Description: On cars with conventional suspension systems, the steering knuckle includes a spindle and connects the upper and lower ball joints. On cars with MacPherson strut suspension systems, the steering knuckle connects the strut assembly to the lower ball joint.
Purpose: The steering knuckle is the pivot point of the steering system, which allows the wheels to turn. On cars with conventional suspension systems, the steering knuckle's spindle locates and supports the inner and outer wheel bearings. On cars with MacPherson strut suspension systems, the steering knuckle has an opening to allow connection of the CV axle shaft to the wheel hub and bearing assembly.
Maintenance Tips/Suggestions: Have your car's alignment checked once a year. A bent or damaged steering knuckle affects proper wheel alignment. The alignment process checks the steering knuckle angles to ensure that they meet carmaker design specifications. Most SUVs, pickups and rear-wheel-drive cars need regular front wheel bearing maintenance. This can prevent expensive damage to the steering knuckle's spindle should a bearing seize. Have the bearings cleaned, inspected and repacked with fresh lubricant every two years or 24,000 miles. If the wheel bearings are exposed to any underwater conditions, even for a short period, the bearings need to be serviced more frequently. The wheel seals should also be replaced every time the bearings are serviced. For best results, have Kirtec Auto Services diagnose any symptoms on your vehicle's suspension and steering systems.