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Ask GM Tech (Cam) Your Own Question
GM Tech (Cam)
GM Tech (Cam), Chevy Technician
Category: Chevy
Satisfied Customers: 29585
Experience:  GM Grand Master Technician 2007. 14 years experience.
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Silverado..steering wheel started making a groan type noise..column

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I have a 2005 Silverado. I replaced the intermediate shaft with the most current and the steering wheel started making a groan type noise only when turning left. I packed the intermediate shaft boot with grease, lubed the column lube points with silicone spray, made sure the power steering fluid was full, and greased all of the fittings in the front suspension. Noise is still there. I jacked up the front end and the noise is not there with the truck running or not. It only happens under load.
Hello, I'm Cam. Please include all the details about your issue so I can accurately advise you. I cannot see your vehicle so please be detailed.

Does it make the noise if you turn the wheel fast?
Did you take the shaft out and lube the boot at the end where the shaft comes through? For this to happen after a replacement almost certainly is exterior lubrication.

Can you give it a try and lt me know please ?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

So the noise happens when turning the steering wheel to the left slow or fast. The noise is almost non existant when the truck is cold but as it gets hot the noise starts and gets louder as the truck gets hotter.


I packed the boot that goes through the firewall with heavy all purpose grease. I also disconnected the boot and let it spin with the shaft at one point, noise was still there.

Ok, so it does it with the shaft out. Did you remove any of the column trim panels?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I did remove the trim panels, it still did it. I also did trun the steering wheel with the shaft out, no noise. I only did one turn in each direction with the shaft out to avoid damaging the clock spring.


I tired turning the wheel with the front end jacked up with the truck running and without the truck running to try and isolate the power steering system, but the noise would not present at all with the tires off the ground.

Ok. If you have someone turn the wheel to make the noise and you touch the boot, can you feel it in there or does it change the noise?
Can you feel it at the nose of the power steering gear?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I can feel it at the firewall boot, but moving the boot does not chnage it at all.


I can feel it very faintly at the nose of the poser steering gear.


I can feel it in the steering wheel itself pretty good.


I think it's somewhere between the firewall and the steering wheel, but I'm pretty sure that its not the clock spring because I held a greased q-tip against it earlier and it did nit change the noise at all. Also it only happens going left.

Are you able to stick your head under the days and turn to see if you can isolate the firewall or column area?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
It sounds like it is in the column area.
Ok then only 2 places, the bottom bearing and the clock spring.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

How do I access and lube the bottom bearing or does it have to be replaced?


Will the clock spring only make noise in one direction?

Yes it is very common for the clock spring to make noise in one direction only.

As for the bottom bearing, if you take the shaft out, then you can unclip the bearing and slide it out. I would loop a rope or something around the shaft to load that bearing up and see if the noise stops. If so then yes to the bearig and if not then the clock spring.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Loading woth the rope did not change the noise. How do I replace the clock spring?

One last thing, with a short section of Hose, put it to your ear and listen through the hose to confirm th location.

You need to take the wheel off. There is a hole on each side of the wheel, use a long Allen key inside to push and release the spring and pop the air bag out. Be careful of the clip for the air bag connector.
Pop the trim off.
Take the nut off the wheel and undo the electrical. Rock the wheel side to side hard to pop the wheel loose and remove.
Now there should only be a snap ring and the connectors for the clock spring.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

One last question and I'll leave you alone :)


Is there some way I can rig and shut up the clock spring? I am selling the truck.

I have never tried. But maybe some lube behind the wheel may help.
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