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Gary, Chevy Technician
Category: Chevy
Satisfied Customers: 17157
Experience:  15 years GM master tech
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I have a 2003 S10 Pickup truck (4.3 L, 6 cylinder, 4x4,

Customer Question

I have a 2003 S10 Pickup truck (4.3 L, 6 cylinder, 4x4, extended 3 door cab) that I just bought. I drove it from the private party's home and away. The steering seemed fine initially - local residential roads. By the time I got it home, traveling highway at 60-70 miles an hour for about 20 miles, the steering column was very loose, and the steering was sloppy. No noises or clacking, just drifting to the right and left, and needed to constantly steer back and forth to straighten out. There is about and 15-20 degree unresponsiveness while driving the highway, so it caused some swerving correcting the drift. The thing is, it starts out from a cold start, driving ok. Turning the wheel back and forth is very responsive. It only take about 3-4 miles of driving only 35-45 (or higher) for it to get sloppy.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Chevy
Expert:  Gary replied 2 years ago.

if you swap the front tires to the rear will it still do this ?

and are the tie rods and idler arm tight in the front end ?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I don't know Gary. I am not a mechanic. I am taking it to the mechanic who serviced it last, and helped the private party sell. All 4 tires are in great shape with full tread and no camb wear visible anywhere. I presume he has checked the tie rods, and/or I will ask him to check those when I take on Saturday.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Am I done... or are you offering anymore information?
Expert:  Gary replied 2 years ago.

ok if swapping the tires does not help at all and the tire pressures are set to spec and there is no abnormal steering or suspension movement at all this sounds like a steering stability issue which on these trucks they need to be sure the idler arm is in the middle of the slots where it bolts to the frame the idler arm bolts are on slotted holes and if all the way up or down those slots will cause this kind of issue

if the idler arm is centered in the slots then the only thing to cause a steering stability issue and is very common on these trucks would be the caster out of spec which caster will NOT effect any tire wear at all caster is just for steering stability and when it is well below spec it will effect steering stability like this which a front end alignment of caster and camber and toe must be set to specs

again they MUST adjust caster and camber along with toe

some shops just align toe so be sure the caster and camber are set to specs

Expert:  Gary replied 2 years ago.

keep in mind you can always get me back for free through this post anytime with any follow up with this question even after you rate us here at Justanswer !