Steering wheel failure can be a scary thing to experience first hand. Driving along the highway at high speeds and suddenly the steering system failing is something no one wants to witness. Thankfully there are symptoms of a failing steering system that start happening before it will stop working. Here are some of those symptoms that can help you figure out if your steering system is failing.

Let’s make it easy for you. Here are 5 Reasons Your Car Needs Wheel Alignment and Balancing Right Now. 

  1. Stiff Steering Wheel

    Steering wheel stiffness means failing power steering system
    Steering wheel stiffness means failing power steering system

    If the steering wheel is stiff and takes more than usual effort to rotate then there is a possibility it’s about to fail. All new cars use power steering that helps the commonly used rack and pinion system making it easier for the driver to turn the steering wheel. Failing of the power steering will make the steering wheel stiff and harder to turn.

  2. Loose Steering Wheel

    A loose steering wheel is caused by worn-out components. It will feel like the steering wheel is not connected to anything at all and will rotate quite easily. A loose steering wheel will show its symptoms by feeling loose at random places rather than the entire steering wheel being loose. If not taken care of the entire steering will become loose and it will be impossible to use it.

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  3. Noises While Turning

    If the steering system makes whining noises while turning its a symptom of worn-out parts. It usually happens when the power steering rack is worn out and needs a replacement. The sound is quite unique compared to other car noises. If your steering wheel makes whining noises while turning it might be a good time for a car inspection. 

  4. Extra Play

    Play in automotive terms means that there is a certain movement of a part necessary before the results can be seen. For example, a clutch pedal has a play as it doesn’t start working instantly. A steering wheel, however, doesn’t and shouldn’t have a play. If you notice that your steering wheel has play i.e it takes a while for it to start turning the wheels its time to get it fixed. This is caused by worn out tie-rods.

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  5. Steering Wheel Vibration While Cornering

    The vibration of the steering wheel can be a result of a lot of problems but if it vibrates while cornering it is because of low-pressure fluid in the power steering system. It is possible that the issue lies elsewhere maybe in the wheels or the suspension but it’s a good idea to get the car checked for all possible issues when the steering wheel starts vibrating.

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  6. Burning Oil Smell

    Another symptom that can be caused by a lot of other issues but as it points towards a possible steering system failure we need to include it here. A burning smell is caused by fluid reaching or leaking into an overheating part. Pressure fluid in a power steering when burning smells pretty much like burning oil and if you get even a faint hint of it, immediately stop your car and call for a mechanic. Overheating steering gearbox can and cause fires in a car.

  7. Fluid Leaks

    Brake Fluid Leak
    Brake Fluid Leak

    If your car is parked and you notice a puddle on the ground below it, one of the leaks could be the brake fluid. Leaking brake fluid will cause loss of pressure and will lead to problems stated above that happen when there is not enough pressure in the power steering system.

  8. Moving To One Side While Driving

    If your car is moving to one side while driving one of the possible reasons could be a steering system failure. The main reason for this issue is out of alignment wheels. But if your car is still a bit biased towards one side after getting a wheel alignment it’s possibly worn-out steering system components and a replacement of those will be cheaper before they end up damaging other parts. 

These were the 8 symptoms that let you know that your cars steering system is close to failing. If you notice one or multiple of these, get your car checked by a mechanic as driving with a faulty steering system can cause accidents.

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