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Discussion Starter #1
I've searched and searched but couldn't find anything that sounds close.

After moving from Texas to North Dakota, the steering wheel on my 04 is giving me hints of problems, but I can't figure out what they are.

At high speed (55 - 70) it vibrates. I would normally suspect all the "normal stuff" like tire balance, but keep reading.

At low speed (25-30) while driving straight, it wobbles left and right. It doesn't vibrate... it wobbles. If I turn it left, it feels relatively normal. When turning right, the wheel jerks a little, almost like it turns really easily for a half second, normal for a half second, really easily for a half second, then normal for a half second.

The high speed symptoms would have sent me down the wheel balance troubleshooting tree, but the low speed right turn issue is throwing me a curve, no pun intended.

Final piece of the puzzle: on the way here, I hauled 1,300 lbs of stuff inside the van. I don't have a power steering cooler. I suspect that may play into all of this.

I'm about to find the dealer up here and drop it off, but wondered if anyone had any ideas.

Happy Labor Day weekend!
 

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Unless you took a Formula One course to get to ND, you shouldn't expect that lack of the PS cooler is the cause. Highways are straight, and highway speeds make steering easy.

I assume you've checked the PS fluid level. Your low speed symptoms sound a little like bubbles in the PS lines.
 

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Shaking steering wheel

Sounds like the issues I had. Not very noticeable at highway speeds but from 0 - 40mph the steering wheel wobbles left to right.
I put 2 known good tires(spare donuts) on the front and the problem went away. Either a bent rim or bad tire. Definitely a wheel/tire issue.
Went to shop and the put on lift and spun tires and you can clearly see the tire with the broken cord. hugh skip when it was spun. Rims were
good.
Try jacking tires off ground and spin them to see how they track. Any jump or wobble while watching the tread surface and you see your problem.
You may want to look at the motor mounts also. Rear mount is known for causing front end symptoms.

Good Luck
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Today I noticed no symptoms for first minute, driving slowly, but then they got worse, which might go along with air in system theory.

I will buy PS fluid and change it out. At same time, will put it on a lift and see if there's obvious damage to tires.

Thanks y'all!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Sometimes the simplest solution is the solution to choose.

It turns out the "shake and jerk" was simply a wheel that had thrown a weight, so it was out of balance.

I dropped it off at a trusted mechanic and $20 later, it drives like new!
 
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