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Reasons Why Steering Wheel Always Hard To Turn


Have you ever how those danfo drivers in Lagos manage to steer their wheel? If you are opportune to sit close to a danfo driver, you will marvel at the dexterity they display in control the bus, some sterlings are as old as Nigeria itself.

The steering system is an important part of the control mechanism of a vehicle. It provides control over the direction the driver wants to guide the car. A problem like steering wheel hard to turn is dangerous because it can lead to accidents when you are driving on a highway or a street filled with cars or people. Just imagine a situation when you need to change lanes or take a turn but steering wheel sticks or moves slowly. It could be a deadly situation if you are driving on a treacherous, mountainous road.

Steering Wheel Hard to Turn – What Are the Reasons?

Irregular maintenance and late servicing coupled with the wearing off of some components are the reasons of the stiff steering wheel. It’s important to know about them as it will help you to spot the signs early and take the car to servicing before they become worse.

Tire Pressure

Surprisingly, bad air pressure could be a cause for steering wheel hard to turn. Improper tire pressure, especially deflated tires, can trigger this problem. All the tires of your vehicle should have been inflated according to the manufacturer’s recommended PSI.

Also, the front-end alignment is another important thing. Uneven wear on the front tires will make your car pull to a side while driving or taking a turn. Uneven tire tread leads to misalignment of the wheels, which can also a reason that triggers hard and stiff steering at the time of making turns on the road.

Bad Steering Rack

The steering rack is connected to the wheel through a series of shafts and U-joints. These parts and the rack itself get damaged and worn simply because of everyday driving. If you find the stiffed wheel just after starting the car, the problem is definitely with the steering rack. The wheel will gradually feel free to move when you continue driving. It happens because the rack gets hotter with the running of the engine, allowing the lubricant to settle in. you can keep driving with this condition but leaving the deteriorated rack as it is will escalate the problem.

Damaged Serpentine Belt

Another common cause of steering wheel hard to turn is a cracked or broken serpentine belt. The belt gets worn out over time because it works all the time when you drive the car. The wheel starts showing the sign of stiffness when the belt begins to erode and becomes loose. Delaying the repair or replacement will cause the belt to break, making the steering wheel to go kaput.

Fluid Leakage

Inadequate level of fluid in the steering system is another top reason. It happens when the pressurized hose area develops a leak or gets loose. Fluid leaks through that crack, leading to reducing pressure in the system and drying out the pump. As a result, the wheel does not get enough supply of fluid to perform freely.

Pump Malfunction

Along with the fluid, the pump also has a major role in creating the right amount of pressure in the power steering system. If the pump gets damaged or stops working for any reason, it will be difficult to turn the steering wheel. An impaired pump will not stall the wheel completely. You will still be able to move it but it will need much more effort, which could be dangerous when you need to take a sharp turn on the road.

Thick Fluid

Like all other types of fluid in a vehicle, the power steering fluid also collects dirt and debris over time. It becomes too thick to flow freely and lubricate all the parts of the system if you don’t change it within the specified period. It especially causes steering wheel hard to turn at low speeds. The only solution is to flush the old fluid out of the system and refill it with new, fresh liquid.

Steering Wheel Hard to Turn at Low Speeds

The problem of steering wheel hard to turn becomes most noticeable when you are driving at low speeds because most people lower the car’s speed while making a turn. When this issue occurs, you could be certain that there is a glitch in your power steering system. It could be the fluid, pump, or the serpentine belt. All of these things work together to reduce the resistance of the wheel at the time of turning. When any or all of these things fail to function properly, you will experience a stiff steering wheel because of the high-level of resistance.

Regular maintenance and scheduled servicing are the best ways to keep your car free of this problem. You should check the fluid level at regular intervals. Also, make sure to have the power steering system diagnosed every time you send the car to a servicing shop for the schedule checkup.

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