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.Continue Reading
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 about Car Parts & Maintenance
To replace a power steering pump, drain the power steering fluid reservoir, and detach the hoses and mounting bolts to replace the pump. Bleed the hydraulic system afterward.Full Answer >
The power steering fluid level is the first thing to check when a whining sound is heard coming from the power steering pump. The power steering system is a critical part of an automobile and should not be ignored, or a driver may find himself unable to control the vehicle.Full Answer >
Troubleshoot power steering problems by checking the fluid level, pump belt and steering assembly. Other less common areas to check include hoses, rack and pinion seals and other parts of the vehicle not related to the steering but which may cause steering problems. Tire pressure and problems with front-end parts can also cause power steering issues.Full Answer >
When power steering makes a high-pitched noise, either the power steering fluid is low or the power steering pump is bad. It is usually difficult to turn the wheel of a car when there is a power steering problem. Although it is a less common problem, if there is a clicking sound when the wheel is turned, this indicates there is most likely a problem with the wheel bearing.Full Answer >