The steering wheel of the Mercury Montclair is unusually loose. It's too easy to move. I can't say that it's responsive. Instead, it feels quite sloppy. What kind of a steering issue am I dealing with here?
If the steering wheel turns easily, and you feel like because of the loose steering, you're losing full control of the vehicle when running at highway speeds, there are several items in the steering system that need to be checked. You should inspect the steering linkage, for starters. The steering linkage may already be worn out or broken. Look for mechanisms or parts that need to be repaired or replaced. If part of the linkage is loose, then this has to be tightened to correct the issue. Aside from the steering linkage, the steering box should also be checked. Adjust it if needed to fix loose steering.
I just bought a pre-loved Mercury Montclair for my dad. It's still in good shape, but I want to have the air-con system checked to ensure that it's still working fine. What kind of a service package should I be looking at for the old vehicle?
Aside from having the refrigerant level checked and the system re-gassed, the air-con service should also include a series of inspections for basic maintenance. The air vent temperature should be checked along with the hoses and other lines and components. The system should be tested for leaks as well. The receiver drier and filter should be replaced as needed. The drive belts and pulleys might need adjustment and the operation of the valves and thermostats should be checked. To prevent bacteria growth and mold buildup, the air-con should also be sanitized and deodorized. The condenser fins should also be cleaned. Some air-con specialists offer some or all of these services.
How can I tell if my vehicle is already up for shock/strut replacement? What are the usual symptoms to watch out for when I drive the vehicle?
The shocks/struts are supposed to dampen vibrations and road impact. They should provide some stability and make the ride smooth. If these suspension components are about to wear out or already damaged, you can notice excessive vehicle bouncing, especially when the vehicle encounters potholes, speed bumps, and rough road surfaces. It could also be that there's not enough bounce: the ride would rather feel stiff. Bad shocks/struts will also affect braking such that when you try to stop or slow down, the vehicle's nose may dive or dip unusually. As you turn around corners and switch lanes, the vehicle may tend to sway or lean heavily on one side. The ride will feel unstable, especially when the vehicle is blasting through high speeds. This can be very risk since steering response is also affected. There could be some noises when you steer the vehicle. To check the condition of the shocks/struts, search for fluid leakage and see if the bodies are dented or damaged in any way. Uneven or abnormal tire wear can also be an indication of faulty shocks/struts. As you check these parts, also inspect the bushings or mounts.