering wheel
 

Jonniejonner

Junior Member
Apr 27, 2010
19
1
3
Every joint, every bearing.. Do one at a time so you can narrow it down from gearbox to steering wheel
Done every one except the middle one. I even unbolted the 2 nuts from the inside of the car where the steering shaft goes through the rubber bearing. Sprayed the shit out of it and no difference.

Now I just have one more part of the linkage to spray

The part that has most confused is how sudden the difference was. One morning steering didn't feel like it had as much assistance

I Also wonder if I may have got a bad power steering pump from Napa. I bought a bad coil from them even though it was brand new.

Please keep helping me with ideas. I really miss driving this car
 

KWIC

New member
Sep 2, 2021
25
16
3
Did your power steering feel like it was kinda there, but was stiff to drive? Did this change happen suddenly?
I don't drive that car much, then I noticed the low speed maneuvering noise as I stood in the garage when my wife backed the car out. That was when I noticed the first drops of steering fluid on the garage floor. I stopped her and looked under the car at the steering rack and spotted the leaking Sensor. The next day I drove the car to the shop and had the power steering sensor replaced and fluid topped off.
______________________________
 

Jonniejonner

Junior Member
Apr 27, 2010
19
1
3
I don't drive that car much, then I noticed the low speed maneuvering noise as I stood in the garage when my wife backed the car out. That was when I noticed the first drops of steering fluid on the garage floor. I stopped her and looked under the car at the steering rack and spotted the leaking Sensor. The next day I drove the car to the shop and had the power steering sensor replaced and fluid topped off.
Thanks I tried the sensor. Prob is still there. Gonna inspect the ball joints next
 

Jonniejonner

Junior Member
Apr 27, 2010
19
1
3
IDK if anyone is following me, but I'll update anyway. Put in the steering rack- same issue, tight steering. The mechanic advised me to try another pump
______________________________
 
Top