Steering issues?, Rack or top mounts?

  1. My model of MX-5 is: __ 2006 NCS Sport
  2. I’m based near: __ Burton
  3. I’m looking for technical help or recommendations on: __ Steering issues.

Hi everyone
I’m having an issue with my NC lately the steering feels heavier and when turning the wheel/steering they don’t move back to the central position, I have to physically turn it back to center.

I had two new front tyres in August last year with an alignment check so I’m ruling and alignment issue out , I thought it might be the steering rack ?
I dropped it off at my local garage for a look and he went underneath and checked bushes with a pry bar and turned the wheels a few times and told me he can’t see anything wrong .

So my concern is it’s a failed steering rack ? Or could the top mounts be seized up ?
Any suggestions or experiences with this issue anyone?


First job is to get both front wheels off the ground at the same time and turn the steering from lock to lock to see if there is any ‘drag’. Do not start the car so the power steering is not working.

Next is to check that the power steering is working and the fluid level is good.

I know you have discounted ‘geometry’ but that would be next.

I drove an NC with similar symptoms, steering wouldn’t re centre itself and pulling to the left. Diagnosis was a sticky front caliper and in need of alignment, all sorted.
Get a proper alignment done from a garage who can sort the MX-5’s.

Will try the car with the wheels off the ground next as you suggested. I’ve got some discs and pads on the way , so will spend sometime myself having a good investigation.

I’ve also checked the power steering fluid as that was my first thought when the issue suddenly appeared.

I agree here - mine kept pulling slightly and had an occasional shake ( like an out of balance wheel )
Alignment was good.

Turned out to be a sticky left front caliper ( the right caliper wasn’t much better )

Rebuilt the calipers and all was sorted.

Video on rebuilding calipers. You probably only need to do the pins, its pretty straight forward.

Thanks will check it all out this weekend hopefully. :crossed_fingers:

I’ve done sliders and a brake piston before on my Bmw when that seized but I never noticed any steering issues on that car just the heat and burning smell after a trip out.

Thanks for the suggestions

Had chance to jack the car up last night.
This is long winded :joy:

So both wheels move freely and don’t appear to have any brake binding.

When in the air turning the wheels left to right , using the wheels to do this, it’s easier when the car isn’t running but it stiffens up when running.
Using the steering wheel to do this it feels easier to turn when the cars running as you would think.
( back on the ground it’s obvious the power steering is working or helping when you try to turn the wheels when the car is/isn’t running)

When up in the air there’s a slight creaking/rubbing/ binding noise when you turn the steering wheel left to right, with help from the Mrs you can feel it when turning if you hold the inner/outer tie rod , but can’t feel it when you hold the control arms.

So that makes me feel like it’s in the steering rack but it’s also giving me power assistance :person_shrugging:

Lastly the Knuckle joints looks a bit dry/crusty so I’m tempted to separate and grease them so if the pivot points are causing the binding .

That’s everything out my head