Q: I bought a 2012 GMC Terrain SLT 2 six-cylinder, fully loaded. At 5500 miles I started to experience a problem with the steering. When I turn the steering wheel while the car is in park and idling, I get a vibration through the steering column. Once I give the GMC a little gas, it's fine. I took the car back to the dealership, where three technicians tested the steering on the ground and up on the lift, and found the same problem. My service tech called GMC and was told the manufacturer recognizes the problem and would have it resolved by the second quarter of this year (which would've been by the end of June). As of today, GM hasn't issued the replacement parts. GM told me the car is safe to drive. That gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling at this point. This is the third GM Vehicle I purchased from this dealership, and I have the highest praise for their sales and service teams. I am going to wait, and if it is not resolved soon, I will take it to the next level with GM. Have you heard of this problem?
A: How often do you turn the steering wheel while in park and idling? I'm aware of similar complaints where GM technicians have been replacing parts in an attempt to repair the condition, but to no avail. Did they tell you all (or a large number) of new Terrains are producing the same noise/vibration? This sounds like a typical glitch that's in the process of evaluation (diagnosis) by the manufacturer's engineers. The cause can be in the power steering pump itself, the rack, lines/hoses, etc. The fix may be replacement of one or more of these related parts with modified units, or even some sort of damper or bracket to diminish the vibration reaching the driver. If steering effort is normal, I wouldn't worry too much about it being a safety issue. Hopefully, when the engineers determine the source of the problem, a technical service bulletin, recall, or tech service news article will be issued with a correction.
How To Reach Alex
If you have a technical question regarding your pickup, SUV, or van, feel free to contact Alex, a master technician with the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence. Send a letter to him in care of Truck Trend Garage, 831 S. Douglas Street, El Segundo, CA 90245, or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include the VIN with your question. Due to the volume of questions received every month, we cannot guarantee that everyone's question will be personally answered or will appear in the magazine.
Can't wait for help with a problem you're having with your Truck or SUV? Ask the expert we trust here at Truck Trend Garage -- visit Alex Steele at www.RealWorldAutomotive.com.