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What Might Be Wrong With Your Car's Steering

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It's never good to overlook problems you may be having with your car's steering, as a seemingly minor issue can signal a very serious repair that needs to be addressed, and the steering can even give out while you're on the road. Obviously this can be very dangerous, and it can also result in much larger repair bills than if you had addressed the problem on the outset. Note a few troubleshooting tips as to what might be wrong with your car's steering when it does act up, so you know what the car might need by way of repairs.

Grinding noise when steering

If you notice a grinding sound while turning the wheel, this often means that the steering gearbox is wearing out. This gearbox is at the centre of the steering column under the car, and it engages when you turn the steering wheel. The gears inside this box then move the tie rods and other parts that direct the tyres.

When the steering gearbox starts to wear out, those gears may grind and rub against each other. The gearbox then needs to be replaced as soon as possible; if those gears fail altogether, the steering then gives out and you cannot control the car.

Very tight steering

If you notice that the steering wheel seems to lock up or you need to struggle to turn the wheel, this can mean that the car is low on steering fluid. It might also mean that the fluid has gone bad; if that fluid is full of rust, dirt, or other debris, it won't flow easily through the gears of the steering system and the steering becomes tight. Have the steering fluid reservoir flushed and refilled and this will usually correct the problem.

Resistance when turning

If your car's steering resists just when turning, the brake pads may be worn down and are slipping out of place, so that they push against the wheels when you turn the tyres. Worn callipers may also fail to release as they should, so they're pushing the brake pads against the wheels and you then feel this resistance or drag. The car may also have worn differentials, which are gears that engage when you turn so that the wheels can rotate at different speeds, which is needed when the car goes around a corner. If you hear squealing along with this resistance, have the differentials checked, as this sound often means worn bearings and gears.