Possible causes for a stiff steering wheel are a loose or damaged power steering belt, low power steering fluid levels, a damaged or leaking power steering rack or a broken power steering pump. Some of these issues are more prominent when the vehicle is slowing down; if this is the case, it should be fixed as soon as possible.Know More
If steering is an issue when slowing down, check the power steering belt. If it has slipped or is loose, it can cause heavy steering, but if it is loose, it is likely to cause a loud screech, especially when the car has just been started when it is cold. If the belt is loose, it will likely have worn down and should be replaced; however, it can be adjusted to stop it from slipping. If the belt is damaged, it will need to be replaced in a short amount of time. Replacing it as soon as possible may save time in the future.
It is a good idea to check the power steering fluid levels at regular intervals and refill it if necessary. If the fluid is low, it can cause harder steering. If the fluid gets low soon after it has been refilled, there could be damage to the steering rack and the fluid is leaking out. Check the steering rack, and if there is any damage, replace it right away. The power steering pump should be checked to see if it is keeping the right amount of pressure. If not, it needs to be replaced.Learn more in Car Parts & Maintenance
If you notice some clunks, knocks or squeaks when you turn the steering wheel, something in the system is causing friction that needs attention; if you notice moaning or whining, the issue is likely to be in your power steering system. In either case, this is a problem that needs attention because steering properly is vital for operational safety.Full Answer >
When there is a problem with the power steering system, a high-pitched whine will be heard. The steering system will need to be properly diagnosed to find the root of the problem.Full Answer >
Play in the steering wheel, often called a loose steering wheel, may be caused by loose ball joints, worn tie rod ends or a loose steering box. If those things check out, play in the steering wheel may be caused by worn C-bushings in the caster.Full Answer >
Determining the reason why the steering wheel is locked is the first step in repairing it, and somtimes repair is as simple as jiggling the wheel while turning the key. A locked steering wheel could be caused by dirt in the ignition, a bent or broken key or a damaged or broken ignition. Also, the type of steering lock mechanism will affect the type of repairs that are necessary.Full Answer >