On the best days, driving can be quite a hassle and the only thing that makes it easier is the system is working efficiently. However, sometimes, the steering wheel gets hard to turn. If that happens, your first instinct may be to visit the auto repair. Before doing that, let us examine some of what causes stiff steering.
FAULTY STEERING RACK
The steering rack is made of two things; the pinion and the rack. The steering rack attaches to the wheel through shafts and U-Joints. As time goes, and as continue driving the vehicle, the steering and the areas attached to the wheel start to wear out.
If your driving wheel only gets stiff after starting the car, then that’s a clear indicator that the steering rack is the problem. If your steering rack is the problem, then the wheel should get freer as you drive. All the same, you should replace it as soon as possible before it worsens.
BROKEN SERPENTINE BELT
A cracked serpentine belt is also another reason why the driving wheel may be stiff and hard to turn. Whenever your car is in motion, the serpentine belt is being used. Thanks to the constant use, the belt wears out quickly and ends up loose.
A worn belt quickly leads to a stiff wheel. If your driving wheel starts getting stiff, take it to an auto technician to determine the cause. If they identify the belt as the cause, then you should replace it as soon as possible. Failure to replace it on time can cause your car to break down completely.
If the power steering fluid in your system is low, it can cause your steering wheel to become stiff and hard to turn. It is easier for the steering fluid to start leaking if it flows from the pressurized hose area.
The hose tends to crack, or it may become loose which in turn makes it possible for the power steering fluid to leak out. The purpose of the steering fluid is to pressurize the system and lubricate the pump. Therefore, if the steering fluid is not enough to do the job, your driving wheel will end up stiffer than a board.
How to fix a steering wheel that is hard to turn
If you fail to catch the problem with your driving wheel on time, then you have no choice to go to an auto technician. However, if you catch the signs early, then here are some tips that will help you fix it.
CHECK THE FLUID LEVEL IN THE STEERING SYSTEM
Low power steering fluid in the steering system is one of the reasons why your wheel stiffens up. With that knowledge, you should inspect the fluid level once you notice your wheel is hard to turn.
The power steering fluid is located near the engine so it is easy to monitor it. Keep the fluid in the system full and make sure the color is dark red. If you see that the fluid is dark, you should replace it immediately.
MONITOR YOUR TIRE’S AIR PRESSURE
The air pressure in your tires also contributes to your wheel stiffening up. Regular inspection will help to prevent that and keep your steering working properly. The tires should have an equal quantity of air according to the PSI set by the manufacturer.
If you ask any more questions then you should visit your auto repair. Most times, it is better to get help from a professional than trying to fix things yourself.