The Land Rover Defender has been in the U.S. from 1993 – present. Formerly called the Land Rover One Ten and Land Rover Ninety, this utility vehicle is a front engine, four-wheel drive British import available in many different body styles, ranging from the 2-door hardtop to the 4-door double cab pickup. Like any auto, however, this make and model is known for a few common faults such as persistent wobbly steering.
This issue has been described as a wobble or kick back by some and like a loose-steering-wheel sensation by others. Regardless, it tends to seem most obvious when turning a corner and hitting uneven ground, such as a pothole. Drivers have changed out dozens of parts and systems without success, because the sensation can be caused by a variety of different failures. For example, the issue could be in the steering column U joints, a drop arm ball joint, or the panhard rod bushes. If your Land Rover has a suspension lift, low castor angles could be to blame.
Accordingly, there are a variety of potential repairs. Drivers who have reported an associated clunking sound often find the issue is corrected when they fix their rear bushes. Alternatively, laser alignment might be necessary for vehicles with low castor angles. Unfortunately, some owners have reported that the wobble actually worsens after performing at-home maintenance on the ball joint.
Due to the complexity of the issues and repairs associated with this common problem, call a nearby independent import specialist. These garages, appropriate alternatives to the dealership, will be knowledgeable about your make and model, and they will be able to offer affordable yet long-lasting solutions.
Search for a local, independent Land Rover repair shop with Land Rover mechanics that have dealer-level expertise at a fraction of the expense.