A hard steering wheel makes controlling the vehicle more difficult, which is dangerous as the steering wheel is one of the most important car parts. Like any other part, the steering wheel is prone to damage that hinders its work and requires maintenance and follow-up.
The steering wheel is the first thing a potential buyer will put his hands on when you want to sell any car.
One of these problems is the sudden stiffness of the steering wheel. What causes a stiff steering wheel, and how can you solve this problem?
The steering wheel works through the steering system. The operation principle is that when the driver moves the steering wheel, the steering system converts the circular motion into a linear movement that transmits to the system parts connected to the wheels to push them right or left.
A power steering system consists of two parts: The fluid reservoir (also known as the power steering pump) and the flexible hose leading from the pump into the front of the steering column.
Because they require lots of pressure, power steering systems are prone to leaks. When this happens, the fluid can leak out through the bottom of the reservoir or the valve cover gasket.
Steering systems can be electric or hydraulic, and each has its breakdown causes but all affect the car valuation in Dubai. However, here are the main stiffness reasons for both systems.
Low Steering Fluids
The first thing we think about in the case of a stiff steering wheel is a low steering fluid in the system. That is due to a leaking problem at the hose level. When the hose is cracked or loose, it lets the fluid leak out. That leaves the system without enough lubrication or pressure.
You can still drive your car with a leak. However, the steering pump will eventually fail, and the repairs will be expensive as you will have to replace it.
The power steering pump gives the right pressure to turn the steering wheel smoothly. Steering pump failure makes it hard to steer, especially at low speeds.
Replacing the power steering pump costs a lot. However, a professional mechanic will check if the connectors are loose or damaged before replacing the pump.
Serpentine Belt Problems
When you drive your car, you are using the serpentine belt constantly causing its wear and tears.
When the worn belt becomes loose, you notice that the steering wheel becomes hard to turn.
It is best to replace the belt before it breaks down completely and you can’t drive your car anymore.
Steering Rack Problem
Over time and after years of driving your car, the steering rack wears out.
You can detect this problem easily. If your steering wheel is only hard when you start the engine, then the problem is at the rack level. When you drive on, the engine warms up, and the heat causes better lubrication manifested as easier steering.
The steering rack has two parts: a pinion gear and a rack that work together through several joints and shafts. You must replace the entire assembly when the damage hits one of the parts.
Air in the Power Steering System
An air pocket can easily affect the power steering system.
The pump compresses the air that gets into the system. That causes loud noises and hard steering.
The solution is to bleed the system manually or at the mechanic’s shop. However, there are power steering systems that self-bleed while steering.
If you delay bleeding the system, steering will get dangerously harder, and you will suffer premature failure.