Don’t Steer Wrong: Fixing Common Steering Problems

Don’t Steer Wrong: Fixing Common Steering Problems

Your car’s steering system is vital for maintaining control and safety on the road. But like any other system, it can develop problems over time. If you’re experiencing difficulty steering, strange noises, or vibrations, it’s important to address the issue promptly. Luckily, some common steering problems have relatively simple fixes you might be able to tackle yourself, while others require a visit to a trusted mechanic. Here’s a breakdown of common steering problems and how to fix them:

Low Power Steering Fluid

Modern cars mostly rely on power steering to make turning the wheel easier. This system uses a special fluid that, when low, can significantly increase steering effort. Check your owner’s manual to locate the power steering fluid reservoir and dipstick. If the fluid level is low, top it up with the recommended type of fluid. However, if the fluid keeps disappearing, there might be a leak in the system, requiring a mechanic’s attention.

Warning! Don’t Ignore Leaks

If you notice puddles of red or brown liquid under your car, it could be a leak from the power steering system. Ignoring leaks can lead to major component failure and expensive repairs.  If you’re not comfortable inspecting your car for leaks yourself, consider seeking help from a professional mechanic. Auto Repair Services in Wyoming, MN can diagnose and fix steering leaks.

Worn or Damaged Belts

In some vehicles, a belt connects the engine crankshaft to the power steering pump. A worn or damaged belt can lead to difficult steering, especially at low speeds.  You can usually inspect the belt yourself for cracks or visible wear.  However, replacing a belt can be tricky and requires some mechanical knowledge. If you’re unsure, consult a mechanic.

Loose Steering Wheel

A loose steering wheel is a serious safety hazard.  If there’s excessive play in the steering wheel before the wheels turn, it could indicate loose bolts or a problem with the steering column. Don’t attempt to fix a loose steering wheel yourself. Take your car to a qualified mechanic immediately.

Difficulty Turning

If you’re struggling to turn the wheel, even with proper power steering fluid levels, there could be an issue with the power steering pump itself. The pump pressurizes the fluid, making steering effortless. A failing pump might whine or groan when you turn the wheel.  Unfortunately, replacing a power steering pump is a complex job best left to a mechanic.

Uneven Tire Wear

Uneven tire wear can not only affect your car’s handling but also put extra strain on the steering system.  Asymmetrical wear or bald spots can indicate misalignment issues.


If you’re unsure about the cause of your steering problem or feel uncomfortable fixing it yourself, don’t hesitate to take your car to a qualified mechanic.  Early detection and repair of steering issues can prevent them from worsening and potentially causing accidents.