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2017 SXT AWD
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys,

I’ve been searching this forum and google for days now and I can’t seem to find a solution to the problems I’m having.

The dealership has proved to be of no help. Here’s the problem:

The car has developed intermittent steering wander to the point that I can no longer take it on the highway. It’s on and off, and unpredictable. Occasionally, the car will begin to vibrate harshly.

I took it to the dealership and they said I could use new lower control arm bushings ($1,800 job). I took it to two independent mechanics and after getting my car up on the lift, they both concluded that my bushings and control arms are perfectly fine but my car could use a wheel alignment. Went ahead and did the four wheel drive alignment as well as road force balancing but the issue remains unresolved. It feels like I’m driving in hurricane winds regardless of the road condition. The steering requires constant correction and my full undivided attention.

Here are the details and a few things to rule out.

2017 Dodge Charger SXT AWD
-42K miles
-matching continental tires
-rotors, brakes, and calipers are fine
-none of the wheels have any play when on a lift
-no error codes shown
-hard audible clunk and jerk when shifting into gear
-slight intermittent vibration when parked at irregular intervals. Between 4-10 seconds apart. Not major shaking but felt through the seat. Issue persists with AC off. No change in idle RPM when this happens.
-steering wheel feels looser than usual and unresponsive at times.
-trajectory of vehicle prone to change mid turn when keeping the steering wheel in a constant position.
-transmission shifts HARD between 1st and 4th.
-car tends to hang on to 4th gear when decelerating to a stop. Shifts down at around 5mph
-dodge dealership flashed my TCM with an update. Did not improve any of these issues.
-the car appears to slip in and out of alignment for lack to better terms. It’s driving perfectly one second and the next second it’s not.
-I seemingly have no influence over this change occurring. Speeding up, slowing down, whipping my steering, intentionally hitting a pothole or bump, hitting the brakes all do nothing. The car decides when.
-I don’t have enough information to form this conclusion yet, as it has been mostly cold but this problem appears to be slightly less serious when the car is in RWD. It still exists, just seemingly not as bad as when it’s in AWD.
-when the car decides to vibrate, it usually lasts for at least a minute and feels very similar to going over the kind of small grouped-together speed bumps you would encounter ahead of toll booths.
-the car doesn’t have a tendency to wander in the same direction. It is irregular and equally bad regardless of where it wanders to.
-I had previously gone for a wheel alignment several months ago and they were unable to complete the alignment even though another car had just received a successful alignment at the same station prior to mine. They claimed the machine must be broken because if the reading was accurate, my car would not be driveable. A few days later my car successfully received an alignment. This leads me to believe that maybe something is snapping in and out of position. (This was before the steering wander issue developed. I was only experiencing mild vibration at speeds of 70+ at the time)
-this problem will occur regardless of vehicle speed but it’s harder to tame at faster speeds.
-I’m not using any third party or aftermarket parts

Thanks in advance!
 

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2,364 Posts
GPH:
Welcome to the forum. Are you the original owner? Have the front and rear cradle attachment bolts been checked for proper torque? How about the steering rack mounting hardware? I believe your power steering is all electric. Did the dealer check for any trouble codes there?

Don
 

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2017 SXT AWD
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2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
GPH:
Welcome to the forum. Are you the original owner? Have the front and rear cradle attachment bolts been checked for proper torque? How about the steering rack mounting hardware? I believe your power steering is all electric. Did the dealer check for any trouble codes there?

Don
Thank you. Yes I am the original owner. I’m uncertain if the dealer or other mechanics checked any hardware or torque. The power steering is all electric on this model. No error codes.
 
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