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Signs of Malfunctioning Steering System

Signs of Malfunctioning Steering System
13 July, 2023

The car steering plays a crucial role in your vehicle by transforming the rotational input from your steering wheel into a lateral movement for your tires. It facilitates your control over the car’s motion, enabling you to navigate the road according to your intentions. The steering rack ensures your car responds and maneuvers as you desired.

When it malfunctions, it can lead to noisy or unresponsive steering. Here are some signs that indicate a malfunctioning steering rack :

Unusual noises :

If you hear a clunking, grinding, squeaking, or knocking noise when you turn the steering wheel, it could be a sign of a faulty steering rack. These noises often occur due to worn-out or damaged internal components within the rack. Squeaking is rarely a major issue and can be fixed with regular maintenance. Do not ignore it for too long if you don’t want it to deal with costly steering rack repairs.

Leaking fluid (power steering) :

One of the simplest steering rack issues to identify is leaking power steering fluid.  If you notice stains of power steering fluid under your vehicle, it is likely that the steering rack’s seals or connections are compromised and need to be repaired or replaced.

Difficulty turning the wheel :

The steering wheel needs to be smooth and feel easy when you’re driving. If you notice a difficulty or find it harder to turn the steering wheel, it may indicate a problem with the steering rack. This could be due to some issues, such as a damaged rack, insufficient power steering fluid, or a failing power steering pump.

Steering wheel vibration :

The steering wheel may shake or tremble while you’re driving if your steering rack isn’t working normally. Particularly while rotating the wheel or driving at higher speeds, this vibration could be felt. It might be a problem with some components including the tie rods, steering rack bushing, wheel bearings, and other parts.

The steering wheel doesn’t return to the center:

The steering wheel should naturally return to the center position right after making a turn. If it doesn’t bring back to the center, it could be a problem with the steering rack. Such as steering components that get stuck such as the kingpin, ball joint, or steering column. To a certain extent, even improper wheel alignment can reduce steering returnability.

If you notice any of these signs, it’s important to have your vehicle inspected by a qualified mechanic or a professional technician. They can diagnose the exact issue with your steering rack and recommend the appropriate repairs or replacements.

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