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Common Causes of Hard Car Steering Wheels
Apr 20, 2024

Solving the Mystery of Hard and Stiff Car Steering Wheels

Driving a car should be a smooth and enjoyable experience, but when you encounter a hard or stiff steering wheel, it can turn into a frustrating and potentially dangerous situation. A stiff steering wheel is not only challenging to deal with, but it can also lead to accidents if left unresolved. Being aware of its causes and addressing the issue at the right time is crucial.

Hard and Stiff Steering Wheels - Causes and Solutions 

Let’s look at some of the common causes of hard and stiff steering wheels and the ways to resolve them.

Low power steering fluid

One of the primary reasons for a stiff steering wheel is low power steering fluid. This fluid helps to lubricate the steering mechanism, allowing the wheels to turn smoothly and with ease. When there is insufficient fluid, the steering becomes more difficult to operate, leading to a hard and stiff steering experience. The issue might also occur if the power steering fluid has thickened too much due to dirt and other debris. Solution: Regularly check and maintain the power steering fluid levels to help prevent a stiff steering wheel. In case of low levels of fluid, refill it to the appropriate level as indicated in your vehicle's owner's manual. Additionally, if dirt or debris has led to the thickening of the fluid, get it changed.

Damaged power steering pump

The power steering pump is responsible for circulating the power steering fluid throughout the system. Another key function of this pump is to uphold the right pressure in the system. This ensures that drivers can easily turn the steering wheel without exerting too much. If this pump is damaged or malfunctioning (indicated by screeching or whining noises during sharp turns), it can cause a lack of fluid circulation, resulting in a stiff steering wheel. Solution: Consult a professional mechanic to get the power steering pump inspected and replace it if necessary. This can help restore its proper function and reduce stiff steering.

Belt tension or slippage

The power steering system relies on a drive belt or serpentine belt to transfer power from the engine to the pump. If the belt is loose, damaged, or slipping, it can affect the operation of the power steering pump, resulting in stiff steering. Solution: Regularly inspect the belts in your car's power steering system and replace them if they are worn or damaged. This can help ensure the power steering pump receives the necessary power from the engine to function correctly.

Faulty steering rack

The steering rack is a crucial component in the steering system, allowing the wheels to turn in response to the driver's input. If the wheels are running smoothly but the steering is hard, the problem may lie in the steering rack. It may be damaged or worn, causing stiffness in the steering wheel. Solution: Consult a professional mechanic to determine if the faulty steering rack needs repair or replacement and proceed accordingly.

 Tyre issues

Improper tyre pressure or alignment can also contribute to a stiff steering wheel. When tyres are not adequately inflated or aligned, the car becomes more challenging to steer. Solution: Ensure your tyres are adequately inflated and aligned to maintain optimal steering performance. Carry out regular checks if required. Vehicle specifications, features, and pricing may vary, and it is essential for readers to verify the latest information from authorised dealerships, manufacturers, or reliable sources before making any purchasing decisions. While addressing the causes of a hard and stiff steering wheel is crucial for maintaining a safe and enjoyable driving experience, it is also essential to have the right car insurance coverage in place.

Steer Your Car Towards Security with Car Insurance

While one may take all steps towards ensuring their safety when driving, there is no saying when an unexpected event, such as an accident or a natural disaster, may take place. To protect one’s finances against such events, one must opt for a motor insurance plan providing comprehensive protection. As per prevalent laws, all motor vehicle owners must have third-party liability coverage, which takes care of third-party liabilities during accidents.* However, opting for a comprehensive car insurance plan can mean coverage against third-party liabilities along with the following:*
  1. Natural disasters (earthquakes, floods, storms, landslides, hailstorms, hurricanes, and so on).
  2. Manmade calamities (riots, theft, strikes, fires, and so on).
  3. External malicious acts.
  4. Terrorist activity.
What’s more, with comprehensive motor insurance, you can also opt for add-ons, such as zero depreciation cover, engine protector cover, consumables cover, and so on, for added protection.* Claims are subject to terms and conditions set forth under motor insurance policy. Hence, when you renew car insurance, you must consider opting for a comprehensive plan for overall protection. Click here to renew your car insurance with Bajaj Allianz. By taking a proactive approach to both steering maintenance and insurance coverage, you can drive your car with confidence and peace of mind, knowing that you and your car are well-protected.   *Standard T&C apply. Disclaimer: The content on this page is generic and shared only for informational and explanatory purposes. It is based on several secondary sources on the internet and is subject to changes. Please consult an expert before making any related decisions. Insurance is the subject matter of solicitation. For more details on benefits, exclusions, limitations, terms, and conditions, please read the sales brochure/policy wording carefully before concluding a sale. 

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