Q: I have a 2007 Chevrolet Tahoe that I bought new and now has 78,000 miles. I noticed the steering wheel wasn't straight when going straight down the road. It was off to the right. I brought the truck to a local shop for a wheel alignment, and it was straight for more than a month. But now it's getting off to the right again. What could cause something like that?
A: You have to thoroughly inspect the suspension and steering linkage for anything loose or worn. GM did have relevant problems with several 2007 truck models. The inner tie-rod ends, which screw on to the left and right ends of the steering rack bar, were working their way loose. This could produce a crooked steering wheel, occasional clunk noise, and abnormal tire wear. Whoever aligned the vehicle might have missed the problem. There is a technical service bulletin on the subject, but surprisingly no recall. TSB 07-02-32-008a states: "Testing has shown it to be unlikely that the joint will unscrew (separate) during normal driving maneuvers." I guess that all depends how far someone is willing to drive the vehicle while ignoring the increasing symptoms.
I'd bring it to a Chevy service department, and tell them about the symptoms and the TSB. If they determine that either or both of the inner tie-rod ends are coming loose, GM recommends replacement of the entire steering rack assembly, not just tightening or replacing the tie-rod ends.
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