When you are driving, there are few things quite as important as steering and directing your vehicle where to go. If you have steering problems in your vehicle it can be dangerous for you, your passengers, all other drivers on the road, and property you may come in contact with. While steering your car, truck, or SUV should come easily, there are common vehicle steering issues you may encounter that can have an impact on your ability to drive.
Your Vehicle’s Steering System
The steering system transfers the rotation of the steering wheel to the steering shaft on the vehicle, to move the wheels left or right. In most vehicles, this is done through the rack and pinion steering system. Power steering or power-assisted steering provides extra energy to help turn the wheels so just about everyone can spin the wheel with ease. Power steering is generally provided by electrical or hydraulic power.
Power steering makes it easier for you to steer your car. Whenever the power steering system fails to perform correctly, it becomes harder to turn the steering wheel and can make driving your Phoenix vehicle more difficult. This can ultimately lead to more problems on the road and costly repairs.
Common Vehicle Steering Issues
Steering issues, like other problems with your vehicle, may get worse and more noticeable over time, or just suddenly appear. You don’t have to be a mechanic or weekend garage warrior to keep an eye on your vehicle. Understanding the signs of steering failure and knowing common vehicle steering issues can make a huge impact. Catching problems early can mean the difference between minor repairs and steering parts failing while driving.
Below we review some of the most common vehicle steering issues:
- Difficulty Turning the Wheel: This is one of the most obvious issues with power steering. If the steering wheel becomes very hard to turn, this can be a sign that there are some underlying steering issues. If you feel like it is getting more difficult and strenuous to steer the wheel, there could be a problem with your power steering, low power steering fluid, a fluid leak, or worn parts.
- Looseness or Lack of Response: Another common vehicle steering issue is a lack of response or looseness in the steering wheel. This problem is usually an indication that there are worn parts in your steering system.
- Noises When Turning: Squealing, grinding, and/or screeching noises coming from the steering system and that occur while you’re turning the steering wheel typically mean that there is an issue with the power steering. Keep in mind, vehicle noises can mean numerous things, so you should always have them checked out by a local Phoenix auto repair shop.
- Vibrations and Shaking: Your steering wheel vibrating and/or shaking is another indication that there is an issue with your steering. You can typically notice this issue when driving your car, truck, or SUV, or when it is idling. Excessive vibrating when you are trying to turn the wheel, is a sign that you may have steering issues.
- Drifting Problems: If your vehicle tends to steer to the left or right, does not maintain a straight course, or is stiff in returning to the center, it could mean you have steering problem. This can also make it more difficult for you to maintain control, increasing the likelihood of you getting into an accident.
- Fluids Under Your Vehicle: You should periodically take a look under your car and under the hood, before you drive it, to see if there are signs of leaking fluids. If you notice a new puddle of liquid coming from your car, it can suggest a problem with the steering, amongst other things. Power steering uses power steering fluid and it could be leaking. If the liquid looks foamy and is discolored, it is likely powered steering fluid and an indication of a larger issue with your steering.
The above are some the most common vehicle steering issues we see. Since steering is vital to keeping you and other people safely on the road, if you think you have a problem with your Phoenix vehicle’s steering, you should contact Advanced Transmissions & Emissions right away.
Sometimes, we can replace a power steering belt and fix your steering issues or add more fluid to the power steering pump reservoir. Oftentimes, it is not that simple. Regardless, after we inspect your vehicle we will recommend replacing worn out or broken parts and let you know about any other issues we find. You can rely on us to recommend affordable solutions to fix your vehicle’s steering system issues.