Monday To Friday

7:30 AM - 5:00 PM

Steering Troubles? Here's What You Need to Know

Steering is one of the most crucial functions of any vehicle. It's a component you'll interact with frequently, making you sensitive to even the slightest changes. Ignoring these changes can be tempting, but they often signal underlying problems that need attention.

If your steering wheel isn't turning smoothly and precisely or if it's making unusual noises, several issues might be at play:

Low Power Steering Fluid

When the power steering fluid is low, the steering wheel can become very difficult to turn. You might also hear a "whining" or squeaking noise.

Power Steering Fluid Leaks

Leaking power steering fluid is another common issue. Look for puddles of red, clear, or pink fluid under your vehicle. This could indicate a leak that needs immediate attention.

Failing Steering Rack Mount

Most modern cars use a rack-and-pinion steering system. The rack mounting bushings are crucial as they absorb impacts from the suspension. If these start to wear out, you might notice the steering wheel jerking when going over bumps, inconsistent steering, or clunking sounds in the steering column. Clicking or popping noises may also be present.

Damaged or Worn-Out Power Steering Belt

The power steering belt, driven by a pulley on the crankshaft, powers the fluid pump that controls hydraulic steering. If this belt is worn down or becomes slack, steering can feel heavy or jerky.

Bad Strut Bearings or Tie Rods

If your vehicle's steering wheel "wanders" or strays from a straight line while driving, you might have suspension issues like bad strut bearings or tie rods. Signs of suspension trouble include wheel looseness, excessive tire wear, and a suspension that sags or squeaks over bumps and obstacles.

Steering issues are safety issues and should be addressed as soon as possible. Describe your symptoms to your Old Town Auto Service Advisor. Our technicians are trained to diagnose and fix your steering troubles, ensuring you get back on the road safely. It will truly be a turning point in your driving experience.