Steering - Clunk Noise While Turning
November, 2001

Subject:  Clunk Noise From Front Of Vehicle During Turning Maneuver/Steering Wheel Rotation (Lubricate Intermediate Shaft)

Models:  2001-2002 Buick Regal, 2000-2002 Cadillac Seville, 1997-2002 Chevrolet Cavalier, 2000-2002 Chevrolet Impala, Monte Carlo, 2001-2002 Oldsmobile Aurora, 1998-2002 Oldsmobile Intrigue,2000-2002 Pontiac Bonneville, Sunfire

This bulletin is being revised to add models and change the Correction information.

Please discard Corporate Bulletin Number 01-02-32-001 (Section 02 - Steering).


Some customers may comment on a clunk type noise coming from the front of the vehicle during a turning maneuver.  This condition may also be felt through the steering wheel when the vehicle is stationary and the wheel is rotated from steering stop to steering stop.  Typically, the clunk noise will be heard once for every 180°of steering wheel rotation in either direction for J-cars (Cavalier and Sunfire).  However, some vehicles may only exhibit the noise once for every 360°of wheel rotation.  On all other vehicles, this clunk noise will be noticed during low speed acceleration or deceleration, typically in light turns of the steering wheel.

Important:  Do not replace the following steering gear part numbers: Do not replace the following intermediate shafts: This condition is commonly misdiagnosed as originating in the steering gear and has resulted in the replacement of numerous steering gears without correcting the concern.


This condition may be caused by inadequate lubrication of the steering intermediate shaft which results in a "slip stick" condition possibly resulting in the clunk noise.


Remove the intermediate steering shaft from the vehicle and lubricate the shaft with a Steering Column Shaft Lubrication Kit, P/N 26098237.  Follow the service procedure listed below.
  1. Remove the steering intermediate shaft from the vehicle.  Refer to Intermediate Steering Shaft Replacement in the appropriate Service Manual.
  2. Fully extend the intermediate shaft by pulling the two shafts apart.
  3. Apply the grease supplied in the Steering Column Shaft Lubrication Kit in the aluminum end of the yoke opening.  Direct the syringe tip as deep as possible into the yoke and dispense the full content of the syringe.
  4. Install the rubber stop plug from the Steering Column Shaft Lubrication kit into the yoke opening.
  5. Secure the rubber plug by swinging the upper yoke 90°. One ear of the yoke should press the rubber plug in.
  6. Use a hard surface to ease the collapse of the intermediate shaft.  It is best to use a pumping action when collapsing the shaft.  Collapse the shaft as far as possible.

    Important:  Make sure the intermediate shaft is being pressed over the ears of the solid shaft.
  7. Remove the rubber stopper plug from the yoke end of the shaft.
  8. Slowly extend the intermediate shaft apart.
  9. Inspect the intermediate shaft for a minimum of 5 mm (0.2 in) (a) of grease on the shaft splines.
  10. Repeat steps 4-9 if less than 5 mm (0.2 in) of grease is on the shaft splines.

    Important:  Before installing the intermediate shaft in the vehicle, make sure to stroke and extend the intermediate shaft at least 15 TIMES to completely lubricate the internal surface of the slip joint.
  11. Reinstall the intermediate shaft into the vehicle.  Refer to Intermediate Steering Shaft Replacement in the appropriate Service Manual.

Parts Information

Parts are currently available from GMSPO.
Part Number Description
26098237 Steering Column Shaft Lube Kit

Warranty Information

Labor Operation Description Labor Time
E7700 R&R Shaft Steering Intermediate Use Published Time
Add: Lubricate Steering Shaft 0.1 hr
For vehicles repaired under warranty, use the table as shown.