Common Steering Problems

  1. Steering Wheel Locked

    Nissan owners are fed up with not being able to start their cars due to a ESCL defect. A new service campaign means defective steering locks will be fixed (at least in some models)…

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  2. What Are We Missing?

    We know there's more problems than this. Let us know which one you'd like to see us cover next.

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Where Steering Complaints Happen

Sometimes it helps just to tally up the complaints and see where the biggest stacks are. Use this information to learn about troublespots or to run for the hills.

Recent Steerings News

There's a lot of news out there, but not all of it matters. We try to boil down it to the most important bits about things that actually help you with your car problem. Interested in getting these stories in an email? Signup for free email alerts over at CarComplaints.com.

  1. The steering wheel lock nightmare is over (well, at least for some).

    Years of complaints and countless warranty claims have finally forced Nissan's hand as the automaker announced they will issue a service campaign for 243,000 vehicles with ESCL problems. Service campaign, recall, banana ... whatever you want to call it, Nissan.

    The campaign is only for the 2009-2010 Altima, Altima Coupe, Altima Hybrid, and Maxima cars. They all come equipped with ESCLs that lock the steering wheel when the cars are parked and turned off.

    Nissan says a manufacturing issue caused the ESCL to malfunction after the car had been turned off. Up until now, the owner's only option was to replace the part which cost, on average, around $1000 with parts and labor.

    Nissan will replace the ESCL with an electronic steering column box. If you've already paid for repairs, Nissan will reimburse you with the proper proof. Additional service campagin info is available on CarComplaints.com.

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  2. Heads up, Infiniti owners! If your steering feels loose, just wait until you come to a stop and the steering column separates entirely.

    According to Nissan, a manufacturing problem with the outer tube in the steering column is responsible for a recall of 17,000 vehicles.

    "In the words of the automaker, the outer tube might have been manufactured 'out-of-round.' The wrong specifications can cause stress at the upper bearing and cause the bearing retainer to fracture. Once broken, the steering wheel will move without turning the vehicle as intended."

    The recall includes the 2009 Nissan GT-R, 2008 Infiniti EX35, and the 2009 Infiniti FX35/FX45.

    This post originally appeared on InfinitiProblems.com.

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  3. Nissan is recalling about 501,000 trucks in the United States because corrosion in the lower steering column joint and shaft can cause a sudden steering failure.

    The lower steering column joint on the affected Frontier and Xterra vehicles can develop corrosion that limits the movement of the joint, although they're saying that's rare.

    If the vehicle continues to be driven in this condition it may, in an extreme case, lead to cracking of the steering shaft.

    The affected vehicles include any of the following manufactured between August 2003 and June 2006:

    • 2002–2004 Nissan Frontier vehicles manufactured from July 9, 2001 to October 20, 2004 in Smyrna, Tenn., for the North American markets
    • 2002–2004 Nissan Xterras manufactured from July 9, 2001 to January 6, 2005 in Smyrna, Tenn., for the North American markets

    Additionally:

    • Nissan Frontier vehicles manufactured from November 30, 2001 to June 26, 2008 in Curitiba, Brazil for South and Central American markets
    • Nissan Xterra vehicles manufactured from February 17, 2003 to June 13, 2008 in Curitiba, Brazil for South and Central American markets
    • Nissan Sentra vehicles manufactured from May 15, 2010 to July 8, 2010 in Aguascalientes, Mexico for global markets

    Nissan plans to begin owner notification in early December once replacement parts are available. Owners will be asked to bring their vehicles to the dealer to have the new parts installed free of charge.

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