From the description of a graunchy feel to the steering by the owner of this 2006 Vauxhall Corsa SXI, our first thought was that a front spring had broken and was scraping as the steering was turned. This is something we have seen quite often when the top of the spring breaks away, allowing a broken section to rub on the body.
When we examined the front springs, we were surprised to find that both of them were intact. The real problem was the front struts, which we removed to inspect the top mounts properly. We discovered the cause of the problem was that damp had got into the strut-top mount bearings.
New strut tops and bearing were fitted and, once assembled, the difference in the feel of the steering was quite dramatic.
The strut top bearings had been affected by damp, resulting in poor steering.