49 CFR § 570.60 - Steering system.

§ 570.60 Steering system.

(a) System play. Lash or free play in the steering system shall not exceed the values shown in Table 2.

(1) Inspection procedure. With the engine on and the steering axle wheels in the straight ahead position, turn the steering wheel in one direction until there is a perceptible movement of the wheel. If a point on the steering wheel rim moves more than the value shown in Table 1 before perceptible return movement of the wheel under observation, there is excessive lash or free play in the steering system.

Table 2. Steering Wheel Free Play Values

Steering wheel diameter (inches) Lash (inches)
16 or less 2
18 2 1/4
20 2 1/2
22 2 3/4

(b) Linkage play. Free play in the steering linkage shall not exceed the values shown in Table 3.

(1) Inspection procedure. Elevate the front end of the vehicle to load the ball joints, if the vehicle is so equipped. Insure that wheel bearings are correctly adjusted. Grasp the front and rear of a tire and attempt to turn the tire and wheel assemble left and right. If the free movement at the front or rear tread of the tire exceeds the applicable value shown in Table 3, there is excessive steering linkage play.

Table 3. Front Wheel Steering Linkage Free Play

Nominal bead diameter or rim size (inches) Play (inches)
16 or less 1/4
16.01 through 18.00 3/8
18.01 or more 1/2

(c) Free turning. Steering wheels shall turn freely through the limit of travel in both directions.

(1) Inspection procedure. With the engine running on a vehicle with power steering, or the steerable wheels elevated on a vehicle without power steering, turn the steering wheel through the limit of travel in both directions. Feel for binding or jamming in the steering gear mechanism.

(d) Alignment. Toe-in or toe-out condition shall not be greater than 1.5 times the values listed in the vehicle manufacturer's service specification for alignment setting.

(1) Inspection procedure. Drive the vehicle over a sideslip indicator or measure with a tread gauge, and verify that the toe-in or toe-out is not greater than 1.5 times the values listed in the vehicle manufacturer's service specification.

(e) Power steering system. The power steering system shall not have cracked, frayed or slipping belts, chafed or abrated hoses, show signs of leakage or have insufficient fluid in the reservoir.

(1) Inspection procedure. Examine fluid reservoir, hoses and pump belts for the conditions indicated.

Note:

Inspection of the suspension system must not precede the service brake performance test.