How to know why your steering wheel is stiff
A Whistler said he noticed that his steering wheel was no longer soft and he was finding it difficult to turn it in his desired direction. Things got ugly when he was trying to switch lanes on Maryland road and his steering would not turn.
He had to slow down and park abruptly. He was so scared and had to get a towing vehicle to come and move his vehicles to his mechanic’s workshop. Worldwide, hundreds of drivers experience a stiff steering wheel daily.
Stiff steering occurs when there is a fault with the power steering system. The power steering system makes use of a steering fluid to generate pressure against the wheels, allowing the steering wheel to turn in the direction that the driver wants.
Here are four common reasons why a vehicle’s steering wheel becomes stiff:
Spoilt power steering belt
The power steering belt also called the drive belt, is responsible for the transfer of power from the engine to the power steering pump. The agility of a vehicle’s steering system depends on the condition of this belt.
If the power steering belt is spoilt or damaged in any form, the steering becomes stiff and hard for the driver to turn as desired.
Shortage of steering oil
The vessel for the steering oil is located around the engine. It is one of the most neglected vessels in vehicles as vehicle owners often forget to top-up the oil. When the steering oil goes below the recommended level or is finished, more force is required to turn the steering.
Vehicle owners must always check their steering oil level and top it up once or twice monthly.
Faulty steering rack
A steering rack also referred to as the rack and pinion, is a core part of the steering assembly that lets a vehicle’s wheels rotate back and forth whenever the steering wheel is turned.
If a vehicle’s steering rack develops a fault, turning the steering becomes difficult and nearly impossible.
A pump fault occurs when the fuel pump is unable to get fuel to the engine of a vehicle. Instead of fuel, the engine receives air, causing an interruption in power transmission to the steering wheel.
The steering becomes hard as a result of this and the only remedy is an immediate change of the pump.
If you have ever experienced your vehicle’s steering go stiff abruptly, leave a comment telling us how you handled the situation.