What Causes a Dodge W100 Steering Damper Kit to Fail?
The reason why a lot of car owners install a Dodge W100 steering damper kit is to reduce vibration in the steering wheel. With less shaking, you'll be able to turn your wheels at any direction with ease. But due to stress and other harsh elements they are often exposed to, the steering dampers may fail anytime. When you begin to experience severe steering difficulties, the best thing you can do is to do some troubleshooting. Basic diagnosis of the problem can lead you to the right repair procedure.
Leakage is the most prominent sign of steering damper failure. Several things can cause leakage and one of them is severe damage on the piston. To check the condition of the piston and the dampers, you might need to raise the front end of your vehicle. Locate the steering dampers, which are typically located near the horizontal steering bars under your car. Feel the area around the shaft. If the piston area feels damp and wet with oil, there's a high possibility that the seal is broken. Therefore, you need to purchase and install a new steering damper kit.
Dampers that are not mounted properly can cause stiff steering. Stiff steering pertains to the limited movement of the brackets and the dampers, which requires you to maneuver the wheel using extra force. In this particular problem, what you need to do is to remove and reinstall the steering dampers. Make sure that each damper is aligned with the mounting bracket or the upper clamp. After the installation, ask a friend to turn the steering wheel while you observe the movement of the dampers. If the dampers are moving according to the movement of the steering wheel, you're good to go.
Poor damping is usually indicated by wobbling wheels. When your wheels seem to have a life of their own, it's possible that your steering dampers are failing to deliver adequate damping. If you often experience this, check the steering dampers for debris such as soil, pebbles, and twigs. These objects can hamper the dampers' operation. Clean your steering dampers regularly to prevent such malfunction from happening again.
How to Make Sure that Your Dodge W100 Steering Damper Kit Will Last
Your Dodge W100 steering damper kit is a very efficient product used for added steering support in your car. Each kit is composed of brackets and mounting bolts that must be installed onto the tie rods located in front of your vehicle. Too bad, these dampers don't usually last for years. With all the stress, dirt, and corrosion they are overly exposed to, the steering dampers may encounter total failure in a month's time. But with proper maintenance, you'll be able to prolong their service life somehow. Here are some basic care tips that you should follow:
Remove objects that can hamper the dampers' operation.
Every day, your steering dampers can get clogged by big and small objects on the road such as soil, pebbles, rocks, and twigs. You should remove them right away because they can cause severe physical damage on your steering dampers. So if you drive often on muddy or rocky roads, make sure to clean your dampers once a week.
Observe proper alignment of your dampers.
Sometimes, a malfunctioning damper is due to the wrong placement or misalignment. When the damper is installed in such a way that it bumps with the other components in the suspension, it won't be able to move freely. The restricted movement of the damper will give you a hard time in maneuvering your steering wheel. To avoid such problem, always consult the instruction manual. If you're not familiar with it, ask an expert mechanic to do it for you.
Prevent rust from ruining your dampers.
Your steering dampers are made from metals. Therefore, they are highly prone to corrosion. Good thing, there are efficient anti-rust products in the market that can help you get rid of rust and prevent it from coming back. These products are usually sold in spray cans to ensure ease of application. You may also coat your dampers with paint. Paint has excellent corrosion-fighting chemicals that can help eliminate rust.
Lubricate your dampers as often as possible.
To maximize the full potential of your dampers to absorb shocks and vibrations, keep them lubricated. To avoid getting all messy while doing this, it is better to use a syringe. Use it to when refilling the damper with oil. Also, you should expel all air from the piston to make sure that the entire damper is filled with lubricant.