The Anatomy of Healthy Cars: A Service and Repair Blog

A Few Quick Troubleshooting Tips for a Car's Steering Problems

by Brittany Marshall

Obviously your car's steering needs to be in good working order at all times, otherwise you may struggle to control your car and may not even be able to drive it. Not all problems with power steering are actually the steering itself, however, which is why it's good to know a little bit about how the steering is connected to other systems and components. This will give you an idea of what to look for when you do have problems with controlling the car's steering and help you know what to expect when you talk to a mechanic.

1. Shaking

First note when the steering wheel shakes. If it's when you brake, chances are it's the rotors of the braking system and not necessary the steering column or system. The rotors may be worn down so that when they push out against the tires, the tire starts to shake over their uneven surface. In turn, the entire steering column begins to shake and you feel it in the steering wheel.

If the shaking of the steering column happens at virtually all speeds, this can mean that the tires are not balanced and mounted properly. The tires are trying to grip the road evenly but they cannot do that when they're out of balance with one another, and you can feel this shaking in the steering wheel.

2. Stiff steering

If your power steering is constantly too stiff and you need to struggle to get the wheels to turn around a corner, you can check the level of power steering fluid. If the fluid is low, the parts don't move as they should and you struggle to steer the car. However, this can also mean a problem with the electrical connection and electricity being fed to the steering system. Your car's battery also might be very low so that there isn't enough electricity or power getting to the steering column, or there could be problems with the wiring of the steering system.

If the stiffness of your steering means that you're struggling to keep the car in the center of the lane while driving, this is usually because the tires are out of alignment, or your car may have a bent rim on one side. This will cause the car to pull to one side or another so that you're struggling to steer. The steering column itself could also be bent so that it's not keeping the tires straight when on the road.

If you are having any problems like these or with your power steering, it is best to visit a local auto shop as soon as possible.