Why Is My Steering Wheel Hard To Turn?

Your steering wheel can turn out to be rigid and difficult to change owing to a deficiency of maintenance or an concern with one of your car factors. If you perception that your steering wheel is getting to be challenging to turn, you want to establish the purpose guiding the concern. If the situation is neglected, it could trigger a lot more prolonged-phrase harm, so that is why you need to act rapidly.

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How does the power steering system function?

Your electricity steering method relies on numerous car areas, and it is there to support you maneuver your vehicle a lot more efficiently and have much more manage over the vehicle.

The power steering pump provides fluid to your electricity steering technique and the pinion unit and rack. When you move your steering wheel, the valve in the steering technique permits the fluid to flow to the pinion and lets you turn the wheel simply. When your wheel moves, the pinion moves and forces the rack in the path you are navigating.

person driving a Ford vehicle
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Common issues that can make your steering wheel hard to turn

There can be multiple causes why your steering wheel is hard to flip, and you need to know how to understand them. To help you get acquainted with some of the most typical problems that result in concerns with turning your steering wheel, check out them out under.

Low-power steering fluid

Your power steering system demands to have enough fluid inside to lubricate, pressurize, and purpose correctly. If your energy steering fluid is unfastened, destroyed, or just not new adequate, your steering wheel can turn out to be challenging to turn.

How to fix this?
  • Frequently inspect your power steering fluid to ensure that it’s not dirty or contaminated. If there’s grime, dirt, or anything else that could endanger your power steering fluid and, therefore, your steering function, you’ll need to get a flush or replace the fluid.
Power steering fluid in a car
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The power steering fluid is too thick

Yet another typical problem that tends to make your wheel difficult to flip is energy steering fluid that is also thick. For the wheel to flip properly, the liquid ought to be watery so that it can lubricate the system properly. The liquid thickening can make the wheel rigid and rigid to switch, so if you recognize any steering wheel problems, hold that in head.

How to fix this?
  • The only way to fix an issue with a hard-to-turn steering wheel caused by thick power steering fluid is to flush and re-fill it with new fluid.
flushing old power steering fluid
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Leaking power steering fluid

If your energy steering fluid is leaking, that could also make your steering wheel tough to switch. For your power steering system to perform, you need to have an adequate amount of fluid to lubricate the system and allow proper overall performance.

When there’s not enough fluid, or you notice leaking, the force in the system turns into reduced, and the electricity steering pump requirements to function more challenging to recover from the pressure loss. Since of that, your steering wheel won’t get enough fluid supply to purpose, and it will become hard to change.

How to fix this?
  • If there’s a leak, you’ll need to find the source of the issue, which is commonly a loose or cracked hose. Once you find the source of the leak, repair it and re-fill the power steering system fluid to allow your wheel to turn without issues.
man filling car with new power steering fluid
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A broken or damaged serpentine belt

One more typical cause of a rigid steering wheel can be a damaged, cracked, or destroyed serpentine belt. When the belt begins to dress in down, your steering wheel will demonstrate symptoms of stiffness and will become tough to switch. As the car consistently uses the belt, dress in-outs are pretty widespread.

How to fix this?
  • If the serpentine belt is the reason behind your steering wheel stiffness issues, you’ll need to replace or repair it promptly. If you don’t act quickly, the belt could completely break, and you won’t be able to drive your vehicle.
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Malfunctioning steering rack

The steering rack is an vital ingredient of your electrical power steering technique as its position is to connect the steering wheel to the areas that turn the wheel to exactly where you are navigating. Your steering rack employs numerous U-joints and shafts to link with the steering wheel, and the components can wear out quickly.

If your steering wheel is stiff just after you commence the auto, although the wheel turns considerably simpler as you preserve driving, the problem is almost certainly in the steering rack. The rack warms up when your engine is doing work and it enables the lubricant to settle, so the steering wheel is tough to change only at the starting of the generate.

How to fix this?
  • The only way to fix this issue is to replace the steering rack and other malfunctioning components. To do this, take your car to a mechanic that will determine if that’s what’s causing the issue, and they will do a replacement for you.
a mechanic checking a worn out car
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Issues with the steering pump

The energy steering pump is a essential element of the power steering method as it transfers the fluid to the pinion device and rack. It also maintains the pressure in the technique so that you can move your steering wheel with out drive. When and if the steering pump is malfunctioning, the electrical power of your system receives decrease, and your steering wheel is more challenging to change.

If you ignore an situation with your electricity steering pump, you could conclude up in risk as the car may be unsafe for driving.

How to fix this?
  • If your steering pump is malfunctioning, check the connector to check if the pump is damaged or if it just wiggles loose. Any signs of damage to the pump will mean that you need to replace it immediately to avoid possible issues.
power steering pump hold by mechanic
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Bad tire pressure

Numerous people really don't know this, but when you have poor tire stress, that can influence the performance of your steering wheel and make it difficult to flip. Tires with uneven pressure and deflated tires can result in this concern, so usually examine the force in your car tires.

When you are not sure of the proper tire strain for your motor vehicle, it is very best to check the manufacturer’s recommendations. The most typical signs of this situation contain stiffness in your steering wheel during reduced-pace driving or when your vehicle is parked.

How to fix this?
  • Make a routine to check your tire pressure at least once or twice a month to ensure your tires are not deflated or low on pressure. While checking the pressure, ensure that it matches the guidelines of your vehicle manufacturer and the tire size for your car.
inflating tire
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Issues with the front end alignment or with the front suspension components

When there’s uneven dress in on your entrance tires or you have an problem with your entrance-stop suspension components, you are going to likely expertise an situation with turning your steering wheel. Any concern this kind of as a poor tie rod, lousy ball joints, or an concern with the wheel bearing could make your steering wheel challenging to switch.

Also, if your tires are not well balanced, the entrance tires can pull your car to a single facet, causing rigid steering. You are going to probably notice that this is making your problem when you consider to corner or switch your automobile.

How to fix this?
  • Inspect your front-end suspension to ensure everything is functioning as it’s supposed to. If you notice anything alarming, take your vehicle to a mechanic to determine the actual problem and resolve it for you.
fixing and cleaning car
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Final thoughts

There are various causes why your steering wheel is challenging to flip, and no matter of the trigger, you ought to act as before long as you discover this problem. Both inspect all the attainable elements yourself or consider your car to a professional that will locate the trigger and correct it to make your motor vehicle safer.



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