Why Is My Steering Wheel Hard To Turn?
Steering issues aren’t just inconvenient; they can, in certain cases, be downright dangerous. In general, most people notice a hard to turn steering wheel when maneuvering at low speeds, and then the problem miraculously seems to ease once you speed up. But just because this happens doesn’t mean that you should ignore the issue, as it’s certainly not going to get better on its own.
The following are 5 of the most common reasons that a steering wheel can become hard to turn.
An old, damaged, or faulty steering rack
The steering rack is, in very basic terms, what attaches the steering wheel to the mechanisms that turn the wheels of the car. This rack can get damaged, or simply wear out as the car ages. One clue that this is the source of the problem is that it improves as the engine warms up. This happens as the structure itself heats up and the various lubricants act more effectively.
Damage to the serpentine belt
This belt is responsible for a multitude of actions within the engine, including the operation of the power steering pump. As the belt ages, it can slip, crack, and fray, causing various issues, including a failure of the power steering system. If the belt should break then all of the systems it’s responsible for will stop working (these also include the water pump, alternator, and air conditioning compressor). The car will then overheat, so it’s not a scenario you want to occur.
Serpentine belt replacement is generally carried out at 60,000 to 100,000 miles, but this can vary depending on factors, such as extremes of climate and humidity.
Low power steering fluid
The power steering system requires this fluid to both pressurize and lubricate. If a hose in the power steering system becomes damaged or loose, the fluid can leak out, causing the steering wheel to become hard to turn.
Degraded power steering fluid
This fluid doesn’t have an infinite life and it’s necessary to change it as per the manufacturer’s recommendations. Failure to do so means the fluid will thicken and lose its ability to lubricate the system. While this won’t stop you turning the wheel, you’ll have to use far more force to do so.
Failure of the power steering pump
This pump is what keeps the power steering system pressurized and working correctly. If it fails then the “power” part of your steering also fails.
All of the above issues will, without a doubt, get worse. While they might not be dangerous in the initial stages, ignoring them could mean the car becoming unsafe to drive. Thankfully such steering issues can be easily resolved by your local Jiffy Lube Services.
Although the brand initially became famous for its signature oil change, they’ve evolved into the nation’s favorite all-round car maintenance service, in part due to their “no-appointment-necessary” brand model. With thousands of branches located in North America, any online search for “jiffy lube near me” will bring up a multitude of options, making them the go-to car maintenance provider for anyone who wants a reliable, affordable, and trustworthy service.