Steering Problems: Common Headaches and Solutions

As much as you rely on your brakes and gas pedal while driving, they pale in comparison to how much you use your steering wheel. Think about it: Most of us spend the entire drive at “10 and 2” or “9 and 3.” The steering wheel is your very first line of defense against all traffic hazards, and your vehicle would be little more than a drag racer or sophisticated horse-drawn carriage without a steering wheel.

It makes sense, then, for us to be picky about how our steering wheel handles. Imagine losing your steering nearing a bend on the highway or while navigating city traffic. A lack of steering is dangerous, and you should remain vigilant for any performance issues.

Faulty steering is a safety hazard you shouldn’t tolerate. If you believe your car may have been sold to you with a defect, reach out to us at 833.4.CARLAW for a free consultation and we will investigate the problem.

Warning Signs for Steering Issues

While driving, beware of:

  • resistance while steering
  • excessive vibrations in your steering wheel
  • any sort of clunking

Not only can these symptoms turn dangerous, they’re indicators you should head to the dealership soon for an inspection.

Solutions to Common Steering Problems

Though the symptoms of steering issues is a short list, you may need to run down a long list of potential solutions, as there are many potential factors that can cause steering problems. If you’re experiencing steering issues, you or your dealership may take the following actions:

Check Your Alignment

Speed bumps and other obstacles on the road may jostle your suspension and tires, throwing your alignment off. There are a number of ways to check for alignment issues, including simply centering your steering wheel and noting if your vehicle drifts to the side. Your dealership will be able to provide a deeper analysis by checking the wheels with lasers.

Check Your Tires

Two factors to consider: pressure and wear.

Pressure

Picture your car driving with one of its front tires half deflated. Not only would it look ridiculous, your vehicle would also pull to that side. While it’s an extreme example, the same can happen even when a tire is off by only a few pounds.

Wear

As you drive, your tires will wear differently—especially if they’re out of alignment. Uneven wear may throw your car off balance, which will make steering harder. After checking your tires, be sure to rotate them regularly as a precautionary measure.

Check Your Steering Belt

Cars with power steering use a serpentine belt to ease the steering process. Without it, steering becomes significantly harder. If it’s worn or frayed, you may hear a thudding or whirring sound from under your hood. This belt can also become loose, which also decreases performance. Most belts last between 60,000-100,000 miles, but it’s good to ask your dealership to check it out with every oil change.

Check Your Struts

Two things to focus on here: the struts themselves and the strut bearings.

Struts

Your struts are the springs and shock absorbers that give you a smooth ride. If these are damaged, handling takes an immediate hit. Have your dealership check for damage and replace any faulty or broken components.

Strut Bearings

The strut bearings are used to mount the strut. If they’re damaged or worn, you may have suspension—and steering—problems.

Check Your Steering Fluid

Your steering fluid creates hydraulic pressure when you turn the steering wheel. This pressure eventually turns your front wheels in the direction you want to travel. If you’re leaking steering fluid, you won’t be able to steer as effectively. Have your dealership check for leaks and repair or replace any components where the fluid is escaping.

Legal Assistance for Steering Problems

If your vehicle has repeated steering issues, you may have been sold a lemon. Trust the offices of Robison Lemon Law Group for assistance. We can help you navigate both the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act and lemon laws to ensure you receive the justice you deserve.