How can I tighten the steering on my Cadillac Coupe DeVille?

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Nov 01, 1992

Dear Tom and Ray:

I just acquired a 1978 Cadillac Coupe DeVille. It is in great shape. However, there is too much play in the steering wheel. How can this be corrected?

RAY: There?os play in the wheel and you think something?os wrong with it? C?omon, Ben! This is one of the "features" of the ?"78 Cadillac. Cadillac worked for over twenty years to develop this "ocean going" approach to steering.

TOM: These cars were designed to make you feel as isolated from the road as possible--and not knowing where the front wheels are taking you just contributes to that sense. But if you?ore really worried about it, take it to a mechanic and have him check out the entire front end. It?os possible that you have worn tie rod ends, idler arms, center link, and who knows what else on a fourteen year old car. And it could be dangerous.

RAY: If all that stuff is OK, and the steering still only aims the car in a general direction, then ask the mechanic to try tightening the steering box. Sometimes you can make up for some slosh in the front end by doing that.

TOM: And if all else fails, learn to drive "?"78 Cadillac style." Lean back, put a cigar in your right hand, slouch over, place your right elbow on the center armrest, and then with your left hand, sway the steering wheel back and forth and try to keep the car more or less in one lane.

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