You depend on your vehicle to get you safely and effectively from one place to another. This includes your steering system. Without a properly functioning steering system, you are unable to maneuver your vehicle and it quickly becomes a safety hazard.
In this month’s blog, we look at three common steering problems that you may encounter with your vehicle.
Power Steering Fluid
Most vehicles today use power steering, and an important component of this system is the power steering fluid. Power steering fluid is a hydraulic fluid that is pumped to the gear at the base of the steering column. It is designed to provide hydraulic power to the vehicle to reduce the overall effort of steering your vehicle. When the power steering fluid is low, this can impact your ability to steer.
Reasons for low or no power steering fluid:
- Leaks from the pump or the power steering lines
If you suspect you have a leak, or notice that your power steering fluid is low, make sure to have it checked by a service professional. The power steering fluid will continue to perform its function until it is fully depleted and then you will experience major problems with the steering. This is a significant safety hazard.
Worn or damaged tie rod
The tie rods are a part of your steering system that help transfer the power from the gears to turn the wheel. The inner and outer tie rods can become damaged or worn and can diminish your steering performance. Some signs that you may have a tie rod problem include squealing noises when turning, front-end alignment issues, difficulty with the steering wheel, and unusual wear on your tires.
Reasons for worn or damaged tie rods:
- Road damage, wear, and tear
- Mechanical failure
It is important to have the tie rods inspected for damage and have ongoing lubrication by a service professional to keep prevent them from damage and wear.
Damaged Steering Rack Mount
Your vehicle’s steering rack is a component of a “rack and pinion” steering system. The rack is a bar that moves left or right depending on the direction the wheel is being turned. The pinion gear is what engage the rack to move side to side. The mount is comprised of bushings, that help to absorb impact and stabilize the friction between connecting joints. When those bushings become damaged or prematurely worn, you may experience steering issues. You may hear a clunking sound in the steering column, clicking sounds while turning, or the steering wheel may jerk or be inconsistent in the ability to turn.
Reasons for worn or damaged steering rack mount:
- Loose, worn, or damaged mount bushings
Keep your steering system maintained by having it periodically checked by a service professional for wear and tear. Also, make sure to check your power steering fluid at least once a month and have it replaced every 30,000 miles driven.
If you suspect you might have a steering problem with your vehicle, contact us today at Best Western Transmissions to schedule an appointment. Our service professionals will inspect your steering and provide you with any recommended repairs or replacements. We can also help you set up a regular maintenance plan for your vehicle to ensure it is kept in top shape.
Don’t hesitate to address steering issues as they can quickly become a costly repair and even worse, a serious safety hazard.