My Steering Wheel Is Hard To Turn - What Does It Mean and What Can I Do?

Reasons for Steering System Problems | Accomplished Auto

Your car's steering wheel is the primary interface between you and the road, allowing you to navigate smoothly and safely. So, when you encounter the unsettling experience of a hard-to-turn steering wheel, it can be alarming and even dangerous. Understanding the potential causes behind this issue and knowing what steps to take can help you address the problem promptly and get back to driving with ease. 

   Low Power Steering Fluid

One of the most common reasons for a hard-to-turn steering wheel is low power steering fluid levels. Power steering fluid is essential for assisting you in steering your car effortlessly. When the fluid level is insufficient, the hydraulic assistance diminishes, resulting in increased effort required to turn the wheel. 

To remedy this, locate the power steering fluid reservoir (usually near the engine) and check the fluid level. If it's low, top it up to the recommended level and inspect for any leaks that might be causing the fluid loss.

   Power Steering Pump Failure

The power steering pump is responsible for generating the hydraulic pressure needed to assist with steering. If the pump fails or becomes faulty, it can lead to a stiff steering wheel. You might hear a whining noise when attempting to turn the wheel. 

In such cases, a replacement or repair of the power steering pump is necessary to restore proper steering functionality.

   Serpentine Belt Issues

The serpentine belt drives various components in your car, including the power steering pump. If this belt is loose, damaged, or broken, it can lead to a lack of power steering assistance, making the steering wheel hard to turn. Inspect the serpentine belt for signs of wear and tension. 

-If necessary, replace the belt to ensure proper operation of the power steering system.

   Steering Rack or Column Problems

Issues with the steering rack or steering column can also cause difficulty in turning the wheel smoothly. Damaged or worn steering components can lead to increased friction and resistance, making it hard to maneuver the vehicle

   Wheel Alignment

Improper wheel alignment can exert undue pressure on the steering components, leading to a hard-to-turn steering wheel. If your car has recently hit a pothole or curb, or if you notice uneven tire wear, consider getting a wheel alignment check performed by a professional.

Accomplished Auto is Here to Help!

If your steering system is having issues or maybe you have a problematic tire, just reach out to us at Accomplished Auto and we will be happy to help!