Does it seem like every time you go to turn your steering wheel that you are getting more of a workout in than you would have liked? 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 challenging. If steering and turning your car, truck, or SUV isn’t as seamless as it once was, you may be having steering issues. We are going to look at some of the reasons why it may be difficult to turn your vehicle.
Understanding Your Vehicle’s Steering System
If you are wondering why it is difficult to turn your vehicle, chances are that you have some type of issue with your steering system. 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.
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.
Why is it Difficult to Turn Your Vehicle?
Being able to twist and turn as intended, while you drive, is crucial to roadway safety. If you are struggling to turn your vehicle, that not only means problems for you, but for other drivers as well. Without your car’s steering system, you can only drive in a straight line, no turns, no changing lanes.
The main reasons for a difficult steering wheel are the lack of maintenance, late servicing, or wearing off of some components. You should know the reasons why your car’s steering wheel gets stiff, as it will help you to spot the signs early and will allow you to be proactive and preventative. If you neglect steering issues and wait for the situation to get worse, it can lead to much larger problems.
Why is it difficult to turn your vehicle? Below we review some of the most common reasons.
Power steering fluid issue. Power steering uses power steering fluid and it could be leaking, low, or just need replaced. Issues with power steering fluid are the most common reasons for stiff steering. Power steering fluid lubricates your vehicle’s power steering system, providing smooth operation and allowing you to easily turn and drive your car, truck, or SUV. If you are low on power steering fluid, the vehicle’s steering wheel will have a tendency to vibrate and shift, and will be hard to turn. If you notice a leak, if the liquid looks foamy and is discolored, it is likely power steering fluid and an indication of a larger issue with your steering. Like all types of vehicle fluids, power steering fluid can go bad over time and need replaced. You should follow your vehicle manufacturer’s recommendation on when to change this vital fluid.
Damaged or faulty power steering pump. The power steering pump pressurizes the hydraulic fluid that helps the driver turn the steering wheel. Signs of steering pump failure include leaks, noises or decreased assistance while steering. A power steering pump should last for thousands of miles; however, under certain circumstances, it will prematurely fail. If there’s a problem with the pump, it becomes challenging to turn the steering wheel, especially at a lower speeds. Sometimes when the steering pump doesn’t work correctly, it creates a buzzing noise when you turn your steering wheel. Watch for the signs, and if you think the steering pump is the reason it is difficult to turn your vehicle, contact a local Phoenix automotive shop right away.
Malfunctioning steering rack. The rack and pinion, also known as the steering rack, is an assembly in your vehicle that allows your wheels to rotate from side to side when you turn your steering wheel. Your steering rack is a vital component of your power steering system. Due to exposure to temperatures and road debris, your vehicle’s steering rack can get damaged. If your steering wheel is hard to turn when you first turn your vehicle, but gets better progressively, it could be a sign that your steering rack is having issues and needs to be repaired or replaced.
Serpentine belt troubles. A serpentine belt is a single, continuous belt, used to drive multiple peripheral devices in an automotive engine, such as an alternator, power steering pump, water pump, air conditioning compressor, air pump, etc. This belt is essential to your vehicle’s overall operation, and directly impacts the power steering. If the serpentine belt is lose, broken or cracked, you will have difficulty turning your steering wheel. When the belt begins to wear down and becomes slack, your steering wheel will start showing signs of stiffness. Repair or replace the belt as soon as possible as delaying the repair can cause the belt to break, making the steering wheel stop working completely and could cause other problems throughout your vehicle.
Are you wondering why it is difficult to turn your steering wheel? 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 can make a huge difference. For instance, catching problems earlier can make the difference between minor repairs and steering parts failing while driving. Above we have reviewed some of the reasons why your steering may be having issues; however, it is also crucial to watch for signs of steering issues as well.
When it comes to your Phoenix vehicle, Advanced Transmissions & Emissions is here for all of your needs.
Advanced Transmissions & Emissions aims to make steering system repair services fast and easy. Rack and pinion, or power steering pumps are expensive and vital components in any vehicle. We have years of experience repairing steering systems with rack and pinions or a parallelogram system at cheaper rates than they might find elsewhere. Our expertise allows us to locate the source of the problem to make only the needed repairs. Visit our Phoenix, AZ shop for steering system repairs.