Steering Wheel Hard To Turn: Why And What To Do?

As a driver, there's nothing more frustrating than having a hard time turning the steering wheel. It's like trying to open a jar of pickles with no grip and even less patience. Don't worry, though! This isn't always an indication that there's something seriously wrong with your car - in most cases, it's something you can fix yourself without breaking a sweat (or your budget). Keep reading for some tips on how to get your steering wheel spinning smoothly again.

What Causes Steering Wheel To Be Hard To Turn?

A hard-to-turn steering wheel can be very frustrating, but fortunately, there are a few things you can do to troubleshoot the problem. Below are the top reasons that your steering wheel is getting more difficult to turn. By going through this list, you should be able to identify the root of the problem and find a solution quickly.

Bad Steering Rack

The steering rack, made up of the pinion and rack, is a series of interlocking parts that protectively attach your steering wheel. Over time though, extensive use will damage and wear down the steering rack.

If your steering wheel is difficult to turn or feels tight only after you start your car, this is a sign that something is wrong. When the engine heats up, it will make the steering rack hotter and cause the lubricant to work better. Overall, a bad steering rack is one of the most common reasons for a hard-to-turn steering wheel.

Low Power Steering Fluid

A stiff steering wheel when turning is often the result of a lack of power steering fluid in the system. If there's a leak, it's usually from the pressurized hose area. The hose can get cracked or become loose over time, leading to leaks.

If your power steering fluid is low, it will cause your steering wheel to get progressively harder to turn. The car may still be drive-able but if you don't fix the leak, eventually it will damage your power steering pump beyond repair; requiring an expensive replacement. If a quick check shows that your power steering fluid is full, keep reading.

Broken Serpentine Belt

The serpentine belt is used every time somebody drives the car, so it incurs a lot of wear and tears over time. Often, stiffness in the steering wheel is caused by damage or cracking to this key piece.

If you don't replace the belt, it will eventually break, and then you'll have no method of transportation. It's more convenient to replace the steering wheel before this happens.


Power Steering Pump Failure

The power steering pump is responsible for supplying the pressure that makes it easy to turn the steering wheel. If it malfunctioned, you would find it tough to steer, especially at slow speeds. Usually, in these cases, the pump won't stop the steering wheel from turning altogether. You will still be able to turn it, but it will take more force than usual. The bigger the vehicle,the harder it will be to turn the wheels.

Overall, if your power steering pump is failing, you will notice a grinding noise when trying to turn the wheel.

 Old Thick Power Steering Fluid

This is the last reason on our list, but it's just as important. Over time, power steering fluid can thicken and become less effective. This will make your steering wheel much harder to turn than normal.

If you notice that turning the steering wheel has become a struggle, you may need to flush out the old power steering fluid and replace it with new fluids. Doing this regularly is important for keeping your car in good condition and ensuring that its components are properly lubricated.

How Do You Diagnose Hard Steering?

Maybe it just seems to you and others that your ride has become a lot harder to steer lately. This can be due to anything from an undersized steering wheel, incorrect wheel alignment, or maybe because you’ve just been pushing it too hard! Don’t worry – with a few basic diagnostics you can get back on the road again in no time.

First things first: make sure your steering wheel is properly aligned. If it's not pointing straight ahead, there could be issues with the power steering system or suspension components causing excessive drag and making turns difficult. Align the wheel correctly and check for any signs of wear on parts like tie-rods, ball joints, and bushings - if these are worn out they'll add extra resistance to the steering.

Next, check the power steering fluid level and condition. If it's low or dirty, it could be causing increased resistance in the system which translates to a harder-than-normal turning experience. Also, make sure all hoses are securely connected and aren’t leaking.

Finally, take your ride for a spin around the block and see if anything changes. If none of these steps seem to help, you may need to look into more serious repairs like broken drive shafts or worn-out CV joints that can have an effect on how your car turns.

No matter what the cause is, don't put up with hard steering any longer – get your diagnosis today!

Is It Safe To Drive With A Stiff Steering Wheel?

A steering wheel that is hard to turn can harm your car's performance and be dangerous. The reason this happens most often is that there isn't enough power steering fluid in the system. In fact, if you're having trouble turning your steering wheel, it's probably a good idea to get it checked out as soon as possible.

Driving with a stiff steering wheel can make controlling the car much harder than usual, and could even result in an accident. So if you find that your steering is too hard to turn, it’s time to take your car into the shop! Don’t let a rigid steering wheel drive you round the bend - get it sorted before you hit the road!

How Much Does It Cost To Fix A Stiff Steering Wheel?

The cost to fix a power steering issue ranges, depending on your car type and model, the damaged component, and the garage you visit. Most times, fixing power steering issues costs an average of $250 to 350. This price includes labor, parts such as fluid and filters, and testing. The cost of the parts themselves may range from $50 to over $200 depending on the part that needs replacing.

Don’t wait until it’s too late – get your stiff steering wheel fixed today! You don’t want to be caught off guard when you hit the road again - a safe and comfortable drive is worth it!

Bottom Line

So if you're having trouble with your steering wheel being hard to turn, make sure you get it checked out by a professional mechanic who knows what they are doing. It's not just about being able to steer – it's about safety first! Get back on course and start enjoying your ride again without any worries.

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