My Steering Wheel Is Hard to Turn

The steering system is an essential part of the vehicle because it allows the driver to control its direction. A malfunctioning steering wheel can create an array of problems. If the steering wheel becomes stiff or suddenly locks up, it can lead to a major accident. Many components make up the power steering system which allow it to turn with little resistance effectively. One seemingly small issue can break the entire system down; that’s why it’s essential to identify a potential problem before it becomes hazardous. Below are common reasons why the steering wheel has become hard to turn.

Bad steering rack
The steering rack is an essential aspect of the power steering system. It’s made up of the pinion and rack. The steering rack can become subject to wear and tear after several years of driving. If the steering wheel is hard to turn right after starting the engine, the steering rack may be the cause.

Low Power Steering Fluid
A stiff steering wheel is often caused by low power steering fluid. Low power steering fluid isn’t common and usually indicates a leak. Most powering steering fluid leaks can be due to cracked or loose hoses.

Faulty Serpentine Belt
The serpentine belt is long and snake-like. It wraps around the core parts of a vehicle, such as the power steering pump, air conditioning, alternator, and more. If the serpentine belt is loose or broken, some of the critical components that it wraps around can stop working. A faulty serpentine belt can cause the steering wheel to become stiff and difficult to maneuver. 

Power steering pump failure.
The power steering pump is designed to last thousands of miles, but sometimes it can wear prematurely. If the power steering pump is beginning to wear, it will make a distinctive noise when turning during drives. The key is to get an inspection at the first sign of a problem. If you wait, other vital issues can occur, such as the steering wheel stiffening.

Faulty Electrical Components
Electric power steering systems use a collection of motors, computers, and sensors. If any of these aspects fail, the steering wheel may suffer a loss in efficiency. 

If your steering wheel is difficult to turn, Dickerson Automotive is here to help. Our Spanish Fork, UT automotive technicians are experts in hydraulic steering systems and electronic steering systems. If your steering wheel is difficult to turn and you notice any of the above signs, click here to schedule an appointment. Our ASE certified technicians perform diagnostics that include mechanical and visual inspections. Your steering wheel controls the drive; it’s essential to keep it in top shape.


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