Four Common Powersteering Issues

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Being able to turn your wheel smoothly is a crucial part of driving. Problems in power-steering can arise due to a number of issues, from a clogged hose to depleted fluid. You'll know something is amiss when you begin to experience issues such as squeaking noises, stiffness, or alignment problems. Here are four common power-steering issues that plaque drivers.

Vibration

Experiencing vibration or shaking in your steering wheel while driving is one of the most common issues. However, this doesn't mean that the steering components are to blame. For example, you may experiencing vibrating only when you apply the brake, when making a turn, or when going at a slow speed and then accelerating. The problem could be a failing power-steering pump or a worn out wheel bearing, but it could also be a problem with the front rotor.

Squealing Noise

A high-pitched squealing noise is another common power-steering complaint. As with other power-steering issues, you may only hear this squeal when you turn your wheel. This can come from an issue with the pulleys or the belt. You can troubleshoot yourself by taking off the belt and spinning the pulleys to check for any issues. Look out for any cracks in the belt and make sure the pulleys are aligned correctly. Another thing to check is that you have enough hydraulic fluid in the power-steering compartment of the engine. If it's low, you'll need to top if off.

Steering Wheel Drifting or Not Returning to Center

When you turn your wheel, it should automatically return to the center after the turn is completed. If it doesn't, something is wrong, and it could be as simple as checking the steering shaft to see if the clamps have loosened. If they have, tightening them will do the trick. Uneven tire pressure is sometimes a culprit, along with misaligned wheels, so it's best to check that all four wheels are aligned and that your tire pressure is good.

Leaking Power Steering Fluid

If you park your car and notice that power steering fluid is leaking, you're not alone. This is a common issue that drivers face. O-rings and seals are responsible from keeping your power steering fluid from leaking. With age, these components can wear down and allow fluid to leak out. When fluid seeps out, it also makes steering difficult, so you'll likely experience some steering problems associated with the leak. You'll need to take your vehicle in to have it repaired, since O-rings are part of a complex component where the fluid is pressured by a pump. This intricate machinery needs to be handled by a professional.

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