Compared to most mechanical problems that do not show a lot of obvious signs unless you know what you are looking for, steering problems will usually give you plenty. Since they do tend to persist until you finally get your car taken down to an auto shop for a steering repair, it helps to pay attention to what these warning signs are before your vehicle breaks down on you or you figure in a road accident.
Just because you are having steering problems doesn’t mean you can’t. But you shouldn’t. A lot of people with steering issues tend to ignore it for as long as they can which does not only put themselves at risk on the road but other motorists too. With 36,766 fatal motor vehicle crashes in the country in 2020 alone, the last thing you want is to become part of that gruesome statistics.
As such, recognizing the first signs that your car’s steering system is not as sound as it used to is crucial. Your steering system will give you plenty of warning to let you know it is about time you get your car checked by a mechanic to have the problem fixed once and for all. Below are some of them.
Difficulty turning the wheel
It’s quite common for cars, SUVs, and trucks these days to feature power steering where an electric motor or hydraulic pump makes it possible for the driver to get the tires turning the moment the steering wheel is turned on. Without the power assist, it would be hard to steer the wheel.
If you notice that running the wheel seems to be a little more difficult than usual, the power steering system could be having problems. This could be due to steering pump troubles or a serpentine belt that’s worn out. For cars with electric power assist, a blown fuse or a bad motor may be the culprit— all of which needs to be checked and fixed by an automotive expert.
Car pulls to one side
Your vehicle is not designed to pull to one side on its own accord. Unless you are driving on a significant slope or an uneven road, there is no reason that it should. If you seem to be noticing this problem way more often, regardless of the surface you are driving on, there is a possibility that a steering issue may be causing it. You wouldn’t want to put off getting a steering repair as this may lead to more serious problems.
0he steering gear can get worn out prematurely when there isn’t enough lubrication provided by the power steering fluid. Before getting the steering gear replaced, your mechanic should carefully check first if there are signs of power steering leaks.
Vibration on the steering wheel
Most of the time, this can be due to problems with your wheel alignment. However, there is also a possibility that this may be caused by an issue with your steering system.
It is common for the steering system to pulsate constantly if there is a build-up of contaminants that are clogging the system. This is most noticeable when the wheel is fully turned in one direction. The problem is usually fixed by flushing the power steering— something that your trusted mechanic can easily do.
Weird noises when turning the wheel
Squealing or screeching sounds coming from your car is not only unnerving and is a very obvious sign that something is not right with your steering system. This could be due to problems with the power steering pump. Cars can make weird screeching noises too if the power steering fluid is too low.
If what you’re hearing is more of a grinding sound, instead of a squealing noise, then your steering rack may be going out. If what you hear is more of a creaking sound, not squealy but more on the quiet side, your strut bearings may be wearing out.
While driving around in a car with steering system issues is more than possible, the problem won’t go away and will persist until you finally get it taken care of. Do not wait for your system to fail until you finally get a steering repair. Craig’s Car Care is your one-stop auto shop for all your maintenance and repair needs and is your trusted partner in keeping your car roadworthy for many years to come.