Every car that produced recently has power steering. It’s means transferring the power to turn the steering wheel from our arms to the system at our vehicle. Of course it will make easier to turn the wheel. The steering system itself consist several component from the steering wheel to tires. If one or more of these components do not work properly will affected the steering system as a whole. The most commons symptoms of the trouble is the steering wheel hard to turn. We need more energy to turn the steering wheel than usual. If this problem occur, the most common causes will explained below.
1. Flat tire
Most cars wheel drive connected to the front tires and whole tires for 4 wheel drives cars. Flat tire will make the car harder to controlled, especially at the high speed. The best solution for this problem is pull over and change the tire. You can do it yourself if your standard tools available. The other causes of steering wheel hard to turn related to the tire is unequal pressure to the tire. Please get your tire pressure checked and consistent to the car manual.
2. The power steering fluid runs dry
The power steering system work by hydraulic power that generated from fluid. This fluid work against one side of piston depend on the side we want to turn. Beside pressuring the system, steering fluid also lubricating the pump so the steering system work easier. When the fluid runs dry, the steering system lost it’s power to pressure and the wheel steer became stiff. Most common causes of this problem is leak at the fluid hose because of crack or loose.
All you need to do is checking the hose, replace it if necessary or just tight it up. Beside those, you also need to replace the fluid. Remember, you must change all fluid in the hose not just adding it. You must sure that old fluid has out or drain before injecting the new one. The other problem related to the fluid is thick fluid. Most steering fluid become thicker as time goes. All you have to do is check and change the fluid regularly.
Read also: 5 Symptoms of a Bad Ignition Coil in Your Car
3. Bad power steering belt
Depends on the vehicle, power steering system connected by one or more belt. These belt mostly made by rubber that worn down over time. If you are lucky, the belt just become loosen, but in worse day, it could be broke and torn a part. If it’s happen, your wheel streeing would not just stiff, but could not removed at all. To prevent this problem you need to check the belts regularly. If the belts has frayed, you have no choice than to change it immediately.
4. Bad steering rack
This problem has specific symptom, you just feel it’s hard to turn the steering wheel at the first time you turn it. As your engine get warm and the steering fluid has lubricating the rack ant other steering system, your steering wheel seem normal. But it’s not normal at all. You still have to make your steering rack checked. The steering rack is series of joints and shafts that connected the rack and the steering wheel. The rack should be replaced as soon as possible when it has turn bad otherwise you will get more trouble.
5. Pump turn bad
Another important part of the steering system is pump. This part will injecting the air and fluid needed as you turn your steering wheel. Your steering wheel become stiff if the pump doesn’t work properly. Your mechanics could simply fix the pump for the minor problem or replace it if necessary. Again, regular check is the best way to avoid more damage.