Wheel slippage resulting in steering wheel issue

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Old 03-12-2014, 12:00 PM
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Default Wheel slippage resulting in steering wheel issue

My '92 960 has been having an issue with rear wheels spinning and causing the steering wheel to misalign to the left about 1/4 turn. The car tracks straight but as mentioned the steering wheel is the 1/4 turn to the left. This has happened numerous times, the first was just a wet pavement. This winter the ice and snow was a constant factor in causing the issue to repeat itself many times. The steering corrects itself when braking and coming to a stop and I believe I can hear the rear wheels attempting to "correct" the issue...sort of of a jerking sensation and sound. The sound is somewhat like the wheels lock up for a moment to get back in sync. I am not a professional and I am reporting the facts as I understand them. A recent trip out of St Louis, MO which had lots of snow and ice, I would guess the steering wheel was "out of correct position" for many miles before I could pull off where clear pavement and safety allowed me to get the steering to resume normal positioning. I checked with my mechanic (Volvo) and he had not heard of any such incident. I am concerned with safety and would appreciate any suggestions on this issue and remedies. Thanks.
 
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Old 03-14-2014, 04:03 PM
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Make it easy on yourself and forget about the rear wheels spinning and causing the the steering wheel to misaligned. You do have a steering issue however and that needs to be fix. I would like to take a wild guess here and say its most likely your steering rack or another steering component between the steering wheel itself and the rack. I would be very concerned to you can have a total loss of steering if this is not fixed. I have never heard of this problem so I cannot toss out the exact fix for you.....anyone else ever hear of the steering wheel becoming misaligned? Like I said though , forget about the rear wheels spinning that has nothing to do with it. Untill you get it fix please for your safety and the others around you consider that car undriveable.
 
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Old 03-15-2014, 02:22 PM
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I think I've had the same issue and believe it is the locking differential. I noticed awhile back during winter with a lot of wheel spinning, that the differential will lock up and cause both rear wheels to drive the car forward, as designed. With my vehicle, the diff does not unlock when the slippage stops as it is designed. So, in a way it starts to behave like an old four wheel drive system that is total lock up, it does not like turns. And on dry pavement there is acutally a stuttering sound, just like on old the old four wheel drive systems. I have had the car continue to drive straight as I was turning a corner on wet slick pavement surfaces, such as freshly sealed blacktop.

I have gotten into the habit of placing the car in reverse to unlock it, again, just like the 4WD systems.

As other poster suggested you should rule out any worn front end parts.

DanR '94 964 390,000 miles (156,000 on the new engine)
 
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Old 03-15-2014, 03:32 PM
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Dan when you had the situation occur did it cause your steering wheel to be a 1/4 turn to the left?
 
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Old 03-16-2014, 08:48 AM
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Originally Posted by John Arsenault View Post
Dan when you had the situation occur did it cause your steering wheel to be a 1/4 turn to the left?
Not sure how much the wheel may have been off center, but I knew right away something was wrong, the wheel was not in it's normal position, it took pressure to keep it where it needed to be and it had a resistance to turning. Someone, awhile back explained Volvo used a type of locking rear end that, thru it's design was locked or unlocked, it did it suddenly and sometimes harshly, in later years they went with a design that went into lock up more gently. Never looked into it myself, but having vehicles in the past that one had to get out and lock and unlock front hubs for 4WD, I easly put up with this.

If you could find an area where you could do some testing on ice in a parking lot, I bet you will find this is what you are experiencing. There parameters when the differential is to activate, guessing it should not lock up above 25-30 mph.

DanR
 
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