I absolutely love my 2000 2.0 sedan with only 179,000 miles and hoping for many more years of service. However, am experiencing a slight "stick" when turning. It only lasts a fraction of a second. Is this indicative of a particular wear problem?
The usual common wear point on any steering system is the outer tie rod ends. If the grease seal breaks or splits, the joint loses its lubrication and wears rapidly since it's exposed to road dirt and grime. When worn though, they usually give a "wandering" feel.
The lower ball joint, if worn badly enough, may give the rise to the "stiction" symptom. Same thing; no lubrication causes nasty metal on metal contact.
The upper strut suspension mount may give the same symptoms, too, but the other two possibilities are easier to investigate and perhaps eliminate first.
The steering rack is likely OK.
On a 179K car, some wear in the suspension would be expected and a thorough physical inspection of the front suspension components should easily narrow down the source.
Thanks guys. The stick, or hesitation, occurs almost at top dead center but slightly to the left on a left turn. A few months ago we had the front struts replaced as the tires were wearing unevenly, but the shop apparently didn't check anything else.
Sounds like you are repeating the condition I described. High mileage on car? If so again the rack. The normal dead straight position has the worm to pinion gear constantly slightly impacting with every road bump you hit, eventually the gear contact point wears very slight edges both ways that then begin to hang up at the slightest inclination to begin to turn. It can be pretty unnerving when it sticks. Like you are fixing to lose control of the car.
If you got a good front end guy he can intentionally move the outer tie rods off the present location to put that lock point slightly more to one side to then have you not getting on it until you are full forcing the wheel to turn, that can get you more life out of the rack but mech must be very careful to still have very adequate engagement of the tie that gets shorted on length while doing that little trick.
I've also rebuilt a rack for nothing by flipping the gear 180 degrees to get rid of half the wear but most are indexed in such a way as to prevent that now. The idea worked sweet in an old MII I had. Like brand new rack.