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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have 2002 Dodge Durango, 157K miles. This has been a great vehicle! Starts every time, and no major problems.

I have had it for 6 years and when it's cold, sometimes I cannot get it to shift out of park. I have taken it to dealers and various shops and nobody can find the problem. To remedy this, I would have to engage the tilt and move the steering wheel up and down until something finally gives so I can get it to shift out of park.

Lately I have had some play in the steering wheel and it's getting worse. It's at least and inch on each side and seems to be getting worse. There is so much play in the steering that it just doesn't even feel safe anymore. I have replaced the intermediate steering shaft, and that did nothing. I have searched message boards, etc. Everything points to tie rods, sway bars, replacing the steering shaft, gearbox. But the clicking is inside the steering wheel, I can hear it, and I can feel it when I turn the wheel. The steering wheel no longer locks when the truck is turned off either.

I am afraid this is a safety issue, but can't find anyone that can find the problem. Pease Help!!

Beth
 

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The noise you hear may not be related to the play in the steering. In 20+ years as a technician, I've never replaced a column for a play issue.
With an issue like the one you're having, you should consult a shop and have the steering inspected for loose links and joints.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply.

So, until I can find someone who can figure out what the problem is, is it safe to drive? I just worry about driving down the road and the steering just going out. I have another appointment this week at yet another shop, hoping they can pinpoint the issue. Really losing faith though, it seems to be stumping everyone.
 

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Locating play in the steering is a far cry from rocket science. Most mechanics will check the links first and if those are OK, the next logical choice is the steering gear itself. If they haven't found the problem with either of those two, then you just might have a column issue. Without laying eyes on it myself, I cannot recommend you keep driving it.
 
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