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Cars need regular maintenance to function properly. Steering problems can pose a significant threat to the car, driver, and passengers. It can be dangerous to drive a car with steering issues. If you are based in Garden City, Idaho, you can rely on Treasure Valley Auto Care for your car steering problems. We offer car repair services, including steering repairs. In this blog post, we will share signs that your car has steering issues. If you are interested in learning more, keep reading below.

Signs of Car Steering Problems

Garden City, ID's go-to for expert automotive repairs - Treasure Valley Auto Care.

Difficulty Turning the Steering Wheel

Newer cars have a power steering feature, which uses an electric motor or hydraulic pump to assist the driver when turning the steering wheel. Older vehicles lack this feature, making steering more challenging. If you have difficulty steering, the power steering system may have an issue.

For example, low-power steering fluid can affect power assist and may indicate a leak. A faulty steering pump or a damaged serpentine belt can also cause problems. In cars with electric motor power assist, a bad motor or blown fuse might be the issue.

Vibration in the Steering Wheel or Car Shuddering When Turning

When driving on a smooth road, you should not feel constant vibration in the steering wheel. If the car shudders and there is constant vibration in the steering wheel, it could indicate a steering problem.

Worn tie rods, which connect the rack and pinion to the steering knuckles attached to the wheel hubs, can cause these vibrations. Other possible causes include tires with bulges, balancing issues, wheel alignment problems, uneven brake pad wear, or damaged brake rotors.

By recognizing these signs, you can address steering problems before they become severe. If you notice any of these issues, it’s crucial to have your car inspected and repaired by professionals. At Treasure Valley Auto Care, we are equipped to diagnose and fix any steering problems your car might have. Contact us today to ensure your car is safe and functioning properly.

Sloppy Steering Wheel

If your steering wheel feels unresponsive or “sloppy” when you move it back and forth, but the car doesn’t change direction, there could be an issue with the steering system. This problem might be caused by worn or loose tie rods or a damaged steering rack. A steering wheel should be responsive and stay centered when driving straight. Handling difficulties indicates a problem.

Car Pulls or Wanders to One Side

If your car pulls or wanders to one side, it might signal a steering issue. Low tire pressure can also cause this problem. Uneven tire wear suggests the need for regular tire rotation. Bad wheel alignment can make the tires go in the wrong direction, causing the car to pull to one side. Other potential causes include a damaged brake caliper or worn tie rods. Consult a professional car technician to inspect and repair your steering system.

Loud Noises When Turning the Wheel

Hearing screeching or squealing sounds when turning the steering wheel is a sign of potential steering system problems. Low power steering fluid or a faulty power steering pump can cause loud noises. A damaged serpentine belt might also be the culprit. Grinding noises suggest a worn steering rack, while creaking sounds might indicate worn upper bearings on the struts. A loose or worn power steering belt, which connects the pump to the engine, can lead to power steering failure.

Foaming or Bubbling Power Steering Fluid

Power steering fluid should be translucent and reddish, similar to automatic transmission fluid. It shouldn’t be opaque, dark, or foamy. Check the pump reservoir for foam or bubbles, which could indicate a leak. If the fluid is dark, it needs to be replaced. A milky appearance suggests moisture in the system, requiring a professional technician to flush the fluid.

Slipping Steering Wheel

If your steering wheel pulls to the right or left while driving straight, it indicates a significant problem that could lead to accidents. This issue might mean the power steering is failing, the steering rack is worn, or the steering belt is loose. If you try to turn the steering wheel and the tires don’t respond, or if the car doesn’t straighten after a turn, it could mean the steering rack needs repair or replacement.

Floating Over Bumps

When driving over bumps, if your car feels like it’s floating or bouncing excessively, it could be due to damaged struts or shock absorbers. These components are crucial for maintaining traction and stability, especially during sharp turns. Though not direct parts of the steering system, faulty struts, and shocks can affect steering performance. They should be replaced immediately if they are worn out.

Discolored Liquid Leaks

A puddle of discolored liquid under your car might indicate a steering system issue. If the fluid is foamy, it’s likely power steering fluid that is contaminated with air or water. This is a clear sign that the steering system needs attention. Promptly ask a car technician to inspect and fix the problem.

Addressing Steering Issues

If you notice any signs of steering problems, it’s crucial to act quickly. Ignoring these issues can lead to more severe problems and compromise your safety. Regular maintenance and timely repairs are essential for keeping your car in good condition.

Contact Treasure Valley Auto Care

Did you notice any signs that your car has steering problems? If you are in Garden City, Idaho, bring your car to Treasure Valley Auto Care for reliable maintenance and repair services.

We specialize in car steering repairs and can address any issues your vehicle may have. If you have inquiries regarding our services, please call us at 208-385-0339 or email quality@treasurevalleyautocare.com.

Choose Treasure Valley Auto Care for your car’s steering issues. Contact us today! We are happy to help with your car’s maintenance and repair needs.